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Kitchen Tip: How to Cut Hard Squash

Tips, video and photography provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi.

Whether or not squash is in season, knowing how to cut hard squash is an important lesson for any home cook.

Cutting hard squash of any variety can be difficult and somewhat intimidating, but there are classic techniques for cutting various types of squash, including spaghetti squash, acorn squash and butternut squash that make the process safe and simple.

While squash is available year-round, it is in peak season during the fall and winter, so it’s important to brush up on your knife skills when the season rolls around.

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

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 completely removing the seeds using a large spoon.
  4. Once all of the seeds are removed, place the squash face-down in a pan or on a 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 completely removing the seeds 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 halves 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, 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 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. Now go slice, dice and enjoy squash season!

Chef Billy Parisi headshot
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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