For an easy way to enjoy winter squash without having to peel it or do battle with your chef’s knife, the best option is to bake Hubbard squash whole. The flesh becomes soft and buttery, requiring nothing more from you than breaking it open and scooping it out with a spoon. The thick skin becomes soft, allowing you to slide the cooked squash right out with no effort at all.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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Why you should make this recipe
Hubbard squash can get very large, and if find yourself with one, and you are not feeling particularly confident about handling it, this is a perfect option.
- Easy – This recipe couldn’t be easier. Just place the squash on a baking sheet and slide it into the oven.
- Virtually no knife work – The squash is sliced after it is cooked, and the knife glides right through it.
- Versatile – Once your squash is cooked, you can use it in so many different recipes.
Can you bake Hubbard squash whole?
Roasting Hubbard squash whole is a great option when you don’t feel like wrestling with a rather substantial vegetable. This particular squash clocked in at about 6 pounds and because of its odd shape, cutting it can be a challenge.
By roasting a Hubbard squash whole, we avoid trying to cut a potentially very large vegetable. The other issue is safety – you may not feel comfortable trying to keep it from rolling around on the cutting board while wielding a knife.
This is what the outside will look like when it’s done. The blueish skin will turn darker and it’ll be blistered on the outside, but perfectly cooked inside and ready to use.
After you break it open, don’t throw away the seeds. You can make roasted Hubbard squash seeds, just like you would do with pumpkin.
Cooking whole squash this way gives you soft, tender flesh. If you like the brown edges of roasted Hubbard squash, you’ll have to slice it open before placing it in the oven.
How to cook a whole squash
Here’s a quick summary of how to roast a whole squash. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Cooking it whole in the oven is as easy as it gets. Use a sharp paring knife to make 6 or 7 slits on the top and sides of the squash.
I like to do 2 on each side, then 2 or 3 on the top. The reason you have to do this is to allow the steam a place to escape. If you don’t give it a place to get out, it could make its’ own – in the form of an exploded squash inside your oven.
Think of it like a pressure cooker. The inside of the squash builds up steam in the oven as the flesh cooks. Just like a pressure cooker, it needs an escape valve.
By providing it, we avoid any mishaps with it breaking open on its own. That’s why it is necessary to poke a few holes when we bake a Hubbard squash whole.
Just slide it into the oven, then go watch tv or take the dog outside for a bit, and come back to a perfect cooked squash.
You’ll want to roast the Hubbard on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large baking dish, because a bit of liquid will come out. Make sure you have something with a side, even a short one, to catch it so it doesn’t make a mess in the oven.
How to remove seeds and flesh from squash
After you cut it open, or just break it open, because you don’t really need a knife, this is what it will look like.
Unfortunately for me, this one had quite a lot of seeds inside, but it did make for an excellent snack.
All that’s left to do is grab your largest kitchen spoon and remove the seeds before scooping the silky flesh out of the skin. Baking Hubbard squash whole is the simplest way to prepare this large vegetable.
Scoop the cooked Hubbard squash out and stir it into your favorite soup, casserole, or simply top with a bit of butter and salt.
There you have it – the absolute easiest way to prepare a Hubbard squash.
Baking Hubbard squash whole FAQ’s
Hubbard squash are a dusty blueish gray on the outside. They are usually oblong in shape, but can be rounder as well, like an acorn squash. The flesh is deep orange.
You certainly can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. When thawing it, the cell walls will deteriorate a bit, making the texture less firm and a little watery.
The flesh of Hubbard squash is sweet, slightly nutty and mildly earthy. It is a little drier than a butternut.
How can I use this whole roasted squash?
Slide the squash out of its skin and turn it into one of the delicious recipes below. It makes squash for dinner during the week a breeze.
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- 6 lbs. Hubbard squash
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F // 200°C // Gas mark 6. Set a rack in the lowest position in the oven.
- With a sharp paring knife, cut several small slits in the Hubbard squash.
- Place whole squash on parchment or foil-lined baking sheet, or in a large baking dish.
- Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before breaking open and removing seeds.
- Use a large kitchen spoon to scoop the flesh from the skin, season with salt and pepper.
- Store cooked squash in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Be gentle when scooping flesh the skin. The skin will be thin and delicate instead of thick and tough. It can tear while removing the cooked squash.
For a 6 pound Hubbard, I yielded just shy of 5 cups of cooked squash. Your yield will vary, depending on your squash.
Here are a few ideas for using your roasted squash:
- Season with nutmeg and butter to make my mashed Hubbard squash.
- Use the puree in a soup, like my Red curry coconut Hubbard squash soup.
- Use it as a filling for lasagna noodles, try these Hubbard squash lasagna rolls.
- Make Hubbard squash muffins.
- Try this Hubbard squash pasta with blue cheese and sage.
You could also swap out canned pumpkin in almost any recipe with squash puree. It's a simple way to make a small change to a recipe by using a freshly cooked squash.
You can use this method to roast a variety of hard winter squashes. It will work with kabocha, carnival, kuri, acorn, butternut, buttercup, etc.
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 936mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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