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Banana Squash: How To Cook It

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Today, it’s all about how to cook banana squash, and it’s so easy! My friend, Debbie, gifted me this beautiful squash. It is about 16 -18 inches long.

She asked me if I wanted it, and of course, I said, yes! I mentioned to her that Mark is not fond of squash, but I am. Mark’s mother loved to cook and serve baked squash to her family frequently. She had a similar approach to preparation to the one I’m writing about today by roasting or baking the squash. I’ve grown to love squash and made many varieties part of my garden planting plans for years.

I told Debbie I would write a post about it and bring some cut squash for her family to enjoy. Mark and I also delivered a few pieces of it baked and ready to eat. Ever since I received this one from Debbie, I’ve been looking for additional squash from our local farmers market.

In case you missed this post, How To Dehydrate Zucchini-Sliced & Cubed

Banana Squash: How To Cook It

Kitchen Items You May Need:

Banana Squash: How To Cook It

Washed Banana Squash

Step One: Wash the Squash

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C degrees. The first thing is to wash and scrub the squash and look for any bad spots to cut off. This one was in perfect shape and ready to slice. You certainly don’t want a squash of poor quality, and I’m grateful for the beautiful one we enjoyed this week!

Wash Squash

Step Two: Cut the Ends Off

Now, cut the ends off, and slice the banana squash into 3-inch sections using a sharp knife.

Slice the Squash

Step Three: Slice and Cut In Half

It’s much easier to cut it this way because you’re not having to handle such a large squash. I used a really good knife and it was easier than I had expected to cut through the rind and flesh. Now you cut those pieces in half.

Banana Squash: How To Cook It

Step Four: Scrape The Seeds Out

Now scrape the seeds out with a tablespoon or similar tool. Remove the excess stringy “meat” of the squash, leaving the delicious orange flesh to be cooked. The flesh is similar in color to the apricots we all love. I’ve suggested to my readers to consider saving the seeds of squash and other vegetables for planting later, particularly if they are from heirloom varieties.

Scrape the seeds out

Step Five: Remove the Outer Skins or Rind

Now, cut the pieces again, and remove the skin on the ones you will cook on another day. We left the skin on the pieces we are baking today.

Remove the skin

Step Six: Refrigerate Those Outer Skin Intact

As mentioned, remove the skin on the squash you plan to cook at a later time. Place the peeled pieces in a bag or container to place in the refrigerator for up to five days. Some people like to make slices of these even smaller so they are cubes in size, particularly if they plan to use them in soups or stews, or even as a pizza topping.

Store the cut squash in bags

Step Seven: Scratch The Centers with Fork

Use a fork, to lightly “scratch” or “score” the banana squash meat so you can add butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, or another sweetener or some herbs of choice, like honey or rosemary.

Banana Squash: How To Cook It

Step Eight: Add Butter and Spices

Place a dab of butter in the middle of the pieces to be baked, then sprinkle with the desired amount of cinnamon you want on each piece of squash. Add the brown sugar or other sweeteners now or after you bake it. You may want to salt and pepper it as well. You may want to go light on the sweeteners so it would remain more of a low-calorie entree.

Banana Squash: How To Cook It

Step Nine: Wrap in Foil and Bake

Now, wrap the separate pieces of banana squash tightly in aluminum foil. Place a piece of aluminum foil on your cookie sheet and spray with vegetable oil.

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Place the wrapped squash pieces on the cookie sheet. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes, or until baked through. I use a fork to see if it’s tender and ready to serve.

Banana Squash: How To Cook It

Finished Product

Cooked and Ready to serve

Banana Squash: How To Cook It

5 from 7 votes
Cooked and Ready to serve
Banana Squash: How To Cook It
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 7 people
Author: Linda Loosli
Ingredients
  • 1 Banana Squash
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C degrees.

    2. The first thing is to wash and scrub the squash and look for any bad spots to cut off.

    3. Now, cut the ends off, and slice the banana squash into 3-inch sections. It's much easier to cut it this way because you are not having to handle such a large squash.

    4. I used a really good knife and it was easier than I had expected to cut through the skin and flesh.

    5. Now you cut the pieces in half.

    6. Now scrape the seeds out with a tablespoon or similar tool. Remove the excess stringy meat.

    7. Now, cut the pieces again, remove the skin on the pieces you plan to cook another day. We left the skin on the ones we are baking today.

    8. Again, remove the skin on the squash you won't bake the day you cut the banana squash.

    9. Place the peeled pieces in a bag or container to place in the refrigerator for up to five days.

    10. Use a fork, to lightly "scratch" the banana squash meat so you can add butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar (or sweetener of choice).

    11. Place a dab of butter, with the desired amount of cinnamon you want on each piece of squash.

    12. Add the brown sugar now or after you bake it. You may want to salt and pepper it as well.

    13. Now, wrap the separate pieces of banana squash in aluminum foil tightly.

    14. Place a piece of aluminum foil on your cookie sheet and spray with vegetable oil. Place the squash on the cookie sheet.

    15. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes, or until baked through. Use a fork to see if it's tender.

What is banana squash?

It is a large winter squash that is part of the same botanical family as gourds and pumpkins. This variety of squash can grow to be pretty big at two or three feet in length and can weigh close to 35 pounds.

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Although they are considered a “winter” squash variety, they are generally available all year long but are more prevalent in the fall and winter months.

Are banana squash and butternut squash the same?

Although they are similar, the two actually are different varieties. Banana squash has a nice mellow flavor, and it can be used in any of your recipes calling for a squash-colored orange, like the acorn and kabocha you often see in the store or at your farmer’s market.

Can you eat the skin of a banana squash?

The skin is very thick compared to many squash varieties and is thrown away since the meaty flesh is the only part considered edible.

How can I store the freshly picked squash until I’m ready to cook it?

Try storing the picked squash in a cool, dark, and dry place at 50-60 F / 10-15 C in a well-ventilated area that has a good circulation of air available.

How do I store the raw uncooked banana squash?

Place the raw squash with the skin removed in a bag or an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will be good for 3 to 5 days.

How do I store the leftover cooked banana squash?

Place the cooked banana squash in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Can I freeze the cooked or raw banana squash?

I would not recommend freezing the raw or cooked squash. It will become too mushy and watery. I’ve read where it can be frozen, particularly if you take the time to puree the squash first. You can try it and see what the results are rather than have any go to waste.

Can I microwave the leftovers?

Yes, you can, the banana squash takes even better the next day after you heat it up in the microwave.

What can I serve with the cooked banana squash?

  • Pasta
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Steak
  • Pork
  • Salad
  • Spicy Sausage
  • Add it to a pot of soup
  • Top it with leftover stuffing/dressing
  • Eat it as a meal

Can I use a different sweetener?

Yes, you can use white granulated sugar, Stevia, honey, or any other sweetener of your choice.

Do I have to use a sweetener?

No, you don’t have to use a sweetener. I prefer one, but it’s because I have a sweet tooth. Some people like the “natural” flavor of the squash. Try it both ways and see which approach you like best.

Is putting a dab of butter necessary?

No, it’s not necessary, but it makes it taste delicious!

Can I use a different spice?

Yes, you may want to try just salt and pepper, or another one of your favorite spices. Don’t be shy about trying other spices you typically use on your favorite veggie offerings. I like to use nutmeg, cumin, and even thyme sometimes.

Are there any health benefits to eating squash?

Winter squash varieties have been found to be good sources of beta-carotene, vitamins B6 and C. You can count on getting a fair amount of fiber along with potassium and magnesium. Another good quality of eating squash is they’re considered low-calorie.

Final Word

There is something about growing our own food. I’m so grateful that my friend, Debbie, gifted me this banana squash. This is the first time I had ever cut or baked one. I hope you found my post about banana squash to be helpful as you look for quality veggies to eat during the cold months of the year.

It’s all about practice, practice, practice. If we can teach our kids and grandkids how to cook from scratch, what a better world we will live in! If you like squash and cook it often, let me know your favorite approach to make it a special part of your meals, we love to hear from our readers. May God Bless this world, Linda

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31 Comments

      1. You will love it Linda. Bake as you do the Banana Squash, or stuff with your favorite stuffing and bake. 350° until fork tender. Leave the skin on. Or slice into rings, peel and bake. Fresh acorn lasts for weeks at room temperature. Much longer in root cellar conditions. I suggest Apple Pie Spice or Pumpkin Pie spice mixtures and ginger as other seasoning ideas. Curry goes with Butternut and would also work here. Take care, you’re experiencing terrible heat waves, severe drought, and wildfires out there, and now Covid 19 Delta Variant is spreading rapidly, too. I hope you and your’s stay safe and healthy. MA❤️❤️.

        1. Hi MaryAnn, oh my gosh, this sounds delicious! I will try it for sure. Yes, we had that terrible dust storm that killed I think 8 people on the main highway going north. I believe it was a 22 car pileup. CRAZY weather! The heat is going down a bit now, thank goodness. We have a lot of people in Utah against all V. No judgment, here, but the cases are rising so quickly and people are dying. It’s crazy, young, middle age, and the elderly, it’s so random. Utah has the highest number of UN-V. I have a daughter with MS, I’m not the only one that knows someone with a compromised immune system. God help us. Stay safe, stay healthy, Linda

          1. I know, Linda. You know I’m just outside of Boston now, and the mega cluster on the Cape in Provincetown. I only got the J&J Vaccine, there are no indications of it’s effectiveness against the Delta Variant. 70+% of the cases on the Cape are breakthrough cases. Some are hospitalized. I have lung and heart damage, if I get a breakthrough case, I’m really worried that it would be another really bad case. So I’m back in full isolation here. My husband is working, but his hospital is not taking Covid patients at this time, it’s a private Psychiatric Hospital, so they can do that. He got the Moderna shots, and he’s being really careful to not to bring it home to me. It’s really scary. This variant doesn’t respect immunization. So far no one has died, but I’m really concerned that will change. Delta could spawn an even worse variant. If it does, this fall and winter could make 2020-2021 pale in comparison. The high breakthrough rate is only going to give the anti vaxxers more reason, not to take the vaccines. I have 3 cousins with MS and there are so many people who are immune compromised, elderly who haven’t been reached yet, children with no authorized vaccine yet. So many vulnerable people who don’t deserve another wave. God help us, and protect us from the selfish.

          2. Hi MaryAnn, I was so glad that Utah lifted the mask rule but it may come back. I went to the store yesterday and Costco was packed. I never go on a Saturday but I needed some bacon. I told my husband if we aren’t sick now we may be after we leave here. After last year we are in tune with people coughing and sneezing around us. AND it could be just allergies! But no one knows, really! God help us all, literally, we need it. Linda

  1. My mom loved banana squash and baked it, as well. I hated it!! It was too sweet and the strings made me gag. As an adult and wanted to get a replacement for pumpkin, I used squash. I pureed it and now have many recipes to use it in. My kids loved the pancakes, breads, etc. and never complained. There is always a way to use winter squash without baking them . Also, once purees, it can be dried to add to soups , stews and to make pies with. There are always ways to get veggies into families that they will love!!

    1. Hi Cheryl, my husband hates banana squash! He never complains about any meal. I eat the banana or butternut squash and I LOVER it!! LOL! I will have to puree some and add it to pancakes, that sounds awesome! Linda

      1. Serve the pancakes with warm applesauce or maple syrup. It also makes wonderful dinner rolls.!

  2. My husband and daughter and daughter in love like squash. I wonder if you can fry this type of squash? My husband does not like baked squash and refuses to eat it. So can you fry this squash? It looks like the skin is thin and it can be cut up in small pieces.
    If anyone has any ideas about frying this type of squash let me know. He used to only eat yellow squash but we get Mexican and Zucchini squash and it is cheaper to mix them instead of just getting the yellow because I know the Mexican is cheaper than Yellow where we live. I also wonder if I can find it around where we live.

      1. Thanks for letting me know. I will look at sprouts and a couple other organic places and see if they have it. I have never heard of it before now. I wish I knew where to get seeds for it and I would grow it in buckets.

        Love
        Jackie

          1. 5 stars
            I tried a long time ago to use Butternut squash and Jack didn’t like it. He’s really picky and that was his mother’s doing. If she didn’t like it she would tell her kids it wasn’t worth eating. I have changed his eating in some ways but there are others he refuses to budge on. Oh well G-D gave him to me and I love him to death

            Love
            Jackie

          2. Hi Jackie, best comment ever! Some things aren’t worth the battle! LOL! I’m lucky as well! I love Mark to death and he will eat just about 99.99% of whatever I fix EXCEPT squash! LOL! Life is so good, Love you, Linda

        1. If you get one, instead of throwing the seeds away, save them. It’s simple to do. I just did with the Acorn squash I just cooked. I washed the seeds as best I could removing as much pulp as I could. Then I put them on a paper towel, on a paper plate, put them in a dark place to dry. Once seeds are dry, put them in an envelope ( with name on it and date ) then put the envelope in with your seed stash until planting time. Happy Growing!

          1. Hi Pam, oh my gosh, I should have done that! I was so excited to be gifted the banana squash I forgot to save the seeds!! Thank you for the reminder!!!! Linda

      2. 5 stars
        I use a cleaver and a rubber mallet to tap the blade through winter squash. I find it safer than trying to cut them with a knife, no matter how sharp.
        Thanks for the introduction to banana squash.

        1. Hi Lori Y, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend!!! Oh, I have got to try your method, thank you!!! I need to order a meat cleaver!! I have the rubber mallet! Great tip! Linda

  3. 5 stars
    I love banana squash and used to eat it all the time. Now I never see it anymore. We live in Tennessee and I grew lots of butternut squash but I prefer banana to them. I don’t ever even see the seeds to buy anymore.

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