Once you learn a few simple tricks, you’ll know How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash into cubes in less than 5 minutes! It’s easier than you think to peel the skin, remove the seeds, and cut into cubes to roast or air fry. You’ll be devouring this healthy vegetable more than ever with this quick prep method.

A butternut squash is cut into small cubes.

Easily Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash

Recently butternut squash has been all the rage in my house.

Butternut squash are 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!

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, and it’s only a few simple steps!

Recipe Tip

The most important thing is to soften the squash in the microwave first! And while a vegetable peeler is handy, you can do just as well with a sharp chef’s knife.

Kitchen Utensils

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 Butternut Squash

Below is the step-by-step process to follow to peel a whole butternut squash:

Prep the Squash

Start with a 2 ½- to 3-pound butternut squash.

Trim the ends of the squash off. Poke holes with a large fork all over, which will help it release any excess moisture when it is heated in the microwave.

Microwave the squash on a paper towel for 2-3 minutes or until the squash is slightly softened. Cool squash at room temperature until it is easy to touch.

A knife trims the end of a butternut squash off.
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Remove the Skin

The easiest way to peel the butternut squash is with a good vegetable peeler or Y-peeler. 

However, you can also use a nice sharp knife. Take care to move the knife or peeler away from your hands and body.

After warming, the tough outer skin of the squash should come off quite easily.

How to Cut Butternut Squash

Now that the squash has been peeled, it’s time to move on to cutting it.

Cut in Half

First, use a sharp knife and a plastic or wooden cutting board on a flat surface to slice the squash in the middle where the slim part meets the larger, more round section.

Then, use a knife to cut a circle in the middle of the larger part to reveal the seeds.

Remove the Seeds and Cut

Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to carefully scoop the seeds from the meat. You might have to scrape a bit to get all of the seeds and the strings out.

Then, use a chef’s or paring knife to chop the squash into cubes or slice it into strips, depending on how you’re using it!

What is the easiest way to peel a butternut squash?

The best and easiest way to peel a butternut squash is to briefly microwave it first! This step softens the gourd just enough that the skin and seeds come off easily.

What is the best tool to peel butternut squash?

The best tool to peel a butternut squash is a potato or vegetable peeler. If you don’t have one, however, you can simply use a sharp knife.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Size is key. Look for a squash that is not too large in width for the easiest peeling and cutting.
  • Peeler, please. A potato peeler with a large handle is the easiest way to peel the squash and will ensure you do not lose too much of the flesh.
  • Nuke it. Heating up the squash first thing in the microwave is the most important step to ensure the squash is easily cut and peeled.
  • Stay sharp. Using a freshly sharpened knife will also make cutting easier.

Learn How to Cut Other Vegetables

It’s amazing how mastering a few simple skills will drastically reduce stress in the kitchen. These how-to’s will get you cooking in no time.

Learn How to Cut an OnionHow to Cut and Clean LeeksHow to Shred Cabbage, and How to Cut Green Onions.

For an impressive presentation, check out How to Julienne Strips and How to Chiffonade!

A butternut squash is cut into small cubes.

More Butternut Squash Recipes

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. 

Once you’ve followed these steps, whip up some Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes or Butternut Squash Risotto.

This Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is so easy, no need to peel the squash, just cut it in half and roast it up!

 Add roasted butternut squash a salad, like this Fall Harvest Salad or Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad.

You can also substitute butternut squash in many sweet potato recipes!

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4.58 from 7 votes

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! When you're done, roast the cubes in the oven, add to soups, salads, and more.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes
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  • 1 large butternut squash about 2 ½ – 3 pounds


  • Cut Ends: Trim both ends off of the butternut squash.
    1 large butternut squash
  • Microwave to Soften (optional): If you have a relatively large or firm squash, poke holes all over the squash with a fork and microwave 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.) This step is optional and can be skipped if you'd prefer.
  • Peel the Skin: 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.
  • Remove the Seeds: 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.
  • Cut the butternut squash into cubes or into strips for fries. Enjoy!
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

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4.58 from 7 votes


  • 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.


Calories: 85kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 665mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 20090IU, Vitamin C: 40mg, Calcium: 91mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for your wonderful tips. I especially appreciate your advice on heating it to be able to peel it. Best wishes.,
    Gina Q

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Gina! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

  2. Love these instructions! Butternut squash isn’t easy to prep but MAYBE this will make all the difference – THANKS!

  3. I’m looking forward to trying your buntternut squash peeling tips! I love butternut squash but prepping it is definitely a pain point!