With autumn in full swing now, and the nights drawing in dark thanks to the clocks going back this weekend, it is definitely slow cooker/crockpot time and there is nothing better than leaving something cooking away while you go about your daily routine, and then have it ready to eat when it is meal time. One way of saving time, is to cook a Slow Cooker Butternut Squash in your crock pot and then use it in meal for your family.
I have to be honest I normally cook a joint of meat or a casserole/stew in my crock pot, because I love how even cheap cuts of meat can taste amazingly tender and tasty after being slow cooked for several hours. However having already blogged lots of recipes like that, I decided to have a go at making something different. I had a butternut squash in my fridge, and I wondered if I could place it in my crock pot to cook to save having to peel and slice it, and then roast it. Although I have never done it myself, I know you can cook jacket potatoes in the slow cooker, and I also know you can cook a joint of gammon without any need to add any stock. Therefore, I figured what did I have to lose?
So I removed the price stickers from my squash, placed it inside my crock pot and cooked it on high for 3 hours .
Here is a video showing how easy it is to make a slow cooker butternut squash :
I was not sure how long to cook it for initially, so after 2 hours I did check on it every half an hour, and by the third hour it was as soft enough to the touch.
The squash was so soft and so easy to cut through and then remove the seeds and stringy parts – and no dirty oven pan and no sore (and orange stained) fingers for having to peel the squash first!
It was perfectly cooked – not too mushy and not hard either. I decided to make a pasta dish with half the squash (and I used the other half to make a cake), but if there were 4 or more of you then you would want to use all of the squash.
A recipe using a slow cooker butternut squash
Very simply, I cooked some pasta and then I added a little oil to a pan and crisped up some smokey bacon and then added some mushrooms and a little garlic, and then I added the squash which I loosely separated and stirred it through to incorporate the lovely bacon and garlic flavour.
Once the pasta was cooked and drained, I added the squash mixture to it and poured over a tub of ready made butter and sage sauce and gave it a good mix. (Obviously if you do not have a ready made sauce, you could simply add a little sage to the pan when you are frying off the bacon, and then add a little double cream, about 200ml, right at the end after the squash has been added, and heat gently until the sauce is velvety smooth)
I added some twists of freshly ground black pepper, and my meal was ready to eat
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tbsp oil
- 6 rashers of smokey bacon, rind removed and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
- 8-10 mushrooms, sliced
- enough pasta for 4 people
- 1 tub of Giovanni Rana Simply Italian Butter & Sage Sauce
- black pepper
- place the squash in your slow cooker (remove all stickers) and cook on high for 3 hours - turning it over 1/2 way through cooking
- remove the squash, slice in half and scoop out all of the edible flesh
- roughly separate the squash so it is not clumped all together
- cook the pasta according to the instructions
- heat the oil and fry the bacon until crispy and add the garlic and mushrooms
- add the squash and mix to get the squash all covered in the lovely bacon juices and flavour
- once cooked, drain the pasta
- add the pasta and the squash mixture back into the pan, and pour over the sauce and stir well
- dish up and add some ground black pepper
This was delicious and great for this time of year when squashes are in abundance. Although cooking the squash in the slow cooker took longer than had I roasted it in the oven, it meant I could get on with some cleaning, tea drinking and blogging while I waited, and it meant no messy roasting pans! Plus slicing a slow roasted squash open was a LOT easier then doing it to a raw one!
Have you ever cooked a butternut squash in your crock pot?
I was sent a lovely Crock Pot 3.5L in Thyme for the purpose of a review.