Butternut Mashed Potatoes with Sage Compound Butter is my take on a classic mashed potato. I love a good mashed potato, but the combination of skin-on red potatoes with the butternut squash is something like magic. Especially paired with the extremely easy (but wow-worthy) sage compound butter, this dish is perfect for your Thanksgiving table. If you are a hard ‘no’ on leaving the skin on your potatoes, I totally understand. Peeling them is just fine and it won’t change the final taste much at all. I prefer to leave the skin on to get the extra nutrients that are found in the skin, plus I love the texture it adds. But, it’s your mashed potatoes, so do what you love!
Ingredients needed to make Butternut Mashed Potatoes with Sage Compound Butter
This dish couldn’t be easier to gather ingredients for. You need everything you’d expect from a mashed potato recipe, plus the butternut squash and the sage. It’s pretty simple to pull together. Here’s the full list:
- Olive oil
- Red potatoes, such as Norland
- Butternut squash
- Fresh garlic
- Whole milk or heavy cream
- Salted butter
- Fresh sage
- Salt and pepper
Tools used to make Butternut Mashed Potatoes with Sage Compound Butter
I talked about this briefly in my Fall Picks list, but I firmly believe that there is no better mashing tool than this stainless steel, old-fashioned masher. The one linked there isn’t the exact one I have (mine is a hand-me-down vintage piece), but it’s a similar idea. Using a food processor or other tool for mashing has always left me with chewy, rubbery mashed potatoes, which is just not what you’re looking for. We want creamy, fluffy, and light as our final product, and this masher does the job. In addition to the masher, you’ll need the following items to create this luscious recipe.
- Chef’s knife
- Large cutting board
- Large pot (for boiling)
- Rimmed baking sheet (for roasting)
- Fork (for mixing)
- Liquid measuring cup
- Small and large mixing bowls
How to make Butternut Mashed Potatoes with Sage Compound Butter
One of the keys to getting the flavor right in this dish is to roast the butternut squash and garlic while the potatoes boil. You could easily boil the butternut squash with the potatoes, but you lose an opportunity for caramelization, which adds a ton of flavor to this recipe. I highly, highly recommend taking the extra step and roasting the squash. Just trust me. While the squash and garlic roast, boil the potatoes and make the sage compound butter.
Compound butter is just a fancy word for butter with flavor bits in it. In this case, we’re adding chopped fresh sage. The easiest way to make compound butter is to let the butter come up to room temperature so it’s easy to work with. Add the sage and butter to a mixing bowl and incorporate the herbs using a fork. When its fully incorporated, spread the butter onto a piece of large parchment paper into a rough log shape, then wrap in the parchment, using the parchment to help you shape the butter into a uniform roll or log. It’s way easier than it sounds, and it adds so much flavor to these potatoes! The compound butter needs to chill in the fridge while you make the rest of the potatoes.
Once the potatoes and butternut squash are cooked, you can mash them with the milk, butter, salt, and pepper, either in the pot you boiled them in, or in a large mixing bowl. I like to start with 1/4 cup of milk and add more as needed. You can always add milk, but you can’t take it away!
To serve the potatoes, make sure they are warm and top with the sage compound butter. I like to add a few pats to the top, then serve the log of butter alongside for guests to add as much or as little as they like. It’s so delicious!
Looking for other Thanksgiving recipes by The Ardent Cook?
This skillet bake is reminiscent of the flavors and texture of stuffing, without all the carbs. Perfect for a vegetable side, or as an option for your gluten-free guests.
Not a traditional Thanksgiving side, but since there are no rules this year, why not include a fun grain side? This Wild Mushroom Farro is perfect!
I’m a huge advocate of desserts other than pie on Thanksgiving, and this one is awesome to fill that void. Apples get cooked down in a delicious bourbon caramel sauce, then layered over a buttery shortbread-style crust with more shortbread crumbled on top. So good!
1 tbsp olive oil, for greasing
2lbs red potatoes, such as Norland
2-3lb butternut squash
3 cloves garlic
¼ -½ cup whole milk or heavy cream
6 tbsp salted butter, softened to room temperature, divided
2 tbsp fresh sage, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut butternut squash into half moons about ½ inch thick. Place on an oiled sheet pan with the garlic cloves and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway, until the squash are tender and caramelized.
- Meanwhile, cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place in a large pot with water and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then cook for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender. I do not peel my potatoes, but if you’re using a thicker-skinned potato (like russet), you may consider peeling.
- Combine 4 tbsp of the room temperature butter with the sage and mix with a fork until the herbs are incorporated. Lay out a piece of parchment paper large enough that the butter can be shaped into a log and rolled up within the parchment. Chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes and return to the pot you boiled them in, or a large mixing bowl. Add the roasted squash and garlic, along with remaining 2 tbsp butter, ¼ cup of the milk, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Mash until creamy, adding additional milk if needed to achieve your desired texture. Top potatoes with the sage compound butter just before serving.
- To reheat these potatoes, I like to add them to a pot with 1-2 tbsp of milk per cup of potatoes. Stir in the pot until just heated and the milk is incorporated. Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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