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Follow these step-by-step directions for the easiest way to peel and cube a butternut squash.
Butternut squash is a versatile and tasty nutritionally-powerful winter squash that can be used in a variety of recipes from roasted one-pan meals, to soups, veggie bowls, or sauces.
But with its hard, thick, outer layer, butternut squash can be a real pain in the…”butt”ernut to properly peel and cube!
Reasons to love butternut squash
Butternut squash is:
- high in potassium
- low in calories
- loaded with the right vitamins – one cup has 100% of your daily vitamin A and almost half of your vitamin C requirements
- flavorful with slightly sweet nutty flavor
- so versatile – make soup, sauce, roasted veggies, salads, etc
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- Reasons to love butternut squash
- Pin now to save for later:
- The challenges of prepping butternut squash
- Prepare your own butternut squash to use in recipes with this easy (enough) method!
- Recipes on Veggie Fun Kitchen using cubed butternut squash:
- The printable “how-to” directions for peeling and cutting a butternut squash
The challenges of prepping butternut squash
If Mother Nature grew this tasty versatile winter squash as a straight cylinder, we wouldn’t have any problems. But most butternut squashes are rounded with a big bulbous end that makes it challenging to peel and prepare.
Some winter squashes have a tender rind that you can roast and eat without peeling. I have tried this method with butternut squash and while *some* of my squashes have been tender enough to prepare and eat this way, the rind is usually too tough and isn’t as pleasant to eat as an unpeeled delicata squash or a green kabocha (pumpkin) squash.
To be honest, I often resort to buying precut and peeled butternut squash from my grocer’s produce department. This can be a real time-saver for those busy days when you just don’t have the time or energy to go through the somewhat labor-intensive process of peeling, deseeding, and cubing your own.
Even though this is certainly the easy way to acquire nicely prepared butternut squash, it can also be more expensive and a waste of packaging. It might also be hard to find! It’s about a 50-50 chance I’ll be able to find ready-to-go butternut squash on any given day when I need it.
Prepare your own butternut squash to use in recipes with this easy (enough) method!
No, nothing is going to be as easy as buying your butternut squash already prepared and ready to cook. Using this method should take some of the mystery out!
Step 1: cut off both ends
Hold onto your butternut squash carefully with one hand while you slice off each of the ends with a large, sharp knife.
Once you’ve cut off the ends you should be able to set the butternut squash up on either end. This will make it easier to complete the next steps.
Step 2: Peel the skin from the bottom
I find it easier to first peel the skin around (horizontally) from the curvy bottom section. You should be able to use a vegetable peeler. However, I’ve found that sometimes the skin is tough and you need to use a paring knife.
Step 3: Peel off the rest of the skin
Next, I peel the rest of the skin but in a vertical motion – straight down the butternut squash from top to bottom. Again, you might need to use a paring knife for this.
Step 4: Slice into rounds
Slice your peeled butternut squash into rounds. Think of the size you will want each piece to be for your recipe. I like to cut one-inch cubes so I plan and cut my slices accordingly.
Step 5: scoop out the seeds
Once the butternut squash has been peeled and sliced, it’s easy to take a spoon and scoop around the center of each slice to remove the seeds. If you are lucky, you’ll have a few slices that are solid all the way through and seedless – no seed scooping needed there!
Step 6: Cube
Following your recipe’s guidance for the size of the cubes, cut your butternut squash accordingly.
Most of my recipes call for one-inch cubes. It’s so easy to get nice uniform cubes when you slice your butternut squash into rounds first.
You are now ready to go for any recipe using peeled and cubed butternut squash! I find that the average butternut squash yields about 8 cups of one-inch cubed squash. Of course, every squash will be different depending on its size.
Recipes on Veggie Fun Kitchen using cubed butternut squash:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Sauce with Curry and Coconut Milk
- Easy Sheet Pan Meal with Roasted Vegetables and Garbanzo Beans
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary and Thyme
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Ratatouille
The printable “how-to” directions for peeling and cutting a butternut squash
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How to Peel and Cube a Butternut Squash
- chef's knife
- paring knife
- cutting board
- 1 butternut squash
- Hold onto your butternut squash carefully with one hand while you slice off each end with a large, sharp knife.
- Using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, cut around the bottom rounded part to remove the skin. This will be a horizontal motion around the curve.
- Stand the butternut squash up on the cut botom surface. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel the rest of the skin from top to bottom in vertical cuts.
- Slice the peeled butternut squash into rounds – about 1 inch thick.
- Use a spoon to scoop out and remove any seeds from the cut rounds.
- Cube the deseeded, peeled, rounds into the appropriate size.