How to Peel and Prep a Butternut Squash, Accident-Free
I've always loved butternut squash. It's slightly sweet, so versatile, and so, so delicious. It can be enjoyed in both sweet and savory dishes, and it's especially popular in the fall. But despite how beloved it is, a lot of people (like myself) are afraid of peeling and cutting one up. Much like a pumpkin, butternut squash can be tricky (and difficult) to work with. The knife can slip or get stuck mid-cut, which is never fun when prepping a meal. But since it'd be a bummer to miss out on this fall vegetable at home, I thought I'd help you out with instructions on how to prep it yourself (trust me, if I can do, anyone can!). Here's a step-by-step lesson so you can do it yourself and save money on those precut packages at the store.
Slice Off the Top and Bottom
To get started, you'll need a sturdy chef's knife, a Y-peeler, a sharp-edged spoon, a cutting board, and a strainer — oh, and a butternut squash, of course. Be sure to wash the butternut squash. Then begin by slicing off the top of the squash, where the stem stump will be. Create a flat surface by cutting off the bottom, as well.
Split in Half Lengthwise
Set the butternut squash on its flat bottom, and then carefully split the squash in half lengthwise.
Peel the Butternut Squash
Peel the squash from top to bottom using the Y-peeler. Many people peel before cutting the squash in half, but I find it's easier to peel the squash when it lies flat on a large, stable surface.
Scoop Out the Seeds and Pulp
Use a spoon to scoop out the stringy pulp and the seeds. Set aside.
Clean Out Squash
After you've thoroughly scraped the inside of the squash, the center should be smooth, with no stringy pulp whatsoever.
Separate the Seeds From the Pulp
Wash the seeds in a strainer, separating them from as much of the stringy flesh as possible. For a tasty snack, roast the seeds by following the same process as you would to roast pumpkin seeds.
Cube the Butternut Squash
To cube the trickier rounded bottom of the squash, slice it into manageable half-moons, and then slice them at an angle for a rough cube.
Admire Your Butternut Squash
Your finished product should look like this. For a simple (and delicious) side dish, toss the cubed squash in olive oil and roast, or simmer into soup. I used mine to make a butternut squash and cheddar bread pudding!