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How to Prep Butternut Squash

Butternut squash can be one of those intimidating ingredients from a prep standpoint. The outer skin is tough enough to make peeling it a challenge with a vegetable peeler. And it has a really awkward shape to make it difficult to cut off. There are two methods for you to try, either of which will make you more confident to attempt prepping butternut squash on your own instead of having to resort to more expensive precut versions.

Method 1 - Roast the butternut squash with skin on

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Halve the butternut squash lengthwise from the stem end to the base using a sharp sturdy knife.
  • Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits in the middle using a metal spoon.
  • Place each half skin side down on a tray so the flat cut side is pointing up.
  • Roast for 35-45 minutes until they are fork tender.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Now it will be easy to scoop the flesh out and use it in your favorite recipe. Just know the recipes may need adjusting given you are starting with cooked butternut squash, not raw.
Method 2 - Cube the butternut squash (my go-to method)
  • Get a large cutting board and a sharp sturdy knife.
  • Slice the butternut squash into even sized discs starting at the stem end and working your way down to the base. Choose a spacing based on the size you want for your final cubes (I like one inch discs).
  • You will notice some of the discs have the middle seeds and stringy bits. Remove them using a metal spoon or simply cut them out with your knife trying to keep as much flesh as possible.
  • Now working with one disc at a time, lay the disc flat on the cutting board. You can now easily cut the skin off by going around the outside of each disc turning each disc into a stop sign type shape. I usually make 6-8 cuts per disc. Any more is too much work and any less feels like I'm removing too much flesh. And if one of the disc edges tilts a bit, I try to follow that angle.
  • Next cut the discs into cubes by making cuts one direction to create sticks and then the other way to create cubes.
  • Discard all your skins and ends and you'll have a nice pile of cubed butternut squash ready to use in your favorite recipe.