How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to Peel & Cut a Butternut Squash

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

Confession: I refrain from buying produce I don’t like to prep. I hate mincing garlic (annoying), slicing onions (my eyes!), and peeling anything with skin—apples, potatoes, and especially…butternut squash. The skin has a lot of nutrients, so in most cases, this works out totally fine because I can tell myself it’s better for me not to peel my fruits and veggies (more nutrition! less waste! save time!). Except butternut squash. That one requires some prep work.

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

I’ve gotten creative about cutting squash in half and baking it skin-on so I can then simply scoop out the cooked insides and use it in soups and smoothies. But I was absolutely craving roasted cubed squash the other week—tender but not mushy with those lovely caramelized edges!—and I knew it was time I figured out once and for all how to break down a damn butternut squash without losing half of it to my peeler and in a way that doesn’t make me legitimately worried I’m going to take off a finger or two. Can I blame this on being left-handed?

After much thought and strategizing (seriously, I needed a game plan), I’ve finally settled on a butternut squash peel + cut process that’ll work for me. And hopefully you too, if you also avoid squash because it’s a PITA to cut and you may or may not be vegetable peeler-challenged.

Regular recipe instructions are below, and we (Aaron) also took a photo of each step for you (and me) (I know I’ll need to reference this post). Let’s do this!

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

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How to Peel & Cut a Butternut Squash

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to Peel & Cut a Butternut Squash

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: 1 cubed butternut squash


Prep Time: 10 mins

An easy step-by-step process that'll make you a butternut squash peeling / cutting pro in no time! The key lies in using the right tools.

How to (easily) Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash Like a Pro | picklesnhoney.com

How to Peel & Cut a Butternut Squash

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Ingredients

What you'll need:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • large, stable cutting board
  • non-flimsy vegetable peeler or very sharp paring knife
  • very sharp chef's knife

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: 1 cubed butternut squash

Prep Time: 10 mins

An easy step-by-step process that'll make you a butternut squash peeling / cutting pro in no time! The key lies in using the right tools.

Instructions

  • First slice off the top of the squash, just below the stem, then slice off the bottom of the squash, removing about 1-inch at the base. Make a third slice across the squash at the point where it begins to widen (about halfway down).
  • Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the skin. Many people find a vegetable peeler easier because it removes less of the flesh, but I tend to prefer a paring knife. It's totally up to you and whatever feels most comfortable!
  • Once you've removed the skin, cut each piece in half lengthwise so the innards can be removed. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pieces. If you're feeling up to it, you can pick out the seeds to reserve for roasting, as you would do with pumpkin seeds.
  • You should now have four very manageable pieces of squash, each one no more menacing than a sweet potato. To cube the squash, slice each piece into half moons, and then each half moon into cubes. Try to keep the cubes consistent, but don't worry that each piece isn't exactly the same. The smaller pieces are especially delicious when roasted and crispy!

Copyright © 2019 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

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  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who avoids certain veggies due to prep! Love the step by step guide, I needed it!

  2. Rachel R. says

    The last time I made butternut squash, I swore an oath to never fix it again, it was such a pain in the butt to prep. Maybe I’ll give it one more shot…

    1. Amanda says

      I hear you. This technique worked well for me, and you will definitely want a sharp chef’s knife. That makes a HUGE difference!

  3. You know, I always hated prepping this, but then I learned you can actually use a vegetable peeler!! You should try it!

  4. I always dread cutting into squash. Seriously. I follow the exact same method you do, but now I also added one more stage to the process – I keep the peels from the squash (based on advice from Heartbeet Kitchen!) and use them in soup. It’s awesome!

    1. Amanda says

      What a great idea!!

  5. Kate says

    Between making my dog’s food, and my general love of butternut deliciousness, I usually go through about 3 big squash a week, and this is exactly how I attack them! Awesome instructions 🙂 As for avoiding certain things due to prep: ginger! There’s nothing I hate more than trying to peel and grate ginger. Thankfully i’ve found a decent vegan bottled pre-grated option at my local grocer 😉

    1. Amanda says

      I know what you mean about ginger! haha Some things are worth the little bit of extra cost to buy already prepped (that’s peeled garlic for me, and actually, I don’t think it’s more expensive anyway!).
      Love that you’re making your dog’s food! I used to do that for Honey and Barley and I would buy an obscene amount of sweet potatoes and lentils.

      1. Kate says

        Garlic used to be on my no-go prep list too, but my Dad showed me a trick where you break it into cloves, and then soak them in water for a few hours, and the skin basically just falls off. Saves a lot of time and effort!

        My dog has a super sensitive stomach, so I make all her food – time consuming and (sometimes) expensive, and I do get a bit anal about it, but I think she’s probably got the healthiest diet of any dog ever – her favourite things at the moment are steamed carrot and sweet potato, kale, and buckwheat. And raspberries and shaved coconut for dessert 😉 Not spoiled at all…

      2. Amanda says

        I am so going to try that garlic trick!

        Can I just tell you how much I love that you’re making your dog what’s essentially gourmet food? Have you written a post about what you’re feeding her? I was feeding our dogs a vegan diet based on guidelines from a doggie nutritionist at MSPCA Angell (I swapped the meat for lentils, used sweet potatoes and frozen green peas for carbs + a little brown rice or quinoa, EVOO and a powdered supplement–all blended together), but they weren’t digesting it as well as other brands of food even after more than a year (too much fiber maybe?). I’d be curious to know what’s working well for your pup.

      3. Kate says

        Omg my dog (Amber) eats so well – even when I was on a serious crap-i’m-broke budget and was basically eating tinned beans and spaghetti, she was still getting her top-grade organic stuff. People think i’m mad, but my dog is my baby and she comes first 🙂

        I’ve been toying with writing a few blog posts on what I cook for her, but i’ve been iffy about it because she isn’t vegan, and I can imagine I might get a bit of flak for that from the hardcore vegans out there. She has a thyroid condition, and my vet (while pro-vegan) doesn’t believe she’d be able to get the diet support she needs from a totally vegan diet. I really don’t like doing it, but it is what it is.

        She eats about a 30/70 (veg/meat) diet. I use a base of boiled buckwheat and lentils, with lots of fresh steamed veggies, and alternate between adding chicken and beef mince, and the occasional tin of tuna. Although at the moment it’s probably more of a 20/80 split, because she’s on a bit of a diet – we’ve recently moved, and it turns out the beach-side lifestyle leads to lots of snacking!

        I’ll try and put a proper post together on it this week. Have you tried any of the pre-packaged vegan food, like Dr. Harvey’s? There’s nothing like that in Australia yet (I don’t think?), but I’d definitely consider it if/when we catch up with the rest of the world 😉

        (Wow, sorry for the epic comment!)

      4. Amanda says

        This is a great comment, Kate!! I think it’s amazing that you’re doing what’s best for Amber. As much as I’d love it if everyone could eat vegan (dogs included), diet isn’t one size fits all and different bodies have different nutritional needs. My dogs are not vegan either. Honey has a hormonal condition that was exacerbated by the homemade vegan food I was feeding her, and Barley wasn’t digesting it well. I have yet to find a vegan food with ingredients I’d want to feed them (right now they eat The Honest Kitchen brand in Embark). I’m conflicted about this for sure, but ultimately I want to do what’s best for them.

        Definitely let me know when your post is up!

  6. Julie C says

    You can poke this veggie with your knife (maybe stab is a better option) and then roast it whole. Roasting half way at least makes it SO SO SO much easier to cut! Best wishes.

    1. Amanda says

      I’ve thought about roasting it whole and then cutting it halfway through–glad to know that works well! I used to do the microwave method with spaghetti squash (microwave for a few minutes, then cut & roast), but these days I try to keep my microwaving to a minimum.

  7. Michael Brant says

    I use swim goggles for cutting onions. Super easy. No more tears!

    1. Amanda says

      I thought about getting onion goggles, but swim goggles are a really smart idea–I think I’ll borrow Aaron’s next time. 🙂

  8. Caitlin says

    this is crazy helpful!

    1. Amanda says
  9. Joe says

    Not only a great guide but boy did I laugh a few times at certain elements of the wrier’s psyche and how they were expeessed.

  10. winnie says

    Use an ice cream scoop to clean out the squash. I’ve bent lots of spoon handles trying to scoop with a spoon. Ice cream scoop works great!

    1. Yes!! I’ve been using a cookie dough scoop recently. 🙂

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