This mashed butternut squash makes for the perfect veggie side dish for any meal. Sweet or savory, you pick how to enjoy this healthy vegetable mash!

Two bowls of mashed butternut squash. One is sweet with maple syrup and cinnamon on top. The other has parsley, oil, and grated cheese on top.

Does mashed butternut squash sounds a bit….basic…to you? Yeah, I know. I’ve thought that before. But this…this recipe is DIFFERENT.

Butternut squash mash sounds simple (and it is!), but this recipe is anything but basic. We’ve taken a simple, classic fall veggie side and brought it next level in the flavor department.

And because we all have different taste preferences, we’ve created a standard butternut squash mash recipe and then included how to make it a sweet dish or savory side with a few simple ingredient tweaks. Both flavor profiles are amazing and make eating your fall veggies kinda exciting.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, can easily be made vegan and dairy free. Perfect as part of meal prep.

Why you want to make this mashed butternut squash

  • Sweet or Savory? You get to pick! Butternut squash can easily go creamy and savory or you can play on its natural sweetness and have a sweeter (but still healthy) veggie side that is sure to get some veggie-iffy eaters excited. I’ve included both methods in this recipes so you can pick what works best for your taste or the meal you are serving.
  • Flavorful way to get veggies on the table. Serve this mashed butternut squash in place of mashed potatoes and get all the nutrients of the beautiful orange squash while making your tastebud sing.
  • Works great as a leftover. I love to make the squash mash as part of meal prep and enjoy it for a few days. It reheats easily and is perfect for tossing on a plate with a quick protein or and roasted veggies for a seriously awesome dinner.
  • Can easily be made dairy-free and/or vegan by using oil instead of butter (or using vegan butter), subbing the milk for your favorite plant based milk, and using nutritional yeast in place of the cheese.

Frequently asked questions

Can I steam or boil the squash?

Roasting is the preferred method for cooking the squash because it reduces the water content of the squash and concentrates the flavor. However, you can cook the squash in many different ways with slightly different results.

To cook the squash on the stove top, add diced squash to a large pot and add a cup of water. Place lid on the pot and bring up to a simmer. Cook until squash is very soft. Drain squash and continue with the recipe as written. You may not want to add all the milk, since the steamed squash will have more water content than the roasted squash.

A bowl of mashed butternut squash with a potato masher in it.

Can I cook a butternut squash whole and then use it in this mashed butternut squash?

You hate cutting squash as much as I do!

Yes, you can. However, just like boiling or steaming squash, cooking a squash whole makes for a wetter butternut squash mash since the water in the squash cooks IN to the flesh verse off. But if you are okay with that, you can absolutely cook your butternut squash whole in a few different ways.

To roast a whole butternut squash

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Use a little oil to grease a large casserole dish or lipped baking sheet. Having an edge to your baking dish is important since your squash might release some water while baking.
  2. Wash your squash and, using a sharp knife, carefully poke 10-12 holes the squash.
  3. Place the squash in your prepared baking dish.
  4. Roast for 60-80 minutes (if using a bigger squash, it will take longer). Your squash is done when a fork or knife and easily go into the flesh.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow the squash to cool for about 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
  6. Carefully transfer the cooked squash to a cutting board (it will still be hot inside). Cut it in half lengthwise.
  7. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh surrounding them. Discard.
  8. Remove the peel (it should easily come off) and then use the remaining flesh as desired.

To cook a whole butternut squash in your slow cooker

  1. Wash your butternut squash and carefully puncture it 6-8 times with a sharp knife.
  2. Place whole squash in a slow cooker and add 1 cup water.
  3. Cook 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. You will know your squash is done when it can easily be pierced with a fork or knife.
  4. When cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop out seeds.

To cook a whole butternut squash in your Instant Pot

  1. Wash your squash and puncture it 8-10 times with a sharp knife.
  2. Pour 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot.  Place metal trivet inside and place butternut squash on top.
  3. Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position.  Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes. If you are using a large squash, cut in half to help it cook or add more cooking time.
  4. It will take your Instant Pot about 10 minutes to get up to pressure.
  5. When cook time is complete, let the pressure naturally release.
  6. When cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop out seeds.

Tips and tricks

  • Use pre cut and cubed butternut squash. Many grocery stores sell it in the produce aisle. You will need about 2 pounds for this recipe.
  • Use thawed frozen butternut squash. Again, about 2 pounds are needed.
  • Make this mash super smooth my pureeing it in a food processor with the “S” blade attachment

Suggested Adaptation

  • To make vegan and/or dairy-free, use oil or vegan butter and sub your favorite plant milk. Replace cheese with nutritional yeast or omit.

Other butternut squash recipes

Loving this mashed butternut squash recipe and now you’re hungry for more?

Sign up so that my newsletter is delivered straight to your inbox. And be sure to follow me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for all kinds of veggie-loaded living ideas!

5 from 3 votes

Mashed Butternut Squash (sweet or savory)

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
This mashed butternut squash makes for the perfect veggie side dish for any meal. Sweet or savory, you pick how to enjoy this healthy vegetable mash!


  • 1 large butternut squash, about 3 pounds (or 2 pounds pre-cut butternut squash), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For sweet butternut squash mash

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice

For savory butternut squash mash

  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast for dairy-free/vegan option
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice


  • Preheat oven to 400℉. For easy clean up, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Wash and dry the squash. Peel squash and then cut the squash in half across the center. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon then cut the squash into 1-inch cubes.
    Alternatively, you can use precut squash or thawed frozen squash to save time. Just be sure squash pieces are about 1 inch.
  • Place cubes on the baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt. Roast squash until tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Place cooked squash in a large bowl. Use a potato masher to mash squash or a hand mixer or food processor to whip squash into a smoother texture.

For sweet butternut squash mash

  • While squash is still hot, stir in butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in a little milk at a time. Taste and more maple syrup or cinnamon as needed. Serve warm.

For savory butternut squash mash

  • While squash is still hot, stir in butter or oil, cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir in a little milk at a time. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm
Calories: 263kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 1374mg, Potassium: 691mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 20412IU, Vitamin C: 39mg, Calcium: 209mg, Iron: 1mg