Have you just bought seven butternut squash on offer? Are you now wondering:
How do you store butternut squash? Did I buy too many? Will they all go bad?
The good news is that butternut squash is easy to store and lasts for at least a month, provided it is whole and uncut.
The bad news? Although pre-cut butternut squash can be a timesaver, once your butternut squash is cut or cooked, it goes bad way faster.
There is an answer to this – freeze your butternut squash.
We’ll go through all of this and more below:
How To Tell If Your Butternut Squash Has Gone Bad
The thick skin of the butternut squash is the best protective barrier against bacteria and mold. Therefore, that’s the first place you should check for problems.
The rind of a butternut squash should be firm and an even orange in color, with no soft spots or mold. That said, if there are only a few imperfections on the surface, feel free to cut the handful out and eat the rest.
However, if your butternut squash is leaking liquid, feels empty, or the majority of it is soft and mushy, you should throw it in the trash.
Once you’ve cut your butternut squash open, check the texture and color to see if there are any noticeable differences from your regular squash. Look for soft spots or rot, and chuck your butternut squash if there are any.
Now: the butternut squash seed section can sometimes look stringy, and it will be the first part to rot. However, you can just cut out this part and eat the rest.
When it comes to cooked butternut squash, check for mold and an unusual smell.
How To Store Butternut Squash
Pick a relatively cool, dry place to store your whole butternut squash. Surprisingly, in this case, a kitchen cupboard is actually a better option than a pantry.
Because butternut squash keeps best at a temperature of 50-60°F (10-15°C), making most pantries too cool. In fact, cold temperatures cause texture degradation of butternut squash, which is why you definitely shouldn’t store whole butternut squash in the refrigerator.
Remove the packaging your squash came in to allow for ventilation. You should also keep your butternut squash away from other fruit that could cause it to ripen, like bananas.
As for squash, if you’ve already cut it up into pieces, refrigerate them in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can also freeze your butternut squash. Either put them in an airtight container or place them in a freezer bag and squeeze out all the air.
However, it’s better to cook your butternut squash before you freeze it, as the texture of raw squash changes more when you freeze and thaw it.
Cooked squash can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Freezing squash is a great idea because squash is a seasonal vegetable and can last in the freezer for months.
How Long Butternut Squash Lasts
If you have the perfect storage temperature and environment for butternut squash, they will last up to two months. That also depends on how your squash was stored before you purchased it, though.
In a regular pantry or kitchen cabinet, expect your butternut squash to last at least a month.
Once cut up, your butternut squash will last in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Cooked butternut squash keeps in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, while it will last in the freezer for 6-12 months.
The Round-Up On Butternut Squash
As you’ve learned, butternut squash will last for at least a month, provided you have a decent storage environment. That’s due to the thick protective skin.
Therefore, you shouldn’t cut butternut squash before you need it.
If you want to try a different nifty timesaver that doesn’t decrease your butternut squash’s shelf life, then cook your butternut squash and freeze it in an airtight container.
The best news: frozen butternut squash will last for up to a year!