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Easy Tip For Cutting and Peeling Winter Squash

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Easy Tip For Cutting and Peeling Winter Squash

If you love roasting winter squash like Butternut, Delicata, etc but dread peeling and cutting it (or fear losing a finger), I just learned a great tip today that I thought was worth sharing.

Yesterday I posted a recipe for roasted winter squash, and someone left a comment with this wonderful tip (THANK YOU!), so naturally the first thing I did this morning was grab my squash and test it out. Worked like a charm! Here’s how easy it is to do…

Step One: 

Pierce the skin of the squash with a fork or knife all over.

Step Two: 

Microwave the squash anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes, or longer if needed depending on the size.

Step Three:

Let it cool, them start peeling and cutting! The microwave softens and loosens the skin, making it fall off more easily. 

Easy Tip For Cutting and Peeling Winter Squash

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64 comments on “Easy Tip For Cutting and Peeling Winter Squash”

  1. Great for hard winter squash. But why peel Delicata squash?

    The rind on Delicatas is pretty, tender & edible. 

  2. Any advice on softening the skin in an oven , particularly a Breville convection toaster oven). I love the sound of this recipe but don’t, have a microwave! I’ve been staring at a small butternut squash for a while now and any advice I’ve seen is always microwave based!


  3. I made this tonight in my Instant Pot. It was so good and flavorful!  My grandsons ( 7 and 8) asked for more. We all gobbled it up.  Will make again. Worth the effort.  ?

  4. A peeler with a ceramic blade makes peeling butternut squash much easier!!!  I will definitely use the microwave to make the cutting the squash easier (and save fingers!!).

  5. Great tip, definitely going to try this! The last time I tried cutting a raw squash (3 years ago), I ended up with 5 stitches in my thumb. Since then, I either roast whole or buy the pre-cut!

  6. OMG. THANK YOU. I had hand surgery a month ago and any peeling is rough let alone giant squash like kabocha! Life saver!

  7. Delicata is the one squash that you DON'T have to peel before eating. The skin becomes soft and delightful during the roasting process. I can't recommend this for any other squash.

  8. Thanks for all your amazing recipes Gina and to everyone else for posting their little changes or added suggestions….I love this idea….Any suggestions on how to peel sweet potatoes? They kill my arm and shoulders 🙁

    1. I NEVER peel sweet potatoes!  The skin (immensely edible) is where the vast majority of nutrients lie.

  9. Holy cow….using these instructions cut the cutting/peeling time in half! I love using pumpkin and butternut squashes in the fall, so thanks for sharing this tip!

  10. An additional tip from my husband….use an ice cream scoop to easily remove the seeds and stringy stuff from the middle. Works great for pumpkins, too! Also, I use a cleaver for making the initial cuts. The large, heavy blade goes through the squash easier than a chef's knife.

    1. Avatar photo
      Sandi Sonnenberg

      Love the ice cream scoop idea. My spoons have smooth edges and make it difficult to scrape out the seeds.

  11. My husband used the Flavor Bible a few years ago with some Delicate Squash and came up with a wonderful recipe. Cut in 1/2. Roast in the oven skin down with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste for 20-25 minutes at 400-425. Roast the seeds as well. Then top with lime juice and cilantro and the roasted seeds. Eat the flesh and skin. Very tasty!

  12. I peeled and cut a butternut squash the other day, and got this weird residue that stuck to my hands all night – I googled it and sure enough it's a thing! So weird, I'll just roast in half or buy the pre-diced next time!

  13. I have also put the whole butternut squash into a 350 oven for 10', let cool-skin peels off easy as a cucumber.

  14. I wish I had know this last Sunday when I cut so much squash I ended up with 2 small blisters from chopping so much! I can't wait to use this next time!

  15. Great post – thank you! I do something similar with Spaghetti squash….. after a bit soft, cut in half and continue in the microwave…… then cook and/or season…..

  16. I sure wish I'd known this sooner. I could have saved so much time over the years. Oh well, now I know!

  17. I recently saw a tip somewhere about microwaving a butternut squash for about 2 min (punch a hole or two) ; cool and you're able to peel more easily. I tried it and it works! No more buying pricey diced butternut squash anymore!!!