Butternut squash is one hardworking vegetable. It's the star of so many fall recipes, and because it keeps for such a long time, it's a favorite winter ingredient, too. If stored in a cool place (55-60 degrees Fahrenheit), whole butternut squash will keep for up to three months.

Breakfast

  • Butternut Squash Muffins: You don't even have to cut the skin off the squash to make these muffins. Everything but the seeds go into a food processor and then get added to the muffin mix. An optional frosting can turn these from a breakfast food into a dessert.
  • Baked Eggs with Butternut Squash and Kale: Jalapeno and cumin add some spice to this nutritious breakfast.
  • Hot Butternut Oatmeal: Add butternut squash puree to oatmeal to make the rib-sticking breakfast dish even healthier.

Freekah-with-kaleAutumn vegetables and smokey freekah make a salad-like dish perfect for lunch or as a side dish at dinner. (Photo: Staci Valentine/The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen)
Lunch

Caramelized Butternut Squash with Hazelnut-Sage PestoCaramelized Butternut Squash with Hazelnut-Sage Pesto can be a side dish or a meatless main dish. (Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch)

Dinner

butternut squash ice cream floatThis very adult float adds some bourbon to butternut squash ice cream. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)
Desserts and snacks

  • Bourbon and Butternut Squash Ice Cream Floats: Butternut squash ice cream is used in this very grown-up float that adds a shot of bourbon.
  • Roasted Squash Seeds: Don't throw out those seeds. Roast them with a little oil, salt and any combination of spices you want, or turn them into pesto.
  • Cookies: The original recipes for these spice cookies made with whole wheat flour calls for pumpkin, but equal parts butternut squash puree can be substituted for pumpkin puree.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

15 ways to eat butternut squash
Plentiful in fall, versatile butternut squash can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert.