4-Ingredient Mashed Butternut Squash

published Aug 16, 2022
Mashed Butternut Squash Recipe

This root vegetable mash is velvety smooth, easy to prepare, and is a great alternative to potatoes at mealtime.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook1 hour

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A photo of a closeup of mashed butternut squash in a white bowl with a wooden spoon.
Credit: Kristina Vanni

Mashed butternut squash is full of flavor, easy to prepare, and a great alternative to mashed potatoes at mealtime. I like to slice the whole squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast it in the oven. This way the squash becomes so soft and tender all you have to do is gently scoop it from the outer layer of skin. The squash is already smooth and creamy, so mashing is easy. You can then add a bit of butter for flavor, a splash of cream for richness, and just about any seasoning you like. Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor similar to pumpkin so salt, pepper, and a dash of autumnal nutmeg is classic, but a bit of heat in the form of harissa or chipotle powder can play off that signature sweetness.

What Do You Eat with Mashed Butternut Squash?

I think mashed butternut squash pairs perfectly with your favorite pork dishes. Although really, mashed butternut squash can be served as a side dish to just about any meal, such as the following:

Credit: Kristina Vanni

How Do You Cook Butternut Squash So It’s Not Watery?

The key to avoiding watery butternut squash is to roast it rather than steam it. Steaming butternut squash causes the vegetable to absorb more water and doesn’t impart much flavor. Roasting the squash prevents this and caramelizes the vegetable’s natural sugars, adding another layer of flavor to your dish.

How Do You Know When Butternut Squash Is Done Cooking?

The best way to know if butternut squash is done cooking is to test the flesh by gently pricking it with a fork or paring knife. If the knife hits resistance, it is best to continue cooking. If the knife easily slides through the flesh, the squash is cooked tender.

Mashed Butternut Squash Recipe

This root vegetable mash is velvety smooth, easy to prepare, and is a great alternative to potatoes at mealtime.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 1 hour

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds each)

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for serving

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoons

    heavy cream


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Cut 2 medium butternut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place cut-side up in a large roasting pan.

  2. Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until melted, about 60 seconds total. Brush the melted butter onto the cut sides of the butternut squash, using it all. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg evenly over the butter.

  3. Bake until the butternut squash is very tender when poked with a fork, about 1 hour. Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes.

  4. Scoop out the flesh into a large bowl and discard the skins. Coarsely mash the flesh with a potato masher. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and continue to mash until smooth. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and dot the top with more small pats of butter if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.