Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker is a delicious mix of squash, cranberries, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It's a fragrant and comforting side dish and pairs well with just about any holiday meal!
Update Notes: This post was originally published in November 2016, but was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in September 2020.
❓ Why make this recipe?
Beyond that it's delicious, of course? It's the perfect side dish, especially when oven space is at a premium during the holidays. No room in the oven? No problem! This Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker can be made right on your countertop, leaving room in the oven for other dishes.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe Back Story
I love slow cooker recipes! They are my favorite, hands down. Just dump a few ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on, and come back a while later to something tasty to eat!
This recipe is a perfect for a holiday side dish. Not only is it completely delicious, the cranberries, cinnamon and nutmeg make this slow cooker butternut squash so fragrant as it roasts! Your whole house will smell amazing! Plus, butternut squash is a winter squash, which means this healthy ingredient is in season as the weather gets colder. This recipe is just perfect for a chilly night!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- butternut squash - you can use fresh or frozen
- fresh apples - use the variety you prefer
- dried cranberries - adds a little bit of flavor and texture
- cinnamon and nutmeg - for some extra sweetness and bite
Please note: This is an overview of the instructions. You'll find the complete instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker. No need to thaw frozen squash.
- Cook on high for approximately 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Once the squash is nearly tender, change the setting to warm so the squash doesn't overcook.
I like to use frozen diced butternut squash. Butternut squash is tough to peel and slice! Frozen is just as delicious as fresh.
I don’t bother skinning the apples, although you certainly can do that if you have family members who won’t care for the peel on the apples.
Squash is rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium. It has less calories and carbs than a sweet potato!
Of course, you can certainly bake this in the oven.
Be sure to spay the baking dish well with non-stick spray. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the recipe and mix everything together. Pour into the baking dish and roast in a 350 degree preheated oven for 45 minutes.
The squash will be fork tender.
💭 Top Tips
Frozen squash makes this recipe so much easier! Butternut squash is hard to peel and slice. In addition, using frozen cuts down the prep time to next to nothing. However if you do need to peel and slice a squash, here are easy directions.
- Peel the butternut squash using a potato peeler.
- Remove the stem at the top.
- Slice off the "bell" on the bottom of the squash, cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard (or save to roast the seeds!) Chop into one inch cubes.
- Cut the top half of the squash into one inch slices and also into cubes.
You can save time on the apples when you use an apple slicer. You can get one for less than 10 bucks, and it makes cutting the apples so much easier!
🥗 Suggested Pairings
This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash side goes so well and it would be delicious with pot roast, chicken fried steak, lemon artichoke pasta, this slow cooker roast chicken, or any holiday meal!
🥘 More Holiday Side Dishes
Stuffing, potatoes, veggies, rolls – here are some of my favorites. Just scroll down to drool over all of them with me!
Love butternut squash? Then you have to try this Air Fryer Butternut Squash recipe for tender yet crisp, slightly caramelized yumminess!
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! I also invite you to follow me on FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, or INSTAGRAM to keep up with what’s going on in my kitchen!
📋 Recipe Card
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Apples
- 4 cups frozen diced butternut squash (one 20 ounce package)
- 4 apples, cored and sliced into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker.4 cups frozen diced butternut squash, 4 apples, cored and sliced into bite-size pieces, 1 cup dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Cook on high for approximately 90 minutes - 2 hours, stirring occasionally and checking the squash for tenderness.
- Once the squash is just about tender, switch to warm until it is time to serve. Don't overcook or your squash will turn to mush (it will still be tasty, though!)
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
Thanks so much for reading! I also invite you to follow me on FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, or INSTAGRAM to keep up with what's going on in my kitchen.
And you might want to check out my Dizzy Busy and Hungry store on Amazon for a whole bunch of great kitchen products I love!
Have you ever used fresh squash in this recipe? If so, any tips?
You can absolutely use fresh squash. The recipe will be the same, but just keep an eye on how tender the squash is getting. If your chunks are on the large side, it will take a little longer to cook.
How would you modify this for the Instant Pot?
Sorry, Angela, but I am not very experienced with Instant Pots so I don't have any good advice there. However, I think it's a great idea to provide that option to my readers and I will put that on my list to work out the directions and post them in the future! Thanks for stopping by!
I'm wondering if I could put this under the broiler with butter and brown sugar to get a caramelization afterwards?
That sounds like a great idea. I am going to try it! If you get to it first, come back and let me know how it turns out! 🙂
Looks delicious and with fewer calories than a sweet potato what's not to like!
Thanks, Jean! 🙂
This recipe sounds wonderful and I will try it. However I would suggest that in the beginning where you say that if you use frozen squash you do not need to "unthaw" it that you change it to "thaw."
Oh thanks for catching that! Totally missed it. It's fixed now!
Yum! I'm in love with my slow-cooker right now, too! And I made your beef & broccoli and the chicken stroganoff last week and they were SO good. I loved the chicken one especially. Thanks to you and your momma for these awesome recipes!
You are welcome! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
This looks so good! I just have a couple of questions. Do you peel the apples and what size apples are you talking about?! Thanks! 🙂
I don't usually peel the apples. As far as the size of the apples, I would say medium, but don't stress over it. This recipe is very forgiving, so the size is not crucial! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
I don't know how to start a new comment. Sorry :/
Can I use fresh cranberries?
I am not sure how it would turn out with fresh cranberries as I have never tried them in this recipe. But I think it would be worth a shot! If you try it, let me know how it goes! 🙂
Sharon L OBrian
I made this last year for a church fall dinner and everyone loved it. the pastors asked if I was going to make it again for this fall dinner, I said of course. this is amazing 👏
That's great to hear! So glad it was a success! 🙂
This is on my menu for the week now! I can't wait!
Found you via #didi!
Create With Joy
Kristen I LOVE your recipe! Congrats - you are featured at Inspire Me Monday this week!