Categorized |Fish, Vegetarian

What happens when you introduce shrimp to butternut squash?

butternut squash recipeSounds like a bad combo? Not if you’ve ever tasted my mom’s recipe for pumpkin (butternut squash in this case) cooked until it’s melted and as you turn of the heat you add some cooked shrimp to the mix. As a kid pumpkin and/or squash was one of those things we (my brother and sisters) would never allow to enter our mouth (we had a sentry posted at the entry to REFUSE all pumpkin-like food ) but as an adult the few times we can get our mom to cook it for us, we’re ever so thankful.

Here’s my take on my mom’s recipe for butternut squash with shrimp. Feel free to use any type of cooking (not the carving type you get for Halloween) pumpkin if you wish.

You’ll need….

1 butternut squash (about 2lbs) – peeled and diced
1/2 small onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – sliced thin or crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 habanero pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar

For the shrimp….

10 medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
1/4 small onion – chopped
1 clove garlic – crushed
1/4 teaspoon ketchup
1 tablespoon cilantro – chopped
dash of black pepper
dash of worchester sauce
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

NOTE: Though adding the shrimp gives it another layer of flavour, vegetarians can abstain from this step.

Start by cutting open the squash and as you would cut a watermelon into slices, do the same (you will need a heavy kitchen kinfe) . It can be a bit tough, but with a sharp potato peeler or as in my case a paring knife peel the skin away. Then using a spoon, scrape out all the seeds and surrounding tissue. Wash and slice into 1/2 inch cubes so it will cook fast.

butternut squash

butternut squash recipe (2)

Then dice the onion, garlic and pepper. After which you can now place a saucepan on med-high heat and pour in the olive oil. As the oil heats and comes close to smoking, add the onion and garlic. Allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes, then add the cubed squash.

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With the heat between medium and low, add the sliced pepper (optional) black pepper and salt, then cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. While this simmers lets get the shrimp seasoned and cooked.

Place the cleaned shrimp in a bowl and season with the ingredients mentioned above for this step (minus the oil). In another sauce pan heat the oil and add the seasoned shrimp. Keep the heat on high and only cook for about 3-5 minutes. When the shrimp turns changes colour, it’s a good indication that it’s cooked. Overcooking with cause the shrimp to go tough and change the flavour and texture of it. Don’t cover the sauce pan or it will spring a lot of water and stir as it cooks. Remove from over the burner when you’re done or the remaining heat will continue to cook the shrimp.


shrimp and pumpkin recipe

trinidad pumpkin recipe

shrimp with squash recipe

Back to the squash. After the 20 minutes the cubes should be tender and melting away, this is when you can add the brown sugar. Using the back or your cooking spoon, press down on the cubes of squash to make into a chunky paste. If it’s a bit runny at this point, allow any liquid to burn off. When the paste like consistency is thick and free from any liquid turn off the heat and add the shrimp we just cooked. Stir it in well to add the shrimp flavor to the entire dish.

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butternut squash with shrimp

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Maybe you have a different way of preparing this dish or one that similar? Leave me your comments below. BTW, don’t forget to taste for salt.

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31 Responses to “What happens when you introduce shrimp to butternut squash?”

  1. Maureen Richards says:

    Chris I cannot eat shell fish, can this be made with salt fish?

  2. Richard says:

    This is a fantastic recipe! I live on the Gulf coast during the winter months and the quality of the available shrimp is not to be believed. The butternut squash must be in season somewhere since the local farmer market is flooded with them.

    We really enjoyed this one. Thanks.

  3. Sue says:

    As an English person living way over the ‘other side of the pond’ I have found your dishes excellent. Whilst I have cooked Jamaican food for my husband and children over the years, this has been mainly by asking other people and gaining a little insight from my husband (who by the way is an excellent cook). But you give me really good ideas and the little tips you give are the icing on the cake. Keep up the good work, I look forward to making some more. Well done.

  4. rohini says:

    I do appreciate the pics…i’ve tried some of your receipes and oh boy they were devine. Pumpkin & shrimp went down well will dhal puri

    Keep it coming receipes with veges, chicken, fish, shrimp, goat, lamb, crab, conch etc. The receipes I receive with either beef or pork I’ve tried with some other meat(since i don’t eat beef nor pork).

  5. lilly says:

    I’m allergic to shrimp so my mom always added some saltfish to her pumpkin for me with sada roti! Now that’s my go to when I’m craving some thing quick and Trini

  6. Maureen Dwarika says:

    Dear Chris

    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your recipes, tips and guidelines etc. I have tried a couple of your recipes and they do taste divine. I love the way you illustrate with the photos of step by step cooking. I am from Trinidad so I can identify with the different dishes, seasonings, methods. It brings back such good memories of my mom’s cooking, together with a warm, homey feeling.

    You are doing a great job. Take care and Best cooking.

  7. Debra says:

    Add some cumin /gerra and ginger for the most delicious flavor, I make it same as your recipe with the two added ingredients with sada roti or fry bake yummy…debra

  8. kellz says:

    Love pumpkin and dry shrimp but its hard to find pumpkin and dry shrimp where i am living too. So I'm gonna try this one.. yum i can already taste it!!

  9. Oldst Owns says:

    Excellent fare. Dosti roti or paratha for me with this.
    Keep them recipes coming


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