Butternut Squash Stir-Fry With Mustard Seeds

Butternut squash stir-fry with mustard seeds

Molly Watson

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
86 Calories
3g Fat
17g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 86
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 183mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 23mg 117%
Calcium 66mg 5%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 446mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Butternut squash is the queen bee of winter squash. Why does everyone love it so? Color and taste, to be sure, but its rind is also easier to cut through and peel than many squashes. In short, it's the gateway squash: the squash for people who aren't so sure they like squash. This stir-fry takes full advantage of butternut squash's sweetness and leaves its luscious texture intact, ready to savor.

That said, if you have a different type of winter squash on hand—acorn, delicata, Hubbard—feel free to use that instead. Getting chunks of peeled winter squash is the key, and other types of squash are definitely more work to peel.


  • 1 medium butternut squash, or 1 bag cubed squash, about 2 pounds

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or grapeseed oil

  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Cut off and discard both ends of the squash. Set it upright on one of its newly flat surfaces and use a sharp knife to cut off the rind, cutting down from top to bottom and repeating around the squash until all of the rinds are removed—it's easy to see where the rind end and squash begin with this method. (You can also peel butternut squash with a vegetable peeler—it takes a few goes at each section, but it works if you prefer it.)

  2. Once it's peeled, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop out the fibrous "guts" and seeds. Discard the "guts," but know that you can roast the seeds just like pumpkin seeds if you like. Chop the squash into bite-size pieces and set aside.

  3. Peel and finely chop the garlic; peel and finely shred or grate the ginger. Set both aside together.

  4. In a large frying pan or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cover, and cook until you hear them "pop," about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until opaque and fragrant, about 1 minute.

  5. Add the squash, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Add a tablespoon or so of additional water, if necessary, to keep the squash from sticking to the pan.

  6. Add the cilantro, if you like, and stir to combine.

Serve the squash hot or warm, and know that it keeps warm nicely if covered with foil and set in a warm kitchen, making it a good choice for the holiday table or other entertaining scenarios.

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