This savory Mashed Butternut Squash recipe is my go-to healthy side dish in the fall. It is easy to make, and comes out wonderfully rich, creamy, and flavorful every time! It is also dairy-free and makes the best addition to any meal, especially for the holidays!
This butternut squash mash recipe is the best way to enjoy squash. It is slowly roasted right in the skin which allows the natural sugars to become released forming a golden, tender, and caramelized squash. Then it is mashed and combined with butter, milk, garlic, and herbs resulting in the most delicious mashed squash you will ever have!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Flavorful, creamy, mashed squash – that is dairy-free!
- Easy and healthy – This recipe is packed with Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber and is very easy to make.
- Versatile – Flavor the squash however you like, sweet or savory, it’s up to you!
- The perfect side dish – goes great with any meal, even for the holidays!
- Simple ingredients – just a few pantry ingredients that you likely already have.
Is it better to bake or steam the squash?
The preferred method is to roast the squash in its skin because it will become more flavourful, and nutritious and it is less labor intensive. It may take slightly more time to cook but it is totally worth it!
Boiling/steaming the squash will require you to peel and cut the squash and it will remove some of the flavor and nutrition in the squash as well. Now if you are short on time then boiling the squash is much faster and will take you about 15 minutes once you peel and cut the squash into cubes.
*Check out the complete list of recipe ingredients, instructions, and nutrition in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.
Ingredients You will need
No long list of ingredients for this delicious savory butternut squash recipe. Here is what you’ll need:
- Whole butternut squash – butternut squash is versatile, inexpensive, and has a wonderful nutty flavor that really comes out when roasted. You will need around a 3-pound squash which will make enough for about 4-5 people. Substitutions: You can use any winter squash such as honeynut, Hubbard, buttercup, or acorn squash.
- Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil to brush the squash with before you roast it.
- Garlic – fresh minced garlic is best but you could use garlic powder or garlic paste if needed.
- Milk – non-dairy milk that is unsweetened. I used almond milk. Substitutions: Coconut milk and soy milk work great! Stock can also be used.
- Butter – I used vegan butter but regular butter is fine too. This gives the squash amazing flavor and creaminess and makes it smooth and luscious. Substitutions: Any type of butter will work, so use your favorite or whatever you have on hand.
- Fresh herbs – fresh rosemary and chives give this mashed squash so much flavor but you can also use dried herbs as well. Substitutions: Any fresh herbs go great with squash like sage, thyme, rosemary, or chives.
- Kosher Salt and black pepper – enhance all of the flavors.
How to make Mashed Butternut Squash
Here are some tips and step-by-step photos for how to cut butternut squash.
Step one: Prep the squash: Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
Step two: Roast the squash. Brush each half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350°F for 60-70 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. Once it is fork tender it is ready. Per the recipe card below.
Step three: Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes until you can easily handle it. Use a spoon to scrape the flesh away from the skin of the squash. Discard the skin and place the roasted squash into a mixing bowl. Use a potato masher or fork to mash up the squash.
Step four: Add the vegan butter, olive oil, garlic, milk, or stock, and some salt and pepper to the squash and mix to combine into a creamy, mashed butternut squash. Top with freshly chopped chives and rosemary.
Recipe tips and variations
- Texture: For a smoother more velvety texture, use a food processor or blender. If you prefer a rustic, chunky texture, use a potato masher.
- Creaminess: Add a splash of milk, cream, or coconut milk to make the mash creamier. A dollop of butter or a drizzle of olive oil can also enhance the texture and flavor.
- Seasoning: While salt and pepper are essential, consider adding a pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon, or ground ginger. These spices complement the natural sweetness of butternut squash. Note: If you are making it sweeter rather than savory then skip the garlic and herbs.
- Sweetness: If you prefer a sweeter mash, drizzle in a bit of maple syrup or honey.
- Savory flavor: Roasted garlic, caramelized onions, parmesan cheese, or sautéed shallots can be mixed into the mash for added depth of flavor. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a hint of spice.
- Roasting: The squash can be roasted on a baking sheet or in a larger casserole dish.
Squash is a great healthy side dish that you can serve with so many other delicious recipes. Here are some of my favorite serving suggestions.
- Protein: Such as this Healthy Turkey Meatloaf, Chicken Pizza Bake, or this Healthy Turkey Burger.
- Salad: Such as this Easy Kale Salad, Israeli Couscous Salad, Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad, or this Crispy Chickpea Kale Caesar Salad.
- Meatless Additions: Like these Baked Eggplant Meatballs or this Healthy Baked Falafel.
What can you do with leftover mashed squash?
You can easily store cooked, mashed squash and use it in soups or chili. It’s also a great prepared side dish that goes with any meal!
What is the best way to mash butternut squash?
- For a Rustic, Chunky Mash: Use a potato hand masher. This will give you a textured mash with some small chunks, which many people enjoy for the variety in each bite.
- For a Creamy, Smooth Mash: A food processor or blender is your best bet. These tools will create a velvety puree. Just add the cooked squash and pulse until smooth. Be careful not to over-process, as it can make the squash gummy.
- If using a blender, adding a small amount of liquid (like broth, cream, or milk) can facilitate the blending process.
- For a Middle Ground: Use a hand blender (immersion blender) directly in the bowl. This allows for a smoother consistency than a potato masher but still retains some texture.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can! Here is how to do it:
Prepping & Storing Squash: Prep, roast, and mash the squash. Let it cool, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Oven: Place the squash in an oven-safe dish and cover and heat it for 20-25 minutes in the oven at 350°F (175°C),
- Stovetop: Warm over low-medium heat in a pot on the stove; adjust the texture with milk or broth as needed.
- Microwave: Heat in a covered dish at 1-minute intervals, stirring until warm.
Can you freeze mashed squash?
Yes, you can and it actually freezes pretty well. Here is how to freeze and reheat it:
- Freezing Mashed Squash: Cool the mashed squash to room temperature, then transfer it to freezer-safe bags or containers, leaving space for expansion. Label with the date and freeze for up to 6 months for the best quality.
- Reheating: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat on the stovetop or microwave, adding liquid (like water, broth, or milk) if too thick. Adjust seasoning after reheating as flavors might mellow from being frozen.
Pro tip! Refresh dry squash with butter, oil, or liquid. Adjust seasoning post-reheat and ensure dairy additions are heated safely.
This is a delicious side dish that is great anytime especially if you are on a low-calorie diet, since butternut squash is a great, healthier alternative to potatoes.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
- Healthy Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash Salad
- Butternut Squash Noodles Bowl
- Perfect Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Sausage and Apple Stuffed Butternut Squash
Did you make this mashed butternut squash recipe? If you did, then please leave a rating and comment below. You can also tag me on Instagram @pinchmegoodfood so I can see your creation.
This recipe and post have been updated with improved recipe steps, better step-by-step photos, and an updated recipe card.Print