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Kitchen Tip: How to Cut Hard Squash

How to Cut Hard Squash
August 11, 2020

Today I have a very important lesson for you and that’s how to cut hard fall and winter squashes. My goal is to show you how to do this in the easiest way possible!

Cutting hard squash of any variety can be really difficult and somewhat scary, so I’m here to try to alleviate some of those nerves and show you the most simple and classic techniques for cutting these squashes.

Today I am working with three different squashes: spaghetti squash, acorn squash and butternut squash. While each of these squashes are available all year long, they are in peak season during the fall and winter. Each of these squashes have varying degrees of difficulty when it comes to cutting, so now is a great time to brush up on these knife skills.

The first and most important thing to have on a hand is a very sharp chef’s knife or a longer, thick utility knife. Here we go!

How to Cut Spaghetti Squash

  1. Lay the squash on it’s side. Raise a knife 3-4 inches above the squash and give it a little chop to break into it.
  2. Using your other hand, press down on the top of the blade and slice all the way through.
  3. To prepare the squash, start by removing the seeds completely using a large spoon.
  4. Once all seeds are removed, place the squash face down in a pan or sheet tray with water and bake it in the oven.

How to Cut Acorn Squash

  1. Remove the stem on the top of the squash.
  2. Lay the squash on it’s side. Raise a knife 3-4 inches above the squash and give it a little chop to break into it.
  3. Using your other hand, press down on the top of the blade and slice all the way through.
  4. To prepare the squash, start by removing the seeds completely using a large spoon.
  5. At this point, you can roast the squash as is or cut it into wedges and roast in the oven. If slicing into wedges, be sure to tuck in your fingers that are holding the squash in place to keep them safe.

How to Cut Butternut Squash

  1. Start by separating the top and bottom half of the squash. Place the knife at the point where the neck meets the bulb and using your other hand, press down on the top of the blade and slice all the way through.
  2. Peel the top half using a peeler.
  3. Cut off the stem from the top half.
  4. Slice the top half into 1/2-inch or 1-inch rounds and then dice the rounds into large chunks.
  5. Once diced, the squash is ready to be roasted or added to your favorite soups and stews.
  6. For the bottom half, simply scoop out the seeds and large dice it just like the top half or roast it as is, like the acorn squash.
How to Cut Hard Squash

There you have it! As you can see, cutting hard squash is way easier than you may have thought and I promise, you will be safe using these techniques. Now go slice, dice and enjoy these delicious seasonal squashes!

By Chef Billy Parisi
Chef Billy Parisi is a culinary school grad who spent 15 years in the restaurant industry as a line cook, sous chef and executive chef. Now he develops, photographs and films simple and delicious recipes that will make everyone feel like a chef in their own kitchen.

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