Questions for the Cook

How to cut a butternut squash without injuring yourself

I have tried many times to cut a butternut squash with no success. I have tried putting it in the microwave to soften it, using the biggest knife in my block to attack it, and have given up more than once and headed back to the grocery store for the overpriced pre-cut package of cubes. Last night I found success and thought I would share:

Step 1: Cut the bottom 1/2 inch – inch off the squash for stability purposes.

Step 2: Peel the tough outer layer of the squash down to the bright orange flesh (peeling at this point in the process seems to be a critical step).

Step 3: Cut squash in half.

Step 4: Scoop out seeds and chop as desired for recipe.

I cut my squash into roughly one-inch cubes and spread evenly on cookie sheet, tossed in a some olive oil, a drizzle of honey, dried thyme, salt and pepper and roasted at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes, until some edges were crispy brown. Delicious.

15 Responses to “How to cut a butternut squash without injuring yourself”

  1. Katherine Kavouris says:

    Oh Thank you for giving us the instructions for cutting up butternut squash! I have been watching the last few weeks. I love the squash recipes. They are hearty, and good for the winter. I have one child that is a vegetarian. So our family has vegetarian additions to our meals. Now I know how to proceed.

  2. Ann Marie says:

    Thank you I always have a hard time cuting the squash the acor squahs too I can not make cubes I have tried I my have to try agiain
    Thank you

  3. Phyllis says:

    Thanks for these directions. I am not sure how I cut mine last time, it was my first time ever using one, but I remember it was difficult. I am making soup this weekend and this will come in handy!

  4. Glenda Bass says:

    This has nothing to do w/ the squash. Just want to say Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for the hint on the wooden spoon in the oil trick. It works great.
    I never could decide when my oil was hot enough.

  5. Desiree says:

    Soaking the squash in hot water for about 10 minutes makes easy work of peeling with a vegetable peeler. I always had to have my husband cut & peel butternut squash for me before stumbling upon that trick.

  6. Karen says:

    The peeling part is what got me. I got a heavy duty peeler. (Saw Rachael using one.) It really made a difference.

  7. Thanks for the ‘secret’ of how to conquer butternut Squash. I’ve now tried roasting the squash and root vegitables together. You are so right! Yum-Oh!!!!!This is thw way my mom made potatoes after WWII. As time went by she got very busy wotking downtown and never thought to teach me how to cook this way.

    Thanks Rachael. from my heart.

  8. Gerry Buck says:

    Thanks for the tip how to cut up one of these beggars. I never had a problem until I developed arthritis in my hands, and this will help immensely in peeling/cutting up squash.
    My daughter has a recipe for making a spaghetti sauce utilizing several types of squash and now I can prepare the squash to use in it.

  9. Nina says:

    I put my butternut squash in the microwave till it is a little softer, 2 – 4 minutes and then it is easier to peel. I have a great soup recipe that is only 1 point of Weight Watchers and I have it almost everyday as a filler.

  10. margaret says:

    on the butternut squash and acorn, i have also b aked them whole, then scoop out seeds and squash in a dish, can do ahead, then heat in oven with garnishments. I like cinnamon, nutmeg and a little butter on mine. also i do this during the year, not just Tday. yum!

  11. Deb says:

    I do it that way as well, but I bet some novices might wonder just exactly how to peel it. I have peeled them with a Y-peeler as well with a knife. It is hard to do. Cooking them certainly is the best way if you don’t need cubes.

  12. Christi says:

    This is how I cook my butternut squash as well, but I also add chunks of sweet potato and onion. It’s a great combination of flavors.

  13. Ophelia says:

    I’ve always had a hard time with this. Thank you! So, what does a heavy duty peeler look like? (Karen, above, mentions it)

  14. Eileen Buernann says:

    For the past five days when I go to print a recipe from Rachael’s emails, the title and picture print but not the actual recipe including the ingredients and directions. If I copy the recipe and save it on a separate page in my recipe file, it works. I’ve been reading and copying Rachael’s recipes for years. Is situation new to you? Or perhaps this is my computer’s problem. Thanks for any help you can give me.

  15. Bea in San Diego says:

    Thanks to folks for posting their cutting butternut squash tips, really appreciated! Seeds easily removed from whole cooked squash using serrated grapefruit spoon and cuts through fiber strands. ACORN squash: wash skin, prick with fork in every other groove, place on paper towel in microwave, cook 7 minutes, turn squash over, cook additional 5 minutes for medium size squash, (adjust cooking time for individual size), let sit and set until your hands can handle squash (or even until completely cooled to use later), cut in half (top to bottom), remove seeds and surrounding fiber strands with serrated grapefruit spoon, continue to prepare as desired. Suggestions: OK to serve an entire half and provide same clean spoon to scrape out all of squash, could add dab of butter and sprinkle of favorite spice. Cut into slices and place on meal plate with other veggies. Mash and add bit of applesauce, or other flavoring. AND my special favorite: Cut into 4 wedges, top with several cooked slices of Yam or Sweet Potato, add palmful of raisins, sprinkle with pinch or so of brown sugar, makes it a colorful and tasty side dish. (Yes, I am into alternatives.) Thanks for letting me share.

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