About 15 or 16 years ago, a coworker who I frequently talked to about recipes gave me a winter squash. I told her that I had never had one before, and she was quite appalled. How could a foodie never have squash? She told me to cut it in half, drizzle on a little oil and shake on a little salt and pepper, and then roast it. I took the squash home, put it on top of my refrigerator and the completely forgot about it. I think one of my cats jumped on top of the fridge and knocked it back to an area that I couldn’t see without standing on a chair. I later found it, and it was not in good shape. I maintained my squash-free diet for another year.
When squash season rolled around the following year, I spotted them in the store and thought of my coworker. She was right – I needed to try some squash. I bought a butternut squash, took it home and followed her advice – I cut it in half and roasted with a little oil, salt, and pepper.
Once I was done roasting it though, I didn’t know what to do with it. Do we eat it straight out of the skin? Do I stuff it with something? Now I know that I can do both of those things, but at the time what I did was scrape it out of the skin and just mash it up with some spices. And it was delicious.
Mashed Butternut Squash is super easy to make
Since then, mashed butternut squash has become one of my favorite dishes to make for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And it’s so simple to make, that it almost feels like cheating. It’s so simple, in fact, that I’ve waited so long to post the recipe that I didn’t think it really needed one. I finally decided to write it down, because I’ve seen many people asking what to do with squash on Facebook, as well others stating that they don’t know what to make for their first vegan Thanksgiving.
I like to add roasted garlic to my mashed butternut squash to give it a little extra somethin’ somethin’. Garlic roasts up so creamy and has such a nice mellow flavor, that it really lends itself well to any kind of mashed vegetable dish. If you put both the garlic and the squash in the oven together, they should be done around the same time.
I like to make mashed butternut squash for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s also a great side dish for weeknight dinner!
Garlicky Mashed Butternut Squash
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 bulb garlic
- Neutral vegetable oil
- Black pepper
- ¼ cup vegetable stock
Preheat your oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds. If it’s difficult to cut in half, place it in the heated oven for about 10 minutes to soften it.
Drizzle a little oil on both halves and sprinkle on some salt and black pepper. Place cut side up on the prepared baking sheet, and roast for 35-45 minutes, or until tender.
Peel most of the paper off of the garlic, but make sure you keep the bulb intact. Use a sharp knife to cut the top part of the garlic bulb off. You’ll want to trim about ¼” off.
Drizzle the tops of exposed cloves with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Cover the bulb with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until the cloves are soft. The garlic is done with deeply golden brown and completely soft.
If you time it right, the squash and the garlic will be done around the same time. Allow them both to cool slightly, so they’re not too hot to handle.
Scrape the squash out of the skin, and place it in a large bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the paper into the same bowl and add the vegetable stock. Mash everything together with a potato masher or large fork. You can go as creamy or as lumpy as you like. (I prefer a few lumps.) Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if you like.
If you enjoyed this Mashed Butternut Squash recipe, you may also like:
- Maple Miso Glazed Squash
- Quinoa Stuffed Squash
- Roasted Kabocha Soup
- Creamy Baked Fusilli with Butternut Squash