Butternut Squash is quintessential for a fall and winter menu! Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, this versatile squash is perfect for both savory and sweet recipes. The down side? It can be a little tricky to cut and prep. Not anymore! With this Instant Pot hack, I’ll show you how to cut (and peel!) butternut squash and keep all your fingers, too!
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Let’s Talk Benefits of Butternut Squash
So what’s all the fuss about this squash anyway? Butternut squash is low calorie and rich in fiber. It’s even been linked to protecting against heart disease. It’s packed full of nutrients that are important for a balanced diet, and it’s a great source of calcium and iron! It’s also incredibly versatile when it comes to recipes. Butternut Squash can lend itself to both sweet and savory, making it perfect for a Thanksgiving side dish or a Harvest Fest dessert.
Why Is This Squash Just Wasting Away On My Counter?
If Butternut Squash is the perfect fall/winter staple why isn’t it used more often? We’ve all done it, saw it at the grocery store or farmer’s market and thought, yes, I need this. I will totally roast this baby for dinner this week. And then it sits on your kitchen counter, mocking you until it goes bad. So where’s the disconnect? Cutting butternut squash is hard! And slightly terrifying! I can’t tell you how many close calls I’ve had trying to cut into a very hard butternut squash, slipping, and almost slicing my own finger. Well not anymore! I’ve got an Instant Pot Hack for you that will make prepping your butternut squash a breeze. If you’re ready to learn how to cut squash the easy way and the safe way, you’re in the right place!
Instant Pot Butternut Squash
I have already shared my hack of cooking a whole, uncut Butternut Squash in an Instant Pot or Crock Pot in my Butternut Squash Soup post. This makes an awesome puree for soups, sauces, and freezing.
But what if you want to dice up a squash to roast for a salad or side? I played around with the timing in my Instant Pot and found the perfect way to soften up your squash so you can peel and dice without needing stitches. Is there anything this magic pot can’t do?
Just simply follow this step-by-step process and you’ll be good to go!
1. Place your whole Butternut Squash in your Instant Pot, along with 1 cup of water.
2. Cook on manual/high pressure for 8 minutes.
3. Quick release.
4. Let it cool for a few minutes – it will be super hot!
5. Remove from the Instant Pot. Peel using a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the thick skin, then slice your squash down the center. Slice the squash into small cubes to roast or use it in a myriad of recipes!
Cutting my squash this way has easily become my favorite way to prepare winter squashes so they’re ready to use in any of my side dishes or favorite fall recipes.
How to Roast Butternut Squash
In case you haven’t done it before, roasting Butternut Squash is super easy and a great hands off prep item for your week. I love how filling a side of squash is at any meal! It can be used so many different ways!
Here’s how you do it:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the squash cubes on the small sheet pan in a single layer and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper.
- Roast the cut and peeled butternut squash for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Tips for Cutting your Butternut Squash
- It’s always a good idea to use a sharp knife with this kind fo squash. Make sure you have a good knife and don’t hesitate to sharpen it if you need to.
- Always cut your butternut squash on a flat surface. Without this Instant Pot hack, it can be hard to get through and you can risk hurting yourself.
- You can slice the ends of the squash off and toss them since you won’t be eating them.
- Store cut butternut squash in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Alternatively, you can freeze squash too. Transfer it to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
What container is Butternut Squash for the 21 Day Fix? What about the 2B Mindset?
Butternut Squash is counted as a green on the 21 Day Fix and it’s an awesome way to get some veggies into your day. It also works as a great sub for sweet potatoes in your favorite recipes if you want to save those yellows for treat swaps and wine!
As far as the 2B Mindset, all winter squash – including Butternut Squash – counts as an FFC, or fiber filled carb, so it’s a great choice for breakfast or lunches.
Need Some Squash Inspo?
Now that you’re a pro at softening up your butternut squash, check out some of the ways you can incorporate it into your next meal:
- Warm Honey Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole with Hidden Butternut Squash
- Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Easy Shrimp, Kale, and Butternut Squash Saute
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Risotto
- Instant Pot Chicken Curry and Rice
- Butternut Squash Latkes
- Butternut Squash Soup
How to Cut Butternut Squash - Instant Pot Hack
- 1 whole butternut squash
- 1 cup of water
- Place your whole Butternut Squash in your Instant Pot along with 1 cup of water.
- Cook on manual/high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Quick release.
- Let it cool for a few minutes - it will be super hot!
- Remove from the Instant Pot. Peel, then slice your squash down the center. Slice the squash into cubes to roast or use it in a myriad of recipes!
- How to Roast Butternut Squash
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the squash cubes on the baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper. Roast 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Genius! I always baked mine in the oven but this is easier and will be much better in the hotter months not to use the oven. Love learning from you! Thanks!!
Thank you for doing the trial and error so we could have this hack! I’ve been buying precut butternut squash since it’s so dang hard to cut. But when I was given one from a friend, I searched online for a hack! This works PERFECTLY! Fresh is SO much better than precut and this makes it SO easy!
You’re welcome Noelle! I’m so glad you found this post!
Wow! This makes butternut squash 100x easier! Made the recipe tonight and the squash is the perfect consistency for either roasting or pureeing. Thank you!
Yay! Thank you for the feedback and rating!