Can you eat green butternut squash?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat green butternut squash?” with an in-depth analysis of butternut squash, the nutritional composition of butternut squash, the health benefits of butternut squash and some ways to use green butternut squash. 

Can you eat green butternut squash? 

Yes, you can eat green butternut squash. Unripe butternut squash is not likely to be harmful, it can be a healthy and delicious addition to your diet. Even though the taste may not be very good and the vegetable might be particularly starchy, you shouldn’t be adversely affected (1).

Green butternut squash is packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, vitamins A, B, C, and vitamin K, all of which play a role in keeping you healthy.

 How does green butternut squash taste like?

Green butternut squash is the unripened form of fully matured butternut squash that has tan yellow skin color while the color of the pulp is orange. The taste of green butternut squash is a little different from the mature ones. 

The seeds of the butternut squash lie in the pulp region at the blossom end of the fruit. As butternut squash grows and ripe, the pulp becomes more orange in color, its taste gets sweeter and the fruit gets more nutritious.

What is the nutritional profile of green butternut squash?

The nutritional profile of green butternut squash can vary slightly depending on the exact variety and growing conditions, but here is a general overview of its nutrient content. The nutritional composition of 100g serving of  raw green butternut squash is given below (2):

NutrientAmount per 100g
Vitamin A1967 IU
Vitamin C20.1 mg
Potassium284 mg
Magnesium25 mg
Calcium32 mg
Iron0.4 mg

What are the health benefits of green butternut squash?

Green butternut squash offers several health benefits due to its nutrient-rich profile. Here are some of the key health benefits (1-3).

  • Weight management: Green butternut squash also plays its role in increasing complexion, and energy and plays its part in increasing weight
  • Heart health: It contains a good amount of potassium which is important to maintain healthy blood pressure. More potassium and less sodium in the diet will also reduce the risk of death by preventing any type of stroke and cardiovascular disease
  • High in Nutrients: Green butternut contains vitamin A which is essential for maintaining cell growth, eye, and bone health, as well as improving immune function. Vitamin E present in green butternut squash helps to protect against free radical damage and also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Gut health: Green butternut squash contains fibers that help in maintaining normal digestion and bowel movements
  • Diabetic friendly: Green butternut is also good for diabetic people. After all, it prevents sugar levels from rising because it has a low glycemic index
  • Reduces the risk of asthma: The antioxidant properties of butternut squash, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, help prevent or slow cellular damage and inflammation, which may reduce asthma symptoms.

What are the risks of eating green butternut squash?

Green butternut squash is generally safe to eat. However, there are potential risks to keep in mind while eating raw green butternut squash including (1,4);

  • Presence of Pesticides residue: Like any other type of produce, green butternut squash may contain pesticide residues if it has been treated with pesticides during cultivation (4).

It is always recommended to wash the green butternut squash before consumption. If you experience symptoms like itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing after eating green butternut squash, stop consuming it immediately and seek medical attention (1).

  • Cucurbitacins: When eaten raw, green butternut squash can taste bitter. This bitterness could indicate high levels of compounds known as cucurbitacins, which can be toxic (5). If you bite into green squash and it feels very unpleasant and bitter, it is best to spit it out and discard the whole fruit to avoid the risk of cucurbitacin toxicity.

Consumption of foods rich in cucurbitacins has been associated with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, and even death. However, these effects are not seen in commercially grown varieties.

What are the ways to cook green butternut squash?

Green butternut squash can be cooked in several ways, including (4):


 Cut the squash into cubes or slices, toss with some oil and seasonings, and roast in the oven at 400°F for 20-25 minutes until tender and caramelized. 


Peel and cube the squash, then boil in salted water for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain the water and mash the squash with butter and seasonings for a tasty side dish. 


Cut the squash into cubes or slices, place in a steamer basket, and steam for 10-15 minutes until tender. 


Cut the squash into thin slices or cubes, and sauté in a pan with some butter or oil, garlic, and herbs until tender and slightly caramelized. 


 Cut the squash into thick slices, brush with oil and seasonings, and grill over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes until tender and lightly charred. 


In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat green butternut squash?” with an in-depth analysis of butternut squash, the nutritional composition of butternut squash, the health benefits of butternut squash and some ways to use green butternut squash. 


  1. Mashitoa FM, Shoko T, Shai JL, Slabbert RM, Sultanbawa Y, Sivakumar D. Influence of Different Types of Drying Methods on Color Properties, Phenolic Metabolites and Bioactivities of Pumpkin Leaves of var. Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata Duchesne ex Poir). Front Nutr. 2021;8.  
  1. Milošević MM, Antov MG. Pectin from butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) – The effect of enzyme-assisted extractions on fiber characteristics and properties. Food Hydrocoll. 2022;123.  
  1. Zaccari F, Galietta G. α-Carotene and β-Carotene Content in Raw and Cooked Pulp of Three Mature Stage Winter Squash “Type Butternut.” Foods. 2015;4(3).  
  1. Vogt EA, Nechols JR. Responses of the squash bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae) and its egg parasitoid, Gryon Pennsylvania (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) to three Cucurbita cultivars. Environ Entomol. 1993;22(1).
  1. Dai S, Wang C, Zhao XT, Ma C, Fu K, Liu Y, et al. Cucurbitacin B: A review of its pharmacology, toxicity, and pharmacokinetics. Vol. 187, Pharmacological Research. 2023.  

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!