What Are the Best Tips for Making Fried Butternut Squash?

A.E. Freeman

When making fried butternut squash, it's best to cut the squash into pieces that are even in size. The oil used for frying should be hot but not too hot. A cook should fry the squash until it is soft and browned but shouldn't cook it too long. Seasoning such as salt and pepper can also improve the flavor of the squash. Most cooks prefer to use a skillet to make pan-fried butternut squash rather than deep frying the squash.

Before frying, the butternut squash should be chopped into even chunks.
Before frying, the butternut squash should be chopped into even chunks.

Cutting the squash may be one of the trickiest parts of making fried butternut squash. To cut the squash into equal sized cubes, the cook should first cut the squash in half, separating the thin neck from the bulbous bottom part. Each half of the butternut squash should then be sliced into half, revealing the seeds.

Sage may be used to spice butternut squash.
Sage may be used to spice butternut squash.

Before he or she can cube the squash, the cook needs to scoop out the seeds. Although the seeds are edible, they do not belong in a dish of fried butternut squash. After removing the seeds, the cook needs to peel the squash. Butternut squash has a tough peel that is difficult to chew and digest and is best removed. Once the squash is peeled, the cook can proceed to cutting it into cubes. One-inch (2.54 cm) cubes are ideal.

The oil needs to be heated in a skillet before the squash can be fried. Ideally, the oil will have a high smoke point so that the cook can heat it high enough to cook the squash without the oil developing off flavors. Canola, peanut, and sunflower oil are good choices.

A cook needs to coat only the bottom of the pan in oil, as she is not deep-frying the squash. The oil is ready when it ripples slightly. The squash should then be added to the pan. To brown the side of the butternut squash, the cook should let it sit for about a minute before stirring or tossing it around the pan.

The cook can add seasonings of his choice to the fried butternut squash. Simple seasonings include salt and pepper. Some cooks may wish to add fresh or dried herbs, such as sage or thyme, to the cooking squash.

The fried butternut squash is ready when it is caramelized or brown all over. It shouldn't be too dark or crispy on the exterior, as that means it is burnt. The squash should be tender enough that the cook can easily poke it with a fork. Usually, frying the squash takes about 10 minutes.

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Discussion Comments


Has anyone tried butternut squash fries that are seasoned with cayenne and chili powder?

I had them for the first time at a restaurant last night and they were amazing. I think it was the best thing I've ever tried. I'm definitely going to make this at home. I think they seasoned the fries with cayenne and chili before throwing them into the pan.


@literally45-- Yes, that's the reason. Frozen squash holds a lot of water and when it thaws, it will be very soft. It won't be crispy enough when frozen squash is fried.

Try to get fresh squash next time. Cut them into cubes that are not too thin and not too thick. Dry the squash cubes with a paper towel to remove excess moisture and make sure that the oil is hot before putting in the fries.

I made a lot of mistakes when I first started making butternut squash fries too. I would make them too thick or thin sometimes. Or I would add the squash before the oil got hot enough. I could never get the perfect fries. I think I got them perfect on the fourth or fifth try.


I made fried butternut squash yesterday. I didn't have fresh squash, so I used frozen. It turned out very bad. Is it because I used frozen squash?

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