Oven roasted mashed potato squash is a healthy and flavorful alternative to potatoes. This bright white winter squash has a creamy and delicious flesh that tastes similar to a combination of mashed potatoes mixed and butternut squash or sweet potatoes. A great side dish for the Fall and holiday season!
If you’re an avid farmer’s market shopper this time of the year, you’ve probably spotted a small white-skinned acorn-type squash. It’s a mashed potato squash and you should definitely add some to your haul.
I work with a great local organic farm, Middlebury Farms, just outside of Chicago that grows a large variety of organic vegetables and winter squashes and they introduced me to this seasonal beauty. Lately, I’ve been seeing them more often at my local grocery store.
Mashed potato squash is lower in carbs than potatoes and packed with vitamins. They make a great side dish for any night of the week or for Thanksgiving dinner. Even a picky eater who claims they don’t like the taste of squash may change their mind when introduced to this variety.
Why you will love this recipe
- It’s easy to prepare and makes a great dish to accompany any meal.
- It’s easy to make according to any dietary needs – gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan.
- This delicious white squash is easily customized to suit any flavor profile!
Does mashed potato squash actually taste like mashed potatoes?
Not quite, but it’s close. It has a slightly sweet, creamy, almost white flesh that tastes like a cross between traditional white potatoes mixed with sweet potatoes.
The texture is not as firm actual mashed potatoes, but it’s fluffy and creamy and lends itself well to the same treatment as the classic side dish.
Once you roast the squash, I suggest preparing it to taste with ingredients that are agreeable to you! Here are some suggestions to make a super tasty side dish.
- Mashed Potato Squash – These little white acorn squash usually weigh about 1-2 pounds each. Plan for about one pound of squash per person.
- Olive oil – Before you roast the squash, you will want to give them a coat of olive oil.
- Salt and black pepper – Seasoning with a generous amount of salt and pepper is recommended.
Variations to Try
- Butter – A dab of butter really makes this so good.
- Milk, cream or sour cream – a splash of milk or cream or a dollop of sour cream makes it even more rich and creamy.
- Roasted garlic or garlic powder – If you like your mashed potatoes with a little bit of garlic flavor, this is a wonderful addition to the squash. You can use a bit of garlic powder or mix in some roasted fresh garlic. If using fresh, just drizzle a few unpeeled garlic cloves with olive oil and roast them on the pan with the squash.
- Fresh or dried thyme or parsley – A pinch of dried thyme or some fresh chopped parsley or thyme leaves adds some wonderful herbiness.
- Maple Syrup – bring out the sweet potato-like flavor and add some butter and maple syrup.
- You could also mix the roasted squash flesh with yukon gold potatoes for a delicious mashup of everyone’s favorite side!
How to cook mashed potato squash
The hardest part about making any kind of squash is cutting it! Make sure you have a large, stable cutting board and a sharp knife. To stabilize your cutting board, place it on top of a damp dishtowel on the counter. This will help prevent any slipping while you’re handling the squash.
Using a sharp knife, slice off the stem end and about a quarter to a half an inch off of the bottom of the squash. This will create a flat surface on both ends so that you can easily stand it upright and slice through it.
Stand the quash on one of the flat ends and carefully cut it lengthwise down the middle. Go slow and be sure to keep your fingers out of the way. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the stringy bits out of each half.
Place the squash halves skin side down on a large baking tray and drizzle the flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I like to use a brush to make sure everything is evenly coated.
Flip the squash over so it’s cut side down on the baking sheet. For best results, always roast squash cut side down. This allows the flesh side to have maximum contact with the pan, helping it caramelize and develop even more flavor.
Roast the squash halves in a 375 degree oven for 40-50 minutes until soft and easily pierced with a fork. Use tongs to flip the squash over and scoop out all of the soft creamy goodness into a large bowl. Use a potato masher to mash in butter, milk or seasonings of your choice to taste.
For a super smooth and creamy puree, you could also use a food processor or a hand mixer. Serve it up just like you would a side of mashed potatoes!
Can you freeze mashed potato squash?
Yes! Leftovers will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To freeze, store cooked squash in an airtight, freezer safe container for up to six months.
What to serve with mashed potato squash
- This is the perfect holiday side dish to go with your turkey dinner or a beef or pork tenderloin.
- Garlic Herb Crusted Roast Beef
- Dutch Oven Beer Braised Short Ribs
More seasonal winter squash recipes to try
Oven Roasted Mashed Potato Squash
- 4 pounds mashed potato squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
- butter, milk, cream, sour cream, garlic, herbs or other seasonings to taste. optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees f.
- On a sturdy cutting board, carefully slice off about half an inch of the stem side and bottom of each squash with a sharp knife.
- Stand the squash up on one of the flat sides and carefully cut it lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the center.
- Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet and drizzle or brush the flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Flip the squash halves over so they're cut side down and roast for 40-50 minutes until soft and easily pierced with a fork.
- Scoop the creamy white flesh into a bowl and use a potato masher to incorporate butter, milk or sour cream or herbs of your choice to taste.