Don’t forget about winter squash this Thanksgiving! You’ll love this recipe for Mashed Butternut Squash. Creamy butternut squash is combined with browned butter, tangy goat cheese, and savory sage for a great alternative to the classic holiday side dish. Elevate your meal with this flavorful dish for Thanksgiving or any time of year!
What are you bringing to your holiday meal? Most people include mashed potatoes or some sort of sweet potato side. But I think winter squash deserves a mention this holiday, too! This recipe elevates the mashed squash with some rich brown butter, fresh sage leaves, and creamy goat cheese. Consider adding Mashed Butternut Squash to your meal—you won’t regret it!
SAVE THIS MASHED BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
How to make Brown Butter
This recipe uses brown butter, which, if you don’t know, is just regular butter that has been browned in a saucepan. It adds a nutty flavor that adds a little something extra to baked goods, purees, or other dishes that use melted butter.
It’s really easy to make brown butter! Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking frequently. Once it melts, continue cooking for about 2-3 minutes; the butter will foam, then subside, and brown specks will form at the bottom of the pan. You should notice a nutty aroma.
Be careful not to overcook, as you can quickly go from browned butter to burnt butter! If that happens, dump it out and start again, as the charred flavor is not appetizing.
Ingredients for Mashed Butternut Squash
You only need five simple ingredients for this delicious side dish:
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons milk (you can also use heavy cream)
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup butter
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped sage
How to make Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese
This side dish comes together in just a few easy steps:
First, bring a pot of water to boil. Slice the whole butternut squash into cubes with a sharp knife. Add butternut squash cubes to boiling water and cook until they are fork-tender (about 10-15 minutes.)
Drain butternut squash and put into large bowl. Mash together either with a potato masher or immersion blender.
Add the milk, goat cheese and salt, and mix.
Finally, melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the chopped sage, and stir frequently as it continues to cook. Keep an eye on it as it can go from a nice brown to blackened bits very quickly. It should have a nutty aroma as it darkens. Immediately add to squash and mix well to combine.
Serve immediately for the best results!
Roasting: An Alternative Cooking Method
Boiling the squash is the fastest way to cook it, but it does take some of the flavor away. If you have more time and want a deeper flavor, you can roast butternut squash according to these directions, or even roast the whole squash and scoop out the flesh.
Can I use dried sage instead of fresh?
Yes, you can use dried sage. It has a stronger flavor and is a bit heartier than fresh sage, but it works fine in this recipe. Use ½ teaspoon of dried sage for every tablespoon of freshly chopped sage. So, for this recipe you would use 1 ½ teaspoons of dried sage.
Can I make Mashed Butternut Squash ahead of time?
Yes, making this recipe ahead of time works well. You could use one of two methods.
First, make as directed, then let cool completely. Cover tightly and store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Reheat it over medium heat on the stovetop and serve when ready!
The second option is to make it the day you need it and keep it warm in a slow cooker on the “warm” setting. Then you can focus on making other dishes for your holiday meal.
What’s the best way to mash squash?
You can use a potato masher, a food processor, electric mixer or an immersion blender to create the butternut squash puree.
How do I store leftover mashed squash?
Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Can I freeze mashed butternut squash?
You can store this in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then warm in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Try these Side Dish Recipes for Thanksgiving
If you’re looking for another perfect side dish, may I suggest one of the following:
- Parmesan Smashed Potatoes: A simple and quick 5 ingredient recipe that combines creamy smashed potatoes with Parmesan and fresh parsley.
- Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts: If you’re not a fan of brussels sprouts, this recipe will convert you, I promise!
- Broccoli Gratin: this recipe ups the flavor with roasted broccoli, bacon, and a creamy cheese sauce!
- Green Bean Casserole: This recipe elevates a classic side dish with homemade mushroom sauce and hand-fried crispy shallots for the topping!
- Gruyere Scalloped Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes smothered in heavy cream and Gruyere cheese. Can you say indulgent?
Mashed Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Brown Butter
- 2 pounds butternut squash -peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes or about 3-3 1/2 cups of raw, peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped sage
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste, if needed
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in butternut squash and cook until fork tender (10-15 minutes).
- Drain butternut squash and put into large bowl. Mash together either with a potato masher or immersion blender.
- Add the milk, goat cheese and salt, and mix.
- Finally, melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the chopped sage and stir frequently as it continues to cook. Keep an eye on it as it can go from a nice brown to blackened bits very quickly. It should have a nutty aroma as it darkens. Immediately add to squash and mix well to combine.
did you make this recipe?
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This post was originally published November 21, 2017. It has been updated in format and with pictures on October 24, 2023.