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Mashed butternut squash is a healthy side dish recipe with a bit of brown butter to make it rich, nutty, and delicious. Just a touch adds to the velvety texture, while still keeping it light. Quick and easy to make on a busy weeknight, but a perfect addition to your holiday menu for Thanksgiving or Christmas. And this luxurious whipped butternut squash is gluten free, and can be made paleo and Whole 30 friendly!
Given it’s indulgent flavor, it’s not surprising to see plenty of decadent recipes with brown butter, such as Browned Butter Snickerdoodles or Browned Butter Brownies from The Food Charlatan. Even breakfast gets the brown butter treatment, like these Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins.
So if it makes these goodies even better, then it must do the same to the healthy stuff, right?
And the great thing about it – if you use the real, full fat stuff and brown it all up, it is so packed with flavor that you only need a smidge to have a huge impact.
For a good size butternut squash, I only used two tablespoons of butter, and it made quite a lot. The four of us ate it, with plenty of leftovers.
Brown Butter Mashed Butternut Squash Recipe
The addition of the browned butter makes this mashed butternut squash so luxurious, with a lovely, velvety texture, and rich, well-developed flavor. Everyone will enjoy simple, nutritious, but impressive side dish.
How do you make mashed butternut squash?
- The first step is to peel and cut the butternut squash into 1-inch pieces. Be sure to use a very sharp knife and cut the squash carefully.
- Steam the squash in a steamer basket over a simmering pot of water.
Note: some people then like to use roasted butternut squash when they mash it in order to get some additional flavor. But simple steaming lets the nutty butter flavor shine in this recipe.
- While it steams, brown your butter, then add the sage. It will foam slightly when you do this.
- Add the squash, browned butter mixture, and salt and pepper to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You can also use a hand blender.
- Return the mixture to a pot and heat through, evaporating off any excess moisture to achieve your desired thickness.
How do you brown butter?
You can see step-by-step photos for how to brown butter from Country Cleaver.
In short, heat a pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter, let it melt and start to foam. Stir frequently until the butter becomes golden in color and some brown bits start to collect at the bottom. Be careful not to burn the butter.
How do you make this recipe Whole 30 compliant?
That’s simple. You just need ghee, which you can buy, or you can make homemade ghee, as you can see from Foodie With Family.
Basically, the process of making brown butter and ghee is the same. With ghee you are cooking it long enough to separate the butterfat from the milk solids and then removing the solids. When making brown butter, you just cook it longer to develop that nutty, toasty flavor, and you might not necessarily separate it from the solids unless you choose to based on your particular diet or preferences.
So to make a paleo or Whole 30 compliant version of Brown Butter Mashed Butternut Squash, after browning the butter pour it through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth to separate the milk solids from the browned ghee.
Make it a Meal
If you are looking for a lighter alternative to a heavier mashed potato or even sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving or Christmas, give it a try. It is also a lovely side for a special steak dinner on the weekend, or with some chicken for a healthy weeknight dinner.
Weeknight chicken dinner
More butternut squash recipes
- Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash
- Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup
- Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
More healthy vegetable side dish recipes
- Cranberry Orange Glazed Green Beans
- Horseradish Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower Gratin
- Balsamic Roasted Vegetable
Brown Butter Mashed Butternut Squash
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Place the butternut squash cubes in a steamer basket and steam until tender, about 15 minutes.
- While the squash is cooking, heat a pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter, let it melt and start to foam. Stir frequently until the butter becomes golden in color and some brown bits start to collect at the bottom. Be careful not to burn the butter.
- Remove from the heat, and add the sage. The butter will foam slightly when you do this.
- Add the cooked butternut squash to a blender or food processor, then add the sage-butter mixture, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Puree until smooth.
- If the puree is a bit to liquidy, return to a pan and cook off some of the liquid.
- Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.