Butternut Squash Puree with Fontina Cheese, Fresh Thyme, and Brown Butter makes a delicious side dish for Thanksgiving dinner or any holiday meal or family gathering.
Growing up, mashed squash was the one veggie I tried to politely pass on at every meal it made an appearance at. And I say “tried” to pass on because my mom usually wasn’t having it; she was always a little too quick to scoop me that I thought was quite a sizeable “no thank you helping”.
I’m definitely a case of changed taste buds because as an adult, squash – in all of its numerous preparations – is one of my favorites. This Butternut Squash Puree with Fontina Cheese, Fresh Thyme, and Brown Butter is smooth and velvety with rich, nutty flavor from Fontina and brown butter and freshness from thyme. It’s a great addition to any fall dinner, but a particularly lovely addition to a holiday meal.
What is the Best Way to Cook Butternut Squash?
Because butternut squash is so versatile, there are quite a few delicious ways to cook it.
How to Make Butternut Squash Fries
I like to roast chopped butternut squash in the oven so it’s reminiscent of French fries (but so much more flavorful!). To do so:
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Drizzle melted ghee, avocado oil, or another oil with a high smoke point onto a large baking sheet.
- Peel the squash, and then slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Chop or slice the squash into 1/2-inch thick pieces.
- Toss the squash with a little more oil, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Spread out the squash in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Roast until the squash is tender and lightly browned on one side, about 20 to 40 minutes. You can give the squash a toss once halfway through, but it isn’t necessary.
How to Roast a Whole Butternut Squash
To roast a whole butternut squash (check out my pictures on how to roast a whole butternut squash in this post):
- Preheat the oven to 400F; line a large baking sheet with foil (for easy clean up).
- Wash and pat dry the outside of the squash, use a paring knife to prick a few holes in it, and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until a paring knife easily slides into the flesh, about 60 to 90 minutes.
If you have a whole squash, but you want to cut it in half before roasting, please see directions in the recipe below on how to do so.
How to Make Pureed Butternut Squash (Or Whipped Butternut Squash)
After roasting a whole butternut squash, let the squash cool a bit so you can touch it without getting burned. Then scoop out the flesh, and discard the seeds. At this point, you can either mash or puree the cooked squash.
Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash is one of my favorite additions to soup! I frequently add butternut squash cubes instead of potatoes (like in my Sweet and Spicy Beef, Butternut, and White Bean Stew), and I use butternut squash puree instead of pumpkin puree (heads-up, butternut puree would be a great substitute for pumpkin puree in my Brown Sugar Pumpkin Soup!). I love that it bumps up the flavor and nutrition, making soup a much more exciting meal!
More About Butternut Squash Puree
You can eat butternut squash puree on its own as a side dish, and have fun switching up the flavor profile by adding in different herbs, cheeses, etc. It’s a delicious crowd-pleasing side dish that’s easy to make ahead, which makes it perfect for a holiday dinner (it’s always on my family’s Thanksgiving table) or any Sunday supper.
How Many Cups of Puree Does One Butternut Squash Make?
I find that one large (about 3 1/2 pounds/1.59 kilograms) butternut squash yields about 2 pounds (.9 kilograms) of butternut squash puree, which is about 4 cups of puree.
Can I Make Butternut Squash Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can make butternut squash ahead of time! I find that it lasts for about three to five days if covered and refrigerated.
What to Put in Mashed Butternut Squash
I like to add different combinations of herbs, spices, cheeses, etc. to my butternut squash to change up the flavor profile. Here are a few of my favorite flavor combos for making butternut squash puree:
- Cinnamon, maple, butter, and pecans
- Roasted garlic, rosemary, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese
- Caramelized onion, Gruyere cheese, and thyme
- And of course, butternut squash puree is delicious seasoned simply with butter, salt, and pepper!
More Butternut Squash Recipes:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Chickpeas, Kale, and Pearl Couscous from An Edible Mosaic
- Whipped Maple Butternut Squash from Whole and Heavenly Oven
- Parmesan Butternut Squash Fries from Damn Delicious
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Squash with Cranberry Cider Glaze from The Crumby Kitchen
- Butternut Squash-Topped Cottage Pie from An Edible Mosaic
Butternut Squash Puree with Fontina Cheese, Fresh Thyme, and Brown Butter
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub the inside with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash cut-side-down until tender, about 1 hour. Let the squash cool slightly, and then scoop out the flesh.
Add the warm squash to a food processor along with 2 tablespoons of butter, the cheese, and the thyme. Process until smooth.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to a small skillet over medium heat. Cook until it smells nutty and turns brown, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the squash into a serving bowl and drizzle the brown butter on top.
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