Skillet Buttercup Squash with Bacon for #SundaySupper

Skillet Buttercup Squash with Bacon | Magnolia DaysThe first freeze came early. Winter is still a few weeks away and yet the season is showing its signs. A cold wind blows the remaining leaves from the trees. Soon the landscape will be grey-brown empty trees speckled with an occasional evergreen. It is time to warm up from the inside as the frosty chill arrives. Winter squash can be comforting, warming, and filling. Baking softens winter squash to be used in so many ways. It is the first step in making skillet buttercup squash with bacon.

Buttercup squash can be tough to cut. It is not quite as hard as butternut squash though. I would compare the density to acorn squash. The most important thing is to have a big, heavy-duty knife. Once you cut through it, the rest is easy. Bake it with a little water until tender. Mash it up and add it to a skillet of onions softened in bacon fat. Stir in crispy bacon and you have a savory side dish that goes splendidly with ham, pork, turkey, and chicken.

Skillet Buttercup Squash with Bacon | Magnolia DaysMy winter squash cooking only recently expanded. I honestly didn’t tackle many of them. My go-to recipes were Baked Acorn Squash and Butternut Squash Soup. Then this year I discovered calabaza and made Candied Pumpkin. It was time to expand again and so I chose butternut. Next up? I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to see what inspires me and go from there.

Which winter squashes do you cook? There are so many varieties available these days. Long ago it seemed only pumpkin, butternut, and acorn squash could be found at regular grocery stores. If you want to know what to cook with many of the varieties, scroll down to find a list and links to recipes by Sunday Supper bloggers. Big thanks to the very talented Heather at girlichef for hosting this Squashin’ Winter event.

Skillet Buttercup Squash with Bacon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • 2 buttercup squash (medium size)
  • 6 slices bacon (regular thickness, not thick-cut)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut squashes in half. Scoop out and discard seeds and stringly flesh.
  3. Place squash halves cut side down in a baking dish (or two baking dishes if needed). Add about ½-inch hot water to the dish(es). Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Allow squash to cool to room temperature. Scrape out the flesh into a bowl and discard skins. Mash squash thoroughly. You should have about 4 cups of mashed squash.
  5. Brown bacon in a medium skillet. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a plate. Pour out most of the bacon fat, leaving only about 1 tablespoon in the skillet.
  6. Add onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  7. Return cooked bacon to the skillet along with squash, butter, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  8. Cook until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Recipe adapted from one in the Southern Living 1985 Annual Recipes cookbook (out of print).

How about more winter squash recipes? Check out these from Sunday Supper bloggers:

Breakfasts and Breads

Appetizers, Starters, and Condiments

Soups, Sandwiches, and Salads

Main Dishes

Side Dishes


Wine Pairing Recommendations for Squashin’ Winter #SundaySupper from Enofylz Wine Blog

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  1. says

    I have yet to try a buttercup squash but now, I need to! love that you paired this with bacon. . I bet the flavors together are wonderful. . you have inspired me to expand beyond my regulars this winter (butternut squash and pumpkin) and get cooking! :)

    • says

      Thanks Alice. If you can’t find buttercup then you can always substitute with butternut. Although, I do hope you can find and will try buttercup.

  2. says

    Oh yes, bacon and squash really do go hand in hand…this sounds fantastic! I love Buttercup Squash, but for some reason, only see it every once in a while. I snatch it up like it’s going out of style ;).

  3. says

    I am also just now expanding my squash horizon. It’s in part because our weekly CSA basket includes all different kinds of winter squash :) – I am really enjoying it and not only because the color orange makes me super happy :)

    How fun that both of us chose Buttercup Squash for ths week’s theme. I love the beauty of your dish. It sounds and looks fantastic!

  4. says

    The squash looks so creamy! Love the bright color too. Totally agree that good knives are important when working with squash. And hopefully all of this yucky winter weather means spring will arrive extra early too :)

    • says

      It does have a certain creaminess feel to it although there is no cream involved. Think of a super smooth and somewhat softer mashed potato consistency.

  5. says

    I love all sorts of squash – it’s big in my Italian kitchen. I adore Delicata – in fact some puree of roasted Delicata squash added to pasta dough makes a tender, flavorful and beautifully colored pasta. I enjoy Spaghetti squash, roasted and served tossed with unsalted butter and Parmigiano. I could go on, but you get the idea. Your dish sounds great, and I bet it would also be fab with pancetta in place of bacon.

  6. Sunithi says

    Simple and classic. love the bacony feel to it. I may make this in lieu of mashed potatoes this thanksgiving ! Thanks for sharing !!

  7. says

    Bacon makes everything better!Love how easy and delicious your recipe is Renee and it would certainly make a great side dish!Cannot wait to try it for my family!!

  8. says

    Butternut and Acorn have really only been the two winter squash varieties that I have played with in the past. However I have been given a buttercup squash to try and I have been wondering what to do with it. Seeing as how we love anything with bacon in it this sounds like a good place to start.

  9. says

    I’ve never heard of buttercup squash before! Just butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and of course pumpkin. I’ll keep an eye out for it at the store.

  10. says

    I have never heard of Buttercup Squash and now I am desperately on a search. I must try it, I am into all things squash for the past couple of weeks. So delish! This looks fantastic!


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