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Skillet Squash Sticks

By: Alli from An Open Cookbook
This image courtesy of

For a healthier alternative to fries, try out this recipe for Skillet Squash Sticks from Alli from An Open Cookbook. If you have never tried cooking squash before, then this is one of the best healthy butternut squash recipes for you to make. Alli says, "I meet up with a friend of mine about once a month and the conversation always comes back to what we’ve cooked lately. She told me of a recipe where she cut a zucchini into matchsticks and sautéed it with garlic and almonds. So I decided to do an autumn version, and use a butternut squash, the seeds inside and some pecans for a little extra richness. The butternut squash takes a little while to cut into matchsticks, but it is well worth the time."


For more recipes from Alli, be sure to check out her Featured Foodies profile page.

Yields4 servings

Cooking MethodSkillet


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Squash seeds, removed from the insides and washed
  • 2 tablespoons pecans, roughly chopped


  1. Give yourself a good 20 minutes to prepare the butternut squash. First, cut the top and the bottom off so that the squash can stand up straight without rolling around. Depending on the size and shape of squash you have, you may have to cross-sectionally cut it in half so you can peel it a little easier. Very carefully using a sharp knife, slice the peel off the squash, similar to cutting the rind off of a cantaloupe.
  2. Once peeled, cut the squash in half lengthwise so that you always have a flat surface of squash. Begin slicing the meat into long strips that you can then further cut into matchstick size. When you get to the seeded area, scoop it out and place in a strainer. From here, pull all the seeds off the ‘guts’. Rinse the seeds well under running water and dry them with a paper towel as much as possible.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil. Pour all your little squash match sticks into the pan. (If you only have a medium sized pan like me, you may have to do two batches.)
  4. Meanwhile, heat a small sauté pan on medium. Pour in the squash seeds and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. As they roast, they will begin to pop. If you have a cover, use it here! Add a little splash of olive oil, salt and pepper. Add in the pecans and cook for a few minutes. Turn off heat and let them rest covered.
  5. Sauté the squash for 5 to 10 minutes, also stirring occasionally. Add as much salt and pepper to your taste preference. Add in the garlic and toss. Cook for a few more minutes. The squash should be fairly soft and browned.
  6. Remove from heat. Combine the squash, seeds and nuts in a serving bowl. Enjoy immediately alongside a piece of grilled chicken or scrambled egg.

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