quick answer how do you cook butternut squash in the microwave

Fall is the time of year to enjoy the bountiful harvest of seasonal fruits and vegetables. One of the most delicious and versatile veggies available in the fall is butternut squash. But, what do you do when you want to cook it quickly without waiting for your oven to preheat? The answer is simple: use your microwave! In this article, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to cook butternut squash in the microwave.

Step-by-Step Guide to Microwaving Butternut Squash

Before cooking your butternut squash, there are a few things to consider. First, choose the right squash. Look for one that is firm, heavy for its size, and has a dull skin color without any bruises or soft spots. Second, wash and peel your squash before slicing or cubing it into uniform pieces. Lastly, place your sliced or cubed squash into a microwave-safe dish with a lid.

1. Add Liquid and Seasoning

Adding liquid – water or broth – will help create steam during cooking, resulting in tender and juicy squash. Depending on how much squash you’re cooking, add half an inch to an inch of liquid to the dish. You can also add seasoning at this point if you prefer (more on that later).

2. Microwave in 5-Minute Intervals

Cooking time will vary depending on the size and power of your microwave and the size of your squash pieces. We recommend microwaving on high for 5-minute intervals until tender (which should take around 15-20 minutes). Remove the dish from the microwave and check if it’s cooked by piercing a fork into the flesh of the squash.

If it’s not cooked yet, continue microwaving in additional 5-minute intervals until it’s tender. Remember to keep checking every 5 minutes so you don’t overcook your squash.

Tips for Success

1. Avoid overcooking or undercooking

Overcooking can result in dry, stringy, and mushy squash while undercooking can make it hard to chew. To avoid both, stick to cooking in 5-minute intervals and keep checking for doneness by piercing with a fork.

2. Add flavorings during cooking

Butternut squash is delicious on its own, but you can add more flavor by seasoning it with herbs, spices, or butter. Some popular choices are cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and onions.

3. Creative ways to use leftover cooked squash

If you have leftover cooked butternut squash, don’t throw it away! You can puree it into a soup, mix it into mashed potatoes for added nutrients and a sweeter taste, or use it as a topping for pizza.

Comparing Microwave Cooking to Other Methods

Microwaving butternut squash is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cook this versatile vegetable. However, there are other methods such as roasting or boiling that might be more suitable depending on your needs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Microwaving vs. Roasting vs. Boiling

Roasting butternut squash in the oven brings out its natural sweetness and enhances its nutty flavor. But roasting takes longer – around 40-60 minutes – compared to microwaving. On the other hand, boiling is faster than roasting – around 15-20 minutes – but can result in a starchy texture if not done correctly.

Nutrient Content and Health Benefits

Microwaving provides a health benefit compared to other cooking methods because it requires the least amount of liquid to cook your squash; thus minimizing nutrient loss. In general, butternut squash is packed with essential nutrients like potassium, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), and fiber that help support a healthy immune system.

Taste Differences

Lastly, taste differences depend on personal preference and cooking method. Roasted butternut squash is sweeter and nuttier, while microwaved or boiled squash might have a softer texture.

FAQ Section

Can you cook other types of winter squash in the microwave?

Yes, you can. Just follow the same steps above and adjust cooking times as needed. Keep in mind that some varieties like spaghetti squash might need to be halved and seeded before microwaving.

How long does it take to cook a whole butternut squash in the microwave?

Microwaving a whole butternut squash is not recommended because it will not cook evenly. Instead, peel, seed, and slice or cube your squash into uniform pieces and microwave for 5-minute intervals until tender.

What are the best spices to use with microwaved butternut squash?

Some popular spices are cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. However, feel free to experiment with different seasonings to find your own unique taste.


Cooking butternut squash in the microwave is quick, easy and results in tender and juicy flesh. By following the simple steps mentioned above, you’ll enjoy delicious butternut squash in no time at all. Don’t forget to experiment with different seasonings for a personalized touch. So why wait? Grab your favorite microwave-safe dish and try it out today!

Can you cook butternut squash entirely in the microwave?

Yes, you can cook butternut squash entirely in the microwave. It is an easy and quick method to have a delicious and nutritious meal within minutes.

How long does it take to cook butternut squash in the microwave?

It takes about 10-12 minutes to cook a medium-sized butternut squash in the microwave. However, if the size of the squash is more significant, it may take a little longer.

Do I need to poke holes in the butternut squash before cooking it in the microwave?

Yes, it is essential to poke holes in the butternut squash before microwaving it. It allows steam to escape and prevents the squash from bursting.

What are some seasoning options for cooking butternut squash in the microwave?

There are several seasoning options for cooking butternut squash in the microwave. You can add salt, black pepper, cinnamon, paprika or any other herbs of your choice. You can also drizzle olive oil or honey for extra flavor. The possibilities are endless!

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