How Long Does Squash Last?

How long does spaghetti squash last? How long does butternut squash last? Winter squash comes in a variety of names, shapes and sizes. What all squashes in the winter category have in common are that they are picked later in the year than summer squash. This forces them to develop a hard, thick skin (which is generally inedible), hard seeds (which actually make them a fruit by the way) and the fact that they must be cooked much longer than their cousins (summer squash).

All squash in the winter category are a great source of vitamins A and C, iron and riboflavin. Among the most common varieties of winter squashes are Spaghetti, Butternut squash and Acorn squash. Each of these varieties are very different in both texture and flavor. Also in this category are Hubbard, Delicata, Calabaza, Kabocha and Sugar Pumpkin. The best picks at the market in this winter squash category are the heavy ones with dry stems. Avoid squash with any cuts, cracks or soft spots. A pale spot on the the bottom of the squash is normal, showing where it rested on the ground. A shiny skin on winter squash indicates that it was picked too soon (the skin should be hard and matte).

The shelf life of winter squash is tricky because there is no sell by date, use by date or best before date attached anywhere to winter squash. For eat by date purposes, the sell by date is the date that the squash was purchased.

So, how long does spaghetti squash last? When properly stored, the shelf life of winter squash past its date purchased is approximately...

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Squash Expiration Date

Counter Refrigerator
Fresh Winter Squash lasts for 1-3 Months 1-3 Months
Fresh Spaghetti Squash lasts for 1-3 Months 1-3 Months
Fresh Butternut Squash lasts for 1-3 Months 1-3 Months
Chopped/Sliced Fresh Winter Squash lasts for -- 2-5 Days
Cooked Spaghetti Squash lasts for -- 5-7 Days
Cooked Butternut Squash lasts for -- 5-7 Days
Other Cooked Winter Squash lasts for -- 5-7 Days

Of course, all foods last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. Winter squash includes acorn squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, delicata squash, hubbard squash, kabocha squash, turban squash, sweet dumpling squash, and of course all types of pumpkins. Prepared winter squash also freezes well and keeps for about 6-8 months in the freezer.

How to tell if Squash is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

Winter squash will begin to get soft and then begin to leak liquid when they are going bad. They may also begin to mold, at which point they have gone bad and you will want to throw them out. It's also important to note that fresh vegetables loose nutrients each day that they sit on the shelf. So, fresh vegetables not only tastes better but they are also better for you.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Squash to extend its shelf life?

Winter squash (actually grown in the summer but most often consumed in the fall or early winter) keeps great in a cool dark place like the pantry. Keeping winter squash in the refrigerator makes them last only a tiny bit longer but alters the flavor and texture so is actually not recommended.

For a long term option, cooked squash freezes great for 6-8 months (but raw squash does not freeze well).

For cooking instructions, see how to cook spaghetti squash.

For the secret to peeling a butternut squash, follow our step by step instructions.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

How long is Squash good for when prepared in a dish?

How long does fresh squash last? That depends. How long does salad last? In general, squash will last as long as the quickest expiring food in the prepared dish.

What are our shelf life resources?

In determining how long Squash lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Squash.

*An important note about expiration dates...

Although the Squash shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!

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With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


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