Maple Butternut Puree

Maple Butternut Puree with Crispy Sage

Looking for an easy side dish recipe?  You’ll love this maple butternut purée. It’s silky and creamy with no cream added and this squash mash topped with crispy sage makes a great everyday and holiday dish. It’s vegan, dairy-free and irresistible.

butternut squash and sage leaves

I’m not throwing shade on mashed potatoes, but let’s face it, after a serving (or two) you’re likely to feel the food coma closing in.  That’s why cauliflower mash is so popular — no carbs, no bloat. The same is true for this maple butternut purée with crispy sage. It’s light on your waistline, but abundant in flavor. Just 6 ingredients make this vegetable mash an easy, delectable side dish that will up your dinner game.

TBH, as a kid, I was anti-squash.  Mostly because my experience with it, didn’t go beyond boiled (or rather, over-boiled) with just a pat of butter, salt and pepper. Blech.  No more.

Butternut squash has now become one of my favorite fall vegetables. I love  its tender texture and barely sweet flavor, in fact, it’s the mild flavor that lends itself so perfectly to a butternut puree.

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butternut squash, halved.

Tips For Making Butternut Squash Purée:

  1. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler.
  2. Carefully cut the squash in half, vertically.   OK — I mean CAREFULLY. These things are HARD.  If you don’t have a proper knife — like a REAL knife (not one of those Target specials for $15.99), do yourself a favor and buy the squash that’s already cut into cubes.  (You don’t want to lose a digit because of inferior equipment).
  3. Scoop out the seeds with a tablespoon and discard.
  4. Cut the squash into 1″ cubes.
  5. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil
  6. Add the butternut squash and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender. (You can tell by sticking a paring knife into one of the cubes — if the squash slides off the knife on its own, it’s done.)
  7. Drain the butternut squash in a colander and transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
  8. Pulse to puree the squash.
  9. Add the seasonings and pulse again to combine.
  10. Transfer the maple butternut purée to a serving dish.  Top with crispy sage leaves as a garnish if desired.
  11. {Be sure to check out my easy how-to video for step by step instructions!}
fried sage leaves

Crispy sage leaves are optional, but they’re so good — and as you see, they take less than 5 minutes to make. If you’ve got kids who are responsible for washing the dishes — I’d definitely make this tasty topping — let them clean it up.  (You can tell I was the mean Mom, can’t you?)

pureed butternut squash in cuisinart.

This whole vegetable mash only takes about 20 to 25 minutes to make; the stove and food processor do most of the work.

This butternut mash goes perfectly with seared scallops and we made it last week with some grilled pork chops that I soaked in this easy pork chop brine.  

My daughter is completely smitten with the squash mash and Scott took the leftovers in his lunch the next day — that’s saying something, friends…

Maple Butternut Puree in a bowl.

You can certainly serve the butternut puree without the crispy sage leaves (I’m not the food police) or if you wanted to try another topping, you could just sprinkle on some fresh thyme or a little smoked paprika – or for crunch, some buttered breadcrumbs.  It will still be a hit.

Maple Butternut Puree with Crispy Sage with a spoon.

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4 from 9 votes

Silky Butternut Squash Puree

This easy butternut squash puree is subtly flavored with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup for a tasty, vegan side dish that’s great with pork, chicken and seafood.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword butternut squash, mash, puree, squash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 pound butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 sage leaves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup



  • Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. With a very sharp chefs knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds – discard. Cut the squash into 1″ pieces.
  • Fill a saucepan half way with water and heat to boiling.  Add two teaspoons kosher salt to the water as it reaches a boil.  Add the butternut squash to the water, reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  • Remove from heat and pour the squash into a colander to drain.  Let the squash sit for 2-3 minutes so the liquid can evaporate.


  • In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until its very hot and the oil slicks across the pan.  Add the sage leaves and fry them until crisp.  Remove from heat.  Transfer sage to a paper towel lined dish and set aside.


  • Transfer the squash to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the kosher salt, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to the puree and pulse again until well incorporated. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  • Spoon the butternut squash puree into a serving bowl and crumble the sage leaves on top. Serve.
  • NOTE: Squash can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving.  Add crispy sage at the last minute.


YouTube video


Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 24110IU | Vitamin C: 47.6mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 1.6mg

“Pin It” For Later!

If you love mashed vegetables, this butternut puree will be your favorite easy side dish recipe. A squash mash, seasoned w/maple & crispy fried sage leaves. #butternutsquash #butternutsquashrecipes #mashedbutternutsquash #mashedvegetables #squashmash #easysidedishrecipes #sage #maple #fallsidedish #vegetariansidedish #vegansidedish #autumn #thanksgivingsidedish #christmassidedish #fallsidedish #mashedsquash #mashedbutternut

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  1. Cindy Gordon says:

    We grew butternut squash in our garden this year! Can’t wait to use them in this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Earth Fare had butternut squash on sale this week and I bought two with no idea what I was going to do with them! Now I know!! This sounds so good and my sage plant is flourishing!

  3. 5 stars
    I looove squash at this time of year, you could do so much with this puree thanks so much for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    Love the beautiful color of this side dish! So easy to make and looks delicious! It’s perfect for the upcoming holidays!

  5. 5 stars
    Yum! I’ve never tried butternut purée before but it seems like such a yummy autumnal dish. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  6. Heidy L. McCallum says:

    Thanks so much for the much-needed tips to make the puree. This will make it much easier to make I think. This recipe looks fab and I can not wait to try it. Hope it turns out as good as yours.