Impossibly Simple Slow Cooker Squash

posted by Andrea | 10/31/2018

If you’ve never tried squash before (any type of squash) NOW IS THE TIME!

They are fresh, in-season, and most likely selling at rock-bottom prices at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

I know I was previously intimidated by the idea of cooking squash. I didn’t know how to do it, it seemed like a lot of extra work to roast it, peel it, remove the seeds, and then actually make something with it. Plus, I didn’t know if I would like the taste once I went through “all that work”.

But then, a few years ago, we decided to grow squash in our garden — which meant I was forced to quickly learn the ins and outs of cooking squash!

Since then, we have grown some type of squash in our garden every year, and I’ve learned SO many new ways to cook and eat squash.

Our family now enjoys squash weekly (often many times a week) and yes, the kids really DO eat it!

If you feel like squash isn’t something you can cook… I have a feeling my impossibly simple slow cooker squash recipe will prove you wrong!

Recipe for Impossibly Simple Slow Cooker Squash:

{print recipe}

serves 4

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 butternut squash (or any type of squash)
  • 2T. brown sugar or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 t. cinnamon (optional)

DIRECTION:

Wash squash and place in slow cooker (NO water or broth or anything else, just the squash).

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Place cooked squash on a cutting board and cut in half (some liquid will most likely drain out).

Scoop out seeds (discard seeds or save them to roast).

Scoop squash flesh out of skin (it will be as soft as butter).

Eat as-is or enjoy with a little brown sugar, maple syrup, and/or cinnamon.

Butternut squash is my all-time favorite squash to cook in a slow cooker — I eat it plain for breakfast even, and it basically tastes like a dessert if you mix in the brown sugar and cinnamon!

Our whole family also loves spaghetti squash. I’m to the point now where I almost never make actual pasta noodles, but instead, sub spaghetti squash in all our favorite pasta recipes.

Acorn squash is another great squash to make in the slow cooker — and yes, you can really just put it in the slow cooker, turn it on low, and come back 6-8 hours later for perfectly cooked, delicious squash.

There is no trick, there is no gimmick, it’s really THAT SIMPLE!

A few ways to use your cooked squash:

  • add a couple scoops of mashed butternut squash to mac and cheese for a creamier sauce
  • substitute spaghetti squash for any noodles in your favorite pasta dish (make sure you squeeze out the spaghetti squash first)
  • make butternut squash soup (I like this recipe)
  • serve it as homemade baby food (Clara LOVES it!)
  • use the mashed squash in place of pumpkin for pies and other baking needs (not spaghetti squash, but other kinds work well)

Squash has many fantastic health benefits  too:

  • it can help to regulate blood sugar
  • it can lower cholesterol
  • it is shown to be anti-inflammatory
  • it can act as an anti-depressant
  • it’s packed FULL of anti-oxidants
  • it’s heart healthy

The next time you’re at the store or the farmer’s market, pick up a squash and toss it in your slow cooker when you get home. Even if you don’t love the taste, it will still be a fun and easy kitchen experiment — and you can then say you tried squash!

Do you love squash? What are your favorite recipes?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly recipes!

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35 comments

  1. Debbie

    11/14/2018

    Wow! I didn’t know you can put squash in the slow cooker! I will need to do this. I’ve cooked squash in the oven and it is too much work for me, but this will be life changing! What’s the dish with the pepperoni? Is it pizza using squash for crust? Do you have a recipe for that?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you most definitely CAN put squash in the slow cooker! It’s so quick and easy!
    As for the pepperoni dish, it’s my pizza spaghetti using spaghetti squash instead of pasta noodles (the whole family loves it!)

    [Reply]

  2. Kim

    11/13/2018

    Thank you for the info on cooking squash in the slow cooker and for the recent blog about your weight loss. Diets have never worked for me and I’m not a veggie fan, but you make it seem doable to try them. Maybe I’ll be able to come back in 60 weeks with success.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you’re welcome Kim! I think you’ll get more motivated as you go along and start to see (and feel) your progress!

    [Reply]

  3. Laureen

    11/12/2018

    I just tried acorn squash in the crockpot it came out great. After 5 hour it cut in half like butter. I cut it right in the crockpot and took the seeds out. Then put in butter and brown sugar on in each half. Then put the lid back on and kept cooking.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — I’m making another squash today and can’t WAIT to eat it tonight!!

    [Reply]

  4. Lynda

    11/05/2018

    I love all your great and simple tips! I have been binge reading your blog because I have been away from it for a while… good to be back 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Carol

    11/03/2018

    Thanks so much for this! I tried it this week to make a recipe that called for cooked butternut sauce over pasta with chicken sausage and spinach. I had seen the recipe previously and had not tried it because the first step was to peel, dice and cook butternut squash and it seemed like too much work! This worked beautifully, the recipe turned out great, and I’ll be making it again soon!

    I was also having issues with a lot of ads on your blog until I realized that my ad blocker had disappeared off my toolbar. I had a message last week that it had crashed but I was able to reload it then. Just noticed that it was missing after I first came on here to post and I was still getting so many ads. Your other readers might want to check theirs if they are still having issues.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — for everything. Glad you liked the squash (it’s SOOOOO easy) and glad you figured out the ad issue 🙂

    [Reply]

  6. JoDi

    10/31/2018

    I will never again buy a squash and let it languish on the counter forever because I dread cutting it and cleaning it to cook it! Yay for the slow cooker! I love squash, but I don’t make it nearly as often as I’d like because of the prep. I will definitely try this. I bought 2 pie pumpkins to cook in the slow cooker to make frssh puree this week, and I can’t wait to make a pumpkin pie with fresh puree instead of canned!

    I love all kinds of squash but delicata is my favorite. It’s almost like eatiing candy when it’s roasted. Truly divine! I like butternut squash with cinnamon and brown sugar, but my favorite way is butternut squash soup. I made a batch in the slow cooker over the weekend, and it’s so good!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    never again! Now you can cook this squash the easy way!
    I’ll have to try the Delicata squash — that’s the only one on the list haven’t tried yet!

    [Reply]

  7. Margaret

    10/31/2018

    I’m going to try this. I have always cooked squash by splitting it in half, scooping out the seeds, and baking it in a pyrex dish with a little water. That works well, too, but requires some tending. I actually prefer savory to sweet, so I like it with butter, a little salt, and a lot of black pepper.
    For anyone else who needs to know, I just looked up the carb counts on winter & spaghetti squash–a 1-cup serving of each is 13 and 18 carbs respectively.
    Which leads me to another question: does it freeze and reheat well after it’s cooked? Even a smallish squash is going to yield more than 1 cup, controlling diabetes is all about portion control, and I live by myself.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I keep my squash in the fridge for easily up to a week — and yes, it freezes just fine. It might be a bit more watery when you defrost it, but you can drain it if you want!

    [Reply]

  8. Jenny C.

    10/31/2018

    Thank you Andrea!!! I can’t wait to try this. Also, do you have the recipe for the broccoli casserole pictured in the plate next to the squash? Looks like a good Thanksgiving side dish! Thank you : )

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes — here’s the recipe –> https://andreadekker.com/chicken-broccoli-rice/
    It’s my Chicken Broccoli “Rice” casserole, made with cauliflower rice (but you can sub in regular cooked rice if you want!)

    [Reply]

  9. Erin

    10/31/2018

    Great idea! I have never attempted squash before but this post gives me motivation. I just got an instant pot so thinking how to cook in there for even less time. By the way, the ads don’t bother me one bit. Love your blog.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I’m POSITIVE you can do it so much faster in the insta-pot — I’m just not exactly sure how long you’d need to leave it in. Maybe only 15 minutes or so — look it up and give it a try!
    And thanks for your kind words — the ads ARE frustrating, I completely understand! I’ll figure them out eventually!

    [Reply]

  10. Evie

    10/31/2018

    Wow, thanks! I never ever have heard of this! Now I feel totally empowered! Doing this today! I love squash so much!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — hope you enjoy the squash!

    [Reply]

  11. Mary Ann

    10/31/2018

    I LOVE squash! I’ve made spaghetti squash in the slow cooker like this but never thought to do butternut this way. Yay for easy healthy food!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    it’s AMAZING! Hope you love it!

    [Reply]

  12. Kate

    10/31/2018

    I have been doing my spaghetti squash this way lately. It’s so much easier! The recipe I found did say to put a cup of water in the slow cooker, I can’t see it makes much difference though. I have even made a spaghetti squash pizza crust! It was very good, does not seem at all like you are eating a vegetable. 🙂 Thanks for the post, I want to try butternut squash now!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, we do zucchini pizza crusts too — soooo tasty!

    [Reply]

  13. Amy

    10/31/2018

    I have a non-sleeping, non-napping, teething, 6 month old. I don’t have time to shower let alone cook anything nutritious right now. But, THIS I CAN MAKE! Wow, I had no idea squash could be this easy!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh I hear you on that one! Sorry for the lack of sleep. I can tell you from experience that they will sleep… eventually! 🙂
    as for the squash, yes, it’s super quick and easy — and fantastically healthy baby food (if you’re to that stage yet!)

    [Reply]

  14. Pamela

    10/31/2018

    Good morning, Andrea! I am not sure if other readers are having this same issue, but I could hardly read your post this morning because of all the ads. There were 19 ads within the squash post! This is waaaaaay more than usual for me. Is it a glitch perhaps?

    [Reply]

    Pamela Reply:

    Update: I went to the post again via your website and there were only 8 ads within the post. The first time I read it I got there via Facebook, so maybe that’s the difference??

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the update — either way, you should NOT be seeing this many ads. It’s so frustrating — I only see 2 or 3 for every post but others tell me they see so many more. I have the settings as LOW as they will go, so I’m not sure what else to do or why I hardly see any adds 🙁

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    I am having the same issue and I’m not reading it via facebook.

    I am finding that the number of ads on this site is over the top and makes reading the content very difficult and annoying.

    I’m going to ask my computer guy if there is a way to block the ads.

    But….thanks for the post on squash. It’s on my menu tonight and I was wondering how I was going to have time to get it cooked since I have a busy day planned. It will go into the slow cooker while I run my errands.

    Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    boo — this should NOT be happening. I just went in this morning again and adjusted the settings to make sure they are LOW. There really shouldn’t be more than a few ads within each post. So annoying!
    And yes, I know there are ways to block ads. If you use Chrome, there’s probably an extension you can install.

    Yay for squash cooking while running errands!

    [Reply]

    Carol Reply:

    We had an issue with our computer a few days ago, and ever since, there have been way more ads showing up than the previous usual. Kind of strange, but I am not sure your website is to blame, based on the fact that it happened after we had an internet/phone line problem. Possibly it is the providers, or something else that happened, that is allowing these multiple ads through, and many of them such as I have never, ever seen.

    [Reply]

  15. Annette Silveira

    10/31/2018

    I really love squash, and I literally passed up the opportunity to buy some this week because I couldn’t imagine peeling and seeding it. It’s just such a pain. I’m so excited to go ahead and get some!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I hear you — I had trying to peel and seed them. This method is fabulously easy — so yes, go buy that squash!

    [Reply]

  16. Paulette

    10/31/2018

    What a great idea! From now on, squash in the slow cooker!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve been doing one every-other-day — sometimes every day to keep up with 6 hungry mouths who apparently all like squash! SO easy!

    [Reply]