There’s so much flavor in this mashed butternut squash with sweet potatoes, with rich nutty brown butter, sweet maple syrup, and fresh rosemary! It’s the perfect sweet and savory balance that complements the delicious natural flavor of the squash and sweet potatoes. The vegetables are halved and roasted peel-on, so no need to peel and dice the veggies, meaning less prep and hands-on time.
One of the best parts of this recipe is how hands-off it is. Roasting the vegetables before mashing them makes the flavor and texture SO good. And while the squash and potatoes take a while to roast in the oven, the hands-on and prep time for this recipe are very quick and easy.
Peeling and cubing the vegetables before roasting would, in theory, create more surface area to get caramelized and seasoned while roasting, resulting in more flavor. But I’ll do almost anything to avoid peeling veggies, especially hard-to-peel ones like butternut squash. Here’s the compromise: The halved squash and sweet potatoes are scored in a crosshatch pattern on the surface before seasoning and roasting, peel ON, creating more nooks and crannies for the flavor to seep in and surface area to get caramelized with no peeling required. Woo hoo!
You’re going to want this delicious, rich side dish all fall and winter long, and it would be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or holiday table.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butternut Squash – a whole one, about 2.5 lbs.
- Sweet potatoes – two large ones, about 2 lbs. total.
- Butter – I used salted, but unsalted will also work.
- Fresh rosemary – or 1/3 of the amount of dried. Thyme or oregano would also work, or you can omit the herbs if you prefer.
- Maple syrup – the real stuff!
- Heavy cream – or half and half or whole milk in a pinch.
How to make Mashed Butternut Squash and Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter and Maple
1. Preheat your oven and line a baking sheet with foil. While the oven is preheating, brown the butter. Melt butter over medium-high heat and stir frequently, until it foams, turns brown, and emits a nutty fragrance. Immediately remove from the heat, or else the butter might burn.
2. Cut the potatoes and squash in half and remove the seeds and pulp from the squash. Use a sharp knife to score the cut sides of the veggies and place on the baking sheet. Brush with a mixture of brown butter and maple syrup, and season with salt, pepper, and chopped fresh rosemary. Roast until the flesh of the veggies is tender and can easily be pierced by a fork.
3. Scoop the flesh of the veggies from their peels with a spoon and place in a large bowl. Add more brown butter, maple syrup, and heavy cream, and mix with an electric mixer or mash with a potato masher. Season to taste.
4. Finally, transfer the puree to a serving dish and use a spoon to smooth out the top and create indents and rivets. Drizzle the remaining brown butter on top and serve!
Please scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe including ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
The combination of butternut squash and starchy sweet potatoes creates an awesome texture, but if you want to just use one or the other, that works too. Double the butternut squash and make the recipe as directed – the result may be a bit more of a watery texture. Or triple the amount of sweet potatoes – you’ll have to increase the amount of cream, or substitute with more whole milk, since the result will be thicker, and I would use a potato masher instead of an electric mixer otherwise the overworked starch may result in a gluey texture.
I haven’t tried it, but you can probably use a vegan butter and plant-based milk in place of the cream.
Sure! You won’t get that extra flavor boost from roasting it in the oven and the nice browning that occurs, but if you really want to, throw all the halved veggies into a slow cooker and brush the tops with the maple brown butter and seasoning, cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8, then scoop the flesh out and proceed as directed.
This recipe is best enjoyed right away, but you can make it ahead of time if you really need to. Just mix everything as directed without the extra brown butter drizzle at the end. Store the mash and the brown butter separately in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the mash (I’d just microwave it, but you can bake it if you really want to!) then melt and drizzle the brown butter on top to serve.
Other butternut squash recipes
- Butternut Squash Alfredo with Brown Butter and Rosemary
- Moroccan Spice Roasted Butternut Squash
- Moroccan Butternut Squash, Chickpea, and Spinach Stew
- Ginger Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup
Other veggie mash recipes
- Potato and Cauliflower Mash
- Mashed Cauliflower with Butter and Herbs
- Classic Mashed Potatoes
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Brown Butter and Maple Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Mash
- 1 butternut squash around 2.5 lbs
- 2 large sweet potatoes around 2 lbs. total
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary plus more for garnish
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (highly recommended).
- While the oven is preheating, brown the butter. In a small or medium pot, melt the butter (6 tablespoons) over medium-high heat. Stir or whisk constantly, until butter begins to foam and turns brown, emitting a nutty fragrance. Immediately remove from heat. Set aside.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of the brown butter in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup. Set aside.
- Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove and discard the seeds and pulp from the center. Use a small knife (I like serrated) to score the cut sides of the squash and potatoes in a crosshatch pattern, about 1/4" deep. Place cut side up on the prepared baking dish.
- Brush the brown butter and maple syrup mixture generously on the cut sides of the potatoes and squash. Pour any extra into the butternut squash cavities. Season with salt and pepper (not too much – you can always add more). Sprinkle with the fresh chopped rosemary (1 tablespoon).
- Roast at 375 degrees F for 45 – 60 minutes, or longer if needed. You should be able to pierce the flesh of the potatoes and squash easily with a fork. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Scoop the squash and potatoes from their peels using a spoon and place in a large bowl. Discard the skins and foil. Add 2 more tablespoons of the brown butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, and the heavy cream (½ cup). Use an electric mixer to mix together, or a potato masher for a more rustic texture. Season to taste, if necessary.
- Transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Use a spoon to carve smooth indents and ridges in the top. Spoon the remaining 2 tablespoons brown butter on top of the puree, along with some freshly cracked black pepper. Serve.
- If you prefer, you can peel and dice your squash and sweet potatoes, then toss with the maple brown butter to coat, season with salt and pepper and rosemary, and roast. You’ll end up roasting for less time (about 25-30 minutes) but you’ll spend more time and effort with prep.
- Make ahead: This is best eaten fresh, but can be made ahead as well. Prepare everything as directed except for drizzling the brown butter on at the end. Refrigerate the puree and the brown butter separately in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Microwave the mash to reheat, stirring together every 30 seconds to a minute or so to heat evenly, then transfer the reheated puree to a serving dish. Alternatively, you can reheat the mash in a baking dish at 350 degrees until heated through. Melt the 2 tablespoons reserved brown butter and drizzle on just before serving.
- Substitutions: Rosemary may be omitted or substituted with oregano or thyme, vegan butter and plant milk can be used instead of butter and cream for a vegan version, unsalted butter may be used with extra salt to taste.