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:
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