Rachel Cooks

Butternut Squash Mash with Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika makes this butternut squash recipe a real stand-out. Perfect for your Thanksgiving table or as a healthy side dish any day of the week. 

Smokey Butternut Squash Mash from RachelCooks.com

I’ve always loved butternut squash. Despite my disdain for peeling it, it remains one of my favorite vegetables. And once my mom told me “your vegetable peeler is horrible,” and bought me a new one, the task of peeling the squash suddenly became a lot less tedious. Go figure! It’s funny when you’re used to something being so crappy that when you move to something that is functional it is like a miracle. A dream come true. A life saver!

Yes, I am this excited about a vegetable peeler.

Smokey Butternut Squash Mash from RachelCooks.com

How beautiful would that butternut squash look on your Thanksgiving table? I can’t get over how gorgeous it is.  I added a nice little chunk o’butter but you could easily make this as healthy as you want. The butternut squash is naturally very creamy. You could even make this a vegan side dish by omitting the butter and using vegetable broth instead of milk.

Me, I’ll stick with butter.

But even without butter, you still get tons of great flavor from the smoked paprika. You could even add a little more. Sometimes I’m a little iffy on smoked paprika so I always play it on the conservative side. You can always add more to taste, but you can’t remove it once it is in there!

But you could add more butter. So there’s that.

Smokey Butternut Squash Mash from RachelCooks.com


Butternut Squash Mash with Smoked Paprika

Yield: 6 side servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Smoked paprika adds something special to this butternut squash recipe. Makes a healthy side dish for Thanksgiving or any day


  • 1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil. Rub squash halves with oil and sprinkle with spices and salt. Place flesh side down on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to one hour or until tender.
  2. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh and put in a large bowl. Add butter and milk and use a potato masher to mash the squash until you achieve your desired consistency.

You may use a hand mixer or an immersion blender if you prefer a smoother mash. I like a little texture in mine.

Verdict: E and I loved this squash. Ben wasn’t wild about it. He ate it but prefers it with brown sugar and cinnamon. Can’t say I blame him – brown sugar and cinnamon are always a good decision.
Changes I would make: None.
Difficulty: Easy.

Craving more butternut squash? Try my Quinoa, Bacon and Kale Stuffed Butternut Squash, Moroccan Slow Cooker Chicken, my Spicy Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash or this great soup!


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12 Responses to “Butternut Squash Mash with Smoked Paprika”

  1. denise — November 22, 2013 at 6:47 am

    great option

  2. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — November 22, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Totally agree with you on smoked paprika! Just enough and it’s perfect, but sometimes too much can be over the top. You should try the Kuhn peelers, they are great too, and only like 4 dollars. Makes the best stuffing stocker.

    Love this recipe Rachel!

    • Rachel Gurk — November 24th, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

      Oooh I’ll have to drop my husband a hint 😉

  3. steph@stephsbitebybite — November 22, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Oh yum!! I always go the sweet route with my butternut squash, but I’m thinking that I need to try a little smokiness! This sounds so good.

  4. Faye Mc — November 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Yum! I HAVE smoked paprika and willing to use it >:-)

  5. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — November 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Adding the smoke element to this is just genius!

  6. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — November 22, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Butternut squash is one of my faves! Love the smoked paprika!

  7. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — November 23, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I’ve used sweet paprika in mine before but never smoky. I love that idea!

  8. Tracey — November 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Haha, my mom used to give me such a hard time about my terrible cutting boards. So random, but of course she was right at the end of the day :) Anyway, I love butternut squash, it’s the best! I usually do mine super sweet with brown sugar but I’ve gotta try this!

  9. Shelly (Cookies and Cups) — November 27, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    We make this sometimes and it always tastes sooo good!


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