Butternut squash is a delicious and very popular food to enjoy. You might be wondering how long your butternut squash is going to last; read on to find out!
No matter how you store it, butternut squash will eventually go bad.
- It will last the longest when left uncut in the pantry or a similar location, with a shelf-life of one to two months.
- Once cut up or cooked, butternut squash will not last for much longer in the fridge. Cut or sliced butternut squash will last for five to six days, while cooked butternut squash will last for four to five.
- Colder temperatures are better for storing uncut butternut squash.
- Frozen butternut squash will last for one to two years.
There are lots of things that affect butternut squash’s storage life. Let’s explore some of the different ways that butternut squash is stored to demonstrate this.
Does Butternut Squash Go Bad? How Long Does Butternut Squash Last?
If stored correctly and depending on the method, butternut squash can last for anywhere from several days to up to two years. Depending on your circumstances, you may choose to keep your butternut squash in one of the following ways.
How Long Does Butternut Squash Last Outside?
Butternut squash that is left whole and uncut can last for quite a while outside, assuming that the conditions are right. It’s better to store your butternut squash indoors, but if you absolutely must store it outside, here’s a couple of things to know.
Your butternut squash, when stored outside, will last for around one to two months. Butternut squash will last for longer if it is stored at colder temperatures. Never store sliced, cut, or cooked butternut squash outdoors.
Make sure to keep your butternut squash out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dark, and dry place. This will help ensure that it enjoys its longest shelf life.
How Long Does Butternut Squash Last in the Fridge?
After you’ve cut, sliced, or cooked your butternut squash, it needs to be kept in the refrigerator to keep it from going bad. There’s no advantage to refrigerating uncut butternut squash, and doing so might actually cause the quality of the squash to deteriorate.
When refrigerated, cut or sliced butternut squash will last for around five or six days. Cooked butternut squash will last for around four to five days.
These are ultimately just estimates; your butternut squash might last longer than this in the fridge. It is generally, however, around these times that cut or cooked butternut squash starts to degrade significantly.
How Long Does Butternut Squash Last in the Freezer?
If you want to enjoy butternut squash when it’s out of season, or if you know you won’t be able to finish it all in just a few days, then freezing is definitely an option.
If you store your butternut squash correctly in the freezer, then it should last for anywhere from around a year to up to two years. Remember that these are just estimates; your squash might last for longer or for less time than this.
Remember to follow the freezing instructions further down this article to make sure you freeze your butternut squash correctly; if you don’t, then you risk it losing its extraordinarily long frozen shelf life.
Now you know all about how long butternut squash will last outside, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Let’s move on to talking about how to tell if your butternut squash has gone sour.
How to Tell if Your Butternut Squash Has Gone Bad?
Here are some ways that you can tell if your butternut squash has gone bad and needs to be thrown out. As always, when in doubt, throw it out.
Feel it: Pick up your butternut squash and give it a good feel. Your butternut squash should feel firm; if you notice any spots that feel soft or mushy, your squash has gone bad. If your butternut squash feels hollow or if it is leaking liquid, it needs to be thrown out.
Appearance: Check your butternut squash for visible signs of rot or mold. Mold is generally most common on cooked butternut squash. Make sure that the color, both on the surface and inside the butternut squash, is normal.
Deal with rot: If you notice only small parts of your butternut squash have begun to rot, it’s actually still safe to consume the other parts. Just cut away the rot and consume as normal.
How to Store Butternut Squash?
You know that you can keep your butternut squash outside, in the fridge, or in the freezer for so long, and how to tell if it has gone bad. Now, let’s talk about how to make sure you’re storing it in the correct way.
Store it at the right temperature: The best temperature for uncut butternut squash, and the one that will give the longest shelf life, is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. If you don’t have access to a place at this temperature, just keep it in a cool place.
Remove the packaging and store it alone: If your butternut squash came in any kind of packaging, remove it once you get it home. Make sure to keep it stored by itself, or at the very least away from any fruits that are preparing to ripen. Ripening fruits that are near butternut squash will cause it to deteriorate faster.
Keep it sealed: After you’ve cut, sliced, or cooked your butternut squash, put it in an airtight container or wrap it up in aluminium foil or plastic wrap.
How to Freeze Butternut Squash?
We established above that you can freeze butternut squash, so how do you do it? Let’s talk about it so that you know exactly how to keep your butternut squash in perfect condition for months.
Remove the skin, stem, and seeds: If you’re going to be freezing raw butternut squash, you need to skin it and remove the stem and seeds before freezing it.
Chunk it or mash it: After you’ve done the above step, then you need to cut the raw butternut squash up into chunks or mash it. Chunks need to be lined out on wax paper and frozen for an hour before they can be placed in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and stored.
Label it: Cooked butternut squash should also be stored in a freezer-safe container. Regardless of what you’re putting in the freezer, put the date of freezing on the container or somewhere you’ll remember it. This way, you’ll know exactly how long it’s been in there for when you take it out of the freezer ages from now.
How to Thaw Butternut Squash?
Now that you know how to freeze your butternut squash, it’s time to learn how to thaw it back out again when you’re ready to consume it.
Unlike a lot of foods, the fridge isn’t the best place for thawing out frozen raw butternut squash. Doing this will cause it to develop a mushy texture and lose quality. Cooked butternut squash, on the other hand, can be thawed in the fridge overnight.
Raw butternut squash should be cooked straight out of the freezer to preserve its quality. Remember to use your butternut squash before the two-year mark, as otherwise it will start to go bad.
Frequently Asked Questions About Butternut Squash’s Shelf Life
Even after reading all of this information, you might still have questions about your butternut squash and its shelf life. We’ll answer a couple of common questions here.
The seeds in my butternut squash look gross! Has it gone bad? Most likely not. After being in storage for a while, the seeds in a butternut squash can start to look really gross and stringy. This doesn’t mean your squash has necessarily gone bad; if it passes all of the other tests we talked about above, then just remove the seeds and enjoy your squash as normal.
My squash molded after just a couple of days! Why? This most likely occurred because your butternut squash was contaminated before or while being put into storage. There are lots of reasons this could happen, such as by storing the squash near ripening fruit. If you notice mold on your squash, throw it out.
The process for storing butternut squash can be a bit complicated, but done correctly, it can last for anywhere from a week to multiple months! Remember to store it at 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. Leave a comment down below with your best use for butternut squash!