Mashed Butternut Squash & Sweet Potatoes with Citrus ♥ Recipe

Today's vegetable recipe: Butternut squash and sweet potatoes, roasted then mashed. Brightened with citrus zest.

So you know how some times a butternut squash can be a little bit watery? And a sweet potato a little bit stringy or starchy? Aha -- the trick is to blend them! This is a lovely way to get the best of both vegetables, texture-wise. It's a combination that bears repetition, whether using this specific recipe or not.

That said, I was surprised at how good these were, flavor-wise, too. The zest really brings out the squash and sweet potato flavors.

And truly, isn't the color gorgeous? This would be a splendid choice for Thanksgiving.

Thank you, Constancia! Many thanks to a New York reader for sharing this recipe. She wrote, "This recipe is not original, it comes from Lynn Rosetto Kasper’s The Splendid Table, where she calls it Yom Kippur Squash. It is traditional, at least in Italy, to serve golden food on Yom Kippur to welcome in a rich new year. It has become a standard at Thanksgiving and Christmas in my house. These are very similar meals, since they both involve turkey (my daughter’s favorite) and lots — at least 5 — vegetable dishes. Since I am Jewish but my husband is not, I also love the irony of making a traditional Jewish dish for this holiday. And to top it off, it tastes great. To use up leftovers, we add eggs and bake, sometimes separating the eggs and beating the whites."


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes
Makes 3 cups

1 large butternut squash (2 - 3 pounds), washed, sliced in half length-wise, seeds scooped out with a grapefruit spoon
1 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed, pricked with a knife

3 tablespoons olive oil (less would work just fine)
1 large onion, chopped (next time I'll use two onions)

4 cups water
Zest of 2 oranges and 2 lemons, about 3 tablespoons (see NOTES)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste

ROAST the VEGETABLES Set oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the squash on the foil cut-side up, add the sweet potatoes. Roast for 1 hour plus the number of minutes left to preheat. (See NOTES.) Scrape the flesh from the skins.

CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS Meanwhile, heat the oil on MEDIUM til shimmery in a large skillet. Add the onion and stir to coat with fat. Slowly cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn golden and nearly brown.

BLANCH THE ZEST In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Drop in the zest and let cook for about 3 minutes. Lift out with slotted spoon or strainer. Chop til fine.

ASSEMBLE In a large bowl, mash the cooked squash and sweet potatoes til quite smooth. Mix in the cooked onion, chopped zest, cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

DAY BEFORE Complete the recipe, refrigerate.
BEFORE DINNER These were really easy to re-warm in a saucepan. I did need to add just a little bit of water so they wouldn't burn.
LEFTOVERS Leftovers can be reheated, or you can separate eggs (the number depends on how much of the squash you have), mix the yolks into the squash, beat the whites until they form soft peaks, and fold into the squash. Spread in a baking dish and bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and heated through.

IMPORTANT! The citrus flavor develops only after sitting for a couple of days. So not only can this be made ahead of time, I recommend it.
If the sweet potatoes aren't full roasted, pop them into the microwave for a few minutes to finish off.
A microplane will create too fine a zest, so use a paring knife to cute wide swaths or a lemon zester like this one.

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

~ Mashed Potatoes & Carrots from Kitchen Parade ~
~ Those Pink Potatoes from Kitchen Parade ~
~ Scalloped Swedes & Finns ~

~ more sweet potato recipes ~
~ more butternut squash recipes ~
~ more purées & mashes ~
~ Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes 2008 ~

Here at A Veggie Venture, vegetables are the real stars of the Thanksgiving table. So watch for new Thanksgiving recipes all November long, new additions to my collection of Thanksgiving vegetable recipes. Whether it's 2006's famous World's Best Green Bean Casserole or 2007's favorite Cauliflower Cream or a brand-new recipe which catches your fancy, this year, move vegetables to your center stage.
© Copyright 2008

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. now that looks tasty. Great article thanks so much for sharing. I'm not sure how i found you but i always like making new blog friends. I believe i was looking for stuff on our sons condition esophageal atresia, i wish you the best.

  2. Citrus really enhances the flavor of sweet potatoes and squash, doesn't it? I love this, Alanna.

  3. This looks great...any thoughts on how it would be with lime and orange zest? I LOVE lime but only like lemon...

  4. I made this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner and tonight DH and I finished it with our ribeyes. It was a scrumptious dish. I will be making it again!

  5. Great blend of sweet potato and squash! The citrus was way too much for me, though!

  6. What do you think about using orange juice? I don't have time to make this ahead so it'll be made, and served, this Saturday. Also I'll be serving a group of about 15-20 people.... Triple the recipe, perhaps?

  7. Katherine ~ Thanks for the reminder about this recipe, I haven’t made it for far too long. But my notes are pretty clear that it’s “best” when made ahead. Also orange juice does have as strong a flavor as the zest. My suggestion would be frozen orange juice concentrate, the stuff you make juice of. That said, if you want a sure-fire orange-sweet potato dish, I’d recommend this one -- sorry, the comment system won’t allow hyperlinks, or search Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry & Orange. I’ve also done made a similar dish with butternut squash,, search Slow Cooker Butternut Squash with Ginger & Dried Fruit. Good luck with your dinner!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna