I can’t count how many times we’ve purchased a winter squash and let it sit on the counter for weeks before deciding to cook it in a side dish. Sometimes we forget how long we’ve had it and are left wondering if it’s still good to eat. How long is butternut squash good for, and where’s the best place to store it short and long term?
Unlike summer squash, winter squash like acorn squash, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash have a relatively long shelf life when they’re raw and whole.
These types have a thick rind and are safe to keep at room temperature for quite a long time. However, cooked, cubed, or cut squash doesn’t last as long and requires proper food storage.
Factors like temperature and humidity play a role in how long butternut squash lasts before it’s ready for the trash. Fortunately, our modern conveniences provide us with ways to keep our favorite veggies and ripening fruit fresh for as long as possible.
Ways to Store Butternut Squash
Does butternut squash go bad? While a whole winter squash seems to last indefinitely, it does have an expiration date, especially if you store it improperly. The shelf life gets considerably shorter after you cut into the rind.
When does butternut squash go bad? Discover the different ways to store this winter squash and how long it lasts with each storage method. There is always a tasty squash canning recipe or a way to freeze it to eat later. Find out how to tell when butternut squash is no longer edible and ways to prepare fresh squash in a recipe.
Does Butternut Squash Go Bad at Room Temperature?
You pick up several winter squashes from the farmer’s market and don’t want to take up all the extra room in your refrigerator while storing them. Does butternut squash go bad if it sits out on the counter?
Butternut squash is sometimes confused with Delicata squash, but the way to plant butternut squash is virtually the same as Delicata. However, it is a winter squash variety, and its thick rind helps it last longer than summer squash like zucchini. In addition, it is relatively low in carbohydrates, contains high amounts of potassium, and is an abundant source of antioxidants.
If you don’t plan on eating the squash right away, it’s safe to keep it out at room temperature in a cool, dark place in the kitchen or pantry for one to three months. Store the squash away from other fruits and veggies that release ethylene gas.
If you’re unsure how long you’ve had the squash or are concerned that it’s going bad, inspect the rind for early signs of spoilage like soft spots and blemishes.
If there are only a couple small spots, you can remove these during preparation. If the veggie’s weight feels low or it’s mushy and leaking, it’s time to toss the squash in the compost pile or trash can.
When does Butternut Squash Go Bad in the Fridge?
It’s necessary to refrigerate squash after cutting into the rind to help the butternut squash last longer. Storing summer squash and butternut squash is important for taste and food safety.
But, when does butternut squash go bad, and what’s the ideal way to keep it fresh?
To store uncooked squash, use a vegetable peeler to remove the rind and cut the squash into cubes. Place the squash cubes in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for three to five days. Store cooked or baked squash in the same manner and eat it within four to five days.
If the squash sits in the fridge longer, it may not be edible. Check for freshness by looking for changes in texture, mold growth, or an off smell, and discard if it has any signs of spoilage.
How Long is Butternut Squash Good for in the Freezer?
The freezer is a great place to extend the shelf life if you cannot use the butternut squash before it spoils. While not all veggies hold up well to freezing, winter squash is a great candidate, and there are two ways to freeze it.
To freeze fresh butternut squash, peel the gourd and cut it into one-inch cubes. Place the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet so that they are not touching and flash freeze them until they are frozen all the way through. Transfer them into a freezer-safe plastic bag or an airtight container and toss them back in the freezer.
If you have baked squash to freeze, place the cooked cubes into a blender or food processor and puree them first. Pour the puree into an ice cube tray and freeze the cubes until solid. Store the frozen butternut squash puree cubes in a freezer bag for three to six months.
How to Make Butternut Squash Soup
There’s nothing more comforting on a winter’s day than a steaming bowl of creamy butternut squash soup. This recipe is easy to prepare, lasts up to four days in the fridge and a few months in the freezer.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat and add the salt, black pepper, and onions. Saute for five to eight minutes, or until tender, and add the squash. Cook the veggies while occasionally stirring for eight to ten minutes.
Add garlic and spices and cook for about a minute before pouring in the vegetable broth. Continue cooking the squash for about half an hour or until it’s tender, and remove the pot from the heat to allow the squash to cool slightly.
Pour the soup into a blender by working in batches and blend until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add a little more vegetable broth. Season the soup to taste and serve it hot with a side of crusty bread for dipping.
Although butternut squash lasts longer than many other vegetables and fruits, it still has a limited shelf life. Fortunately, there are several ways to store this squash to enjoy now or in future dishes.
How long is butternut squash good for is a question many veggie-lovers have, and knowing the answer goes a long way in the kitchen, so why not share our butternut squash storage tips and guide with your circle of friends on Pinterest and Facebook?