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Kalyn's Kitchen

How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash

This post will teach you How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash. And while I don’t judge if you buy pricey pre-cut butternut squash cubes, the freshly peeled and cut squash is so much more flavorful! Use Butternut Squash Recipes for more recipes like this one!

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I think roasted butternut squash is one of the best things about autumn. That’s why, if you live in the U.S., you’ll see those bags of already peeled and cut butternut squash start to appear in stores at this time every year. In the past, I’ve confessed to buying pre-cut squash myself, even though I knew it couldn’t possibly be as good as freshly cut squash. And every year, I’ll splurge a bit on carbs and make a few of my favorite butternut squash recipes.

But the days when I’d pay premium prices for pre-cut squash changed when I discovered the Really Big Squash variety and started growing my own butternut squash. Now I had to master the slightly tricky process of cutting them up, and with practice I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

If you’ve been a bit daunted by trying to cut up a hefty squash, here are some tips for How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash that can help you save money and get that garden-fresh squash flavor.


How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash process photos collage

Steps for How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash:

  1. If you’re buying your squash in the store, you’ll may get one that’s shaped a bit differently than this, since most butternut has a thin neck with a bulb-shaped end where the seeds are. But whatever variety of butternut you have, start by cutting off the stem and blossom end of the squash.
  2. Next cut the squash in half so you can scrape the seeds out. You’ll need a bit of muscle on the knife to cut through the squash. If it’s a particularly big squash you might want to cut it into quarters.
  3. Feel around in your silverware drawer and get the most pointed and sharp spoon you can find to scrape out the seeds. Grapefruit spoons are great for this if you have them. Try to scrape off all the stringy material that’s around the seeds.
  4. The inside of the squash should look really clean when you’re finished scraping the seeds out.
  5. Now comes the part that’s nearly impossible to do with a knife. Using a sharp vegetable peeler (affiliate link) peel away the skin in long strips. I’m not too compulsive about removing every bit of those green stripes that are just under the skin, but if they bother you, just peel until they’re completely gone.
  6. Once all the squash pieces are peeled, cut into strips the width you want them for what you’re making with the squash. For roasted squash, I try to make pieces that are slightly over an inch square.
  7. Then turn the strips the other way and cut again to make pieces. Now that was really not so hard, was it? And here are some recipes ideas for ways to use those butternut squash cubes.
  8. Use the butternut squash cubes to make something tasty!

Butternut Squash Recipes from Kalyn’s Kitchen:

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon, Thyme, and Parmesan
Easy Roasted Winter Squash and Sausage with Herbs
Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices
Slow Cooker Thai-Inspired Butternut Squash and Peanut Soup
Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
Slow Cooker Buttery Butternut Squash for a Crowd
Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoked Sweet Paprika
Roasted Butternut Squash Wedges with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce, Sumac, and Aleppo Pepper
Foil-wrapped Grilled Butternut Squash with Sage

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    49 Comments on “How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash”

  1. Yes it’s is much more easier to do it with a peeler rather than knife.

  2. The best tool for me to use on squash is my sharp cleaver–doesnt make it such a terrible challenge. Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. I tried about a month ago with my peeler – somewhat but not completely helpful. I assume the blade is the issue.
    Thought maybe the small paring knife would help but need to get one.

  4. I find lots of butternut squash tips online, but I always seem to have butterCUP squash, which is a very different beast – this post seems helpful and I'm going to try it tomorrow – I know you can roast (or use slow cooker too) to soften and cook but some recipe ideas call for cubed raw squash – so here it is:

    http://www.chefheidifink.com/blog/seasonal/how-to-peel-and-chop-a-winter-squash/

    I think this post also mentions saving your squash guts for stock and will really have a nice flavour, which I love as I do make squash and I hate throwing out food parts that could be used.

    I'd also like to suggest a melon baller for scraping out squash guts. It just occured to me that I have one and it might work well – I will try that tomorrow too! Thanks for the tips Kalyn and commentors!

  5. Batsnapper, that's interesting. I've done this many times. I've never roasted squash with the seeds still inside.

  6. Almost all butternut squash I've purchased have been too hard to safely prepare as you described. I have to roast it first before cutting into it.

  7. Thanks, glad you liked the post.