How to Cut a Butternut Squash Without Losing Your Mind

coconut butternut squash soup with fresh kale and onion garnish and cornbread side

Don’t you love recipes that say “peel and dice a butternut squash”? With what—an axe? Partially baking makes cutting and peeling a butternut squash so much easier. Just follow the easy steps below.

How to cut butternut squash

To partially bake a butternut squash, you can either cut it in half lengthwise (if you own a sharp knife, but if not just wrap the entire thing in foil, put in a casserole dish, and bake at 375º F. for 35 to 55 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. You should be able to  insert a knife into the narrow part with resistance.

How to cut butternut squash step by step Now the squash can be cut in half easily, and the seeds come out readily, too.

How to cut butternut squash

Cut the squash in segments crosswise and peel with a paring knife. You can cut large chunks for roasting, or small dice for adding to soups to be cooked further.

For pureed butternut squash: if you plan to use it for soup like Coconut Butternut Squash Soup with a Garnish of Greens (shown at top) or instead of pumpkin for pie, simply let the squash bake longer in the foil, until you can pierce it with no resistance, then just scoop it away from the skin, and puree. There! You’re now a butternut squash expert.

Remaining photos are from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas ( HarperOne ©2014, reprinted by permission).

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Lauren
    December 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Love it. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Linda Burrell
    December 18, 2015 at 10:32 am

    We’ve had some luck by piercing the squash a few times and microwaving. This actually looks simpler.

    • Reply
      Nava
      December 21, 2015 at 8:25 am

      Linda, you can’t beat the microwave for speed (it’s very good for the smaller hard squashes; with the exception of spaghetti squash, which can explode!); the squash bakes more evenly in the oven.

  • Reply
    Teri Miller
    December 24, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I like the outside (peelings) of the butternut. I just chop cook and eat!

    • Reply
      Nava
      December 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      I suppose it’s fine to eat the peel of the butternut squash, especially if it’s organic. And you must have a very good knife, Teri!

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