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This quick guide will walk you through how to cut acorn squash like a pro! You’ll learn 5 different ways to cut acorn squash, how to soften acorn squash, how to peel it, and how to best store it after being cut. Recipes are made easier when you master your knife skills!
WHY learn to cut acorn squash
- Great for stuffing. Cutting acorn squash in half to create a bowl is great for stuffing with all kinds of foods. Try a vegetarian stuffing like the one from my quinoa stuffed peppers, or fill it with rice and chicken. You can really get creative with this concept.
- Perfect for adding to recipes. Cubed acorn squash is perfect for adding to your soups, and stuffing. It’s also the perfect bite-sized cut for roasting with your fav veggies.
- Fun, creative cuts. Cut into slices or rings for a fun way to display your acorn squash and all its beautiful colors. When cutting it into rings, you get a unique shape where the ridges are defined and look like a flower.
- Storing in the freezer. Once you learn how to cut the acorn squash in different ways, you can bulk up on the seasonal vegetable to enjoy all year long. Once cut, freeze in a single layer before transferring it to a sealed container to store in the freezer.
how to soften acorn squash before cutting
- Boil. Place the whole squash in boiling water for about 15 minutes.
- Steam. In a double boiler or a pot with a steamer or colander on top, place the whole squash in and add a lid on top. Steam for about 15 minutes or until the skin is tender.
- Microwave. Pierce the squash with a knife or fork to make a few holes for steam to escape. Then, place the acorn squash in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 3-4 minutes, depending on size.
how to peel an acorn squash
- Soften acorn squash by using one of the above methods: boil, steam, or microwave.
- After softening the squash, add to cold water and chill for 5 minutes until able to handle.
- The safest way to peel an acorn squash is to use a vegetable peeler. You can peel it while whole, or cut it down into slices or wedges and then peel.
- Alternatively, if you are comfortable with your knife skills, use a chef’s knife to carefully slice the outermost part of the skin from the squash. Start by cutting off the top and bottom. Place the cut side down on a cutting board and use a knife to cut down the sides of the squash, following its curvature.
HOW TO cut acorn squash 5 ways
Below you’ll find 5 different ways to cut acorn squash with step-by-step images for easy knife skills to get you the perfect cut for whatever your recipe calls for.
cut acorn squash in half
- Place the squash on its side and cut the top and bottom off.
- Stand it up on the cutting board with the cut side down and use a sharp knife and place it in the center of the squash. Use both hands on the knife to slowly rock the knife back and forth, pressing down until sliced through to the bottom.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and membrane.
cut acorn squash into Slices
- Cut in half and remove seeds and pulp.
- Place a half cavity side down on a cutting board, and slice across the ridge crosswise into half-moon-shaped pieces.
cut acorn squash into wedges
- After removing the lid and pulp, cut the squash in half down the middle
- Rotate one half with the cavity side down and slice along the ridges lengthwise into desired thickness.
cut acorn squash into cubes
- Follow the instruction above for cutting into wedges.
- Then, cut the wedges into cubes.
cut acorn squash into rings
- Lay a whole squash on its side and remove the top.
- Continue slicing down the squash into rings.
- Use a spoon to remove and scoop out the seeds and membranes from each ring.
- Discard the seeds or save them for roasting.
TIPS FOR cutting an acorn squash
- Place the cutting board on a damp paper towel or towel. This will prevent the cutting board from slipping while you cut the squash.
- Make sure to cut the top and bottom ends of the squash before cutting any of the styles. This way, you can stand the squash on one of the cut ends and prevent it from rolling.
- Use a rubber mallet if the squash is tough to cut. You can insert the knife in the middle of the acorn squash, then tap the mallet on the knife slowly, which will then split the acorn squash in half.
- Don’t worry about peeling the acorn squash rind. It is completely edible, full of fiber, and also delicious.
recipes to make with acorn squash
- Acorn Squash Soup
- Roasted Acorn Squash
- Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
- Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Acorn Squash Pasta
HOW TO STORE cut squash
Store the cut squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze it in a zip-top bag.
HOW LONG WILL squash LAST IN THE FRIDGE?
Once cut, acorn squash can last from 4-6 days when stored in the fridge.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It is not necessary to remove the skin from acorn squash as it is quite tender after cooking. Because it is a little thicker and can have a bitter flavor, it is reasonable to remove it with a vegetable peeler or knife.
When choosing a ripe acorn squash, here are a few things to look for: the color will be a mix of orange and green, it will be heavy for its size, and the skin will be dull with no soft spots.
Use a large, heavy chef’s knife to cut squash easily. Check out my Knife Guide to find the perfect knife.
Now that you’ve mastered cutting acorn squash into different sizes with this easy how-to tutorial, you can start creating and cooking recipes that use acorn squash.
MORE cutting tutorials:
- How to Cut Beets
- How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
- How to Cut Butternut Squash
- How to Cut Green Onions
- How to Cut Fennel Bulb
- How to Cut a Whole Chicken
- How to Chop Parsley
- How to Cut an Apple
- How to Cut Leeks
- How to Cut Eggplant
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How to Cut Acorn Squash (5 ways)
- 1 acorn squash
Cut in Half
- Lay the squash on its side and remove about ½ inch from the top and bottom. Place the squash on the cutting board with the cut side down.
- Place a sharp knife in the middle of the squash and use both hands to rock the knife in a sawing motion to slowly and carefully slice it down the middle and create two halves
- Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the membrane. Discard the seeds or save them for roasting.
Cut into Slices
- Cut the acorn squash in half per above, then place the acorn squash cavity side down. Slice across the ridges crosswise into desired sizes.
Cut into wedges
- Cut the acorn squash in half per above, then place the acorn squash cavity side down. Slice along the ridges lengthwise into desired sizes.
Cut into cubes
- Cut the acorn squash into wedges per above, then cut across the wedges into cubes.
Cut into rings
- Lay the squash on its side, remove about 1-inch from the top, then make slices across the ridges crosswise until you reach the other end of the squash. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the membrane from each ring. Discard the seeds or save them for roasting.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.