Butternut squash is the most popular squash for home canning.
The reason is that all winter squash must be peeled and cubed before canning, and butternut squash just happens to be the easiest winter squash to work with from both aspects.
You can just peel the butternut squashes with a vegetable peeler, then cut in half, clean out the small cavity, then use a French knife to chop into relatively uniform cubes.
Don’t worry about any pale green lines under the skin; they will disappear during processing.
The seeds are an incredibly good snack food when roasted; many people prefer them to pumpkin seeds.
You can use home canned butternut squash as a vegetable, or, in desserts such as pies.
There’s only one downside to butternut squash: it’s one of the wateriest winter squashes to start with (which is why people who aren’t canning it often bake it — to dry it out), so after opening a jar of it, be sure to drain well, even pressing a bit (you can save and freeze for soup all the liquid from the squash and jar.)
See here for canning other winter squash, and pumpkin.
Quantities of butternut squash needed
Numbers are approximate guidelines.
On average, as a very rough guideline, expect to need about 1 kg (2 1/4 lbs) of fresh, unpeeled butternut squash per 1 litre (US quart) jar of canned butternut squash.
- 7 kg (16 lb) of butternut squash = 7 litres (US quarts) canned butternut squash
- 4.5 kg (10 lbs ) of butternut squash = 9 x 1/2 litres (US pints) canned butternut squash
A drained litre (US quart) jar will hold 750 g (1.6 lbs) 0f blanched butternut squash cubes.
A drained 1/2 litre (US pint) jar will hold 350 g (12 oz) of blanched butternut squash cubes.
Jar size choices: Either 1/2 litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)
Processing method: Pressure canning only
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 55 minutes; litres (quarts) 90 minutes
Serving size: 250 g
- Butternut squash
- Wash, peel and seed the butternut squash.
- Cut into 3 cm (1 inch) cubes.
- Blanch the squash cubes 2 minutes in boiling water.
- Pack into ½ litre (US pint) jars or 1 litre (US quart) jars.
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Top up with clean boiling water (such as from a kettle, for instance), maintaining headspace.
- Debubble, adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
- Processing time: ½ litre (US pint) jars for 55 minutes OR 1 litre (US quart) jars for 90 minutes.
Don't blanch the butternut squash cubes for longer than 2 minutes, or it will break down a lot.
Tip! If you are doing a lot, it can help to prep all the butternut squash cubes the day before and store overnight refrigerated in large bags. The next day, bring out of the fridge about an hour before use to warm up, then proceed with the blanching of it.
Processing guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canner. See also if applicable: Dial-gauge pressures.
|Jar Size||Time||0 to 300 m (0 - 1000 feet) pressure||Above 300 m (1000 ft) pressure|
|1/2 litre (1 US pint)||55 mins||10 lbs||15 lbs|
|1 litre (1 US quart)||90 mins||10 lbs||15 lbs|
How to pressure can.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
More information about Salt-Free Canning in general.
Serving size: 175 g, drained (about one half of a 1/2 litre / US pint jar, presuming the average jar contains a yield of 350 g solids.)
Per 175 g:
- 78 calories, 7 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 175 g = 0 points (squash is free on Weight Watchers).
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
Don’t waste the seeds!
You can “double dip” and get an extra bonus product out of your work besides canned butternut squash — namely, roasted squash seeds.
Roasted butternut squash seeds are very good eating.
To make them: wash the seeds. You don’t need to get all the little bits of squash off the seed — in fact, they are tastier with the little pieces of squash on them.
Toss in a bit of oil of your choice, and roast in a slow oven 125 C (250 F) for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing with a spatula half-way through.
Store in sealed container in the fridge. Good for a few weeks. (Or, freeze.)
You can season as desired with a nice salt substitute, some parmesan cheese, some chili powder, etc.
Two varieties of butternut squash for canning
There are two varieties of butternut squash for home canning. The first is the original butternut squash, which often has a curvy, narrow neck. The other is a more modern variety that is straighter, named Waltham butternut squash. You may can either interchangeably; they both taste the same.
Cooking with canning recipes
Pumpkins and Winter Squash – Cubed. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 4-18.