How to Cut and Peel a Kabocha Squash

Today we’re going to do squash.

kabocha squash

Take it from its large, awkward natural state to a nice ready-to-cook state.

This is not revolutionary, I know. But that’s ok because I’ve never really claimed to be a food revolutionary. More like I’m always late to the food trend game and I like taking the easy way out when it comes to food prep.

So this post is for those of you who are like me and typically avoid things like peeling and cutting your own squash. Also, this is a head start for those of you who want to be ready for tomorrow’s homemade squash curry sauce. Helloooo.

Guess what? In the last 6 months, I’ve become regular squash peeler. Like, weekly. I actually keep a little plastic container of cut-up squash in our fridge just for moments like these.

Here’s how I peel my most beloved kabocha squash.

I cut it in half with a huge knife. These suckers can be big. But I just stick the knife in the middle and work around the outside until I get that big guy into two parts.

Peel Kabocha Squash

Then I scoop out the goop and seeds. Is there a more technical word than goop? Just get rid of it.

Peel Kabocha Squash

Then I cut the halves into 4-5 wedges. I take each piece, lay it on its flat side, and cut the peel off. Usually I have to do this in a few pieces – it doesn’t all come off in one piece.

Peel Kabocha Squash

Then I dice, cut, chop, whatever you wanna call it.

Peel Kabocha Squash

The sky’s the limit here. Stir frying. Roasting. Souping. Salading. And my favorite, making creamy sauces.

Go love yourself some squash.

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  1. I love squash, especially butternut and acorn, however, I have never made sauces out of them, I may have to look into that! Thank you for sharing! :)

  2. I’m always not sure how to handle these things, but I think cutting and scooping is a good place to start! : )

  3. I’m with Rachel. I need sharper knives, but I think the results are worth it! 😉

  4. You actually don’t need to peel a Kabocha squash – the peel is edible and actually quite delicious!

  5. Good tips…I know the first time I tried to “clean” a squash I had no idea what I was doing…I am sure this will be very valuable to those just starting out cooking!

  6. Goop? That sounds right to me! :)

  7. I love me some squash! Plus I just think they’re pretty :-) But I’m a complete newby at fixing them myself.

  8. Hooray for squash! I think I’ve made 3 butternut squashes and a spaghetti squash in the past 2 weeks. Excited for your squash curry tomorrow – sounds like an awesome combo!

  9. Nice tutorial, squash can be tough!

  10. I am squash obsessed, and we have a boatload of it at home right now! I adore squash curry, so I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Question: Have you ever tried cubing acorn? I’ve never seen it done or listed in recipes as needing to be cubed, so I’m curious if it’s feasible.

    (PS. I love to keep in ready to go too. Just did butternut enchiladas last night!)

  11. This is a timely post. So timely, in fact, that’s it’s a little creepy. Literally a minute before I opened up my browser to check your blog, we were sitting around at work discussing squash peeling/de-gooping techniques. Well done.

  12. Great tutorial! I always include peeling and cutting squash as part of my workout for the day. :)

  13. Kombucha is one of my favorite squash’s to cook with now thanks to your creamy squash soup post awhile back. I just posted a recipe last night using Kombucha! It’s in a Thai curry sauce over rice =)

  14. I looove kabocha squash! I’m actually growing some in my backyard now, and can’t wait to harvest them :) Growing up, my mom would simmer the kabocha in dashi and soy sauce, and to this day it’s still my favorite way of eating it. It’s so versatile though, can’t wait to see how you use it!

  15. There once was a lady named Lindsay,
    Whose way with a squash was pure whimsy,
    She’d dispatch lowly goop,
    Transform chunks into soup,
    Thanks to knives that were strong and not flimsy.

  16. Thanks for the tips! Kabocha is one of my favorites, but it IS a lot of work. BTW, don’t toss those seeds–wash, prep and roast as you would pumpkin seeds–they’re even better!

  17. What a good post. I have head the kambucha is wonderful but I wouldn’t even know where to begin slicing it up!

  18. Looks like a good method! I do love squash especially this time of year. One shortcut I do sometimes is simply halving & seeding the squash, then roasting it with a bit of olive oil. Then you can just scoop out the flesh and never bother with the peeling.

  19. great tips!

  20. Whenever I write about squash, I feel like I keep repeating the word ‘flesh’ and it grosses me out after a while. There must be a better way!

  21. I never peel kabocha squash – the peel is much lighter than other squash and very edible – try it!

  22. This article was not helpful at all. It should mention peeling is not necessary. After working up a sweat trying to “peel” the squash I looked beyond this article and found better advice. Maybe mention early in this article that peeling isn’t necessary.

  23. Thank you so much! Very simple and straight forward instructions! Really saved me a whole lot of time. Very grateful for the beautiful pictures and instructions :-)

  24. Thank you so much for this! My mom has cooked this squash forever but never showed me how to cut it (well, I never asked). I’m cooking this tonight for baby food tomorrow!

  25. I was looking for wild rice recipes and found your Harvest Wild Rice Skillet, which looks yummy! I checked the link for cutting squash and found this post. Because I’m not able to exert a lot of force when cutting things any more, I’ve learned alternative methods you might find helpful.

    Since I’m not a regular on your site, I don’t know how you feel about microwaves, but the easiest method is to poke a few holes in the whole squash, then pop it into the microwave until it has softened a bit (time depends on size of squash), then let it sit until cool enough to handle, cut, scoop out seeds, peel, and go on with your recipe.

    Alternately, I pop the whole squash into a large pot of water, bring to a boil, and either boil for 5-15 minutes (depending on size of squash) until slightly softened OR once it reaches the boiling point, cover, turn off heat, and let sit in hot water for 30-90 minutes (depending on size of squash) until slightly softened. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut, scoop out seeds, peel, and go on with recipe.

    Regardless of the method, I don’t cook the squash all the way through, just enough to make it much easier to peel and cut up.

    Note: This may also cut the cooking time for whatever recipe you’re making since the squash will be partially cooked.

  26. Picked up a really pretty squash at the end-of-season sale at the produce market. Thought I could easily find the type and how to use on the internet – it might be a Carnival squash. Do you know of a really good site that helps identify the numerous and various kinds of squash? I will probably roast these but your recipes are divine!

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