Mashed Butternut Squash Will Become Your Favorite Fall Side Dish
Looking for a creamy and delicious side dish that isn’t mashed potatoes? Sick and tired of serving all your fall dishes with a roasted sweet potato on the side? Butternut squash mash is the side dish you’ve been waiting for!
- Creamy, buttery, and perfectly scoopable, whether using dinner rolls or turkey to sop it up! It’s got the consistency of mashed potatoes, but with so much more flavor!
- Laced with bourbon, which is sweet and balances out the savory spices.
- Topped with crispy fried sage leaves for a bit of crunch
- Has lots of nutty grated Parmesan cheese mixed in.
- Gluten-free! We love having healthy gluten-free options to accommodate guests with a variety of preferences, and this one satisfies them all!
Simply put: this mashed butternut squash recipe tastes like fall! And we want more.
Ingredients For Mashed Butternut Squash
- 2 large butternut squash
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Garlic powder (you can use a few cloves minced garlic instead!)
- Onion powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heavy cream
- Unsalted butter
- Parmesan cheese (grab a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano, you’ll love the nutty flavor of freshly grated cheese!)
- Fresh sage leaves
This is our go-to fall side dish, whether it’s a simple weeknight dinner or Thanksgiving! Mashed butternut squash is universally loved by all. Not a huge fan of butternut squash? You could also make a similar dish by replacing squash with sweet potatoes or yams. Mashed sweet potatoes? Totally delicious!
Equipment: you’ll need a sharpened chef’s knife, a vegetable peeler, a rimmed baking sheet, and a food processor fitted with blade attachment. You can also mash the squash by hand with a potato masher, so long as they’re truly fork tender when they come out of the oven.
Note: to make vegan mashed butternut squash, replace heavy cream with vegetable stock and replace butter with oil.
Tips For Cutting Butternut Squash
First, use a vegetable peeler to remove as much of the butternut squash skin as you can. Next, you’ll need a really sharp chef’s knife. Place the peeled butternut squash on a large cutting board, then pushing down hard, slice the squash from root to tip. Once separated into halves, use a large spoon to scoop out and discard the butternut squash seeds.
Lay each halved squash cut side down on the cutting board. Slice into ½” thick slices, cutting along the short side, then cut each of these into cubes. The goal is for all of the squash to be cut into similarly sized pieces so that it cooks evenly.
How To Roast Butternut Squash
When it comes to cooking butternut squash, you’ve got options: roast, boil, sauté, or steam. We think the flavor is the best when roasted, and here’s why.
Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasting vegetables concentrates their flavor. Set your oven to at least 400 F (anything below this is considered baking), then coat butternut squash or other vegetable in olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with kosher salt, black pepper (always), and any other spices or herbs, then roast on a baking sheet until fork tender.
The butternut squash caramelizes around the edges, making it slightly crispy on the outside, while leaving the center soft and tender.
Cook Time For Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 425 F, then cook cubed butternut squash for 30-35 minutes. The squash should be crispy on the outside, but creamy in the center.
Use A Food Processor To Make Mash
To purée roasted butternut squash, transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Process until very smooth, then add heavy cream and bourbon. Run again until smooth and creamy.
Alternatively, you can use a potato masher to make butternut squash mash in a large mixing bowl.
To the butternut squash mash, gently fold in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and butter. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed, then top with crispy fried sage leaves!
Variations on Bourbon-Whipped Butternut Squash
What I love about the side dish is the versatility! So many fun ways to dress up and flavor the mashed butternut squash. A few of our favorites include:
- A tablespoon each of 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 pepper for some heat. We’re telling you, mashed sweet potatoes are loved by all!
We prefer savory flavors, but if you tend to lean more towards sweet flavors, the brown sugar and maple version is great! Also, kids love it, making it a really family-friendly option for Thanksgiving dinner, or more generally, any weeknight meal!
What To Serve With Mashed Butternut Squash
- Roast turkey breast or rotisserie chicken
- Pan seared duck breast
- Any and all roasted vegetables, but especially roasted brussel sprouts
- A big kale salad
- Crunchy roasted chickpeas! Trust us, this is such a great addition!
- Sheet pan pork chops or stuffed pork tenderloin
Really anywhere you’d serve creamy mashed potatoes or polenta would be a great place to add mashed squash into the rotation! And it tastes amazing with just about any protein!
How Long Will Butternut Squash Mash Keep?
Mashed butternut squash will keep in a fridge for up to 3 days.
To freeze, please in an airtight freezer-safe container. It will last up to 3 months in a freezer.
To reheat, simply place in a 350 F oven in a baking dish and cook until warm throughout, about 15-20 minutes.
Alternatively, you can reheat mashed butternut squash 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!
All we know is that if you’re looking for a simple, flavorful side dish that feels more special than your every day mashed potatoes, but is still unbelievably creamy and perfect alongside fall recipes, this is it! You will absolutely love the taste!
If you make this Mashed Butternut Squash recipe, please let us know by leaving a review below!
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Easy Thanksgiving side dishes to check out:
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.
Mashed Butternut Squash
- Rimmed baking sheet
- 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
- 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.
- Butternut squash mash can be made up to 3 days in advance.
- To reheat, place in a 350 F 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.
- Totally fine to omit the bourbon — replace with chicken stock, melted butter, or heavy cream.