Microwave Butternut Squash

One of the quickest ways to cook butternut squash is in the microwave. It makes cutting, peeling and dicing the raw squash a thing of the past.

One of the quickest ways to cook butternut squash is in the microwave. It makes cutting, peeling and dicing the raw squash a thing of the past.

Here we are again with one of my favorite winter squashes. The butternut squash.

Based on the popularity of some of the butternut squash posts on the blog like this one that shows how to roast a whole butternut squash or this creamy soup recipe you’re a fan as well. And since you’re a fan, I thought you might enjoy this post about summer squash.

Now, I have heard complaints about the difficulty in cutting and peeling squash, and I will be honest, I have voiced the same complaints. Well, you can stop using those reasons not to cook with butternut squash because I have a very simple solution for both of the issues. Your microwave.

Yep, you can cook the whole squash in the microwave. No peeling, cutting or dicing before cooking. Simply make some slits in the skin, place it on a microwavable plate, set the timer and watch it spin its way to a perfectly cooked veggie that is easy to peel, cut, and dice.

One very important step is to make slits in the skin. This allows steam to escape. Don’t skip this step.

I used a sharp paring knife. I think it is much easier than trying to chase the squash around the counter as I’m trying to poke holes through the skin with a fork. If you have perfected that craft, then use it. I’m going to stick with the paring knife.

The cooking time is dependent on the size of the squash. For the 3 pound squash that I used, it was 12 minutes. I did start checking it at 10 minutes and then continued to cook it checking at 1-minute intervals. When the paring knife sunk easily into the flesh, I knew it was done.

Make sure that you let the squash cool before you handle it. You can slice it lengthwise, remove the seeds, and scoop out the flesh. Or peel the whole squash with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, cut it lengthwise, remove the seeds, and dice it up and use it in a salad like this one that has orzo and blue cheese which I adore.

Prepare to be amazed!


Microwave Butternut Squash

  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cooked squash


One of the quickest ways to cook butternut squash is in the microwave. It makes cutting, peeling and dicing the raw squash a thing of the past.


  • 1  (3-lb.) butternut squash, washed and patted dry


  1. Using a sharp paring knife, make several slits around the squash. This will allow steam to escape.
  2. Place the squash on a microwave-safe dish and place in the microwave.
  3. Microwave on high for 10 – 12 minutes.
  4. Remove the squash carefully and allow to cool enough to handle.
  5. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds and scoop the flesh from the skin.
  6. Alternatively, remove the skin from the flesh with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, cut in half lengthwise and dice.
Microwave Butternut Squash

30 responses to “Microwave Butternut Squash”

  1. Barbara D. says:

    I covered mine loosely with plastic wrap to avoid the splatters which may come from the piercings. I’ve had that happen with other squashes and even a potato occasionally.

  2. Lynnette says:

    I was so excited to try this and so sad at the outcome. I put a 2lb squash in an 1100w microwave for 10 minutes and let it sit for 5 more while I was prepping the filling. The ends and outer edges were perfect but the center of the squash was rock hard. I put both halves in for another 6 minutes and only one side ended up soft enough to eat. I will try this again with another 2lb squash for 15 minutes to start and see what happens. I want this to work because it would make it so much easier to enjoy butternut squash.

  3. Hal Brown says:

    This is fantastic! I revere the nutritional benefit, but have trouble prepping raw veggies for cooking.
    Note: with a smaller squash, 6 minutes developed a soft outside with a firmer core.
    I’m wondering if cooking at 1/2 power might produce more even results.

  4. O cover the squash before putting in microwave, and do you put I upside down? Thanks

  5. Graham Hopson says:

    Thanks very much for this tip. It worked a treat on my first ever try and cooking butternut squash!!!!

  6. Karen Simons says:

    Your recipe for butternut squash in the microwave is only 12 minutes whereas for the IP it’s 20 minutes. But…which one do you prefer?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      They both work well, Karen. Really just depends which one is more convenient based on the timing and appliances I’m using for the rest of the meal.

  7. Jerry H. says:

    You instructed to cut vents in the butternut squash. How many, how long and how deep?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      I’m not super precise with it, Jerry, but I would suggest 4-5 cuts that are 1/2 – 1 inch deep and 1-2 inches long.

  8. Sandra Lee says:

    A little safer than a knife and easier to do than a fork is to use an ice pick to make the steam vents.  I do this all the time with my spaghetti squash when cooking it in the microwave.  I’m excited to try the butternut in the microwave.  😊

  9. Colleen says:

    This is a great solution for making baby food since you want to avoid adding any oil. Thanks!

  10. Sarah L says:

    I admit to be nervous about cooking butternut squash. I had a bad experience many years ago. But now that I see how easy it is to cook in the microwave, I’ll be trying it again.

  11. Angelica says:

    I try to avoid using my microwave but this definitely seems a lot quicker and easier than the oven! Now I just have to find a squash small enough to fit in my tiny microwave to try it out!

  12. Cheryl says:

    Microwave cooking really speeds things up.

  13. Jennifer Phillips says:

    I have never microwaved it before, will have to try this.

  14. Calvin says:

    We do this a lot, but with kabocha squash.

  15. Deborah Waddell says:

    The over version sounds like the one I’ll try but this version would be a great one when time is tight. Love Butternut squash and now I have easy ways to cook it. Thanks!

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