Dinner, Lunch, Staples

Frugal Food Series | Tip 7: Squash

It’s squash season!!!  Pumpkin baked goodies and butternut squash bisque and squash ravioli.  Mmmm.  Squash is delicious.

As we have been very mindful lately of how we spend our grocery budget, we have been turning to squash.  A lot.  We are currently paying $0.69 a lb at the grocery store for a variety of different winter squashes.  And a 3-4 lb squash has a large yield.  Not to mention the nutritional value of those vitamin dense, harvest season veggies.  To be short, it’s a lot of bang for your buck.

Growing up, my mom used to split an acorn squash and roast it with butter and brown sugar.  I was not a fan.  And (no offense to my mom) this is a lot of people’s experience with squash.  Just kind of boring mush.  While, now I like this boring mush, I have also learned how versatile a squash is.  Dont’ believe me?  Here look.

This is the 4 lb buttercup squash I bought at the store this weekend.  It has a deep yellow flesh with a rich, sweet flavor. We will use it for 2 meals this week, none of which will include mush, or most familiar squash dishes. Frugal Food Series | Tip 7: Squash // Keeping Willow

I preheated the oven to 350°F, cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, drizzled it with olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper.  I put the squash halves facedown on a foil lined sheet pan and baked them for 50 minutes.  I let them cool to room temperature.  I stored one in the fridge to put in the 3 bean chili we’re having for dinner later this week.  I kept the other one to make these black bean and squash burgers, which completely rocked.Frugal Food Series | Tip 7: Squash // Keeping Willow

I have made black bean burgers with sweet potatoes before but the squash worked just as well if not better.  This recipe makes enough for about 8 burgers.  Whatever we don’t eat gets frozen and saved for when we need a meal in a hurry.Frugal Food Series | Tip 7: Squash // Keeping WillowFrugal Food Series | Tip 7: Squash // Keeping WillowFrugal Food Series | Tip 7: Squash // Keeping Willow

Sometimes (and by sometimes I mean usually) veggie burger recipes turn out crumbly and fall apart.  But these hold together perfectly.  I served them on some fresh baked, whole wheat bread I baked yesterday with lettuce, tomato, avocado, goat cheese and Sriracha mayonnaise.  After I took some photos of this burger, I was cleaning up and turned around to find this little monster going to town.  Frugal Food Series | Tip 7: Squash // Keeping Willow

This should be enough proof that it’s really good.

I hope this inspires you to experiment a little with squash.  You know, do something crazy you’ve never tried before.  Like squash in a burrito, on your pizza (oh yum, with goat cheese, shitake mushrooms, walnuts and a chive, arugula pesto!!!) or in your oatmeal (with cinnamon and maple syrup).  And if you don’t like it, that’s ok because it literally cost you cents to buy. So happy, healthy, hedonistic and frugal eating to you all.  I hope you love these burgers!


Frugal Food Series | Tip 7: Squash // Keeping Willow


2 cups cooked black beans (1 can)
1/2 of a 3-4 lb squash (butternut, buttercup, kabocha, or acorn will all do) roasted and cooled (directions above)
1/2 small onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup packed, chopped cilantro
1 cup oatmeal (old fashioned)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (sub quinoa or millet if gluten free)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1-2 Tbsp pure olive oil

1. Scoop the flesh out of the skin of your squash.  Sometimes the skin peels right off.  Combine the beans, squash, onion, garlic, cilantro, spices and salt and pepper in a medium size mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher.
2. In a food processor or blender, grind up the oatmeal until it has a similar consistency to breadcrumbs.  Make sure to use gluten free oatmeal if you are making a gluten free version. Combine the oatmeal and breadcrumbs (or gf grains) to the bean and squash mixture.
3. Portion out the burger patties into half cup portions.
4. Warm up some of the oil in a cast iron skillet or frying pan on medium heat.  Cook the burgers on either side until they are golden brown.  Serve immediately garnished with your favorite toppings.


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