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How to Dehydrate Butternut Squash

How to Dehydrate
Butternut Squash

Today, I'm gonna show you how to dehydrate butternut squash! Although butternut squash can be difficult to peel, it's well worth the effort!

Butternut Squash in a pile, with one cut down the middle

I use this veggie all the time in our doggie's dinner. Read more about making your own dog food here.

TOP Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Top question: How do you dehydrate butternut squash?
A. Read further down the page for complete deets on how to dehydrate butternut squash!

Q. Is there dehydrated butternut squash for dog treats?
A. I use butternut squash to make my doggies "chicken chow" dog food. Read more about that here.

Q. How to dry butternut squash seeds for planting?
A. Here are the steps for properly drying butternut squash seeds for saving and replanting:

  1. Scoop out the seeds from your butternut squash and rinse off any loose pulp clinging to them. Pat very dry with a paper towel or cloth. Discard any undeveloped or damaged-looking seeds.
  2. Evenly spread seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Add a bit of salt or seasoning if desired. No need for a prior soak if just surface washing.
  3. Bake seeds at 200°F for 2-4 hours, gently mixing every hour. Bake time varies based on moisture content. They are done when very hard and dry with slight browning.
  4. Allow seeds to cool fully before transferring them to an airtight container or envelope. Label with squash variety and date for planting notes.
  5. Prior to next season's planting, optionally soak a smaller test batch overnight and spread over a damp paper towel to check germination rates, watch for sprouting.
  6. Store dried butternut squash seeds in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year until ready to plant into prepared garden soil at recommended depth of 1-2" after the last danger of frost has passed.

With this drying method, you'll have a ready supply of heirloom seeds perfectly suited to your regional growing climate. Enjoy nurturing your home-grown butternut squash plants!

Butternut Squash Nutrition Info.

VITAMINS: Loaded with Vitamin A. Also contains Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Niacin, and trace amounts of Pantothenic Acid and Thiamine, so it's well worth your time and energy.

MINERALS: Potassium ranks high, followed by Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus, with trace amounts of Selenium, Manganese, and Zinc.

Butternut squash also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

I'd like to make a note here that I have not tried dehydrating puréed frozen butternut squash, but I think it would work just fine on the fruit roll sheets! Just let it thaw out first and follow the temperature guide below...

How to Dehydrate Butternut Squash

If using frozen butternut squash, ignore steps 1 and 2.

  1. Peel the butternut squash and cut into 3/4-inch strips, or cube it for good even-drying.
  2. Steam over boiling water for about 7 minutes, or until your squash is tender.
  3. Arrange the butternut squash on your dehydrator trays, making sure they don't overlap each other.
  4. Turn on your food dehydrator and set the temperature between 125°F and 135°F (or per your food dehydrator's instructions) and that's all there is to it!
  • Drying time: between 7-10 hours.
  • Butternut squash will be leathery in consistency when dried.
  • Please remember to rotate your dehydrator trays for even drying.

When Dehydrating Butternut Squash Save a Step—Buy Frozen!

Butternut Squash on a Nesco Dehydrator tray

As noted in the instructions above, butternut squash is steamed lightly first, to aid in the dehydrating process. This softens them and breaks down the outer edges, allowing moisture to escape faster. It also helps keep the squash's vibrant color!

Butternut squash makes a great soup and purées well for sauces.

As I mentioned at the top of this page, my primary use of butternut squash is for my Chicken Chow dog food for our perfectly adorable Miniature Pinscher!

Cut Evenly-Sized Pieces—it Dehydrates Better!

I would like to add here that it's better to have even-sized pieces of the squash on the dehydrator trays—it dries out better and at the same rate, so you're NOT taking off the small pieces and still running the dehydrator to finish drying the larger pieces. 

Don't let my photo of the bigger piece of butternut squash on the dehydrator tray (shown in the previous section) lead you astray. Oops, sorry about that.. a case of "do as I say, not as I do!" LOL  :-)

Butternut Squash Ready For Steaming

Butternut Squash in steamer-pan, ready for steaming

Dehydrated Butternut Squash

Dehydrated butternut squash in a bowl

Is There More Than One Type of Butternut Squash?

three butternut squash

There is more than one type of butternut squash.

The most common type of butternut squash is the Waltham Butternut Squash.

This type of squash is large and oblong, with a yellow-orange color. It has a sweet, nutty flavor that makes it perfect for soups, stews, and pies.

Another type of butternut squash is the Buttercup Squash. This type of squash is smaller and rounder than the Waltham Butternut Squash. It has a greenish-yellow color and a sweeter, more delicate flavor. It is often used in baby food because of its smooth texture.

Finally, there is the Pumpkin Squash. This type of squash is small and round, with an orange-yellow color. It has a mild, sweet flavor that makes it perfect for pies and other desserts.

Where are the Best Areas to Grow Butternut Squash?

The best areas to grow butternut squash are in warm climates with well-drained soils. Butternut squash is a warm-weather crop, so it does not do well in cold or damp conditions. Additionally, butternut squash needs full sun and well-drained soil to thrive.

So, if you're looking for the perfect spot to grow butternut squash, make sure it is in a warm climate with full sun and well-drained soil.

Is Butternut Squash Related to Pumpkin?

Butternut squash is related to pumpkin. They are both members of the gourd family. Butternut squash is actually a type of winter squash, which is a group of squash that is characterized by its hard skin and sweet flesh.

Pumpkin is also a type of winter squash, but it is more commonly used for carving than for eating. So, while butternut squash and pumpkin are related, they are not the same.

Now you know how to dehydrate butternut squash and pumpkins, I'd love to hear from you! Contact me here and share your recipe!

Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl

Amazing Butternut Squash Soup!

If you want to try your hand at making butternut squash soup, check out this Butternut Squash Soup recipe from 

The photo is NOT from their website, but you use it for serving inspiration!

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