Welcome to my Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – what is BEST for the frugal family. If you want to enjoy amazing food, be healthy and still be frugal then this is for you. A thorough look through the butternut squash vs pumpkin squashes and great for new ideas and deciding which one you should eat more of this autumn.
I will say that I am obsessed with both butternut squash and pumpkin. They are a HUGE….I say that again HUGE part of my diet.
I tend to have them as an alternative to white potatoes and cook with them all the time if I could.
I have got so excited about them in the past that I have often talked about the butternut squash and the pumpkin and this is the opportunity to put them side by side in my butternut squash vs pumpkin analysis.
Butternut Squash Health Benefits
You’re probably wondering what the obsession is with butternut squash when there are lots of other much cheaper vegetables out there. My favourite vegetable (well it is technically a vegetable) is tomatoes. I could eat them from dusk until dawn and they taste good in most dishes. Plus they are 75% cheaper than the butternut squash.
But OMG they taste just so, so good!
The first time I ever ate butternut squash was Fathers Day many, many years ago and it was the starter for the Sunday lunch that we were eating. It was butternut squash and potato soup and it was absolutely delicious.
But better than that look at all these amazing health benefits:
Pumpkin Health Benefits
For me pumpkin is the dream come true for the Paleo and Whole 30 community. It is a way to eat potato style dishes but without the actual potato. It cuts down your carbs and is so much healthier for you than eating a white potato.
I tend to buy the pumpkin in the biggest size I can get, chop it up and fridge it in a huge mixing bowl. Then grab some out of the bowl over a fortnight (until it is eaten) and then we have it as our go to potato.
I am just amazed by how long they will last and how amazing they are to cook.
But better than that look at all these amazing health benefits:
Here in Portugal we are lucky that pumpkin is in season all year around and we can always get butternut squash about 10 out of 12 months of the year. The butternut squash is available all year around it is just that they are small and pathetic looking in certain months and you always end up with about 4 cubes when you cut into them.
But after we bought yet another huge pumpkin back in June I was having a discussion with Dominic. I mentioned that you get much better value for money out of a butternut squash compared to a pumpkin. And he disagreed and said the opposite.
So we decided in order to settle an argument on the blog that we would put it to the test. We would wait until they were both in season and in excellent condition and then buy both.
Bring them home and then see which one gave us the best value for money for the frugal family. I mean both taste excellent don’t they? But which one is the best value for families, that you will want to buy over and over again?
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – The Frugal Family Challenge
We got one large pumpkin and 3 medium butternut squashes. We did consider getting just 1 butternut squash but felt that some butternut squashes can be terrible when you go inside, so to have choice it makes this experiment more worthwhile.
- The cost of the butternut squash is 1,29€ a kilo
- The cost of the pumpkin is 1,39€ a kilo
- The cost of the pumpkin as skin on wedges is 1,02€ a kilo
First off I will say now that the pumpkin in their skin is bound to be the best value for money. You’re buying a pumpkin for a lot less than the price for a full one and there is no weight from loads of seeds in the inside and you have just the skin to remove.
But even though we buy it as wedges from the supermarket when we can, it is rarely in stock like this. So don’t think about this as the lazy way to buy it, but more so as the money saver.
Do You Eat The Pumpkin Seeds?
The next thing you need to ask yourself is whether you use the pumpkin seeds or if you just throw them out. You see a lot of people hate the taste of them and by getting a pre-cut pumpkin in its skin you are making a huge saving.
You will also be looking at those prices above and saying that the butternut squash is cheaper therefore it must be the BEST value for money. But also consider that a butternut squash is much smaller than a pumpkin and is likely to give you a small amount of vegetable to actually cook with.
For example we calculated it and our seeds worked out at 243g. So if you don’t want the seeds then the seeds alone have just cost you 0,33€. Not a lot I will agree but if you buy a pumpkin once a fortnight and hate pumpkin seeds then this is the cost of a full pumpkin every year. Plus some pumpkins carry more seeds than others.
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – Cost By Cost
Dominic set to work peeling and chopping all the butternut squash and the pumpkin. It took a while because our pumpkin was huge. Then when he was done I did the task of weighing everything. I had also done this before we had started for the total starting price verses what they were worth chopped.
- Butternut Squash Starting Weight = 3055g = Purchase Cost = 3,94€
- Pumpkin Starting Weight = 8940g = Purchase Cost = 12,43€
After he had done all the chopping and I had weighed everything it worked out at:
- Butternut Squash Weight = 1300g
- Pumpkin Weight = 7256g
This means that the:
- Butternut Squash Cost = 3,03€ a Kilo
- Pumpkin Cost = 1,71€ a Kilo
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – The Winner
Drumroll please…..and the winner is……the PUMPKIN. The pumpkin is 44% cheaper than the butternut squash that we bought.
I prefer the butternut squash for taste over the pumpkin, but for frugality for families with young kids the pumpkin rules!!!!
In conclusion you are playing a game with the butternut squash and the pumpkin when you cut it open. You never know how much flesh you are going to get and how much is going to be wasted. I buy them regularly and then use the extra I wasn’t expecting for extra meals that can then be put in the freezer for a later date.
I also get the best pumpkins in July & August and then I can freeze pumpkin puree for Thanksgiving.
Best Ever Squash Recipes
We decided to use up the butternut squash and the pumpkin with our own recipes that we already have on the blog. Then we can see how far we can stretch it all and the value for money we get from it.
Over the course of 8 days we made the following:
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – Day 1
Firstly we have some fries for lunch. But not just any fries but delicious Pumpkin Fries. I just love them and they don’t need any oil to cook making them super healthy too.
We made our favourite Thai veggie curry with pumpkin. We loaded the traditional curry up with pumpkin, asparagus, leeks, courgette, coconut milk, green Thai curry paste and plenty of garlic.
Then for dinner we had the most delicious ever butternut squash pizza. The great thing about it is that the dough was made from butternut squash. I am all for making a pizza dough out of vegetables. After all it is low carb and so amazing. I have blogged before about my cauliflower pizza and my broccoli pizza but butternut squash is in a totally different league.
This is because butternut squash holds a lot less water than what broccoli and cauliflower does. This means that you don’t need a huge cauliflower to make one small pizza with.
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – Day 2
I start the day on day 2 with some vegetable breakfast hash. I made it in the Airfryer and combined pumpkin with tomatoes and courgettes. The great thing about making this is that because the pumpkin carries water you don’t need any oil to cook it with. It is inspired by my Paleo version in the slow cooker and you could do something similar with whatever vegetables you have in.
For lunch I made my sons dreams come true. You see his favourite food in the world is lasagne. I bulked up the lasagne with vegetables as well as pork mince and it made an extra batch for the freezer. You could do our slow cooker pork lasagne version and load it up with vegetables (like we did) or alternatively you can make it in the oven or the Airfryer.
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – Day 3
You would think by now that we would be fed up with butternut squash and pumpkin but we really are not. Our first pumpkin fix today is lunch. I make a delicious chicken meal with loads of sauce. The sauce is white wine and soft cheese with milk and is so good. It is loaded up with tarragon too for the ultimate chicken and sauce. We bulked it up with loads of vegetables including plenty of pumpkin. It then made some extra freezer meals too.
This evening for dinner we had a frittata. We love a frittata and they are brilliant for a quick vegetable kick. We love this big one and you can do a size that fits in with what food you have in and how many people you’re feeding.
We usually mix steamed vegetables with a little coconut oil, some grated cheese and of course plenty of eggs. On this occasion though we had plenty of butternut squash.
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – Day 4
For breakfast today we had pumpkin muffins. Just because pumpkin muffins are the best and they are a brilliant healthy start to the day. They are also great for a picnic or for taking to school/work.
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Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – Day 5
We started day 5 with some pumpkin bread. I mean OMG how delicious is this stuff???? If you have not tried pumpkin bread before then you MUST as it’s a life changing meal. It is so quick to make and so easy and trust me when I say your kids will get excited over it.
Then for lunch we had some more pumpkin bread with a delicious pasta bake. It does actually amaze me how many servings you can get from one small pumpkin bread.
Then in the evening we had pumpkin and butternut squash mash with our pork steak. It was delicious and the kids wanted to know if there was anymore!
Then to finish the day off we had some amazing pumpkin cookies. I used my oaty biscuits recipe and then added pumpkin puree to it. And OMG it was good. It was like pumpkin pie cookies!!!
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – Day 6
It is red hot here in Portugal (well when we did this experiment at the start of August) and its amazing how fresh our butternut squash and pumpkin still looks.
I start the day with some air fried pumpkin. Served with lots of fresh tomatoes and sprinkles of oregano it’s the perfect start.
Then for lunch we have a chicken curry and that is when there is a butternut squash moment. We use the butternut squash to make an amazing homemade curry sauce, then we also serve it up with butternut squash roasties. Talk about getting all the best uses out if it!
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – Day 7
I start the day on day 7 with some more air fried pumpkin. I have this most days and love the fact that we have a pumpkin all chopped up in the fridge and I can just grab some whenever I feel like it for whatever I am cooking. It is my kind of convenience food!
Then for our last dinner with our pumpkin we have a homemade pizza. Using a different type of pizza base and loaded up with lots of cheese and pumpkin. This is the kind of thing I would have post Halloween when I want a use for surplus pumpkin other than pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup.
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin – Day 8
After 7 days of eating loads of pumpkin and butternut squash I still have quite a bit of pumpkin left and decide to use the leftovers for more baby food. You see while we have been eating pumpkin in the solid form all week we have been blending it for our youngest son at the same time.
But with us having a lot left it makes enough for lunch for him for 2 weeks.
Then we found some spare pumpkin puree in the fridge that we had leftover. It was meant for more muffins but instead we used it to make these pumpkin yoghurt pots. They are delicious and perfect for leftover pumpkin and slightly less calories than pumpkin pie.
You can get the best of the best of our squash recipes below:
- Pumpkin Fries
- Butternut Squash Pizza
- Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Bread
- Butternut Squash Curry Sauce
- Butternut Squash Roasties
- Pumpkin & Cheese Pizza
- Pumpkin Yoghurt Pots
How To Cook Butternut Squash
There are many ways to cook butternut squash but nothing beats cooking them whole in their skins in the slow cooker. It is like one of those amazing genius foodie moments. It is also an amazing way to keep food waste to a minimum. As don’t you just hate it when you do a bad job of peeling and you end up with ½ a vegetable. Well you don’t have that problem here!
How To Cook Pumpkin
There are also many ways to cook pumpkin perfectly. After exploring it in many different ways I must admit to being totally smitten with pumpkin wedges. When you cook pumpkin it is a really wet vegetable and carries a huge amount of water therefore you can end up with a soggy mess on your dinner plate.
However if you cook pumpkin in its skin then it stops the water from spreading as much and is just like proper potato wedges. I just love them like this and it is ideal because there is no oil involved and its great for weight loss.
Butternut Squash Vs Pumpkin
So there you have it. I have compared the butternut squash to the pumpkin and shared with you the differences. I have shared my favourite recipes and the big differences in prices especially if you are a frugal family.
But you’re probably wondering which one I like the most, well it has to be the butternut squash. It reminds me more of potatoes and it is the same texture of a potato. This means that it is perfect for stews and casseroles as well as a mash alternative.
I also love the pumpkin and will buy both of them when they are on offer in the supermarket.
So next time you think butternut squash is out of your budget just think about our experiment and all those delicious squash recipes that you can now make. In the end we made 14 meals/snacks with our butternut squash and our pumpkin. The butternut squash and the pumpkin was the star of those meals and it’s a classic example of how to make good use out of your vegetables.
I loved doing this experiment and just think each of these meals and snacks came in at just over a Euro a meal.