HomeMixed Media ArtCrafts ProjectsTips, Tricks, TutorialsScrapbooking & Project LifeCooking, Baking, RecipesHome & DIY


Monday, September 15, 2014

CRUNCHY Butternut Squash Chips (GAPS, SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)

This, my friends, is a bowl of truly crunchy heaven!

When you are on GAPS, or many other diets, you seriously lack the crunch factor. There is the odd crispy thing, but there is no real crunch crunch. There’s the kind of crunch you get from a cracker, or the crunch you get from dried zucchini chips (which is a little on the chewy/leathery side) and of course there is the crunch you get from a carrot - but there nothing close to the crunch you get from a potato chip or a tortilla chip.
Until you make these little babies!
They are truly crunchy. And delicious. And even though somewhat labor intensive, not hard to do!
My family really, REALLY likes these! Even the ones that aren’t doing GAPS! Who would have ever thought that my kids would beg me for butternut squash anything on a regular basis? Not me, but here we are!

So, let’s get started!
This recipe only has two ingredients. The recipe is not so much in the ingredients however, it is in the method.
It does help to have a dehydrator to make it easier to make these chips, but an oven works too.

Butternut Squash Chips


1 Butternut squash, preferably one with a long, straight neck
Ghee, or frying oil of choice

Equipment: Potato peeler, Mandoline or other slicer (you need something that produces thin, even slices,) a dehydrator (or oven,) and means to deep or pan fry, kitchen tongs.


Slice the butternut squash just where it begins to bulge outwards.
That is where the seeds usually start. We want to use the top part for chips.

You can also use the bottom part for chips, however, they will end up being thin-ish half moon shapes.  I generally hollow out the bottom part and place it in the freezer. Once I have collected a few, I defrost and stuff them with meat and veggies for dinner. Not only does it taste delicious, it also looks really cute, prepared in it’s own little butternut squash bowl!


Peel the top part of the squash. You generally have to go over the same spot a couple of times to get to the bright orange flesh, with no whitish skin left, or the green veins that sometimes run under the skin.

Slice on a mandoline. I have tried several different thicknesses and personally I prefer 1/8 of an inch. They don’t take too long to dry and they still make a pretty sturdy chip.
You can go a little thinner or a little thicker, but I really wouldn’t go thicker than 1/4 inch, as the puffing up later will be impeded if the chip is too thick.


Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and in batches, boil the squash slices. About 2 minutes per batch.
They should still be pretty firm when you pull them out and by no means cooked through. I use kitchen tongs to pull them out and they still stand up really well to that grabbing pressure. If they fall apart on you, you are cooking them for too long. We really just want to blanch them!
I usually blanch them in 4-5 batches. Make sure that you put them into the boiling water one by one, so none of them stick together going in!

Once blanched, layer them onto the trays of your dehydrator. I tend to wait until they have cooled down just enough for me to touch all the slices, then layer them in there. Process according to your dehydrator instructions until completely dry. Some will curl up, some won’t - it’s all good.

You can also lay them out in a single layer on cookie sheets and dry them on the lowest setting of your oven.

And this is what they will look like once done. Completely dry, somewhat hard, but in a leathery kind of way.
Now, the magic happens.
I have no photos of the actual frying process. There is a reason for that!
The reason is .... you need to be FAST. As in, split seconds fast, so there’s no way I could photograph and not have the chips burn.

I generally fry mine in a small pan with about an inch or so of ghee in it. You can use other oils or fats too. It all works.

Heat your fat to about 350-375 F.

Now, fry them, one by one. Yes, don’t be tempted to dump them all in, I guarantee you they will all burn as you can’t get them out fast enough.

So, one by one, using kitchen tongues again, place a dehydrated chip in the hot fat, almost instantly flip it around to the other side and them take it out. I am literally talking about a second on each side.
But in that second, magic happens. You will see the chip puff up, sometimes it will uncurl, and it will turn to a deep orange. Sometimes the color doesn’t look like it changed much, but it will continue cooking even after you pulled it out, so DO pull it out. They will turn into an orangey brown once they cool.

Place on a kitchen towel to drain the excess oil/fat.

Keep doing this, one by one.

If you leave them in to get really brown, they are still crispy, but the more “burnt” they become, the more bitter they will taste, and that’s not what we want. So, one second each side, remember?
See the difference in the photo below. The left one went too far, the right one is what you’re aiming for !

Below you can see how the chip changes from dehydrated state to fried state. See those lovely bubbles? That’s the crunch factor!

Dehydrated squash slice.                                     Fried chip from dehydrated slice.

And there you have it. I like to give a light shake of Herbamare over them and enjoy, either by themselves or with dips, salsa, as nachos, etc.

Yes,  these are a bit of work! But the good news is that because they are dehydrated, you don’t have to do ALL of the above every time you make them. You can make large batches of dehydrated slices and store them in an air tight container and fry them up pretty quickly whenever you want them!
And butternut squash season is coming, so they will be a lot cheaper too. Well worth stocking up on!

I generally store the dehydrated slices in an air-tight jar and then fry up as many as we will eat. However, if you are going to store the fried chips longer, make sure they're in an air-tight container or bag, otherwise they will lose some of their crunch!


Since this is a little labor intensive, I did of course experiment with seemingly simpler ways. None of them worked out.
Here is what I’ve tried:
  • I tried them fresh and fried, total flop. Literally. Nothing crispy about them at all!
  • I tried them fresh (without the dehydrating step) both blanched and not blanched. Also didn’t work out. Except for making them paper thin ... but those don't hold up to much and they were quite hard to get to the right crispness without completely burning them. And no puffing up either.
  • Tried them just soaked in water and then dehydrated and fried - got crispy and a little bit puffy but they also had an oddly bitter flavor, which I really didn’t care for!

Pin It


  1. You so know I will be trying these right??? Exactly the way you said; "yup, yup"!

  2. Oh, I hope you'll like them, Didi! We LOVE them around here!

  3. Your very talented lady! Thank you Birgit!


I very much appreciate that you are taking the time to leave a comment! Thank you so much for visiting my blog!
If you ask a question in the comment section, please remember to check back as I will answer it in the comments section! Or you can email me if you prefer!
Thank you and have a wonderful day!
Birgit Kerr