How to Peel Squash

Peeling squash is the first step toward eating this healthy veggie. Here's how the pros do it.

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If you want to serve gorgeous, herbed cubes of roasted butternut squash for dinner, you’ll need to peel the squash first. Peeling any fruit or vegetable has its challenges, and the bulky size and shape of winter squash can make this especially tricky. Before you take the shortcut and shell out extra money on pre-diced butternut squash, check out this quick and simple to peeling squash. The right technique can really smooth out this process and help you peel and chop this winter squash with ease.

The first step in peeling squash—before anything else—is leveling off that rounded bottom of the squash. This step is crucial and makes a major difference when it comes to safety. Now that awkward squash can stand with confidence on the cutting board without rolling or slipping around! With the butternut squash firmly on flat ground, you can then safely peel the squash from top to bottom using a sharp chef’s knife.

Fair warning: not every recipe requires peeled squash, so make sure you know what you’re making before you start to peel your squash. Mashed butternut squash, for example, can be roasted with the peel on and then scooped out to serve. However, if you’re looking to roast diced squash for salads, tacos, pastas, or even a pizza, you’ll want to peel the squash prior to roasting.

Not sure about exactly how to serve that squash? First, you can actually swap squash into any recipe that uses use diced sweet potato, like as a flavorful side with herb chicken. Here’s a simple preparation tip: After you peel and dice the butternut squash, season it with salt, pepper, and any herbs that you associate with Thanksgiving, such as sage and rosemary. Those earthy, autumn flavors go beautifully with this winter squash!