Spice Up Fall with Savory Squash

Butternut Squash Brightens a Beef Stew


Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Now with the fall harvest time here and an abundance of farm-fresh produce available, nothing says autumn like homemade Butternut Squash and Beef Stew.

butternut squash in basket

The bright yellow squash adds a new flavor dimension to beef stew.


SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel especially like to make the stew on the weekend when there’s plenty of time to let it cook slowly in the crock pot.


You can start it the day before and let it cook overnight so it’s ready for lunch the next day. Or begin it in the morning and be out at the beach enjoying the day while it’s cooking. Then have it for dinner. The total cooking time is 10 hours.

“Butternut squash is a favorite of mine,” Sunny says, “because it’s so versatile and can be cooked in many ways. The squash has a subtle flavor and melts in your mouth.”

Starr Butternut

What’s more, it’s high in nutrients and fiber and low in calories with no cholesterol. One cup of squash (cubed) has just 63 calories and tons of Vitamin A (297% of the daily requirement) and Vitamin C (48%).

Sunny’s recipe for Butternut Squash Stew is hearty, but not heavy. “That’s because it has a lot of vegetables,” Sunny explains.

One of the seasonings Sunny uses in the stew is lemongrass, an herb that reminds her of her childhood home when she used to go out in the backyard and gather it fresh. “Then I would tie the leaves in a small bundle to put in soups and stews.”

lemon bundle


If you don’t have wild lemongrass growing where you live, you can get it in the spice aisle at the supermarket in dry packets or as a paste. Sunny uses the paste.

Sunny’s Recipe for Butternut Squash Beef Stew



1.5 lbs beef stew meat, chopped into 1” pieces

1 T. canola oil

5 small red or purple small potatoes

12 oz petite baby carrots or 3 large carrots, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

10 oz sliced cremini mushrooms

One 2.5 lbs butternut squash, peeled and chopped

1 quart beef broth (4 cups)

1 bay leaf


1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 T. soy sauce

½ tsp lemon grass paste

2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

¼ tsp pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

½ tsp paprika

½ cup flour


Place the flour in a shallow dish with the beef and toss well to coat. Heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about five minutes until soft. Add the beef and garlic to the pan and continue sautéing until the beef has browned.

beef in pan

Place the beef, onions and garlic at the bottom of the Crock Pot. Next add the bay leaf, butternut squash, mushrooms, carrots and potatoes and afterwards pour the beef broth over them.


In a small mixing bowl combine the Worcestershire, soy sauce, sugar, paprika and lemon grass powder or paste and stir with a spoon until blended. Pour over the mixture in the Crock Pot.



Place the lid on the Crock Pot and turn the heat to low. Cook for 8 – 10 hours. Right before serving, add the salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf. pinch-of-salt


The recipe serves 8 – 10 people so after a morning or afternoon of surfing you can bring your friends home to a hot meal. Just set the table, serve it with warm French bread and you’re ready to enjoy some real comfort food.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti knew that the Butternut Squash and Beef Stew was a success when Patti’s husband Greg went back for seconds.


Your friends will, too.

Surf’n Beach Scene Magazine

SurfWriter Girls

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Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.

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