Making fresh winter squash purée

Fresh winter squash purée

I’ll be the first to admit that I always have on hand a few cans of pumpkin or butternut squash purée. This is my emergency stash, just in case I need to whip up some pumpkin muffins for my nieces, or make my 15-minute butternut squash soup for an impromptu dinner!

My cans, though, have been known to sit on their shelf collecting dust for many months — the truth is, I very rarely reach for one! As soon as the winter squash season starts, I buy baskets full of just-harvested sugar pumpkins, butternut squashes and many other winter squashes at my farmers’ market. I store a few perfect specimens in the garage (an ideal cold room in the fall and early winter months) and with the balance, I make fresh winter squash purée.

The flavor of this purée is so intense and sweet, the texture so creamy, that every time I make a batch, I cannot resist licking the bowl. Best of all, it’s extremely easy to prepare. All you need is a little time for baking the winter squashes. The rest happens in minutes.

Last but not least, the purée freezes extremely well. I pack it in 1-cup and 2-cup containers and freeze enough to last me all winter long.

So why not indulge? Keep your canned pumpkin for hectic days — the rest of the time, savor one of fall’s best treats and make your own, fresh winter squash purée.

A little warning though: it’ll be hard to go back to the canned stuff!


Butternut squash


Fresh winter squash purée

active time: 15 min

  1. winter squashes or sugar pumpkins
  2. spring water or filtered water
  1. large jelly roll pan or baking dish

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200ºC).
  2. Step 1: Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place the squash cut-side-down in the pan. Add enough water to the pan to measure about 1/4″ up the sides of the pan. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until very tender (the baking time will depend on how big or how old the squash is).
  3. Step 2: Remove from oven and place cut side up on a cutting board. Let cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place squash in a food processor and process until coarsely puréed. Scrape sides of the bowl and if the flesh is a bit dry, add a little water, 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue to process until the purée is silky-smooth. Once completely cooled to room temperature, refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Fresh winter squash purée



Step by step

The small butternut squashes in the picture below were the first of the season. They were so tender that the purée turned out velvety-smooth and I never had to add any water to it — just magnificent!

Pre-heat oven to 400ºF (204ºC). Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place squash cut side down in the pan. Add enough water to the pan to measure about 1/4″ up the sides of the pan. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until very tender (the baking time will depend on how big and how old the squash is).

Remove from oven and place cut side up on a cutting board. Let cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Scoop out flesh with a spoon.

Place squash in a food processor and process until coarsely puréed.

Scrape sides of the bowl and if the flesh is a bit dry, add a little water, 2 tablespoons at a time.

Continue to process until the purée is silky-smooth.

condiments, puree, winter squash

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20 Comments

  • Reply Emma Aquilina October 3, 2012 at 5:12 am

    I would like to sign in for your news letters. The recipes look so great and I would like to be part of your group. Thanks Viviane.

    • Reply Viviane October 3, 2012 at 5:23 am

      Dear Emma, Thank you so much for your comment and for joining! I just signed you up for my newsletter… Happy cooking!

  • Reply Elisabeth Jacobs November 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Viviane, thanks for such a clear and informative, easy way to follow a recipe. The photos and the way they are set up are so beautifully done. I love the video and it makes my heart sing to see you in your beautiful home. SO well done! The recipe looks fabulous- I’m making it right now! :) Thanks again for doing this!!!

    • Reply Viviane November 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

      You’re most welcome Lili! I am so glad you are making this recipe… Tu vas te régaler!

  • Reply Demetra Lambros January 15, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Viviane, I must confess: Even though this is a regular practice in my kitchen, I keep looking back at this post every time you I see “squash puree” highlighted in your recipes! I just love looking at these photos and looking over this post! The colors, the scrumptiousness…they speak to me every time!! I have sent this post to many friends so they can see how it’s done. They all drool, just like me….. ;-))

  • Reply Donna Ford October 31, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Great information Viviane! The stores are loaded with squash right now. I’m giving this a try.

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