There’s no fussing with peeling the raw butternut squash for this tasty mash. Instead, it’s roasted whole first and then it’s easy to peel, mash, and add seasonings.
No need to peel and dice that butternut squash! You can roast it whole for this amazing mashed butternut squash recipe. Plus, you can adjust the flavor to be more sweet or savory depending on your family’s taste. Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner, but easy enough for any fall weeknight.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
How To Make Mashed Butternut Squash
First, you’ll be roasting the whole squash in the oven. The instructions are in the recipe below, but for more details on roasting squash whole, check here. Basically, you’ll poke a few holes into the squash using a sharp knife (right through the peel) and put it in a baking dish lined with foil or parchment paper. If you don’t line your dish, there’s some serious scrubbing in your future. The juices tend to leak out a bit while cooking, and because of the natural sugars, the juices can burn and stick to the pan.
The whole squash goes in the oven for 60-80 minutes. I know it’s not precise, but the size and shape of butternut squash can vary so you’ll have to check on it. It’s done when the skin is mottled brown and a skewer or knife can slide in easily. Check it in a few different places, including at its widest and narrowest parts, since they have different densities and cook in different amounts of time.
Note: if you want an even quicker way to get cooked squash for mashing, you can actually cook it whole in the microwave. It’s super-easy and turns out really great! Or, you can also cook butternut squash in the Instant Pot.
Either way, next you’ll cut the cooked squash in half and remove and discard the seeds. Remove the peel and put the cooked squash into a large mixing bowl. Then, it’s time to mash and add butter, cream, and your additional seasonings. You can use a potato masher or do what I do and go in with a hand mixer to get it smooth quickly.
Sweet Or Savory Butternut Mash?
I’ve given you the instructions for a sweet version of Mashed Butternut Squash below, with brown sugar and cinnamon. You could use maple syrup instead of the brown sugar for even more fall flavor.
However, most of the time I actually prefer mashed butternut squash to be on the savory side. For that version, follow the directions below except for the last step. Instead, stir in black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese. So good! A little bit of rosemary, sage, or garlic can be tasty too, and of course, taste and add a pinch more salt at the end if you think it needs it.
Make It Ahead
This is a great side dish to make ahead of time. Make the recipe when convenient and then cover the mashed squash and put it in the fridge. When you’re ready, put it in a microwave safe bowl and cover loosely to reheat, stirring every 45 seconds or so, until heated through.
You can also reheat it in the oven, which works great if you’re making a large meal and will have things in the oven already (can you say Thanksgiving?). Just cover your casserole dish with foil and pop it in there. Timing depends on the size of your squash and how deep your dish is, but 25 minutes at 350°F should work well for most.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
Podcast Episode About Making Mashed Butternut Squash
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make mashed butternut squash, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:Print
There’s no fussing with peeling the raw butternut squash for this tasty mash. Instead, it’s roasted whole first and then it’s easy to peel, mash, and add seasonings. See post above for adjustments for a savory version.
- 1 large (3 lbs.) butternut squash
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream (or substitute half and half, whole milk, or Greek yogurt)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a 11×13″ baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Put the whole butternut squash in the pan. Poke it in 5-6 places with a sharp knife.
- Roast until a knife or skewer goes in easily (test it in a few different places), about 60-80 minutes. It will be a mottled brown color and a bit shriveled on the outside.
- While wearing oven mitts, cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh surrounding them. Discard. Peel off the skin and discard.
- Transfer the cooked squash to a large bowl.
- Add butter, heavy cream, and salt. Mash with a potato masher or hand mixer until smooth.
- Add brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and stir until combined. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
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This post originally appeared in November 2021 and was revised and republished in October 2023.