Learn how to cut delicata squash three different ways: into rings, half-moons (“fries”), and cubes. This post includes step-by-step photos and a short video, plus tips on storing, freezing, and cooking delicata squash.
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We’ve been talking a lot about winter squash on the blog lately, and I’m keeping the trend going with this post on how to cut delicata squash.
If you remember from my tutorial on How to Cut Butternut Squash into Cubes, it takes more muscle to cut some types of squash than others! Fortunately, delicata squash is one of the easiest varieties to slice and dice.
It has softer skin than butternut, kabocha, or hubbard squash, and I don’t even bother peeling it! The skin tastes delicious when cooked, plus it’s full of nutrients. Even more, delicata is generally smaller than most other squash varieties, making it easier to prepare.
Check out how to cut delicata squash into three different shapes, so that you can start enjoying this delicious vegetable ASAP! Plus, I included a short (<2:30) video for you to really see how easy it is to prep.
How to Cut Delicata Squash into Rings
- Trim the ends, then slice the squash crosswise into ½ to 1-inch rings.
- Remove the seeds from each ring with a spoon.
How to Cut Delicata Squash into Fries
- Trim the ends, then slice the squash in half lengthwise.
- Remove the seeds from each half.
- Slice each half into half-moon pieces, about ½ to 1-inch thick.
How to Cut Delicata Squash into Cubes
- Repeat step 1 above.
- Repeat step 2 above.
- Slice each lengthwise into three long pieces. It’s helpful to slice on the green stripes that provide natural indentations for your knife.
- Cut those strips into cubes.
Even though delicata squash is easier to cut than most other squash, it’s still important to use a sharp chef’s knife and cutting boards that don’t slip.
I use a Shun Cutlery chef’s knife. It’s incredibly sharp, and although it’s expensive, it’s worth the investment (it sometimes goes on sale around the holidays too!). For cutting boards, I love these bamboo boards from Martha Stewart that have rubber stoppers on the bottom so that they don’t slip while you’re using them.
Ways to Cook and How Long to Roast Delicata Squash
Delicata squash tastes absolutely delicious roasted! Depending on how you slice the squash, it takes between 20 to 40 minutes to cook at 400 to 450 degrees F.
Delicata squash rings take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook at 400 degrees F. Brush each side of the rings with olive oil, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Flip halfway through.
To roast cubed delicata squash, toss it in olive oil, spread it out in on a baking sheet, and cook for about 18 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Delicata squash fries, which you can make from the half-moon shapes, can be cooked at a higher temperature to get a little crispier. I like to roast them for 20 to 25 minutes at 450 degrees F, flipping halfway through.
Check out my Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale with Lemon Tahini and Delicata Squash Fries with Spicy White Bean Dip for some of my favorite ways to use it!
Tips for Storing and Freezing
To save time, you can slice delicata squash in advance. Delicata cubes, rings, and half-moons keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
You can also store delicata squash in the freezer for three to six months. This is a great way to prolong squash season!
To freeze delicata squash, dice it into cubes, then spread them out on a baking sheet. Place this into the freezer, in an area where it can lay flat, and remove once the cubes are frozen (about two to three hours). Transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag, seal, label, and store in the freezer.
When you want to use frozen delicata squash, let it thaw in the fridge or at room temp before using it in cooking. Now that you know how to cut delicata squash, the culinary opportunities are endless!
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How to Cut Delicata Squash
- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- 1 delicata squash
To cut into rings
- Trim the ends, then cut the squash crosswise into rings, about ½ to 1-inch wide. Scoop out the seeds from each ring with a spoon before cooking.
To cut into half-moons/"fries"
- Trim the ends, then slice the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into half-moon pieces, about ½ to 1-inch thick.
To dice into cubes
- Trim the ends, then slice the squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into three long pieces, using the green stripes on the skin and the natural indentations they provide to make easy cuts. Cut the pieces into cubes.
- To roast rings, brush each side with olive oil, arrange in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees F, flipping halfway through.
- For roasted delicata squash cubes, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, arrange on a baking sheet, and roast for 18 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees F until fork tender.
- Whole delicata squash will last at room temp on a counter, away from direct sunlight, for up to three weeks or longer. Raw, cut delicata squash will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Cooked squash can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for four to five days.
- To freeze delicata squash, spread diced cubes on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer for a couple hours until frozen, then transfer the cubes to bags. Label the bags, store in the freezer for three to six months, and thaw before using.
Happy cooking! – Lizzie