Cutting a butternut squash may seem intimidating due to its tough outer skin and unique shape, but with the right technique, it becomes a manageable task. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cut a butternut squash:
- Butternut squash
- Sharp chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler (optional)
Prepare your workspace:
Place a damp paper towel or kitchen cloth under your cutting board to prevent it from slipping.
Wash the squash:
Rinse the butternut squash under cool, running water to remove any dirt or debris.
Cut off the ends:
Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut off both ends of the butternut squash. This will create stable, flat surfaces for further cutting.
Peel the skin (optional):
While not necessary, peeling the squash can make it easier to work with, especially if the skin is thick. You can use a vegetable peeler or a knife to remove the skin carefully.
Cut the squash in half:
Stand the squash upright on one of the flat ends. With a firm grip on the knife, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds:
Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers from the center of each squash half. You can save the seeds for roasting if desired.
Slice or cube the squash:
Lay each half flat on the cutting board and cut them into slices or cubes, depending on your recipe. For pieces, make crosswise cuts, and for cubes, make additional lengthwise cuts.
Store or use immediately:
At this point, you can store the cut butternut squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use or incorporate it into your recipe immediately.
Remember, a sharp knife is crucial for cutting through the tough skin and dense flesh of a butternut squash safely. Take your time, use a controlled motion, and be mindful of your fingers. If you’re uncomfortable cutting the squash, you can also find pre-cut butternut squash in many grocery stores.