How to Cook Squash: Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Meal

Are you looking to cook up some delicious squash for a healthy side dish or main course? Then, you’ve come to the right place! Squash is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be prepared in many different ways, from baking and roasting to grilling and sautéing. In this article, we will look at how to cook squash and provide you with tips and tricks for preparing the perfect meal.

The Different Types of Squash

Before we delve into cooking squash, let’s take a look at the different types of squash available. This will give you an idea of the kind of squash you may want to buy and use in your recipes.

Summer Squash

Summer squash is a type of squash that is harvested in the summer and early fall. These squash are typically smaller and have a softer skin. Some popular varieties of summer squash are:

  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Pattypan squash

Winter Squash

Winter squash is a type of squash that is harvested in the late fall and winter. These squash have a harder skin and are typically bigger than summer squash. Some popular varieties of winter squash are:

  • Butternut squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Spaghetti squash

How to Choose Squash

When choosing squash, look for squash that is firm and heavy for its size. The skin of the squash should be free of blemishes and soft spots. If you plan to store the squash for a few days, choose squash with a longer stem, as this helps to keep the squash fresh for longer.

How to Cook Squash

Now, let’s get into the cooking process. There are many ways to cook squash, and the method you choose will depend on the recipe and your personal preference. Here are five common ways to cook squash:


To bake squash, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Rub the flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet, cut-side down, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.


To grill squash, heat your grill to medium-high heat. Cut the squash into ¼ inch slices and brush both sides with olive oil. Place the squash slices on the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side.


To roast squash, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Peel and cube the squash and toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the squash out on a baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


To sauté squash, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the sliced squash. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.


To steam squash, cut it into cubes and place it in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and steam for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Tips and Tricks for Cooking Squash

Now that you know how to cook squash, here are a few tips and tricks to help you make the most of this delicious vegetable:

  • Add fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage to your squash for added flavor.
  • Try roasting squash with other vegetables like sweet potatoes or carrots.
  • Grilled squash pairs well with grilled chicken or fish.
  • For a healthy snack, try baking or roasting squash seeds with olive oil and salt.
  • Sautéed squash is delicious in an omelet or frittata.


Can you eat the skin of squash?

Yes, the skin of most types of squash is edible. However, the skin of winter squash can be tough, so it’s best to peel it before eating.

How do you store squash?

Squash should be stored in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or cellar. Winter squash can last for up to three months when stored properly, while summer squash should be used within a week of purchase.

Is squash healthy?

Yes, squash is a healthy vegetable that is low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. It’s also a good source of fiber and antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.