Buttercup Squash – Really, you can eat those?

Buttercup Squash Casserole with Chorizo

The other day I was telling the nice lady at my local farmer’s market about my experience with the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin (click here).  She suggested I try some Buttercup Squash.   I thought they were just for decorating but she told me it has a flavor close to a sweet potato.  I took two.

Buttercup Squash

Buttercup Squash

I searched the internet for ways to use this squash.  Most recipes were sweet but I found a chorizo stuffed squash recipe that sounded good.   (Chorizo is a is a chile and garlic flavored sausage.)


These squash are really pretty inside and have a wonderful nutty aroma.  Scoop out the “guts” and seeds of course.  I placed them face down in a glass baking dish with about 1/2 cup of water and baked them for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  I could not stuff them and here’s why:


The outer shells were too soft and they fell apart!  Maybe I cooked them too long or maybe it’s just the variety.  The squash was cooked nicely and smelled wonderful, so as they say, “C’est la vie”, now the recipe becomes “Buttercup Squash Casserole with Chorizo.”  The cooked squash wasn’t all that sweet, again maybe affected by growing conditions, but we are making a savory dish anyway.

So anyway, after a lot of chopping and prep (see ingredients list below), into the skillet goes the onions and chorizo.



“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble” – so close to Halloween I just had to slip that in!

Since this turned into a casserole, we mixed it all together,  sprayed a small casserole with oil and poured it in.  It’s pretty thick, so maybe “spread it in” would be a better description.  Sprinkle the cheese on top, cook for 15 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and the cheese starts to brown.  Mmmmmmmmm,  our kitchen smelled so good while this was cooking.


But you say, how did it taste?  I thought it was really good – the chorizo was so spicy Dana’s head was pouring sweat!  We only had pickled jalapenos  –  they went well in the dish but they also added to the heat.    I don’t have his reaction to hot chilies so I was fine and it wasn’t so hot that it burned your mouth.  We debated on side dishes and decided on sauteed Baby Bella mushrooms and peas, and of course a good crusty bread.


This was a joint effort – I did the prep while Dana watched a bicycling movie, Hell on Wheels,  (yawn) then he did the cooking.  Otherwise we would have been eating dinner at midnight.  If you are into bicycling, click over to his site at Mid-Life Adventures, he has some good stories and photos.

Buttercup Squash Casserole with Chorizo

2TB vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
¾ lb. Chorizo **
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 slices of bread, cut into ½” cubes
1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place halved and seeded squash in a roasting pan , cut side down in a small amount of water.  Place in oven and roast until squash is tender, but firm, skin should pierce easily.  Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to be handled.
Scoop out most of the flesh leaving a ¼ inch shell (or scoop it all out if making a casserole).  Set shells to one side and chop flesh, mine was more like mashed.  Heat oil in skillet and saute onion until soft. Add chorizo, garlic, and jalapeno and cook over medium heat until meat is cooked.  Add bread and beaten egg.  Combine well.  Don’t drain the chorizo unless it’s really wet, you want some greasy goodness to soak into the bread.  Add oregano, cumin and reserved squash flesh. Combine well.  Pile into reserved shells (or put in casserole dish). Sprinkle with cheese. Place in baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

So don’t be afraid to try those funny looking squash at your market, they are more than their looks!

Leftover note:  This was even better the next day, re-heated in the microwave.  We had leftover peas but no mushrooms, so I fried some apple slices.  They went great with this dish, that plus buttermilk cornbread made for a great second act!


About SallyK

A little blog about the ordinary and not so ordinary things our family does, places we travel, things we see. Like travel, cooking, family stories, book reviews, music? You will find it all here - comments welcome!
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29 Responses to Buttercup Squash – Really, you can eat those?

  1. lailablogs says:

    Looks delicious ..
    Laila .. http://lailablogs.com/

  2. bethany says:

    where can I find Chorizo? do they carry it at whole foods? thanks!

    • SallyK says:

      Alas, no Whole Foods close to me, but likely they would have it or could get it. I got chorizo at my local grocery chain, Giant Eagle, but a Mexican grocery should also have it.

  3. Skishark says:

    You are 100% right. Those buttercup squash are the BEST!! I usually just bake ’em with the shells on. After they cool they are easier to do anything with.
    Chop in half and scoop out seed pulp for shorter baketime. Reading your article, thought, why not bake face up and stuff halfway done?
    Alas, this was worst year in my life for squash, 2009. Just a few blossoms and no mature squash.
    Last year, 2008, much better.
    Check out my Weblogs at systemhalted website.

  4. livvyjane says:

    Mmmm, I love buttercup squash!
    You can stuff them before you cook them– That’s my families favorite fall meal… Well, one of them =P We just cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, then fill them with browned turkey or pork mixed with chopped apples, dried cherries and jasmine or brown rice. That’s the basics of it. They are amazing.

  5. katelynjane says:

    I thought it was butterNUT…Hmmmm…

    I LOVE squash! Butternut (cup…whatever…), Spagetti and all the rest, whatever their names are. They’re so delish! I always cook Spagetti Squash with pasta sauce in the middle and it’s amazzzzing.

    I love food too much.

  6. BJH says:

    I had no idea Buttercup Squash photos could be so erotic.

  7. MarcyS says:

    I thought these were ACORN squash; and there’s one that is shaped sort of like a bulbous guitar that’s BUTTERNUT. I love all squashes.

  8. vegantess says:

    sure look like Acorn squash to me, too 😉

    whatever, they are delish!

  9. katelynjane says:

    Oh right Marcy, this is Acorn Squash…from what I know of squashes :b

  10. Gloris Young says:

    “they are more than their looks”..aren’t we all? 🙂 http://www.gloriadelia.wordpress.com

  11. Alan says:

    In New Zealand we roast Butternut, skin on, cut into chunks, light coating of oil, with potatoes.
    Skin is soft and edible. Great for a roast beef/lamb dinner.

  12. Anna says:

    Hmmm…I can get the chorizo, no problem, but I’ve never seen buttercup squash in England. We get butternut, acorn, pumpkin. Anyone English know where to get them? Looks delicious.


    • SallyK says:

      This squash falls into the same category, winter squash, as butternut and acorn. Both could be used in this recipe. Thanks for reading!

  13. Pretty Project says:

    That looks great. I love the way you intorduce us to foods we’ve all heartd about but are afraid to try! 🙂


  14. Kop says:

    This looks so good I ate my computer. Am wrting this post with my stomach muscles.

  15. This looks great! I feel inspired to go out, buy exotic ingredients and create some sort of interesting, fun and seasonal dish. Unfortunately I have night class and that just won’t work. Thanks for letting me live vicariously!


  16. Monica says:

    Well, using all kinds of squash is very common in Costa Rican cuisine: we eat them as dessert with sugar made from sugar cane (it’s called “dulce de tapa” in Costa Rican Spanish)or in different dishes similar to a caserole. It’s really yummy 🙂

  17. squeezit says:

    Yum. Buttercups are great for savory dishes, as are those funky-looking turban squash – not as sweet as butternuts or acorns. Hi Sally and Dana! How are you guys? – NormanA

  18. vegantess says:

    ok, well, I gotta eat my words now (I’d rather eat your squash), cuz when I went to the grocery store today they were selling … BUTTERCUP squash … yup, and it was right next to the … yup, the Acorn squash

    live and learn …

  19. divinexs says:

    Wow, they turned out nicely.

    😀 Haha, we Vietnamese like to put them in soup. Boil them until they’re all soggy and eat them. xD Tastes nice too.

  20. gwbankowned says:

    hmmm..i didnt know squash was even that popular? well good way of thinking outside of the box and trying something different!


  21. Mat says:

    These are really popular in South Africa. We call them Gem Squash though… you definitely overcooked yours. A popular way of making them as a side vegetable is to steam them (cut in half with seeds removed) or cook them in the microwave, then put a bit of butter and a sprinkle of nutmeg inside and serve as veg side dish. Also try not precooking them (they cook really fast) if stuffing them, can also do rice based stuffings too or mince meat etc. If you can get baby gem squash they are great to cook whole and heat like that – so dont remove seeds etc (sort of golf ball sized).

  22. lilabyrd says:

    Love the “squashies” of all kinds too! Fall is one of my most loved times of year…. cool weather and good comfort foods…. and they are good for you too…lol… like cheating but no guilt…. the pics are great…. Lila

  23. Jessica says:

    That looks DELICIOUS! I love squash “season.”

  24. Evil says:

    This sounds delicious and tasty
    nice share

  25. I dont know If I said it already but …This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    …..Frank Scurley

  26. kreme42 says:

    Thank you for clearly identifying the mystery squash we were growing!
    I like your blog!


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