How to cut butternut squash | Byron Talbott
How to Cube Butternut Squash
There are plenty of uses for tasty and healthy butternut squash. You can use the squash in a soup, add it to a stew or use it in place of pumpkin in a pie. Butternut squash also tastes delicious when mashed, roasted or steamed. The one thing that may prevent you from eating, serving, or storing butternut squash is that it can be difficult to cut due to its tough flesh. Cube squash like a pro using a sharp knife and vegetable peeler, then cook the cubed vegetables to your liking.
Prepping the Squash
Slice off the ends of the squash.It is best to use a sharpened chef’s knife to cut the hard flesh of an uncooked butternut squash. The chef’s knife should have a large blade long enough to reach beyond the width of the largest end of the squash. Slice about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the squash and another 1/4 inch from the stem end of the squash.
- Gently push the knife through the skin until you feel it is secure in the meat of the squash and not going to slip, then apply more pressure to cut through the squash.
- Throw away or compost the portion of squash you cut off.
Peel the skin from the outside of the squash.Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the outside of the squash. Hold the squash in one hand and peel down the length of the squash in strips until all of the skin has been removed.
- Remove the skin completely, but don't peel so deeply that you remove too much of the squash's meat.
- You may find that a Y-shaped peeler with a serrated blade is the best choice to peel the skin.
- Poke holes in the skin of the squash with a fork and microwave it for 2 minutes to make peeling easier.
Stand the squash on the cutting surface.The squash should be able to stand on its own on the flat portion created by slicing off the bulbous end. If the slice was not straight enough for the squash to balance on end, make another slice to even out the bottom, then stand the squash up on the board.
Cut the squash in half along the length of the squash.Place your knife on the center of the top of the squash and cut down the length of the squash to the bottom. This can be difficult since the flesh is tough.
- If you struggle to get the knife through the squash, try using a mallet to hammer the knife through. Be extremely careful: You don't want to cut yourself or have the butternut squash fly across your kitchen.
- Gently tap the flat ends of the knife with the mallet, alternating between the tip end and the handle end to move the knife evenly through the squash.
Spoon the seeds out of the center.There is a hole in the center of the bulbous part of the squash. This hole is filled with seeds and pulp. Use a large metal spoon with a thin edges to scrape along the edges of the hole. Remove the seeds and pulp from both halves until the center of the hole is clean and matches the rest of the squash.
- You can throw the seeds away or rinse the pulp off, toss the seeds with oil and salt, and roast them in the oven.
Cutting the Cubes
Lay the squash down on the cutting board.Place each squash half cut side down on the cutting board. This will give you stability while you are cutting the squash into cubes.
Separate the bulbous end from the narrower top section of the squash.To make your work easier and create more even slices, make a cut across the width of the squash to separate the bulbous section from the top section.
- You will now have 4 sections of butternut squash, 2 long narrow halves and 2 shorter, more bulbous halves.
Cut 1 inch strips out of the length of the squash.Using your chef’s knife, make cuts one inch apart along the length of each section. Do this for all four sections of the squash.
Halve the deeper portions of squash along the length.Some sections of the squash will be deeper than one inch. Take these section and lie them on their sides. Cut them in half to create long strips of squash that have the width of a square inch.
- You can stack several pieces when making this cut, allowing you to cut several strips at one time.
Cross cut the strips into 1 inch cubes.Lay several 1 inch strips next to each other on your cutting board, then stack more strips on top of those ones. Make a cross cut every inch of the strips to create one inch square cubes.
- You should get 4 cups of cubes from a one and a half pound butternut squash.
To cube butternut squash, start by slicing off the ends and removing the outer skin with a vegetable peeler. Next, cut the squash in half length-wise and use a large metal spoon to scrape out the seeds. Then, separate the bulbous end from the skinny end for both halves so that you end up with 4 pieces. Finally, cut 1-inch strips down the lengths of the squash pieces, lay the strips next to each other, and make cross cuts to create 1-inch cubes.
Video: How To Cut A Butternut Squash | Cubes
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