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How to Freeze Winter Squash
(Acorn, Banana, Buttercup, Butternut, Golden Delicious, Hubbard, Spaghetti Squash, etc.)

Winter squash will keep for many months (4 to 8 months) in a cool, dry environment, like a basement, but some people prefer to store it in the freezer, in a form that is ready eat or use in cooking. Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. And it is much easier than you think, using my "patented" tips and tricks! 

Directions for Freezing squash

Ingredients and Equipment
  • fresh winter squash - any quantity.  I figure one medium sized squash per 2 or 3 servings
  • Vacuum food sealer or "ziploc" type freezer bags (the freezer bag version is heavier and protects better against freezer burn.
  • 1 Large pot of boiling water
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 sharp knife



Step 1 - Get the squash!

Start with fresh ripe squash. The color should be deep, the rind should be hard and it should have been stored long enough to reach full sweetness (usually a few weeks after harvest).


Step 2 - Wash the squash!

I'm sure you can figure out how to rinse the whole squash in plain cold or lukewarm water using your hands and possibly a gentle brush. Singing or chanting "wash the squash, wash the squash" is not necessary, but my 3 year seems to appreciate it.

Step 3 - Slice the squash in half or quarters

Just take a sharp knife and carefully cut the squash in half.  You can cut it again (into quarters) if that makes it easier for you to remove the seeds and fit the pieces in your cooking container.

Step 4 - Scoop out seeds and stringy pulp

Just like making a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin, you need to scoop out the loose "guts" from the squash.  To facilitate the use of child labor, tell them you are scooping out the squash's brains and scraping it's skull clean. Of course, they may have nightmares for weeks, but that's what you get for using child labor, you cruel s.o.b......

Pause to recover.  (Sorry, *I* thought that was pretty funny...)

Step 5 - Cook the squash until soft

I find a microwave is easiest, but use whatever method you prefer.

If you use the microwave, just put it in a glass container with a couple of inches of water in it and cook for 15 minutes on high, check to see if it is soft, then repeat in smaller increments of time until it is soft enough to scoop the innards out.  Normally it takes 20 to 30 minutes in total.

Note: You CAN cook it on the stovetop; it will just take longer (almost twice as long).

Other ways to cook the squash are:

  • in boiling water,
  • in a steamer,
  • in a pressure cooker or
  • in an oven

The key is to cook it until it is soft!

Step 6 - Scoop out the cooked winter squash

Using a broad, smooth spoon, (such as a tablespoon) gently lift and scoop the cooked winter squash out of the skin.  It should separate easily an in fairly large chucks, if the winter squash is cooked enough.

Step 7 - Puree the winter squash

To get a nice, smooth consistency, I use a Pillsbury hand blender.  A regular blender works, too (unless you made a few frozen daiquiris and drank them first..). Or even just a large fork or hand mixer with time and patience.

With the hand blender, it just takes 2 or 3 minutes!

Note: For spaghetti squash, mashing the cooked pulp is not necessary.  That's the one squash where it's unmashed texture is part of its appeal.





Step 8 - Done with the winter squash!

The winter squash is now cooked and ready for freezing or pie recipe.  Get the frozen daiquiris out from step 7 and take a break! :)

You can pack it containers, like Ziploc bags or plastic containers, exclude as much air as you can, and freeze it!

... or to start making tasty treats.

It should keep for many months. Freezing keeps winter squash safe to eat almost indefinitely, but the recommended maximum storage time of 12 months is best for taste and quality. The quality of the frozen winter squash is maintained best in a very cold freezer (deep freezer), and one that keeps them frozen completely with no thaw cycles. Excluding any air from inside the bags which leads to freezer burn, by using vacuum-sealed bags, is also important to maintaining quality

how about ...

Home Canning Kits

See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You will never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!


Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book