Slow Cooker Butternut Squash
This four-ingredient Slow Cooker Butternut Squash is a delicious buttery side dish that’s perfect to make for a crowd. Or just make it for the family and have some butternut squash to reheat later. If you enjoy butternut squash you’ll love this method of cooking it in the slow cooker!
When people start getting excited about pumpkins, I’m eyeing butternut squash in the store and thinking about Roasted Butternut Squash, and even though it’s a splurge on carbs I have to have it a few times at this time of year!
I learned to love butternut squash from my Grandmother Denny, who cut up the squash, scraped out the seeds, wrapped it in foil, and roasted it until it was soft. Grandma served it with lots of melting butter, salt, and pepper, and I think I was channeling her when I came up with this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash that’s buttery and easy to make for a special meal.
Nowdays I mostly cut my butternut squash into cubes before I roast it, and roasted butternut squash tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar is the one I make the most. But when you’re making dinner for a crowd, you can’t go wrong with butternut squash cooked in the slow cooker. And you can also make this crockpot butternut squash for the family and have some leftovers for later in the week.
And Butternut Squash season has arrived, so I’m featuring it as this week’s Friday Favorites pick! If you like butternut squash even half as much as I do, you’re going to love this for a perfect easy side dish that’s always a treat!
What four ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- butternut squash
- salt to taste
- fresh-ground pepper to taste
Peeling and Cutting up the Butternut Squash:
Follow my instructions for How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash, if you haven’t done this before.
Can you make this recipe with pre-cut squash cubes?
I can’t see through the computer so if you use pre-cut butternut squash cubes from the store I’m never going to know! But I promise that the squash you cut yourself has better flavor. But if cutting up the butternut squash just isn’t happening at your house, you’ll probably need two of those packages of pre-cut butternut squash to make this recipe that makes eight servings.
What Slow Cooker did I use for this recipe?
I made this butternut squash in my Crock-Pot Casserole Crock Slow Cooker (affiliate link). You can also definitely use any large oval slow cooker to cook the butternut squash, but I love how the casserole crock can go in the oven for 15-20 minutes to brown the edges, and it worked perfectly here.
Can you make this recipe with less butter or make it Vegan?
Yes, I did use an indulgent amount of butter, because that’s how my Grandma Denny made it and in my mind this is a recipe I’d make for a special occasion. But of course you certainly can use less butter if you prefer. I also think you could skip the butter and toss the squash with olive oil or coconut oil before you slow cook it for a vegan version. I might also add a bit of balsamic vinegar to the oil if you’re not using butter.
What else can you cook in the slow cooker with this method?
This idea for butternut squash cubes “roasted” in the slow cooker came from the recipe for CrockPot Sweet Potatoes that I think are so perfect for families who like savory sweet potatoes for thanksgiving. And if you like the idea of cooking vegetables in the slow cooker, you can find lots more Slow Cooker / Instant Pot side dish recipes on my Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker site.
How to make Slow Cooker Butternut Squash:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Cut the butternut squash into manageable sized pieces and then peel and scrape out seeds.
- Cut the squash into pieces, making cubes that are 1-2 inches in size. Cutting up the squash is the only part of the recipe that takes any time.
- Spray the Crock-Pot Casserole Crock Slow Cooker (affiliate link) or other large slow cooker with non-stick spray, add the squash cubes, dot with pieces of butter, and season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
- Cook on high for about 3 hours, or until the squash is soft.
- I mashed the cooked squash with an old-fashioned potato masher (affiliate link), and browned it a little in a 400F/200C oven. (I don’t recommend oven browning unless your slow cooker specifically says it is safe.)
- Then I added a little more butter when I served it.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
More Butternut Squash Goodness:
Check out My Favorite Winter Squash Recipes for lots more delicious ideas for butternut squash, and some other tasty varieties of Winter Squash as well!
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 1 large whole butternut squash, 4-5 pounds before cutting (see notes)
- 1 stick butter (see notes)
- salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
- If you're never cut up a big squash like this, I'd read How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash before you start.
- Cut the squash into pieces to make it easier to handle, then scrape out seeds, peel with a vegetable peeler, cut into strips, and cut into cubes.
- Spray the inside of your slow cooker with non-stick spray, add the squash cubes in an even layer, dot with desired amount of butter, season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and cook on HIGH for about 3 hours (or until squash feels soft when you pierce it with a fork.)
- If you want a vegan version or don't want to use butter, toss the cut squash cubes with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil, season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and cook as above.
- When the squash is soft, I recommend you mash it slightly with a potato masher (affiliate link) and then put the Casserole Crock into a 400F/200C oven to brown the edges (and dry it out slightly), but this is definitely optional. (Be sure your slow cooker can go in the oven if you don't have the Casserole Crock!)
- Serve hot, with additional butter added just before serving if desired.
- This will keep in the fridge for a day or two and can be reheated successfully.
- Some people have reported freezing the cooked squash, but freezing changes the texture a bit and I prefer it when it's just been refrigerated.
I used the Crock-Pot Casserole Crock Slow Cooker (affiliate link) to cook this butternut squash, but you can use a large oval slow cooker if that's what you have. You might have to skip the final step of browning the squash in the oven if your slow cooker insert is not oven-safe; check the manufacturer's information.
Choose a squash that has a long neck and short body if you can. Use more or less butter to taste, or toss the cut squash cubes with olive oil or coconut oil if you prefer a vegan version.
Butternut squash is not low in carbs, but it does have quite a bit of fiber and has a moderate glycemic index ranking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6.3gUnsaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 9.1gSugar: 5.6gProtein: 2.7g
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Butternut squash is a bit high in carbs for low-carb diets; check the nutritional info and see what you think. It’s an occasional indulgence for me, and Slow Cooker Butternut Squash is a dish where I’d watch my portion size, but it’s something I have to have a few times in the fall! Butternut is approved for Phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach diet (without butter!)
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dishes or Winter Squash Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2017. It was last updated with more information and featured for Friday Favorites in 2021, and last updated with more information in 2023.