Best Way to Prepare Butternut Squash

Best Way to Prepare Butternut Squash

September 17, 2016   7 Comments

Do you know the best way to prepare butternut squash? The techniques are a matter of opinion, but using the microwave makes the peeling and cubing of this tough squash an easy job.

Last year, I wrote about using the slow cooker for butternut squash. Many people commented on that post that I was missing the boat and I should use my microwave.

I wasn’t sure that a butternut squash would fit in my microwave but I am always game to try something new – especially if it will make my life easier.

The goal here is to make it easy to peel, seed, and chop the squash so you are ready to use it in recipes such as my roasted butternut squash with cinnamon or my favorite soup on this planet, butternut squash coconut curry soup.

I decided to shoot photos of all the steps so you would be convinced to pick up a fresh butternut squash from your grocery store or farmer’s market.

First, you stab it all over with a sharp paring knife. This is the fun part. Keep in mind that if you don’t do this, the steam inside the squash will force it to explode in your microwave – not fun.

Then, you try to fit it in your microwave. This squash is about 3 pounds and it fit into my wee little microwave. You can cut the squash into chunks if it doesn’t fit as a whole squash.

Turn it on for five minutes and check to see if you have softened it. It took my lame microwave 15 minutes to soften the butternut squash enough to prepare it.

Peeling should be easy now! The squash is soft and it also should be easy to pull out all of the seeds.

Because the seeds and the strings attached were softened by cooking, it was easy to spoon it out.

Finally, the softening allows you to cut it into chunks in a flash. The squash next to the peel will be a little bit softer and this whole preparation process is a bit messy BUT I had about 3 pounds of cubed squash when I finished.

This cost me a fraction of what it would have cost if I had bought the squash pre-cut. You can now freeze the squash for later use.

If you don’t have a microwave or don’t like to use it – try my slow cooker version.

Have you used the microwave to help you with preparing butternut squash?

Other posts you might like:

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash

Easiest Recipe for Butternut Squash: Slow Cooker

I have been on a butternut squash kick because it is so goooood.....

Roasted Butternut Squash

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

Winter is still here and you can’t go wrong with butternut squash....

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This is brilliant! [Couldn't help but remember how I ended up in the ER with a near loss of my left index fingertip cutting a hard squash, can still see scar.] And then you threw in ''you can now freeze the squash''! My favorite thing is freezing and not wasting food. I'm looking forward to having BN all ready for an impulse recipe instead of staring at that gourd on my counter usually for weeks. :)

on September 17, 2016

I rinse it off and put it whole on a cookie sheet in the oven at 375 degrees for an hour. I usually also bake a few beets (wrapped in foil), a couple of yams (wrapped in foil), or maybe a meatloaf or something while I have the oven on.

on September 17, 2016

This came at just the right time. I bought a big beautiful butternut squash at the Farmer's market last week and had planned to roast it up tomorrow. However, as soon as I read this post, I decided to get it out of the way. I poked it all over, placed it in the microwave for 10 minutes (rotated it about every 3 minutes), and then let it rest for a few minutes. Watch out when you're handling it once heated, the skin and stem can get really hot. A word of caution, I found the ends get done a lot faster than the middle section. I didn't put it I the microwave for more time because I wanted it to still be a little firm. However, it was still so much easier than trying to cut it completely raw. I diced it into about 1" cubes, placed the pieces in storage bags, and into the freezer. No sore hands and now I'm ready to roast the pieces to make my butternut squash soup or use the pieces as a side dish. Thanks so much for this time saver!

on September 17, 2016

I am always so afraid of the chance I could cut myself with the hard butternut squash, I have always wimped out and bought the 'already cubed' squash. Thanks for the great idea, this is sure to be a money saver!

on September 17, 2016

I have never used frozen butternut squash. Should it be thawed first?

on September 19, 2016

@Carol - yes, you should thaw it first. Thanks for your question!

on September 19, 2016

what a great idea. can't wait to try it. i love butternut squash. now to figure out a way to attack spaghetti squash. LOL!!!!!! i don't get to cook very often but when i do you are the go to person for recipes and real ideas that are doable.

on October 10, 2016

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