February 2017: Winter Squash

Michigan produced 122 million pounds of squash for fresh or processed use, totaling $17.7 million, according to the Michigan Agriculture. Varieties include acorn, banana, butternut, hubbard, kabocha, pumpkin, spaghetti, and turban squash.

Produce Tip: Select squash that are heavy for their size with a hard, tough rind and the stem still attached.


Roasted Butternut Squash

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Serving: 4

Make it Faster: Cook squash in the microwave: Place squash cubes with oil and garlic on them, in a microwave safe bowl with a loose lid. Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until tender.


Prep Tip: To cube squash, lay squash on side and cut into two halves, separating the "large ball" at the bottom from the "tube" at the top. Cut the bottom from the large ball so you have two parallel flat surfaces. Stand the ball on one flat face. Cut slices of skin off, from top to bottom, following the contour of the ball as you make each cut. Cut the top from the tube. Stand on one flat end. Cut slices of skin, from top to bottom. After both pieces are peeled, cut each half in half (top to bottom) to expose seeds. Scrape out the seeds and throw them out.


Change it Up: Make a sweet version of this squash. In Step 2, toss squash with oil plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup instead of olive oil and garlic.


Nutrition Tip: Squash is very good for you! It contains vitamins A, C, and fiber and it tastes sweet and delicious.


  • butternut squash - 1, -- peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • olive oil - 2 tablespoons, can also use canola oil
  • garlic - 2 cloves, minced
  • salt - to taste
  • pepper- to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Toss butternut squash chunks with oil and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet.

3. Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender and lightly browned, 25-35 minutes.

Squash Enchiladas

  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Serving: 8

Prep Tip: Microwaving the squash for a minute can help soften it for easier cutting.


Change it Up: Any type of squash can be used for this recipe. Try two acorn squash instead.


Nutrition Tip: Squash and other orange fruits and vegetables are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant important for healthy skin and eyes.


  • butternut squash - 1
  • cheddar cheese - 6 ounces (shredded, can also use Colby, or Monterey Jack cheese)
  • onion - 1/4 cup (chopped, and sautéed)
  • whole wheat tortillas - 8
  • chunky salsa - to taste
  • cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Spray pan with cooking spray and set aside.

3. Rinse the outside of the squash.

4. Cut squash in half with a large knife.

5. Scrape seeds out with a spoon and rinse them with water. Dry and save seeds to roast later if desired.

6. Cut each half in half.

7. Place squash halves cut-side down in a microwave-safe bowl.

8. Microwave squash on high for 8-10 minutes or until soft.

9. Mash squash and add onions.

10. Place 1/4 cup of mixture on each tortilla.

11. Roll and place tortillas into pan.

12. Cover with salsa and cheese.

13. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 8 minutes.

14. Uncover and bake for 2 more minutes.

Spicy Apple-Filled Squash

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Serving: 4

Produce Tip: Once cut, squash can keep about one week when wrapped and refrigerated.


  • 1 large - acorn squash (about one pound)
  • 1 cup - water
  • 2 teaspoons - butter
  • 1 - large apple, cored, peeled, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon - brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon - ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon - ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon - nutmeg 


1.Preheat oven to 400° F.


2. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in 13 x 9-inch dish.


3. Add water and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until fork-tender.


4. While squash is baking, cook rest of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat for 8 minutes or until apple is crisp-tender.


5. Cut each squash half into two pieces and divide apple mixture equally among squash wedges. Return squash to oven. Bake 10 minutes more. Serve hot and enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash

  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Serving: 6

Prep Tip: Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.


  • 1 spaghetti sauce, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sliced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.


2. Place spaghetti squash with cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.


3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are warmed through.


4. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm and enjoy!

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