A bowl of Mashed Butternut Squash is a deliciously easy side dish, perfect for the holidays but simple enough for weeknights! With just 4 ingredients, this healthy vegetable is roasted to bring out its natural sweetness and mashes up super creamy!
A gorgeous bowl of Mashed Butternut Squash is perfect on the Thanksgiving or any holiday table! If you want to take this recipe a step further, you can turn this basic mashed butternut squash into a Butternut Squash Casserole by baking it with a butter pecan topping!
It's a stunning "something orange" but we also love Mashed Sweet Potatoes and these Roasted Sweet Potato Slices with Garlic Honey Butter!
Simple buttered mashed butternut squash uses a little bit of brown sugar, but the real amazing flavor comes from the naturally sweet squash! That flavor is amplified when roasted, giving you a staple side dish that is huge on taste!
You'll be amazed at the flavor from just 4 ingredients! Butternut squash is healthy, and goes beautifully with lots of main dishes!
- Butternut Squash - Butternut squash can vary a lot in size, they have a long shelf-life right on your counter, and are most delicious when roasted!
- Butter - Coating the cut side of the squash as it roasts, butter helps soften and caramelize while adding rich flavor to the finished dish. Dot the mashed squash with more butter to melt down as it's served!
- Brown Sugar - Helping along the natural sweetness of the squash, just a sprinkle of brown sugar makes this vegetable turn sweet and savory. You could also substitute maple syrup or a drizzle of honey, or leave it out.
- Salt - Salt is key to bringing out the flavors in all your ingredients.
See recipe card for quantities.
This dish is super simple because you don't have to peel or chop the butternut squash! Just roast it, scoop it from the peel, and mash it!
Step 1 - Wash your squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a portion scoop or spoon.
Step 2 - Smear 1 Tablespoon of butter on each cut side of the squash. Use your hands to coat all of it, including the cavity. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and salt.
Step 3 - Roast squash at 375°F for about 1 hour. This cooking time can really depend on the size of your squash and can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes or more. It's done when the neck is soft when squeezed.
Step 4 - Allow to cool slightly and scoop the flesh from the peel into a bowl. First scoop with a spoon and then scrape all of the squash from the peel.
Step 5 - Mash well with a potato masher.
Step 6 - Transfer to a serving bowl, smooth the top with a spoon, and top with 1 or 2 more Tablespoons of butter.
- Make Ahead - This dish can be made ahead by roasting and mashing the squash and storing in the fridge a day in advance. Then spoon it into a baking dish, cover with foil, and warm in the oven at 350°. You can either serve it right in the baking dish or transfer to a bowl to dot with butter. You can keep it covered with tinfoil in a warm oven until ready to eat.
- Storage and Freezer - Store leftover butternut squash in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 4 months.
- Repurposing Leftovers - Mashed butternut squash is a great substitute for canned pumpkin and can be used in baking! You can use it fresh or freeze it in 1 cup portions to use later. Try it in these Pumpkin Waffles or Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins. You could also turn the leftovers into Butternut Squash Soup or Butternut Squash Ravioli.
- Different Types of Winter Squash - This basic recipe will work for any type of winter squash including acorn squash, honeynut squash, kabocha squash, buttercup squash, or pumpkin. The cooking method is the same, but the roasting time will vary depending on the size of the squash.
- How to cut a squash in half - Cutting a squash in half can seem tricky! Use a non-slip cutting board and a sharp chef knife. Press the point of the knife into the neck (top part) of the squash. Press your left hand flat over the blade while pushing down the handle with your right hand. Apply pressure until you are all the way through the squash. If you don't get the 2 halves quite equal, don't worry, one may just need to roast a little longer than the other.
- Number of Servings - A regular sized squash can feed about 6 to 8 people if it is the main side dish. For the holidays when you have a bunch of sides, it can serve 10 to 12. You can easily roast 2 squash on the same pan if serving a larger party.
What to Serve With
- Main Course - This sweet mashed butternut squash pairs well with almost any main dish including turkey, ham, beef, chicken or pot roast. Perfect for the holidays or great with a Whole Roasted Chicken or Simple Roasted Salmon.
Roast butternut squash halves in the oven on a sheet pan at 375°F. The amount of time will really depend on the size of the squash which can vary a lot. A regular sized squash should take about 1 hour to soften while a large squash could take over 90 minutes. You'll know it's done by squeezing the neck part of the squash with tongs or your fingers, careful it's hot! If it's soft when squeezed, it's done. If you aren't sure, keep cooking it. You can't really overcook it unless it's burning!
If you are trying to eat less sugar, you can use less than 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar, substitute honey or maple syrup, or omit the brown sugar completely.
Yes! Mashed Butternut Squash is a great gluten-free side dish, especially for the holidays. Everyone will love it, whether they eat gluten-free or not!
More Favorite Side Dishes!
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Mashed Butternut Squash
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- 1 butternut squash
- 4 Tablespoons butter divided
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Wash the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a portion scoop or spoon.
- Place on a baking sheet and smear each half of the squash with 1 Tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle evenly with salt and brown sugar.
- Roast at 375℉ for about 1 hour. Roasting time can vary depending on the size of the squash, anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes or more. You'll know it's done when the neck is soft when squeezed with tongs.
- Scoop the squash out of the peel and into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher and transfer to a serving bowl. Smooth the top a bit and dot with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter.
- Make Ahead - You can roast and mash your squash a day in advance. Then just warm in the oven in a baking dish, give it a stir to make sure it's hot, and dot the top with butter.
- Leftover Butternut Squash can be refrigerated or frozen and can be used in place of canned pumpkin for baking. Try it in Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins or Pumpkin Waffles.
- Butter Amount - Use as much or as little butter as you like. You'll need some butter when roasting, but then can add whatever amount you prefer when you are mashing and to garnish the top.