Spiced Coconut and Butternut Squash Mash

Spiced Coconut and Butternut Squash Mash



  • 2½ to 3 lbs. butternut squash, cut in half vertically and seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ⅓ c. finely shredded unsweetened coconut, for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tbsp. finely minced yellow onion
  • 1, 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 2-4 tbsp. full-fat canned coconut milk, or more as desired (leftover coconut milk can be frozen for a few months)
  • ½ tbsp. honey (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, for garnishing


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. 

2. Rub cut side of each squash half lightly with olive oil. Place squash cut side down, onto prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 45 minutes or until the squash skin is toasted in spots, the flesh is very tender and squash is beginning to collapse. Let squash cool, reserve.

3. Meanwhile, place shredded coconut onto a small baking pan and toast in oven for four to five minutes, stirring coconut after two minutes for even toasting; set aside for garnishing.

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 4. Warm coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook for about one to two minutes, or until mustard seeds begin popping. Add garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne pepper and salt; stir, sautéing for an additional three to four  minutes or until garlic and onion have softened.

5. Scoop out reserved squash from the skin and add it to the saucepan. Fold squash in pan until it is evenly mixed with the spice mixture.

6. Reduce heat to low and gradually add coconut milk while mashing with a potato masher, until you reach a desirable consistency. Taste, adding honey (optional), and more salt as needed.

7. Spoon squash mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with toasted coconut and cilantro or parsley leaves.

Makes 4-6 side servings.