When you want to serve butternut squash for a special dinner, this four-ingredient Slow Cooker Buttery Butternut Squash for a Crowd is as easy as it is delicious.
When most food bloggers start getting excited about pumpkin season, I'm eyeing the butternut squash in the store and eagerly looking forward to Roasted Butternut Squash, and I'm such a butternut squash fan that I even have a Meatless Monday post featuring My Top Ten Vegetarian Butternut Squash Recipes.
I learned to love butternut squash from my Grandmother Denny, who cut up the squash into serving size pieces, scraped out the seeds, wrapped it in foil, and roasted it until it was soft. I like to cut my butternut squash into cubes before I roast it, and I love roasted butternut squash that's just tossed with olive oil and maybe some balsamic vinegar and roasted. But my grandma always served it with lots of melting butter, salt, and pepper, and I think I was channeling her when I came up with this Slow Cooker Buttery Butternut Squash for a Crowd.
This idea for butternut squash cubes "roasted" in the slow cooker also came from the Spicy CrockPot Sweet Potatoes that I loved when I made them in my Crock-Pot Casserole Crock Slow Cooker. You can also use a large oval slow cooker to cook this butternut squash recipe, but I love how the casserole crock can go in the oven for 15-20 minutes to brown the edges, and it worked perfectly here.
Yes, I did use an indulgent amount of butter, because in my mind this is a special occasion recipe, but if you want to use less butter you certainly can. I also think you could skip the butter and toss the cut squash with olive oil or coconut oil before you slow cook it if you want a vegan version.
And of course I can't see through the computer so if you use pre-cut butternut squash cubes from the store I'm never going to know, but I promise that the squash you cut yourself has better flavor. But no matter how you make this slow cooker buttery butternut squash, if you like butternut squash even half as much as I do, you're going to love this for a Meatless Monday treat!
Follow my instructions for How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash, making cubes that are 1-2 inches in size. Cutting up the squash is the only part of the recipe that takes any time.
Spray the Crock-Pot Casserole Crock Slow Cooker or other large slow cooker with non-stick spray, add the squash cubes, dot with pieces of butter, and season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Cook on high for about 3 hours, or until the squash is soft.
I mashed the cooked squash with an old-fashioned potato masher, browned it a little in a 400F/200C oven, then added a little more butter when I served it. Serve hot and enjoy!
Slow Cooker Buttery Butternut Squash for a Crowd
(Makes 10-12 servings; recipe tested by Kalyn and Kara and inspired by Spicy CrockPot Sweet Potatoes and memories of the buttery butternut squash that Grandma Denny used to make!)
I used the Crock-Pot Casserole Crock Slow Cooker to cook this butternut squash, but you can use a large oval slow cooker if that's what you have. You might have to skip the final step of browning the squash in the oven if your slow cooker insert is not oven-safe; check the manufacturer's information.
1 large whole butternut squash, 4-5 pounds before cutting (Choose a squash that has a long neck and short body if you can.)
1 stick butter (more or less to taste, or toss the cut squash cubes with olive oil or coconut oil if you prefer)
salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
If you're never cut up a big squash like this, I'd read How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash before you start. Cut the squash into pieces to make it easier to handle, then scrape out seeds, peel with a vegetable peeler, cut into strips, and cut into cubes.
Spray the inside of your slow cooker with non-stick spray, add the squash cubes in an even layer, dot with desired amount of butter, season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and cook on HIGH for about 3 hours (or until squash feels soft when you pierce it with a fork.)
(If you want a vegan version or don't want to use butter, toss the cut squash cubes with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil, season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and cook as above.
When the squash is soft, I recommend you put the Casserole Crock into a 400F/200C oven to brown the edges (and dry it out slightly), but this is definitely optional. Serve hot, with additional butter added just before serving if desired.
This will keep in the fridge for a day or two and can be frozen, although freezing changes the texture a bit and I prefer it when it's just been refrigerated.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Butternut squash isn't a low-carb food, but it's approved for Phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach diet (without butter!) It's a bit of a diet indulgence for me, although most experts say butternut squash has a medium glycemic index, but a low glycemic load. Personally I consider it to be a healthy treat, but it's something where I'd watch my portion size, especially for this version with butter.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you're a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Butternut Squash Goodness:
(Recipes from other blogs not always Low-Carb or South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash with Sweet Paprika ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, and Cauliflower Salad ~ Eats Well with Others
Roasted Butternut Squash Wedges with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce, Sumac, and Aleppo Pepper ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Butternut Squash and Kale ~ Pioneer Woman
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)