How to Cut Butternut Squash

January 4, 2023  Chef Austin Avatar
How to Cut Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall ingredients, but if you’re new to cooking with it, peeling and chopping this oddly shaped vegetable can be a bit intimidating. But don’t fret! Here’s a quick tutorial so you can see just how easy it is to cut butternut squash. I promise it’s painless! And then you can use that delicious and beautiful butternut squash in soups, salads, casseroles, pasta, and more.

Two whole butter nut squashes on a blue background.

How to Choose A Butternut Squash

When choosing a butternut squash, look for a squash with smooth, light flesh-colored skin. The interior of the butternut squash will be much more vibrantly colored than its skin. Inspect the squash for soft spots, dings, or other damaged areas. The squash should feel firm to touch and heavy for its size.

Do You Need to Peel Butternut Squash?

If you’re planning to cube or slice your butternut squash, you’ll want to peel it first. If you plan to roast your squash whole or halved, you can leave the skin on during roasting and then just scoop the soft flesh out of the skin after roasting.

What About the Seeds?

You’ll want to scoop the seeds out of the squash before chopping or roasting because they’re much easier to remove when the squash flesh is still raw and firm. But don’t toss those seeds! You can clean them and roast them just like you would roast pumpkin seeds.

How to Use Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is so versatile and can be added to salads, casseroles, pasta, sauces, and more! Butternut squash is also very similar in texture and flavor to sweet potatoes, so it can often be used in place of sweet potatoes in recipes. Here are some of our recipes that use butternut squash (more to come!):

A butternut squash cut in half lengthwise with the insides exposed.

How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash – Step by Step Photos

The end of a butternut squash being sliced off.

Begin by creating a flat, stable surface on the squash so it doesn’t roll around when you try to peel it. Slice off the top and the bottom of the squash to create flat surfaces.

Butternut squash being peeled with a vegetable peeler.

Set the squash on the wide, flat bottom and use a vegetable peeler to peel straight down toward the cutting board. Peel all the way around the squash until all of the peel has been removed and the vibrant squash flesh is visible.

Seeds scooped out of butternut squash with a spoon.

While the squash is still standing up on the base, slice it in half lengthwise from top to bottom. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from the center.

Butternut squash sliced and cubed on a cutting board.

To cut the butternut squash into cubes, first cut it into slices horizontally, then cut each slice into cubes. To make this step faster, you can stack two or three slices at a time and then cut them into cubes together.

Butternut squash cubes in a freezer bag.

If you have too much butternut squash to use in your recipe, you can freeze the rest of the cubes for later! Simply place the cubed butternut squash in a freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to three months. The frozen cubes can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight before use, dropped right into boiling water from the freezer, or popped right into a hot oven for roasting! Super easy peasy!

Two butternut squashes on a blue background.

What is your favorite way to use butternut squash? Let us know in the comments!!

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