Fall Butternut Squash Fries

The calendar says October, but still, Indian summer continues to hang around here in Tidewater, no matter how much I am craving chilly nights, and hearty foods. The challenge? Finding ways that incorporate fall favorites that are not too heavy for these still-warm and muggy evenings. That is how I came to find Butternut Squash Fries. Now first I have to say that peeling a butternut squash is a b*@!ch, and if anyone out there has some quick tip that will keep me from feeling that at any moment I might lose an appendage while trying to cut it, I would be eternally grateful, because I love butternut squash. It has a sweet/savory richness and a color that, to me, personifies fall. It can be used in a variety of ways- in pies, rolls, caramelized, roasted, in creamy soups, and now, in a delicious and healthy alternative to french fries.

For those of you who have never bought or made butternut squash, it is nutritionally superior to summer squashes and zucchini. Its deep-orange flesh is richer in complex carbohydrates and beta-carotene and is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, and a good amount of potassium. They are available all year around, with peak season starting in late summer and running through fall and winter. An average butternut squash is between 2-4 pounds and should have a uniform tan color. The rind should be smooth and dry and dull; if the rind is shiny, the squash may have been picked too early, and will not be as sweet as a mature squash.

So if you are ready for butternut squash or are just looking for a healthier substitute for conventional french fries, give these a try. Your taste buds (and your waist) will thank you!

Butternut Squash Fries

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch matchsticks

non-stick spray

kosher salt

Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Place squash fries on sheet, not touching, in a single layer. Spray fries with non-stick spray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until fries are light brown on the edges and cooked through.
P.S. In looking for information about butternut squash, I found the RJW automated butternut squash peeler. Check it out, it is really cool!


Chris said…
I bet these would be awesome. We've made "oven fries" from sweet potatoes before, but never with butternut squash!

Hm, what would you dip these in?
OhioMom said…
The squash peeler is cool, somehow I don't think it will fit in my 35 sq. foot kitchen :)

I cut the squash in half sideways, and then have a flat end to stand it on and peel downward. Yes, they are a pain to peel, but so worth the effort.
katiez said…
I just use a vegetable peeler and it seems to go pretty quickly - am I missing something? This is my first year with butternuts...
Like the fries... I'd be happy to send some cool weather - would you like rain as well?
Yum! These sound wonderful! I love Sweet potato fries, so I am sure these are just as good!
Lydia said…
Butternut is my favorite kind of squash. I cut the squash in half, severing the neck from the bulbous end. Then I peel each one separately, with a knife. It goes pretty quickly.
Deborah Dowd said…
Chris- I think the sweet flavor would be great with some chipotle mayo.

OhioMom- It is definitely for a commercial kitchen, but you could make a whole lot of fries with that!

Katiez- I must need a sharper veggie peeler! And thanks for the offer of rain! We are in a wicked drought and had the first rain in ages yesterday and today.

JennDz- They are even better that the sweet potato fries, and even healthier!

Lydia-It must be me! I really need to get a good set of knives!
Hey! I have tagged you, see my blog for the rules!
Deborah Dowd said…
Kristen & Brandon (and Ally!)- I have been tagged with this "share things" meme before in different incarnations, but I will post by the end of the weekend!(people will end up knowing more about me than they want to!)
I don't peel them anymore. I just cut them in half and roast them, then scoop. That wouldn't work for fries though.

I can barely fit a little peeler in my kitchen...a device the size of a compact car isn't going to fit!
Deborah Dowd said…
innocent observer- It won't fit in my kitchen or my budget... but I can dream can't I?!
Chef JP said…
Great idea to do fries with butternut squash! I've done fries with sweet potatoes and eggplant--but never the squash--I gotta give it a shot. Thanks!
FJK said…
loved the video. looking forward to trying the fries.
Linda said…
Fresh butternut squash is on sale everywhere right now - and this is a great use for it. However... when it's out of season the frozen variety works well with less peeling :) Nice to see you're in NN - I am in Norfolk right across the water.
Deborah Dowd said…
Chef jp- Try them, I know you will like them!

fjk- You have to love cool contraptions like that, even if they are not very practical for the home chef.

Linda- I have never seen frozen butternut squash- I will have to find that. And I am excited to see another Hampton Roads blogger. Maybe we are getting enough people hat we can plan fsome food-blogging events!
Anonymous said…
Green Giant's new "fresh" line sells pre-cut butternut squash cubes and sweet potato cubes and fries. I made some today and they were fabulous!
Haley said…
We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email haleyglasco@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)