Here’s how to tackle this thick-skinned, curvy vegetable.

 

All you need to cut a butternut squash is a knife, a cutting board, and confidence. It also helps to choose a squash with a long, straight neck—they are much easier to peel and slice than their shapely counterparts. Make sure your chef’s knife is sharp. A dull knife won’t be able to easily cut through the squash’s thick skin and you may risk cutting yourself. If you’re nervous about the cutting board slipping around as you work, place a kitchen towel underneath the board to help anchor it as you slice the squash.

When you’re ready (you can do this!), follow these five simple steps to make nice and neat cubes of squash that are ready to be roasted in the oven or sautéed on the stovetop.   

1. Cut off both ends

Place the squash on its side on the cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, carefully slice off and discard the top and bottom of the squash.

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2. Cut it in half

Next, cut the squash straight down the middle to make two parts, separating the straight neck and the round bottom.

3. Peel the skin

Use a y-shaped vegetable peeler to remove all of the skin from the round and straight halves of the squash. Discard the peels.

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4. Cut in half

Once the squash is peeled, cut both halves in half to make four large pieces. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds from the round halves.

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5. Slice and cube

Cut each large piece into uniform slices (about ½-inch thick), then cut the slices into cubes or chunks. (If roasting, cut the pieces the same size so that they cook evenly.) Prepare the squash as desired.

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