How to Make Simple Butternut Squash and Apples With An Easy Microwave Method for Cooking the Squash
This is an easy and great side dish for fall and winter and makes a nice accompaniment to holiday dinners. You can buy the squash ready cut and packaged, but I generally cook my own, which is less expensive and easy to do using the microwave (and no hammering of the squash involved!). Depending on how much you cook the squash in advance, you can speed up the recipe considerably. The squash and apples complement each other well, with the soft, mellow squash contrasting with the sweet-tart apples. A little cinnamon brings out the flavor of both. I use a simple lemon juice and olive oil vinaigrette to help flavor the dish and toss on some chopped chives or green onions for color. Try the dish alongside baked pork chops or chicken for an easy fall/winter dinner. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash and Apples -- Serves 4
1 pound of butternut squash, raw or partially cooked (see below)
1-2 medium apples, washed, cored, and chopped (use what type you have)
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of salt
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
2-4 tablespoons of chopped chives or green onions
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spritz the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Add the squash and apples to the pan and sprinkle them with the cinnamon, onion powder, pepper, and salt. Drizzle on the lemon juice and olive oil. With your clean hands mix the squash and apples together to coat them with the spices and lemon juice/oil. Bake the squash and apples for 35-45 , turning them over and rearranging then a little after about 20 minutes of cooking. If your squash are partially cooked, start checking them after 25-30 minutes to see if they are cooked enough for you. I like my squash soft and a bit squishy. If you want the squash firmer, cook them less time. Just before serving the squash and apples, sprinkle on some chives or green onions, if you'd like.
Easy Microwave Method for Cooking Butternut Squash
An average 2-4 pound squash will yield plenty of squash for this recipe with more left over. After washing the squash well, you simply (and carefully!) puncture the squash in about half a dozen places, all over the squash, with a sharp knife, cutting into the flesh. Place the squash on a plate lined with a paper towel and cover the squash with another paper towel. Microwave the squash for 8-10 minutes, turning the squash over midway through the cooking time (careful, it's hot!). Your squash may take a little less time or a little more depending on the size. A medium squash usually is mostly cooked in about 9 minutes. Remove the squash from the microwave and let it cool. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and membrane (the stringy, squishy stuff), and then cut the squash into pieces. The skin should be easy to peel or trim off, because the steam from the cooked squash will soften it. You can cook the squash a bit more if you'd like it soft enough to mash it or just want to have it hot with butter, brown sugar, and spices. If you want to bake the squash, as in the recipe above, I recommend microwaving the squash for a little less time, chopping up the partially cooked squash, and then baking it in the oven. The bake time will further soften the squash and brown it.