Learn How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash quickly and easily by following a few simple steps. You can then use it in healthy soup recipes, roast it in the oven, or even add it to your favorite salad for a gluten-free, vegetarian, whole30, Paleo, and vegan dish.
Want a few other butternut squash recipes? You might also enjoy this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, this Butternut Squash Pizza, Maple Oven Baked Chicken Thighs & Veggies, or these Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes.
Butternut Squash – A Sweet Addition
Recently butternut squash has been all the rage in our house.
Butternut squash is essentially a lower calorie and lower-carb option to use instead of sweet potatoes.
And just like their orange-colored cousin, they have a subtle sweetness that tastes great in savory dishes.
But boy can they be hard to peel and cut!
Peeling and Cutting with Ease!
Preparing butternut squash can be quite challenging and oftentimes downright frustrating.
The peel is stuck to the flesh…
A knife will barely cut through…
And there’s no way you can scoop out all of those seeds!
So after a bit of testing, tweaking, and researching I have come up with the best way to prepare butternut squash!
There are a few kitchen utensils you will need when peeling and cutting butternut squash.
- Potato Peeler – This is the quickest and easiest way to peel this gourd.
- Fork – A fork will be used to poke holes all over the peel.
- Sharp Knife – A well-sharpened knife is essential to easily cutting the squash.
- Spoon – A large spoon with a slightly sharp edge will make scooping out the seeds a breeze.
How to Peel
In order to make peeling a quick and simple process, there are a few steps you will want to follow before attempting to peel this vegetable.
- Trim the ends off of a large (2 1/2 – 3 pound) butternut squash.
- Poke holes with a large fork all over the squash.
- this step helps the squash release any excess moisture when it is heated in the microwave.
- Microwave the squash on a paper towel for 2-3 minutes or until squash is slightly softened. Cool squash at room temperature until it is easy to touch.
- Peel the skin off of the squash with a potato peeler.
How to Cut
Now that the squash has been peeled, it’s time to move onto cutting the butternut squash.
To cut the squash you will:
- Cut the squash in the middle where the slim part meets the larger part.
- Using a knife cut a circle in the middle of the larger part to reveal the seeds.
- Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- Cube or chop into strips for fries.
There are a few important points that if followed will make cutting and peeling butternut squash a quick and simple process.
- Size of Squash: Look for a squash that is not too large in width for the easiest peeling and cutting.
- Potato Peeler: A potato peeler with a large handle is the easiest way to peel the squash and will ensure you do not loose too much of the flesh.
- Microwave: Heating up the squash in the microwave is the most important step to ensure the squash is easily cut and peeled.
- Sharp Knife: Using a freshly sharpened knife will also make cutting easier.
How long can I store uncut butternut squash?
An uncut butternut squash will last for up to 2 months if stored in a cool, dry, and dark space.
Can butternut squash be prepared in advance?
Yes. You can peel and cut up to 2-3 days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Butternut squash makes a great addition to numerous soup, stew, and salad recipes.
It also is a wonderful side dish to serve roasted on its own with a touch of fresh herbs.
Here are a few recipe ideas:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup – No need to peel the squash, just cut it in half and roast it up!
- Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes – Follow the steps above to peel and cut the squash with ease.
- Fall Harvest Salad – Add roasted butternut squash to a kale, quinoa, and goat cheese salad with a touch of maple-rosemary apple cider vinaigrette!
- Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash.
- Substitute butternut squash in any recipe where sweet potatoes are used!
How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash
Once you learn how easy it is to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash, you'll be dicing and chopping it up like a pro! Once you're done, roast the cubes in the oven, add to soups, salads, and more.
- 1 large butternut squash about 2 ½ - 3 pounds
Trim both ends off of the butternut squash and then poke holes all over the squash with a large fork.
Microwave the squash for 2-3 minutes on high power, or until squash is tender. This may take a little longer if you have a very large squash.
Let cool until you can comfortably touch it and then peel butternut squash with a vegetable peeler. You can also remove the skin by carefully peeling the outer layer with a sharp knife.
Cut the squash down the middle where the slim part meets the larger part. In the larger part cut a circle in the middle to reveal the seeds.
Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon, scraping down the sides to release the strands. Discard the seeds.
Cube butternut squash or cut it into strips for fries. Enjoy!
- To Store: Seal cut, uncooked butternut squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze: Pre-freeze the pieces in a single layer for 1-2 hours, then transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.