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This mashed butternut squash recipe is a standout side dish! Roast the squash and mash with Parmesan and sage for a lusciously sweet side.

Mashed Butternut Squash

Here’s a fantastic side dish that’s about as quintessentially cozy as they come: Mashed Butternut Squash! The flavor is bold and sweet, with a nutty undertone. Sage, butter, and Parmesan cheese make the baked butternut squash sing! Mash it with a potato masher or even better: whip it for a light and fluffy Butternut Squash Puree. Paired with a savory protein, it adds a pop of sweet to every bite. It’s ideal for any fall or winter dinner: we recently made it for guests and they couldn’t stop raving!

How to make mashed butternut squash

Mashed butternut squash is similar to mashed potatoes, but uses squash instead. But unlike potatoes, it’s got developed, sweet flavor and is a fantastic contrast to savory items on your plate. We like to serve it for fall dinner parties, and it’s ideal for Thanksgiving! The best way to cook the squash before mashing is to bake it whole! Here are the basic steps for making this tasty mash:

  • Bake a whole butternut squash: Bake the squash at 400 degrees, sliced in half and brushed with olive oil, until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
  • Scoop out the flesh: Scoop out the flesh out of the skin with a fork. Make sure to scrape off any bright orange stringy bits before using it.
  • Mash: Place the flesh in a large bowl. Add butter, dried sage and Parmesan cheese and mash with a potato masher until it’s smooth.
How to bake butternut squash

A shortcut: boil the squash

The nice thing about roasting a whole butternut squash? You can avoid the peeling and cutting process. It can take quite a while to wrangle this unusual-shaped squash (trust us!). But if you’re willing to do that, you can make mashed butternut squash by boiling the squash instead.

Go to Boiled Butternut Squash and follow the method there. You’ll peel and chop the squash, but it takes only 5 minutes to boil! The flavor is not as developed as roasting, but it’s still tasty. One tip: you’ll want to make sure to add salt and pepper before mashing, since you didn’t add any during the cooking process.

Mashed butternut squash recipe

Step it up: make butternut squash puree

Want to make this mashed butternut squash taste even better? Make it into a puree! Technically this makes it butternut squash puree, but it’s absolutely worth trying. Why?

  • The puree has an even lighter, fluffier texture that’s lusciously smooth. When you taste them back to back, the puree tastes more refined: like restaurant quality!
  • All you have to do? Give it a quick whiz in a food processor. Use the same ingredients and quantities, just food process it. It’s so light and fluffy, you won’t be able to put down your fork.

Vegan variation

Want to make this mashed butternut squash into a vegan recipe? Easy: here’s what to do:

  • Butter: Substitute vegan butter or refined coconut oil
  • Parmesan: Omit and replace with ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder, 2 pinches salt and if desired, nutritional yeast for more savory flavor
Mashed butternut squash recipe

How to serve mashed butternut squash

Mashed butternut squash is an ideal side dish for any fall or winter meal. It’s even more impressive with a savory protein served on top, so you can enjoy bites with both. Here are a few ways you could serve it:

More butternut squash recipes

When it comes to fall and winter recipes, butternut squash is king! Here are a few more tasty squash recipes to try:

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Mashed Butternut Squash

Mashed Butternut Squash

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 (double for a crowd) 1x


This mashed butternut squash recipe is a standout side dish! Roast the squash and mash with Parmesan and sage for a lusciously sweet side.


  • 1 medium butternut squash, 3 pounds (double for a crowd)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes (or vegan butter or coconut oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (omit for vegan and salt to taste)


  1. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roast*: Using a large chef’s knife, carefully slice the squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut sides with the  olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the halves cut side down. Bake the squash until tender when a fork is inserted into the thickest portion, about 45 minutes for a 3-pound squash and up to 15 minutes more for a larger squash.
  3. Scrape out the flesh: Carefully scrape the squash flesh from the skin using a fork. Try to scape off any stringy very bright orange from the top before using.
  4. Mash: Place the warm squash in a large bowl with the butter, dried sage and Parmesan cheese. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Alternatively, you can place it in a food processor and puree until smooth, about 30 seconds to 1 minute (to make Butternut Squash Puree). Taste and add additional salt if necessary (depending on the amount you added when roasting). Serve warm; leftovers last refrigerated for up to 3 days.


*If you prefer, you can boil the squash to shortcut the roasting time. Go to Boiled Butternut Squash. Once the squash is done, add a few pinches salt and pepper before mashing. The flavor is not as developed as roasting, but it’s still tasty!

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Mashed butternut squash, mashed butternut squash recipes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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