This easy recipe for mashed butternut squash is ready in just 25 minutes and produces wonderfully flavorful, creamy results.
Simply cook the squash in the microwave, then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, and salt. Simple and good!
I enjoy winter squashes and make them often for my family. They are tasty and filling, and they work great as leftovers. This roasted pumpkin recipe, for example, is incredible!
But this recipe is different - even The Picky Eater likes it. Delightfully buttery and cheesy, mashed butternut squash is one of my favorite substitutes for mashed potatoes.
My husband and I actually prefer roasted butternut squash. But since my kids really like this mash, I make it quite often. It's really good!
The list of ingredients for making this tasty side dish is delightfully short. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Butternut squash: Peeled and cubed.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter, but salted butter would work too. I especially like creamy European butter, but any butter would be great.
- Grated Parmesan cheese: Make sure you use finely grated cheese and not coarsely shredded.
- Minced garlic: You can use ½ teaspoon of garlic powder instead of using fresh garlic. But freshly minced is best.
- Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use by half, or the mash could end up being too salty.
I usually prefer my side dishes savory. But on occasion, I make a sweet version of this recipe. To try it, omit the salt, garlic, and Parmesan. Then add a tablespoon of maple syrup to the mash and process as usual. You can also add a pinch of cinnamon.
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
- You start by microwaving the squash cubes until tender. This is easy to do: you place them in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add ½ cup water, cover, and microwave for 15 minutes, until tender. Then you drain them. (Photos 1-2).
- Next, add the cooked squash and the remaining ingredients to your food processor bowl and process until smooth. This should take 1-2 minutes, and you might need to stop and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula midway through processing. (Photos 3-5).
- Transfer the mash to a serving bowl and serve. (Photo 6).
I make life easy by buying pre-cubed butternut squash, either at Whole Foods or at the supermarket. It usually comes in small plastic containers.
If you buy it whole, make sure you have a sharp chef's knife and work carefully as you cut it into cubes.
Yes, absolutely, and this is what I do in the video below. Simply cook it according to the package directions and drain well.
Yes! Using the food processor is the easiest method. But you can use a potato masher or even a fork if you don't mind some elbow grease and a slightly lumpier consistency.
1. Make sure to drain the squash thoroughly after cooking it.
2. Add dry-grated parmesan cheese. It's not just flavorful, it also acts as a great thickening agent.
The leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Simply reheat them in the microwave, covered, at 50% power.
You can also freeze the leftovers in a freezer-appropriate container for up to three months. When ready to defrost, place them in the fridge overnight to gently defrost them.
More Squash Recipes
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Mashed Butternut Squash
- 1 lb. raw butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese dry-grated (not coarsely shredded)
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon of fine salt)
- Place the butternut squash cubes in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add ½ cup water, cover, and microwave until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well.*
- Place the cooked butternut squash along with the remaining ingredients in your food processor. **
- Process until smooth, 1-2 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides with a spatula as needed. Start processing on low, then process on high until smooth.
- Serve the mash immediately. Keep leftovers in the fridge, covered, for 3-4 days.