Mashed potato squash has a mild, potato-like flavor. It’s easy to cook and makes a great side dish.
If you’ve spotted bright white squash at your local market, chances are it’s a mashed potato squash. This acorn squash hybrid is a somewhat newcomer to the squash world. The appeal of this squash? The name says it all! It’s supposed to taste like mashed potatoes.
Does Mashed Potato Squash Taste Like Mashed Potatoes?
The flavor is potato-like. Think of it as a cross between mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. The flavor varies per squash. Some are naturally sweeter than others. If your squash is on the sweet side, the flavor is similar to a sweet potato or honeynut squash.
The texture is creamy and soft. Not exactly like mashed potatoes, but very close.
Selecting Mashed Potato Squash: What to Look For (and What to Avoid)
Select mashed potato squash that has firm, hard skin. They tend to range from about a pound to two pounds each. The smaller the squash, the more tender the flesh.
Avoid any squash that has soft spots or insect holes.
Plan for about one pound of squash per person. This means, a one-pound squash usually feeds one and a two-pound squash feeds two.
How to Cut Mashed Potato Squash
Due to their unique shape, mashed potato squash are sometimes hard to cut. You’ll need a sturdy chef’s knife and a cutting board to cut this squash in half.
- Cut off the stem end. SometimesHold the squash firmly, and keeping your fingers and thumbs tucked away from the blade of the knife, cut about 1/4-inch above the stem. Don’t try to cut through the stem. It’s too hard. If your squash is missing the stem, no problem. Simply cut off the end that once had the stem. You want a flat end so you can stand up the squash.
- Cut off the bud end. This is the pointy end of the squash. Do the same thing you did for the stem end. Trim off about 1/4-inch of the squash. You will now have two flat ends on the squash.
- Stand the squash up on the cutting board. Hold the squash and cut through from top to bottom. Take care to tuck your fingers and thumb out of the way
- Remove the seeds. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop and remove the seeds and pulp from the center of the squash.
How to Roast Mashed Potato Squash
Mashed potato squash tastes best roasted. It brings out the natural sweetness of the squash.
- Brush oil on the cut side of the squash. The prevents the squash from sticking to the baking sheet.
- Season. You can simply sprinkle with salt and pepper. Or you could add smoked paprika or a little garlic powder.
- Roast face down. Place the squash cut-side down, on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Roasting them cut-side down keeps the squash moist.
- Bake until soft and tender. This takes about 45 minutes. The cooking time varies depending on the size of the squash. To test the squash for doneness, pierce it with a fork.
Can I Mash Mashed Potato Squash?
You bought mashed potato squash because it’s supposed to taste like mashed potatoes. So why not serve it like a bowl of mashed potatoes?
After roasting, scoop the squash from the shell. Add milk, butter, and seasonings. Mash until smooth. You can use a potato masher or handheld mixer to do this.
Roasted Mashed Potato Squash
Mashed potato squash is similar to acorn squash with a mild, potato-like flavor. It's easy to cook and makes a great side dish.
- 4 small mashed potato squash, about one pound each
- olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- ⅓ cup milk, more as needed
- 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Place squash on a cutting board. Using a chef's knife, cut off about a ¼-inch off the root and stem end. Keep your fingers away from the blade. Stand the squash up on one of those ends and cut in half, from top to bottom.
Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, remove the seeds.
Brush olive oil on the cut-side of the squash and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash, cut-side down, on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. The squash should be tender and soft when pierced with a fork.
Eat right away or mash. To mash, scoop the squash from the shell and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the milk and butter. Mash with a potato masher or handheld mixer until soft. If needed, add additional milk until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.