Bourbon-whipped butternut squash mash with crispy sage and parmesan. This is the perfect fall or winter side that is every bit as satisfying as mashed potatoes, but so much more interesting. This recipe is a staple in our Thanksgiving menu every year. Bonus points for being gluten-free.
Ingredients for butternut squash mash
- 2 large butternut squash
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- ground cinnamon
- freshly ground black pepper
- heavy cream
- unsalted butter
- parmesan cheese
- fresh sage leaves
I love the simple ingredients here, making this a quick and easy option for weeknights and special occasions alike.
How to cook butternut squash
So many options! You can roast, boil, sauté, or steam, but I have a strong preference for roasting.
Why roasting is best
Don’t you just love those crispy edges and the caramelization that happens from touching the hot pan? That’s thanks to roasting! Also, you need very few ingredients (just olive oil and salt!) to create great depth of flavor. Roasting is my preferred method for cooking any and all vegetables outside of occasionally grilling. If I’m cooking inside, my vegetables are getting roasted.
How long to roast butternut squash
When roasting vegetables, your oven temperature should ideally be above 400F. For this recipe, I roast cubed butternut squash pieces coated with olive oil, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, and black pepper for 30-35 minutes at 425F. Crispy on the outside, but creamy in the center.
Mashed butternut squash
Making the actual mash is crazy simple! You can do this either in a food processor (the easier option) or by using a potato masher and a large mixing bowl.
Purée or mash cooked butternut squash, then add the heavy cream and bourbon, pulsing (or stirring) to combine.
Next, gently fold in the parmesan cheese and butter. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed, then top with crispy fried sage leaves!
What I love about the side dish is its versatility! So many fun ways to dress up and flavor the butternut squash mash. A few of our favorites include:
- brown sugar and maple syrup (similar to a sweet potato casserole recipe)
- ground ginger and extra cinnamon
- replacing half the butternut squash with roasted sweet potato, then adding cumin, chili powder, and cayenne for some heat
I am a savory kinda gal, but if you tend to prefer sweet flavors, the brown sugar and maple version is great!!
- crumbled bacon
- dried cranberries or pomegranate arils
- crispy roasted chickpeas
How long will it last?
Mashed butternut squash will keep in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. You’ll be lucky if it lasts that long!
To reheat, simply place in a 350F oven in a baking dish and cook until warm throughout, about 15-20 minutes.
Alternatively, you can reheat the mash in a saucepan on the stove top (similar to mashed potatoes) over medium heat, adding a splash of liquid to recapture that creamy texture. Either heavy cream, chicken stock, or even water works great!
If you make this Bourbon Whipped Butternut Squash Mash, please let me know by leaving a review below!
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This was originally posted in November 2018 and has since been updated with tips and tricks that will make it easier for you to recreate at home.
Bourbon-Whipped Butternut Squash Mash with Crispy Sage and Parmesan
- 2 large butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1″ cubes)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- ½ Tbsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp bourbon (such as Michter’s)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup Parmesan (grated or thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler, plus more for garnish)
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ cup fresh sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 425 F. In a large mixing bowl, add butternut squash, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, and black pepper, then toss to combine. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, then roast for 30-35 minutes, or until squash is completely tender and browned on the outside, tossing once halfway through.
- Let squash cool 5 minutes, then place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Pulse to break down squash, then add heavy cream and bourbon and purée until smooth, working in batches as needed.
- Transfer squash to a large bowl, then stir in butter and parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- In a small pan, heat vegetable oil until hot. Carefully add sage leave (oil will splatter!) and fry about 15 seconds, just until crispy. Immediately remove and drain on a paper towel.
- Serve butternut squash mash with crispy sage leaves and an additional sprinkling or parmesan.
- Mash can be made up to 3 days in advance.
- To reheat, place in a 350F oven in a baking dish and heat until warm throughout, about 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you could heat this in a sauce pan on a stove top with a splash of heavy cream, chicken stock, or water to keep the texture creamy.