I think it was Carrie, who mentioned squash fries in a post as something she wanted to try. They immediately caught my interest, as they seemed such a fun way to eat squash. It was a huge hit here. They are softer, and not firm like a potato fry would be. But they really have a beautiful taste, and my husband and daughter just love them. In fact, I never seem to have made enough!
So for my addition to the Nourishing Fall Recipe Carnival, I thought I would share with you Butternut Squash Fries. I think it fits the bill quite nicely. They are a frugal side dish to boot!
I am sure you can use other squash, but I like butternut because it has the right shape for cutting fries out of, and it is nice and firm. I am sure that there are many variations to be had for this recipe. You could try sprinkling some warming spices on, like cinnamon and nutmeg. Or you could spice it up with some curry powder. And these are fries after all, so it’s nice to have a dipping sauce. I made a simple one by adding a few tablespoons of grade B maple syrup to homemade mayonnaise. Rich and Delish! My sister suggested curried mayonnaise, another great idea.
I struggled for a long time in figuring out how to cut up and peel a butternut squash in a timely fashion. I have finally worked out a system that has worked well for me, so I am including step by step instructions for you all.
Butternut Squash Fries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1 butternut squash
4 tablespoons oil (I have used coconut oil or a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil)
Sea salt and pepper
With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the ends of your squash off and cut in half.
Now cut each of your halves, in half again.
Using a spoon, remove all of the seeds from each quarter.
The squash should now be the perfect size to hold in your hand and peel. Peel each quarter, making sure that you remove all of the peel (you may have to go over every surface more than once). A sharp peeler makes this job much easier!
Now that they are peeled, you are ready to cut some more. Cut each quarter in small strips. One of the secrets to getting nice squash fries, is to get it the right size. Think of a real French Fry, that is your size goal.
Turn your strips onto their sides, and cut in half.
Cut these strips in half, to reduce length.
And you are done!
Place the cut squash in a bowl, and, if needed, melt coconut oil gently. Toss the oil with the squash and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
The other secret to getting not overly soft squash fries is to very widely space them on your sheet pan. The ones below really were a little too close. It works best to have them far apart from each other. I would use two sheet pans for one squash, if possible.
Place in your hot oven for about 45 minutes, switching the sheet pans, half way through. This will depend on your oven and how small you cut them, so check early, and leave a time cushion if they take a little longer then you expect.
You want them to get not only well cooked, but slightly browned as well.
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They just look fantastic – I have just harvested several butternut squash
O these look yummy with lots of kosher salt on them! What a great idea! I think my family will like them. 🙂
ru4real @ Healthy Living
I LOVE the idea of butter nut squash fries! I’ve bookmarked this recipe, and I can’t wait to try it out. I love sweet potato fries too!
What a great idea! I have half a butternut squash in the fridge that I’m going to try these on. thanks!
I hope you enjoy your fries! I am going to be having them again soon myself! (If I don’t I am afraid my family will complain!)
Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home
Those look so incredibly good… I will have to try them soon. I usually make sweet potato or yam fries, but this sounds like a nice way to change things up!
Just keep in mind that squash fries are much more moist and not half as firm as potato or yam fries. That’s why it’s important to spread them out, so they don’t stay too moist. But they are certainly a hit here!
I just recently discovered butternut squash fries and LOVE them. I dip them in a sauce made up of 1 teaspoon maple syrup and 2 tablespoons low fat sour cream. Delicious and healthy!
ru4real @ Healthy Life
I tried this recipe today, and YUM! Thanks SO much for sharing it, and thanks for the pics showing how you cut the squash … that really was helpful.
Hi Kimi! I LOVE your blog! I am going to put it in my favorites on my blog if that’s ok. I just discovered Nourishing Traditions and found your blog when I did a search for “soaking grains”.
Anyway, what did you serve with your squash fries? I made mind a few nights ago only I added a little bit of raw honey to the coconut oil and cinnamon. I served mine with wild caught salmon and green beans.
Hi Kimi. I recently found you blog, and I love it! Thank you for sharing all your lovely recipes, and research.
I know this is an old post, but I thought I’d share my “trick” to make peeling and cutting a butternut squash easier. If you boil it whole in large pot of water for 10 minutes, then remove it to cool, it will be MUCH easier to peel and cut.
Hi Kimi! I tried these tonight and they are fantastic! I just used 2 T olive oil instead of 4 and they were awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe! (I linked it on my blog.)
Quick question on whether these release water and possibly get soggy because squash is usually full of water. I don’t know because I have never eaten butternut squash before. Can’t wait to try these over the weekend! Hopefully someone can clarify.
I just wanted to add that I tried because I couldn’t wait for the weekend. They are cooking in the oven right now. I tried a couple a few secs. ago and they are delish. This is the first time I have peeled Butter. Squash and I decided I am not going to do this again, after trying a couple of ready fries – I have changed my mind about not making them at home again. Although I do plan on investing in a good quality peeler so I can make this EASILY all the time 🙂 Its a keeper! We’ll see what my daughter says when shes gets up! Can’t wait.
Love your site, I found some wonderful recipes for my low carb way of eating. Thanks for sharing.
I can’t wait to try this recipe, I knew this sounded like a good idea, just haven’t done it yet. I find that it is easier to microwave the squash for like 2 – 3 mins depending on the size or even more if you can’t boil or don’t have time, before peeling it, since it is hard to cut. After doing this it needs time to cool down because it will be quite hot. Be careful 🙂
Butternut fries are fantastic! I have a few suggestions:
I used a small amount of lard and coconut oil, rather than olive and coconut oils, and it turned out GREAT (use homemade/farm-made lard, not hydrogenated store bought kind, and virgin, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil). Lightly coat by tossing with your hands. Then sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake at 350 (rather than 400) and keep an eye on them since the thinner pieces can quickly go from done to overdone.
To avoid any oil run-off, I use the bottoms of enameled metal broiler pans. These can readily be found at thrift stores, sometimes unused and like new. They have an added benefit of being safer to use than aluminum cookie sheets.
Try making a combo of butternut squash, yukon gold and purple potatoes for a fun and colorful variation.
My last tip is to dip them in garlic infused sel gris (French sea salt) for a truly gourmet treat!
P.S. Sam: microwaves are not recommended since they destroy food.
I have also made squash fries with a different recipe. Toss the squash fries with a little bit of olive oil cumin and salt. Bake them, when they are done squeeze lime juice over the top and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
Katie @ Riddlelove
Sweet mercies from heaven. I made these tonight and they were AMAZING! Thanks for the great pictures and tips; very helpful!
I’ve always had a really hard time making veggie fries. I tried this recipe the other day, but it didn’t go very well. The oven emitted huge volumes of steam whenever I opened it. Also, I don’t think the fries came out the way they were supposed to; they were a bit burned on the outside. *Charlie Brown sigh*
Oh well, actually I like strips of raw butternut squash with a little salt and olive oil or peanut butter.
I made these lastnight and they were a hit! Kind of hard to cut, but my hubby sharpened the knife. I put them on broil for a minute or so at the end of the cooking time to crisp them up a bit more. I like them better than potatoe fries, due to the bit of sweetness.
I made these tonight, and they were sooooooo good! I just used evoo (I’m Greek; getting used to using any other oil in cooking had been…not so successful, lol), and I added some a tiny bit of cayenne. They were a huge hit with my family!
I was skeptical as to whether we would care for these. So many GAPS foods that we try have been disappointing, not really resembling at all what they supposedly tasted similar to. Our family isn’t big on eating squashes (other than my 8 year old daughter loves spaghetti squash with a tomato/basil/olive oil raw sauce I make). But these were actually very good. My daughter ate a portion of these and was clamoring for more. Will definitely be putting these into our food rotation on a regular basis. We are eating them this afternoon with steak and some other cut up veggies. With the squash, it turned the meal into the restaurant meal of “steak and fries”.