How to Clean Butternut Squash

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Butternut squash is often sold already peeled at local grocery stores.
Butternut squash is often sold already peeled at local grocery stores. (Image: squash image by cherie from Fotolia.com)

Cleaning a butternut squash might seem intimidating to a beginner. The outside skin is very tough and it is an odd shape to tackle with a sharp knife. Don't let the cleaning and cutting of a squash deter you from eating this colorful vegetable. It cooks best when mashed, cubed or combined with sauces. The seeds you remove from the squash can be roasted and enjoyed as a healthy snack alternative. Try squash for your daily vegetable serving and you'll likely be pleasantly surprised.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Spoon

Cut the squash into manageable pieces. Holding the squash sideways on a cutting board, use a knife to cut the squash in half at the neck. Depending on the size of the squash, cut the pieces down smaller for easier handling.

Peel the outer edge of the squash off using a vegetable peeler. It helps to hold the squash over a sink and use a downward motion to peel off the skin.

Slice the peeled squash in half with the knife, exposing the seeds. Place the squash on your cutting board and cut from top to bottom.

Spoon out the seeds. Use the spoon and scoop out the seeds from the center of the squash. Discard the seeds or save them for roasting.

Cut down the rest of the squash. Place the squash back on the cutting board and cut into strips and then into bite-sized chunks, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you plan on mashing the squash, cut the squash in half and bake it. When cooked, the skin will peel off, enabling easy mashing of the squash in a bowl.
  • Cutting a squash requires the use of a sharp knife and vegetable peeler. Always use appropriate kitchen safety by making sure children are not involved in this activity.

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