Learn How to Can Butternut Squash/ Easy Pressure Canning 

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Canning butternut squash in the pressure canner is safe, as long as you can it in cubes and not mashed.

In this pressure canning recipe, you’ll learn how to prepare raw butternut squash, heat it, then pack hot into jars for pressure canning and why you really do need to use a pressure canner. By the end, you’ll have jars of cubed butternut squash waiting on your shelf for whenever you need it! 

Pint jar of home canned butternut squash, sitting on a red checked towel with various canning tools in the background.

Quantity  

You’ll need about 2¼ pounds of squash to fill one quart canning jar.   So that would mean to fill your canner you’ll need.

  • 7 quart jars = 16 lbs of squash 
  • 9 pints = 10 lbs of squash 
pressure canning guide

Extended Directions for Pressure Canning Butternut Squash  

Learning how to can butternut squash is so easy and straightforward, it might surprise you!  

Know Your Canner  

Before you start this project, if you are not familiar with using a pressure canner I recommend reading this: How to use a pressure canner. It will familiarize you with how your canner works and what steps to take to get set up for any canning project. Using a pressure canner is important because squash is a low-acid vegetable. 

Prepare Your Squash

Begin by washing your squash. Cut it open and scoop out the seeds. Peel and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. 

Showing how to use a large knife to peel the a butternut squash.

There are many different ways you could peel the squash. I cut off the seed-filled bulb end and then just ran my knife down the sides to remove the skin from the fleshy side. I then cut the seed filled portion in half to scoop out the seeds.

Finally cut all the flesh into smaller pieces.  

Knife and peeled and chopped butternut squash.

You could also use a vegetable peeler since the skins are not as tough as other winter squash. Pumpkin’s hard rind was particularly tricky to get peeled.

Once your squash is cut into pieces, put them in a pot with fresh water and boil 2 minutes. Do NOT mash or puree! The cubes need to remain whole.  

Large pot of chopped butternut squash coming to a boil.

Filling Jars

Add salt to your jars if desired: 1 teaspoon per quart or 1/2 teaspoon per pint. This is entirely optional. The original recipe doesn’t include it but I find salt adds to the flavor.   

Fill jar with squash cubes and hot cooking liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace. A slotted spoon works great for this.  

Collage of 3 images showing left to right, ladling squash into a jar, removing air bubbles with an orange peeler, wiping the rim of the jar clean.
Filling pint size jars, removing air bubbles, wiping the rims clean before placing on the canning lids.

Remove air bubbles using a bubble tool or other plastic utensil.  Simply run it down in the sides of the jar, move things around a bit to allow any trapped bubbles to float to the surface.    

Check your headspace again and add water if needed.  Occasionally, releasing the air bubbles changes the headspace levels.  

Wipe rims of jars clean. You don’t want any food residue to interfere with that seal adhering to the jar.   Place on your lid and screw band.

When all jars are in the canner, process according to the instructions in the recipe card below. Don’t forget to adjust for altitude as needed – read more here.

What About Cold or Raw Pack Butternut Squash? 

I’ve searched online and everything I see from tested sources says to hot pack, not cold or raw pack, butternut squash.  Remember the density of the food matters as much as how long you process.  Tested home canning instructions are assuming your squash is hot and blanched for the correct time.  If you raw pack those pieces will not be the same.   

What About Canning Summer Squash? 

The recipe on this page is the same recipe used for canning all types of winter squash and pumpkins.   Do not use these directions for summer squash or zucchini.  Canning Summer squash is a much different process.  You can read more about the best way to can squash (both summer and winter) on this post with several recipe options. 

Pint jar of home canned butternut squash sitting on a railing with greenery in the background.

What about Dry Canning Butternut Squash 

There is this new craze going about in the canning community.  Many people are doing a type of dry canning where you’ll use pressure canning instruction… BUT they leave out the water.   They are calling it dry canning.  Please do not do this.  I’ve got more here on why this is not a good idea.  What is Dry Canning Vegetables?

More Frequently Asked Questions 

How to can butternut squash without a pressure cooker or canner?

Butternut squash must be canned in a pressure canner because it’s a low-acid food at risk of botulism growth. Read more about the danger of botulism & how to easily avoid it here.

What is the best squash for canning?

You’re looking for a hard, stringless squash for canning, and I’d guess something that’s sweeter and with a richer flavor would hold up better to canning than a watery type of squash too. Just be sure what you are working with is a winter squash.  Summer squash is very different and should not be canned with this method. 

Is it better to freeze or can butternut squash? 

It’s preference! I’ve done both. The textures will be different.  Freezer squash will have a denser texture.  And you can freeze in either cubes or mashed.  

Does canned squash get mushy?

Yes, canned squash does get a bit mushy. But it’s super convenient to have it already cooked on the shelf, since raw squash takes a while to steam or bake before mealtime. Use it mashed, make a butternut squash soup, or heat and sprinkle on some cinnamon for a nice side.

Before You Go… 

Looking for something to do with zucchini or summer squash instead? It’s not safe for canning plain like winter squash, but you can still make it into something like relish.

Recipe Card  

This is a printable recipe card. It has the basic step by step instructions. If you skipped here remember, I’ve got more details and extended tips in the article above.

Learn How to Can Butternut Squash

Step by step pressure canning instruction for butternut squash.
Print Recipe
Pint jar of home canned butternut squash, sitting on a red checked towel with various canning tools in the background.
Prep Time:30 minutes
Processing Quarts (adjust for altitude):1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 lbs Butternut Squash
  • Water
  • Salt optional

Instructions

  • Wash squash. Cut open and remove seeds.
  • Peel and cut squash into 1” cubes.
  • Put in a pot with fresh water and boil 2 minutes. Do NOT mash!

Packing the Jars

  • ​​Add salt to your jars: 1 teaspoon per quart, 1/2 teaspoon per pint.
  • Fill jar with squash cubes and cooking liquid. Leave 1-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles and check your headspace again. Adjust if needed.
  • Wipe rims of jar clean with damp towel or paper towel.
  • Add your canning lids and rings, finger tight.
  • Place the jar in the canner. When all jars are filled, process according to the instruction and chart in the notes area below.

Processing with a Pressure Canner

  • Put the lid on the canner leaving the weights off.  Bring to a boil. Watch for steam to start coming out the vent pipe in the lid.
  • Allow the steam to ‘vent’ for 10 minutes then put the weights on. Use the proper weight for your altitude (check the chart) This is when pressure will start to build.
  • When the pressure reaches your requirements, start your time.
  • Process for the full time indicated, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the correct pressure for the entire time.
  • When processing time is completed turn off the heat. Do not remove weights yet. Let the canner sit undisturbed until pressure comes back to zero. Do not try to speed up the cooling process.

Cool Down Time

  • Remove the weight and wait 5 minutes.
  • Open the lid to allow steam to escape. (carefully don’t let it hit your face or arms!) Leave the lid setting on top of the canner slightly ajar and wait 5 minutes again.
  • Take the lid off the canner and remove your jars. (optionally you can wait another 5 minutes if the contents appear to be bubbling so hard it is coming out of the jars)
  • Put the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed. 12 hours is suggested.
  • When the jars are cool, remove the metal bands, check the seals, wash jars, dry completely, and store in a cool dark place.

Notes

Pressure canning instruction. Pay attention to the proper time for the proper equipment.
Processing in a Pressure Canner.
  • Pints are processed for 55 minutes.
  • Quarts are processed for 90 minutes.
Step one – use the chart for the style of pressure canner you are using.
Step two – check the altitude adjustments for your altitude.
Dial Gauge – Watch the dial on your canner to determine pressure.
Altitude, Weight (pounds pressure)
  • 0-2,000 11 lbs
  • 2001-4,000 12 lbs
  • 4,001-6,000 13 lbs
  • 6,001-8,000 14lbs
Weighted Gauge – Watch for the weight to ‘jiggle’ to determine pressure.
Altitude Weight (pounds pressure)
  • 0-1000 ft 10 lbs
  • Above 1000 15 pounds
Sources 
SimplyCanning.com/how-to-can-butternut-squash/
https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/pumpkin_winter_squash.html
Servings: 7 Quart Jars

Source

NCHFP – https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/pumpkin_winter_squash.html 

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