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If you ever wanted to know how to cut butternut squash then this is your step-by-step guide on how to do it efficiently and safely. From choosing the best squash to peeling, cutting, and cooking it. Step-by-step photos included.
Butternut squash is a wonderful and delicious winter squash that is packed with nutrition and flavor. Learning how to select, peel, cut, and cook butternut squash (safely) is a valuable skill that you will use over and over again.
I’m going to walk you through how to cut a butternut squash into cubes as well as how to cut it in half before you cook it. Then I will show you how to make roasted cubed squash and roasted halves of the squash. Like we did with this mashed butternut squash.
The most important part about cutting butternut squash (safely) is to make sure you have the right tools.
The recommended tools for cutting butternut squash are:
- A large cutting board
- Sharp kitchen knife
- A vegetable peeler.
AND BE CAREFUL! Watch your fingers and go slowly.
Let’s get to it!
How to choose a ripe butternut squash:
Here are the things to look for in a nice ripe butternut squash
- Dark beige in color with more of a matte skin (not shiny).
- Hollow on the inside when you give it a tap.
- Heavy for its size.
- Free of green or soft spots.
- The stem of the squash is intact.
To soften the squash
Squash is usually pretty hard on the outside, making it somewhat difficult to peel and cut. To soften it a bit, you can poke holes all around the squash with a fork and then microwave it for about 2-3 minutes. Then start peeling.
How To Peel Butternut Squash
First, cut the ends off the squash about a ¼-½ inch from the top and bottom.
- Cut it in half first, where the long neck of the squash meets the base.
- Then use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off of the long neck of the squash. You can use a vegetable peeler or knife to peel the skin off of the base of the squash. I find it easier to use a knife.
- Peel the skin until you reach the dark orange flesh of the squash.
Note: You can peel the squash whole by running your vegetable peeler along the length of the squash but I just find that it is easier to handle if you cut it in half first.
How to cut butternut squash
There are two methods for cutting butternut squash that I am going to show you.
How to cut butternut squash into cubes
- Start with the neck of the squash and cut it in half from the top all the way down the middle to the bottom. Flip each cut half on its side and cut it into half-moon shapes.
- Then cut it into 1-inch cubes.
- Then cut the base of the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. (discard or save for roasting later).
- Cut the base into half-moon shapes then into 1-inch cubes.
How To Cut A Butternut Squash In Half
First, as I mentioned above, cut the ends off the squash about a ¼-½ inch from the top and bottom.
- Stand the squash upright and use a sharp kitchen knife to cut it straight down the middle all the way from the top to the bottom.
- Scoop out the seeds. Discard or save for roasting later.
To cook cubed butternut squash
To cook the butternut squash cubes:
- Spread the cubes of squash onto a lined baking sheet.
- Season them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss.
- Roast it in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.
Cooking halved butternut squash
To cook a halved squash:
- Brush each half of the butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place each half face down onto a lined baking sheet
- Roast it in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 45-60 minutes. The cook time will depend on how large your squash is.
That’s it! And you will feel so accomplished every time you do it. Plus you can cut it in advance and cook it later, which is great for meal prepping.
Yes, for cubed squash you can peel it, cut it, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before you cook it. For halved squash, you can cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, then place it onto a plate or small baking sheet, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before you season and roast it.
Cooked butternut squash can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Yes, you can! To freeze uncooked butternut squash, you will need to peel it and cut it into cubes. Then spread it out on a lined baking sheet in a single layer and place it into the freezer for 2 hours. Then transfer it to a freezer-friendly container and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you use a freezer-friendly vacuum-sealed bag then it can last up to 6 months.
More butternut squash recipes
- Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Did you try this? If you did then please leave a rating and comment below. I would love to hear how it turned out!Print
How To Cut Butternut Squash
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 5–6 servings 1x
- Diet: Vegetarian
This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to efficiently and properly cut butternut squash. It explains how to choose, peel, cut, and cook squash in two ways.
- 1 whole butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
To peel butternut squash:
- First, cut the ends off of the squash about 1/4-1/2 inch from the top and bottom of the squash.
- Then cut the squash in half where the neck meets the base, and peel the long neck of the squash using a vegetable peeler. Until you reach the dark orange flesh of the squash.
- Use a kitchen knife or vegetable peeler to peel the skin off of the base of the squash. Until you reach the dark orange flesh of the squash.
To cut butternut squash:
- To cut whole butternut squash into cubes: Cut the neck of the squash in half then cut into planks or half-moon shapes, then into one-inch cubes. Then cut the base of the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut it into half-moon shapes, then into one-inch cubes.
- To cut whole butternut squash in half: Cut the ends off of the squash about 1/4-1/2 inch from the top and bottom of the squash. Then stand the squash upright and use a sharp kitchen knife to cut the squash straight down the middle from the top of the squash all the way to the bottom of the squash. Then scoop out the seeds and discard them or save them for roasting later.
To cook butternut squash:
- To cook cubed butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the cubed squash out onto the baking sheet, drizzle it with olive oil and season it well with some salt and pepper. Toss to coat it in the oil and seasoning. Roast the squash in the oven for 25-30 minutes until tender and slightly golden.
- To cook halved butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the two halves of squash onto the baking sheet, cut-side up, and brush each half with olive oil and season each with some salt and pepper. Place the halves of squash cut-side down and roast it in the oven for 45-60 minutes until fork tender. Note: the cooking time will depend on the size of the squash you are using. A 3-pound squash will take about 60 minutes to fully cook.
- To choose a ripe butternut squash – make sure it is dark beige in color with matte skin and is not shiny. It should be heavy for its size and sound hollow on the inside when you tap it. Also, there should be little to no soft or green spots on it and the stem should be firm and intact.
- You can store raw, cubed butternut squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- You can also freeze raw, cubed butternut squash by placing the cubed squash in a single layer onto a line baking sheet and placing it in the freezer for 2 hours. Then transfer it to a freezer-friendly container and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: How-to
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: how to cut butternut squash, cubed butternut squash, butternut squash, how to peel butternut squash
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