Relax, It's Just Butternut Squash

Don’t be intimidated by breaking down a whole butternut squash! Check out Katie’s foolproof how-to gallery for step-by-step tips.

Photo by: Laura Agra

Laura Agra

Perhaps during a fall trip to the market you’ve been charmed by the heaping piles of colorful winter squash, stout and curvy, and wanted to bring them home. Perhaps you have. And perhaps once you’ve unpacked the squash and put them on the counter, you’ve thought, “Now what?”

Photo by: Laura Agra

Laura Agra

While peeled and cubed winter squash, most often butternut, is readily available, it is usually much pricier per pound than the whole version. But between you and that delicious bright orange vegetable is a butterscotch-colored armor of a shell, and it’s easy to see why people are intimidated by knowing how to get from A to Z in terms of preparing it for cooking.

Photo by: Laura Agra

Laura Agra

Some winter squashes have very ridge-y exteriors (like the acorn variety). Those are best baked or roasted in their skins, and then they can be either served as is, in the shell, or the cooked squash can be scooped out and mashed or pureed for various recipes. But butternut squash is actually quite easy to turn from its cylinder-meets-dumbbell shape into large or small cubes, or slices, for use in all sorts of wonderful dishes. And knowing how to dismantle this versatile, cold-weather beauty will not only save you some cash, but also ensure that you are cooking with a much fresher product.

Don’t be intimidated by breaking down a whole butternut squash! Check out Katie’s foolproof how-to gallery for step-by-step tips.

Once you’ve mastered the peeling and chopping, you’re ready to cook. Start with Katie’s perfect fall recipe for Butternut Squash Soup.

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