Autumn has arrived and with it comes a brand new harvest that rivals summers bounty like no other. Squash, for instance, is one of the most versatile vegetables and is at its peak right now. Whether you’re looking to roast it, mash it or even bake with it, there’s a wide range of varieties to choose from, all of which are inexpensive to buy at the farmers market. The downfall? It can be extremely intimidating to tackle the prep. But not to worry — cutting squash is a breeze as long as you have a sharp and sturdy chef’s knife, and a little technique.

I’ve used a dumpling squash here to demonstrate how to safely cut one up, but this method works for any round variety of squash such as acorn, buttercup, kabocha or even pumpkin.

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Step 1: Slice the bottom and top off the squash. This will make a stable surface so you can easily cut the squash in half.

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Step 2: Place the top of the squash cut-side-down and slice it lengthwise in half.

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Step 3: Scoop out the pulp and seeds using a spoon. Added bonus: Save the seeds for later to roast as an easy snack!

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Step 4: Place the squash cut-side down so you have a stable surface to slice.

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Step 5: Cut the squash crosswise into slices. If you’re leaving the squash sliced, cut as thinly or thickly as you’d like. If you’re looking to chop the squash, cut your slices 1-inch thick. Dumpling squash have a tender, edible skin, so you can leave it on, but if you’re using a variety with a thicker skin, use a peeler to remove it.

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Step 6: Lay each slice flat against the cutting board and cut along the curve into 1-inch pieces.

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Step 7: Admire your beautifully cut squash then get cooking!