Illustrated Techniques

A Lumberjack Badger Shows You How to Cut Butternut Squash

A Lumberjack Badger Shows You How to Cut Butternut Squash

A Lumberjack Badger Shows You How to Cut Butternut SquashIllustrations by Kaitlin Kostus

Winter squash is always a pain to prep because it’s so tough to cut through, but butternut squash isn’t just tough to cut, it also has a weird shape. Butternut squash is a beast! But it’s a delicious beast! So it’s important to learn to conquer it.

Equipment for Cutting Butternut Squash
No tutorial on how to cut butternut squash would be complete without a discussion of equipment. A sharp, strong chef’s knife is absolutely essential. If you don’t have a budget for a full set of high quality knives, at least buy a good chef’s knife โ€” it’s kind of life-changing. Without a sharp knife, you’ll find yourself sawing and hacking and that’s when accidents are likely to occur. A stable cutting board is important too โ€” you want a board that will stay in place, rather than sliding all over the countertop or rocking back and forth while you cut.

You’ll also need a sturdy peeler, because butternut squash skin is tough. While some people leave the skin on butternut squash (it is edible), I find it unpleasant to eat, so unless you know for sure that you like it, I’d error on the side of peeling.

Cut the ends off the squash
Start by cutting both ends from the squash. Use strong, quick movements and use your free hand to hold the squash firmly in place โ€” keeping your fingers a safe distance from the knife, of course!

Peel the squash
Now use your peeler to remove the skin.

Cut the neck off of the squash
There are two parts of a butternut squash โ€” the neck and the body. The neck is the thinner part that ends with the stem. It can vary in length and width, but you can usually tell where it starts because the squash begins to taper in size at that point. Holding the squash firmly in place, cut the neck from the squash.

Cube the neck
What you do next depends on the recipe you’re making. Because most recipes call for cubed butternut squash, we’re going to focus on that. Cut the neck into thick rounds, then lay each round flat on the cutting board and cut them into cubes. You can stack 2-3 similarly sized rounds and cut them at the same time, or cube them one at a time if it’s easier for you that way.

Halve the body of the squash
Now you’ll tackle the body of the squash. Cut it in half lengthwise.

Scoop the seeds out
Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and pulp out of the squash. Bonus: the seeds can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds!

Slice the body into half moons
Slice each round into half-moons…

Cube the half moons
…then cut the half moons into cubes. They won’t be perfect squares, but that’s okay!

Use your cubed butternut squash in soups and stews, salads, as a topping for pizzas, or just roast it in the oven as a side dish.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Millie | Add A Little
    September 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    This is one of the cutest things I’ve seen on the internet!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    September 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Cute and useful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    September 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I love this series! At the end, they should all have a dinner party! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Renee H.
    September 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    I was just chatting with my dad about what a hassle it is to prepare this bulbous beast! You read my mind. Sorry if this has been asked before but who did your illustrations? I hope to see more of this guy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Amy
    September 30, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Oh, my gosh, those are the best illustrated directions! Darling. After nearly cutting my hand off more than once, I started just baking the whole darn thing, then cutting in half after it’s baked. Easy peasy!

  • Reply
    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily
    September 30, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I once had a butternut squash EXPLODE all over my face and body because it was impossible to cut so I stuck it in the oven whole. When I went to give it the poke test the bang was so loud everyone jumped of the couch! Ouch! Thanks for this cute tutorial! Sharing everywhere ๐Ÿ˜‰ oxox

  • Reply
    Heather Mason
    September 30, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    haha, that’s cute! I cut some squash the other day, it is a challenge. I did it alright, definitely not this fancy.

  • Reply
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen
    October 1, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Amaze-balls!

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    October 1, 2014 at 9:21 am

    So CUTE! I love these illustrations : )

  • Reply
    Martina @ snapshotsandwhatnots
    October 1, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Cutting it raw is always so much effort that I just get lazy and cut it in half and then bake it. I love these illustrations!

  • Reply
    Cassie
    October 1, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Cuteness and helpfulness all in one post!

  • Reply
    Jaime
    October 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    This is fantastic, love it!

  • Reply
    Meg van der Kruik
    October 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    This guy might just be the cutest foodie creature featured yet…although I do love that metal head squirrel.

  • Reply
    Howie
    November 4, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Very cool! I love learning from animals ๐Ÿ˜€

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