How to Cut Butternut Squash
In this quick visual guide you’ll learn How to Cut Butternut Squash into cubes or slices, for use in recipes like Roasted Butternut Squash, Butternut Squash Soup, salads, and more. The key is to separate the bulb from the upper neck end of the vegetable.
It may seem hard to cut a curvy squash like butternut into even pieces since the shapes can vary so much, but once you learn the easy way of this method, you’ll get perfectly even pieces every time.
This is important because if you have pieces that aren’t the same size, some pieces will be undercooked while others burn. The key is to separate the bulb at the bottom from the neck at the top.
As with other winter squashes, you’ll also want to use a sharp knife and sturdy flat surface or wooden cutting board for this firm vegetable. A dull blade makes it hard to do this safely, no matter what kind of knife skills you have.
Let’s go through the visuals for this step-by-step process.
Step by Step Guide:
When you’re at the grocery store, look for a whole butternut squash that has a dark beige color and a very firm texture. If it’s starting to feel soft or if it has a lot of dings, cuts, or bruises, pick a different one. Soft spots are signs of rotting.
You also want the stem to be firmly intact instead of fallen off, and ideally you want the heaviest squash for its size, which indicates more moisture inside.
When you’re ready to cook, start by trimming the top and bottom of the squash off using a sharp chef’s knife, holding the whole squash firmly with your non-dominant hand.
Discard the ends of the squash.
Next step, peel the skin off using a very sharp vegetable peeler (I like a Y peeler here). The tough skin should be discarded as well.
You may find it’s more difficult to remove the tough outer skin here compared to most vegetables. I use this peeler (affiliate), which is not the cheapest peeler, but it’s wonderfully sharp.
Next cut the bulbous section from the longer neck portion:
Cut the bulb in half, then remove the seeds inside from the orange flesh.
The best way to do this is to use a melon baller. I find a melon baller (affiliate) easier to use than a spoon because it can scrape the sides really well. An ice cream scoop also works well if the edges are sharp.
Lay the bulb half on its flat side, and cut into even slices:
For the half ring portions, I cut on an angle for even pieces:
For the flatter bottom and top piece, I cut that in half, then cut those two pieces into small cubes:
To cut the upper part of the squash, lay it on the flat bottom section, and cut straight down in 1″ increments:
You’ll find that a good knife is especially important for that step, which is arguably the most difficult cut.
Now, cut a grid into each slice to get perfect cubes and bite-sized pieces:
No odd shapes here! The cubes are now ready to be used in many different ways.
Feel free to keep the squash pieces in the fridge for up to 3 days before using them. I do not recommend freezing, as the texture will be pretty bad.
If it’s a chilly time of year, this cozy Butternut Squash Soup is also wonderful. Happy cooking!
Tips and FAQ
Yes, you may store raw cut cubes in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Every pound of squash yields about 3 cups of raw cubes.
Yes, in an airtight container or bag for up to 3 months. However, know that freezing will change the texture. It’s best to use for pureed applications like soups.
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How to Cut Butternut Squash
- 2 lb butternut squash
- Trim the top and bottom of the squash, and discard the ends.
- Use a peeler to remove all of the exterior skin, and discard it.
- Cut the bulb bottom portion from the upper neck part.
- Cut the bulb through the center, then scrape out any seeds and stringy stuff using a melon baller, and discard.
- Lay each bulb half on the flat side and cut straight down into slices. Cut those slices into cubes.
- To cut the upper neck portion, lay it on its flat side, then cut straight down to create slices. Then cut a grid into those slices, to create uniform cubes that are similar in size to the bulb pieces. The cubes are now ready to use!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.