How To: Peel, Seed & Cut Butternut Squash


Mmmm…butternut squash.

Even the name just sounds delicious.  Well, the butternut part that is.  :)  Still think it’s a tragedy that this beautiful fruit variety has to share its name with a raquetball sport, and the method I use for bidding adios to spiders!  (Way to write an appetizing post….yes?)

Still, I’m crazy about butternut squash and always look forward to its arrival at the farmers’ market each autumn.  Its deep, sweet, nutty flavor always brings so much richness to a dish, and I tend to get a little too excited about the gorgeous color it adds as well!  Love roasting it, adding it to pastas or salads, pureeing it into soups and sauces, or whatever other creative recipes I may find.

Since butternut squash can be somewhat difficult to break into, though, thought I’d pop in a quick post on my favorite way to safely peel, seed and cut them.  Hope this is helpful!  :)



How To: Peel, Seed & Cut Butternut Squash

How To: Peel, Seed & Cut Butternut Squash


  • 1 butternut squash


In order to stabilize the squash, use a heavy sharp kitchen knife to make an even cut 1/2" from the top (stem-end), and then another from the bottom. Discard the parts.

With the squash stabilized on the cutting board (or held in one hand), use a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife to carefully peel away the thick skin of the squash using downward strokes. Once the skin is completely removed, place the squash upright on the cutting board again. Use your heavy kitchen knife to make a vertical cut down the middle of the squash so that it is split in half (as pictured below). Then use a spoon or melon-baller to scoop out the seeds and stringy membranes from the squash cavity. You can either discard these, or rinse and save the seeds to roast. Yum!!

Then use your heavy kitchen knife to cut the squash into the size of pieces you prefer (typically 1/2", 1", or a larger "rough chop"). I find it easiest to cut the squash in two pieces first, and to divide them as pictured below. But of course, go for whatever your recipe says. :)

Then add the pieces to your favorite dish, and cook and enjoy!!!






Leave a Comment:


  1. Kari — November 1, 2009 @ 8:50 pm (#)

    Wow, I really wish I had found this a couple of weeks ago…before I nearly chopped half my fingers off trying to peal and cut my first butternut squash. Thanks for the info!

    If you want to read about the finger chopping:

  2. Amy — November 25, 2010 @ 12:30 pm (#)

    Some years ago, my mother helped me out with the easiest way to make butternut squash…just cut in half, seed, wrap each section tightly with plastic wrap and microwave. The meat of the squash gets cooked and you just it scoop out from the skin. Whatever works best for you.

  3. L. Darnell — July 6, 2011 @ 6:14 pm (#)

    Thanks for this, I had given up trying to get to the wonderful goodness inside this squash!

  4. Vanessa Levin-Pompetzki — October 2, 2013 @ 12:11 pm (#)

    FYI – I kept the seeds and roasted them in the oven. SO YUMMY. :)

  5. Linda — October 5, 2013 @ 12:47 pm (#)

    Instead of peeling the whole butternut squash, which can be slippery to handle, I prefer to slice off the stem end and slice the squash in 1 to 11/2 inch horizontal slices first then peel off the skin and cut each slice into smaller pieces. When you get down to the seeded area scoop out the seed as you cut each new slice. Trying to slice a whole butternut squash length-wise after it has been peeled is asking for a knife-slip kitchen accident.

  6. Karen — November 25, 2013 @ 11:26 am (#)

    One thing I do to make it easier to peel- pop the whole squash in the microwave, and nuke on high for 3 minutes. It. Does not cook the squash, but does make it quite a bit easier to peel…