How To Cut Butternut Squash

5 from 3 votes
↓ Jump to Recipe 2

This post may contain affiliate links | disclosure policy

Learn how to cut butternut squash like a pro! Here are the essential techniques for peeling, cutting, and removing the seeds. Then you can create flavor meals with this versatile ingredient.

How to cut and peel butternut squash

Butternut squash is one ingredient that I tend to gravitate towards whenever I’m looking for meal inspiration during the fall and winter seasons. Don’t be intimidated by the tough outer shell. There’s a beautiful orange flesh inside just waiting to be used in your next recipe.

As part of the species Cucurbita moschata, this type of squash has a mildly sweet flavor and creamy texture that lends an incredible richness to any dish, with health benefits to match. Packed with fiber, beta-carotene which gives it the characteristic orange-yellow tone, vitamin C, and potassium.

STEP 1: Gather your tools

Cutting board with chef knife, peeler, and an uncut butternut squash

There are three essential tools you need for cutting and peeling butternut squash, a sturdy cutting board, a sharp chef’s knife, and a peeler. Make sure to place a towel or nonslip padding underneath the board, so it does not move around as you cut.

I found that the Y-shaped peeler is the most ergonomic and easy to use for removing the tough skin, but a traditional peeler can work as well. Make sure to wash and dry the gourd before cutting to reduce the chance of microbial contamination from the outer shell.

STEP 2: Cut the ends

A knife slicing off the bottom portion of a butternut squash

Carefully use slight pressure and a sharp knife to cut off the bottom end and stem tip of the squash. The stem is very tough and it’s much safer and easier to squash once you remove it first.

STEP 3: Peel

Peeler pressing against a butternut squash and removing the skin

Use a peeler or paring knife to remove the lighter outer skin of the squash until the orange flesh is revealed. I peel from the thinner stem end down to the more substantial bottom portion for smoothest results.

Then, cut the squash in half near the center where it starts to get wider, creating two pieces: a cylindrical top part and the rounded bottom. Cut the bottom section in half to expose the seeds.

STEP 4: Remove the Seeds

Hand holding a spoon that is scooping out the seeds of a butternut squash

Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the seeds from the butternut squash. You can clean, dry, and roast the seeds for a healthy savory snack!

STEP 5: Cut into Shapes

Butternut squash cut into different shapes on a white surface

Now you’re ready to slice or dice the butternut squash in the desired shape for cooking. Thin rounds are great for casseroles and gratins, while slices are suitable for roasting with other vegetables in high heat. Smaller 1/4-inch dice are great for soups and stews, while larger ½ to 1-inch dice can be roasted, steamed, or boiled.

Butternut squash recipes

How to Cut Butternut Squash

Learn how to cut butternut squash like a pro! Here are the essential techniques for peeling, cutting, and removing the seeds.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Course Side
Cuisine American


  • 1 butternut squash


  • Preparation – Wash and thoroughly dry the squash. Gather your tools.
  • Cut off the Ends – Place it on a sturdy cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to trim the stem and bottom. If making a roasted whole squash, cut in half lentghwise and then cook.
  • Peel the Squash – Use a peeler or paring knife to peel the thick outer skin. Start at the tapered end and peel down to the more substantial bottom portion.
  • Cut the Squash – Cut in half near the center where it goes from tapered to wider, creating two pieces: a cylindrical top part and a rounded bottom. Cut the bottom section in half lengthwise to expose the seeds.
  • Remove the Seeds – Use a large spoon to remove the seeds. If desired, wash, separate, and dry them for roasting later.
  • Slice and Dice – Use a chef’s knife to cut the butternut squash into the desired shape. Make thin rounds for gratins and casseroles, or cubes (¼ to 1-inch in size) for roasting, steaming, boiling, or sauteing for side dishes, soups, and stews.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 cups
Calories 84kcal (4%)Carbohydrates 22g (7%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 0.2gSaturated Fat 0.04gPolyunsaturated Fat 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat 0.01gSodium 8mgPotassium 660mg (19%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 19931IU (399%)Vitamin C 39mg (47%)Calcium 90mg (9%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

Helpful how-tos

Tried this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram. I'd love to see how it turns out!

Tag @jessica_gavin

Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

Quick & Easy Meals in Under 30 Minutes!
Get 25 simple meals your whole family will love.
Jessica Gavin standing in the kitchen

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

2 Comments Leave a comment or review