1medium sized Kabocha squash (between 2 ½ and 3 pounds)
1teaspoonolive oil (for oven method)
¼teaspoonsalt, or to taste (for oven method)
⅛teaspoonpepper, or to taste (for oven method)
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place parchment paper or foil in baking pan that is large enough to hold both halves of the squash.
Scrub squash well with vegetable brush, cut in half, remove seeds. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking pan.
Bake 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender (easily pierced with fork).
Cool slightly and carefully scrape cooked squash from skin with a large spoon. Place cooked squash into large bowl.
Slow Cooker Method:
Scrub squash well with vegetable brush. Place whole squash into slow cooker.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until easily pierced with fork.
Remove from slow cooker, cool slightly, cut in half, discard seeds, and carefully scrape cooked squash from skin. Place cooked squash into bowl.
Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Method:
Scrub squash well with vegetable brush. Pierce the skin of the squash in several places with a sharp knife, making 10-15 small cuts, about one half to one inch each.
Pour 1 cup of water into bottom of Instant Pot. Place squash on steamer basket inside Instant Pot.
Cover, and bring to pressure. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Use quick release to release pressure.
Cool slightly and remove squash from Instant Pot. Cut in half, discard seeds, and carefully scrape cooked squash from skin. Place cooked squash into bowl.
Cook and prep times indicated in this recipe card are for oven method of preparation.
For a simple squash mash, mash squash flesh with fork, potato masher, or electric mixer. Mix in 1/4-1/2 cup milk, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Add more or less milk to achieve desired consistency. Try stirring in spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, paprika, or smoked paprika. PS: It's also great topped with a little bacon, feta, and chives. Just sayin'.
You can easily freeze the cooked squash after removing it from the skins. Place in airtight freezer container or freezer bag.