Make Ahead

Butternut Squash Purée

March  4, 2011
6 Ratings
  • Serves 4
What You'll Need
  • 6 cups cubed (1/2-inch) butternut squash (from about 1 medium squash)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. Pile the butternut squash into a medium, heavy saucepan or dutch oven. Add the olive oil and season with salt. Cover the pan, and place it over medium high heat. Occasionally lift the lid to stir, but you want the butternut squash to rapidly saute and steam in the oil. Cook until the squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Make sure the squash doesn't burn; adjust the heat as needed.
  2. Off the heat, use a potato masher to crush the squash to a very soft mash with no large chunks. Return the purée to medium heat. Pour in the cream and let it sit until it bubbles. Then stir it in. Add more salt or cream as needed.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Truly Scrumptious
    Truly Scrumptious
  • Margy@hidethecheese
  • AlohaHoya
  • AntoniaJames
  • boulangere
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

15 Reviews

Nancy November 17, 2019
This is delicious, both on its own and as a base for squash soup (as Valerie G posted). Sometimes I make a double batch, one for serving as vegetable, one for soup. Or just use leftovers (if any), to make 1-2 servings of soup for a lunch or snack next day.
valerie J. April 15, 2017
I always cook butternut squash in the microwave, turning every 5 minutes, for 15 or 20 minutes. Then I either just cut into large slices and serve, after removing the seeds, or scoop out and mash as in this recipe. It is so easy this way. I am thinking 1) if I do this and then add some hot oil, very hot cream and some salt, will it taste so different from Amanda's recipe 2) I do have a serrated peeler supposed to be for soft items - very useful for tomatoes, peaches, etc, as long as you're careful not to cut your thumb. If this would really make peeling the squash easier I will have a go at this recipe.
Truly S. March 17, 2012
I really like this with smoked salt.
Margy@hidethecheese February 9, 2012
We make a version of this that was taught to me by a Trinidadian friend. It involves a bit less oil and a lot more garlic, but the technique is the same. We eat it with roti and it is the perfect light meal.
AlohaHoya January 9, 2012
Winter Squash is one of my faves...and found roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds are a GREAT addition to any form...especially mashed for a change in texture.
AntoniaJames September 29, 2011
I've made this twice now. It's tasty as written, but even better with a couple of fresh bay leaves added right at the beginning. Looking forward to making this often during the months ahead. ;o)
boulangere April 30, 2011
I'm making it again tonight to use in my Butternut, Brie, Bacon, Chestnut Tart. It is perfect in many, many ways. The squash, that is.
AntoniaJames April 28, 2011
This is such a terrific recipe! I made it the other night, to go with the contest-winning Mujaddara. I wanted something with color and a bright flavor, but didn't want anything complex that would compete with the Mujaddara. This was perfect. (I also served chard, wilted briefly in a little olive oil with shallots, leek and garlic.) I don't care if it's spring. I'm making this again, soon. It's so good, and ridiculously easy. Thank you!! ;o)
Amanda H. April 30, 2011
Glad you liked it so much!
boulangere March 22, 2011
You have made me a dedicated poacher in olive oil!
Amanda H. April 30, 2011
Oh good!
valerieg March 7, 2011
Oh, God, I've spent years avoiding peeling a squash. Even looking at this, I thought, "well, what if you just oil it and roast it and then scoop it out?" That's how I make squash soup, which is basically thinned-out puree. But this takes 15 minutes, and roasting takes an hour, and I can't even niggle about the peeling time, because it's not that much more than the cutting and scooping time, plus oven heating not needed here. Damn. Now I have to try it. I'm sure I'll thank you, especially if there are any nifty squash-peeling tips.
Amanda H. April 30, 2011
If you have a serrated peeler, that makes it a little easier.
SWTorrey March 4, 2011
Definitely trying this one soon (although I may cheat and buy the pre-cubed squash!)
mrslarkin March 4, 2011