How to Peel a Butternut Squash

Three Parts:Starting the Peeling ProcessCompleting the PeelingCutting the Squash

Butternut squash is a delicious and versatile winter squash that is a staple during the holiday season in some countries. Cutting and peeling this tough fruit is no easy feat, though; you will need steady hands, a very sharp knife, and a sharp vegetable peeler. With a little time and dedication, you will be able to successfully peel a butternut squash.

Part 1
Starting the Peeling Process

  1. 1
    Wash the butternut squash. This will assure your squash is free of any contaminants before you consume it. The washing process is simple. Run your squash under tap water, making sure to clean off all sides.[1]
    • Do not use any kind of soap to wash your squash.
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    Cut the ends off the squash. You should cut about 1/4 of an inch from either end of the squash. Use a sharp knife to get a good, clean cut. Hold the squash in your hand to keep it steady as you cut.[2]
  3. 3
    Microwave the squash. Peeling a squash can be difficult, as a squash's skin is so thick. Microwaving the squash can help soften the skin, making the peeling process easier later.[3]
    • Take a fork and poke holes along the surface of the squash.
    • Place the squash in the microwave, on a microwave safe plate.
    • Microwave the squash for three and a half minutes. If the squash's skin still feels thick, you can microwave it for another 30 seconds.

Part 2
Completing the Peeling

  1. 1
    Select a sharp knife and peeler. Squashes can be tough, so choose strong tools. Select a large, sharp knife, like a butcher's knife, over something smaller, like a steak knife. You should also have a high quality vegetable peeler, designed to tackle tough skins.[4]
    • It's very important that your knife is sharp. A dull knife may slip out of your hand during the cutting process, causing injury.
    • If a knife's blade is dull, select a different knife. A recently sharpened or purchased knife would work well.
  2. 2
    Use a sturdy cutting board. Your squash should remain still throughout the peeling process. It needs to be held firmly against a sturdy cutting board. Use one hand to press the squash against the board. You can use your other hand to peel.[5]
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    Peel the squash length-wise. Run the peeler along the length of the squash. Move from one end to another, pressing down firmly enough on the squash to remove its skin. Use long strokes.[6]
    • Turn the squash as necessary to peel all sides.
    • Remember to keep the squash still as you peel.
    • Examine the squash when you finish. Check to make sure all the skin is removed. If you missed a spot, place the squash back on the board and peel off that skin.

Part 3
Cutting the Squash

  1. 1
    Cut the squash lengthwise. This means you should cut the squash along the middle. Make a long cut running from the top of the squash to the bottom.[7]
    • Be careful how you hold the squash when cutting. Make sure the knife's blade does not face the hand holding your squash. If you slip up, you could end up cutting your hand.
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    Scoop out the seeds. You will find two circular crevices inside the squash. These crevices will be filled with seeds, which should be removed prior to eating the squash.[8]
    • Take a metal spoon and scoop out the seeds, as well as any pulp.
    • Seeds and pulp may be sticky or watery. You may have to scrape the surface of the squash with the spoon to remove leftover residue.
  3. 3
    Slice the two pieces of squash in half. Cut them in half width-wise rather than length wise. You should be left with four somewhat square-like pieces of squash. Two of the pieces with be slightly smaller. Two of the pieces will be rounder and larger.[9]
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    Cut the squash into cubes. Work with one piece of squash at a time. Cutting lengthwise, cut the cube into six even slices. These should look something like carrot sticks.[10]
    • Stack the slices on top of each other on your cutting board.
    • Make a series of cuts across the length of the stacked slices, making cuts in roughly even intervals. You should be left with a pile of several small cubes of squash.
    • Repeat this process with the remaining three pieces of squash.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen knife
  • Serrated peeler
  • Spoon
  • Cutting board

Article Info

Categories: Squash | Peeling Food