Think of this mashed butternut squash as the healthier, lower in carbs, and sweeter version of mashed potatoes. They’re just as creamy, and silky smooth, and they make just as great of a side dish, no matter what you’re serving for dinner. Make them sweet or savory, this versatile veggie lets you decide.
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Is Mashed Butternut Squash Healthy? Keto? Paleo?
Butternut squash is high in beta-carotene, and other antioxidants, making it a great veggie to sneak into your meal plan.
It is a bit higher in carbs than most vegetables on a low carb or keto eating plan, but keeping your portions down means you don’t have to cut it out completely. This specific recipe is not paleo, due to the cream cheese and butter. You can substitute both these ingredients for paleo alternatives if you wish.
Mashed Butternut Squash Ingredients
Sweet or savory butternut squash can be made with less than 5, easy to find ingredients. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Whole vs. cubed squash – Either will work, but the flavor and nutrients will be slightly different depending on which you use. More below.
- Fresh vs. frozen butternut squash – You can use either here. Purchasing frozen will save you time–if going this route, cook according to package instructions until tender.
- Cream cheese vs. dairy free – You can absolutely make this mashed butternut squash vegan and dairy free by substituting cream cheese for nut milk. You’ll also want to swap the butter with a dairy free alternative, such as coconut oil.
To Roast or To Steam?
Roasted butternut squash will add more flavor to the dish, while steaming takes significantly less time. I recommended using roasted vegetables if time allows, and steaming them if you’re in a pinch. I’ll show you how to do both below. Keep in mind that steaming, will leach more nutrients from the squash.
How to Cut Butternut Squash
You’ll prep your butternut squash differently depending on whether you steam or roast it. Here’s the how-to both ways:
How to cut butternut squash for steaming
1. Remove the top and bottom.
2. Peel skin with a veggie peeler.
3. Slice squash in half.
4. Scoop to remove the seeds.
5. Slice, stack + slice, then make crosswise cuts.
How to cut butternut squash for roasting
1. Slice your squash in half.
2. If you’re having trouble getting through the stem, you can remove it. You can also pierce your squash all over with a fork and microwave to soften, this will make slicing through the stem easier.
How to Make Mashed Butternut Squash
Now that your butternut squash is sliced and cooked, all that’s left is to mash everything together, then serve. Just like potatoes and mashed cauliflower, there are a few ways to mash butternut squash, here are your options:
- With an immersion blender. An easy to way save cleanup time and mash your squash in the same dish you cooked it in.
- A potato masher. Again, fewer dishes, and a little more work.
- High speed blender. This will give you the creamiest mashed butternut squash but does require extra cleanup.
Pair It With These Main Dishes
We like to serve mashed butternut squash with hearty meats such as beef and pork rather than fish or chicken, although pureed butternut squash goes with just about everything. Try this parmesan crusted pork chop, or this sous vide pork tenderloin.
What can you do with leftover mashed butternut squash?
This mashed butternut squash obviously makes an incredible side, but I love getting creative with the leftovers. Here are a few ways:
- Served warm for breakfast, with a fried egg on top.
- Mixed into soup, just add chicken broth to thin and you have a butternut squash soup ready to go.
- Top with pomegranate seeds and toasted hazelnuts and serve as a dip with crackers.
- Turn into a butternut squash pasta sauce! Simply thin it with a bit more heavy cream or chicken broth.
More Veggie Side Recipes to Love
Mashed Butternut SquashPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 3 Pounds Butternut Squash about an average-sized squash
- 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 Cup Cream Cheese
Mix-Ins (For Savory):
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic minced
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Sage, Thyme and/or Rosemary minced
- Steam butternut squash. I do this in a large pot with 1" of water and a steamer basket (squash goes in the basket). Then cover with a lid and steam until fork tender (about 13-15 minutes). Alternatively, you can do this in the microwave or without the steamer basket in a heavy bottom pot. Strain the squash, discard any liquid, and wipe out the pot with a paper towel to clean.
- For savory: Return the pot to medium heat, and melt the butter. Add the garlic and fresh herbs. Saute until fragrant. Remove from heat and add the steamed squash, salt, and cream cheese. Use an immersion blender or place everything together in a blender until completely smooth and well combined. You may need to add a few tablespoons of liquid to the blender, broth, heavy cream, or water will work.For sweet: Combine butter, cream cheese salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and steamed squash in a blender, or return it to the pot and use an immersion blender to combine until the squash is completely smooth and the ingredients have combined. Again, you may need to add a few tablespoons of liquid to the blender, heavy cream or water will work.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve warm, and enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- Nutritional information is based on the savory variation: