Food & Drink

Granny Sawda’s Butternut Squash Pie

A seasonal dessert with a sweet family history for your holiday table

Photo: Johnny autry | Food Styling by Charlotte Autry

“Anyone who tries a piece tends to want one every year,” writes Amethyst Ganaway of her Granny Sawda’s butternut squash pie, a favorite on her family’s holiday table, in the December 2020/January 2021 issue of Garden & Gun. “Granted when new friends hear ‘squash pie,’ often their noses turn up and their faces pucker, as they contemplate why anyone would make a sweet pie from squash. But once I hand them a slice, slightly warm, a small scoop of cold vanilla ice cream dolloped on the side, a sparkle in their eye pops. The butternut squash often conjures for converts pumpkin or sweet potato pies, but with a different texture and taste—less starchy, a little sweeter, with a tang.” Of the recipe, Ganaway—a food writer, recipe developer, and chef—says, “we like ours very sweet,” so she typically adds a little more than the recommended amounts of sugar below. 


  • Granny Sawda’s Butternut Squash Pie (Yield: Two 9-inch pies)

    • 2 9-inch pie crusts, homemade or store-bought; parbaked

    • 3½ lbs. butternut squash if using fresh (or, 2 15-oz. cans of pureed)

    • 1 cup white sugar (or to taste)

    • 1 cup brown sugar (or to taste)

    • 8 oz. evaporated milk

    • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

    • 1 tsp. salt

    • 1 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)

    • 1½ tsp. nutmeg (ground is good but fresh is better)

    • ½ tsp. lemon zest

    • 2 large eggs, well beaten


  1. If using fresh butternut squash, remove the skin and seeds, roast or steam the flesh, and then puree it. 

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk all ingredients except for eggs together in a large bowl until smooth, and adjust spices to taste. Add in whisked eggs and stir until well incorporated. Pour into pie crusts. If there is leftover filling, set aside.

  3. Bake until a toothpick comes out of the middle of the pie clean and pie is firm, about 45 minutes to an hour. If your pie crust edges begin to brown too quickly, cover them with foil and continue baking until pie has set.

  4. Let cool 1 to 2 hours at room temperature before slicing. If there is leftover filling, you can pour into oiled ramekins or a muffin tin and bake to make butternut squash pone.