Mashed Winter Squash 3 Ways

By: Ginny Mahar

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost Paleo, Paleo, AIP-friendly, Vegan-friendly

Looking for a filling, nutrient-dense side dish that is versatile, easy, and delicious? Meet your new favorite cold-weather staple: Mashed Winter Squash. 

The base stays the same: Roasted winter squash scooped from its skin, moistened with broth, seasoned, and mashed. It’s the three flavoring options that provide personality. From Italian-inspired fresh sage, garlic, and nutmeg, to aromatic Chinese 5-Spice, or licorice-scented tarragon kissed with coconut milk. It’s impossible to pick a favorite, and dead simple to get on the table. 

What’s the best kind of squash to use?

I debated being more specific than “winter squash” with the title of this recipe because truly, this is amazing with Kabocha, Sunshine, Jarrahdale, Cinderella, or Buttercup Squash. All of those varieties are pumpkin-shaped, with deep-orange flesh, and lots of natural sweetness. Part of what makes these varieties work well is that they provide a good amount of squash flesh, and are easy to roast, scoop, and mash because of it.  

That said, finding these varieties might be difficult, and I don’t want you to feel like it’s necessary to run around town hunting down a Kabocha when more common varieties like butternut or even sweet potato would make fine understudies. 

Personally, I would avoid smaller (albeit still delicious) varieties like acorn, delicata, or carnival squash, mainly because you would have to roast several to get enough squash, and scooping the flesh can be a little bit awkward from deeply-ridged varieties like acorn. But if that’s what you have on hand, and you’re up for the extra prep time, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with how they would taste. 

Best Choices: Kabocha, Sunshine, Buttercup, Jarrahdale (pictured below), Cinderella

Here’s some info about the thyroid-healthy ingredients in these recipes:

5 from 2 votes

Mashed Winter Squash 3 Ways

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost Paleo, Paleo, AIP-friendly, Vegan-friendly
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 large winter squash like kabochaButtercup, or butternut
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon gheeor extra olive oil for vegan
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 cup chicken bone brothor veg. stock for vegan
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepperto taste (omit pepper for AIP)


Base Recipe for the Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Halve winter squash from stem to end and scoop out seeds. Rub each half with a bit of coconut oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Place cut-side-down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in oven. Roast 45-60 minutes or until the squash gives easily when poked.

  2. Remove from oven, flip halves cut-side up and let cool slightly. Scoop the flesh from the skins and place in a medium saucepan. Add ghee, olive oil, broth, and salt and pepper, to taste. Mash with a potato masher.

  3. Stir in ingredients from one of the three seasoning options in the notes below. Taste and adjust seasonings, and if necessary, add more broth to moisten. Keep warm over very low heat until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Use the amounts listed below as a loose guideline, depending on the size and moisture content of your squash, as well as your personal preferences.

Option 1: Savory Sage & Nutmeg (AIP-friendly)

2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (substitute mace for AIP)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Option 2: Chinese 5-Spice (not AIP-friendly)

2-3 pinches Chinese 5-Spice
1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch white pepper
2-3 teaspoons maple syrup (if needed, taste first)

Option 3: Coconut Tarragon (AIP-friendly)

1 teaspoon dried tarragon, or 1 tablespoon fresh
Replace half the broth with full-fat coconut milk
Replace olive oil with coconut oil

Nutritional Info Print
Nutrition Facts
Mashed Winter Squash 3 Ways
Amount Per Serving
Calories 71 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 1mg0%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 18IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 1mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About the Author

Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for over four years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and lowered her thyroid antibodies by half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur.