An easy recipe for mashed butternut squash. Cook the squash in the microwave, then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, and salt. Simple and good!
I really enjoy winter squashes and make them often for my family. They are very tasty, they are filling, and they work great as leftovers. My kids don't always cooperate, preferring potatoes or sweet potatoes. But this recipe is different - even The Picky Eater really 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 (and as it turns out, roasting is the most popular way of cooking this squash). But since my kids really like this mash, I make it quite often. It's really good!
The ingredients you'll need
The list of ingredients for making this tasty side dish is delightfully short. Here's what you'll need (the exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Butternut squash: Peeled and cubed. I make life easy by buying it pre-cubed, either at Whole Foods or at the supermarket. Another option is to use frozen butternut squash, as I do in the video below. Simply cook it according to the package directions and drain well.
Butter: I use unsalted butter, but salted butter would probably 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.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the mash could end up too salty.
How to make mashed butternut squash
I use the food processor to achieve a smooth mash. It's also 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.
The combination of using the microwave to cook the squash and then using the food processor to prepare the mash makes this a truly easy recipe.
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. 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.
2. Next, you 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.
How to serve mashed butternut squash
This is a very versatile side dish that truly goes with anything. I often serve it with one of the following main dishes:
A sweet alternative to the savory recipe
I'm actually not a fan of making a sweet mash. I prefer my side dishes savory. But if you'd like to try a sweet version of this recipe, simply omit the salt, garlic, and Parmesan. Then add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to the mash and process as usual. You can also add a pinch of cinnamon.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Simply reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power prior to enjoying them.
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 tasty mash recipes
I love mashing cooked vegetables with butter and seasonings! It's such a tasty way to prepare them. In addition to mashed butternut squash, a few more tasty mashes that we all enjoy are:
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Mashed Butternut Squash
- 1 lb. raw butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (not coarsely shredded)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon 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. Or, if using frozen butternut squash cubes, microwave them according to the package directions and drain.
- 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 mashed butternut squash immediately. Keep leftovers in the fridge, covered, for 3-4 days.