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Nov 18, 2012 08:32 AM

Can I make a sweet potato casserole recipe with butternut squash instead? Help!

Hi all,
I've been tasked to make a butternut squash dish for Thanksgiving. I have a sweet potato casserole recipe that I like ( and wonder how it would work out with butternut squash in its place. Anyone have any input?

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  1. I'm sure it would be delicious, but don't you think someone will already be making a similar dish with sweet potato? You might want to go for something different. My favorite butternut squash recipe is soup. There's a very simple version here: I like to add some cayenne and serve with a dollop of sourcream.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      The person who makes the sweet potato dish does something with canned sweet potatoes and marshmallows that makes me cringe. At the risk of sounding obnoxious, I was hoping to have something closer to what I prefer (such as that recipe; I cut the sugar significantly and omit the marshmallows). I had thought of soup too, and I have a Michael Chiarello recipe that I love, but since I'm not hosting, I feel like soup is a bit complicated in terms of plating, and I don't think I'd want to give my sister in law any more dishes to do.

      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

        Since you aren't hosting, I would try to stick more with what was intended. You know there will be a similar dish (even if you don't like it), so do something different. Warring dishes do not a pleasant meal make unless that is what the host wants.

        1. re: mojoeater

          I think I'm going to go with more of a mashed/pureed butternut squash dish, to which I'll add a pecan topping, which won't resemble the sweet potato dish in any way.

          And point taken-- I'm definitely not trying to create a warring dishes scenario.

    2. Dearr Ice Cream person (me, too!)...I was with you as far as the substitution was concerned until I saw the recipe....never tried anythng that "puddingy" with squash instead of SPotatoes (although I do trust Saveur as a source).

      MY thought would be to keep it simpler. Cook and mash squash, add butter and brown sugar to taste, but go with apricot preserves and a touch of candied ginger as additions.

      I have done this, split recipe in two to answer family tastes and crowned one half with the mini-marshmallows and stripes of maple syrup before re-heating in oven just before meal (generally have to do a quick swipe on the one with marshmallows under the broiler to get those marshmallows to do their thing.)

      Best of luck!

      2 Replies
      1. re: LJS

        Thank you. If I had time, I think I would test this out, because I agree, it makes me a little nervous. Guess I should have thought of this before 4 days before Thanksgiving! I may very well simplify it as you suggest, but I love the nut topping in the link above (I use pecans), so I may go ahead with that part

        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

          Yes, I admit, I was quite taken with that pecan/marshamallow idea/sure solves my divided family...I think you have inspired me for a Christmas veg even if you are still mulling over Thanksgiving (as a Canadian, we did our Thanksgivng 6 weeks ago when I actually had Butternut Squash from my own garden to use!)

      2. I would use butternut squash and sweet potato interchangeably. You may need to adjust the liquids, butternut squash might have a little more liquid than sweet potato.

        8 Replies
        1. re: pagesinthesun

          Butternut squash is definitely wetter and different texture than sweet potato. Nor is the flavor as intense. However, butterCUP squash, a.k.a. kabocha, is drier, and closer in both texture and flavor to sweet potato. I describe the flavor as a cross between butternut and sweet potato. If you roast it first, the skin separates from the flesh very easily. Note that the interior cavity is large so you will get less yield than you would from a similarly-sized acorn squash or pumpkin.

          1. re: greygarious

            The textural/moisture difference definitely concerns me, since as LJS says, this recipe involves milk and eggs and I don't want to mess up any ratios. I think I am going to go with a simpler butternut mash (found this one: and make a crumbly nut topping.

            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

              Is your assignment specifically butternut? Anything mashed means there will be two orange mashed dishes at the table. Nuts atop your butternut mash will make it look even more like sweet potato casserole. In your place, I would roast rings or wedges of skin-on acorn squash with a balsamic glaze. These are fine hot, warm, or room temp.

              1. re: greygarious

                Yes, I was asked to make something with butternut squash. Hmmm. Based on some of the feedback here, I am now leaning towards making something completely different with the squash and trying out my beloved casserole with butternut squash at home the day after Thanksgiving. Thanks all.

                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                  Can you cube and roast it with nutmeg or ginger, and finish it with maple syrup and toasted pecans?

                  1. re: sandylc

                    Thinking along these lines but may go savory with sage.

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      After reading the header, I opened the thread with similar concerns about butternut squash being more watery than sweet potatoes. I think you've gotten good advice and are headed in the right direction. Personally, I'd go completely savory, since there is also going to be sweet potatoes. Maybe rosemary, too, instead of sage, since most stuffing/dressing recipes have sage. Or something like this: or this

                      If you have an idea of what kind of flavor profile you want for a dish, you can type some ingredients into google and see what recipes pop up.

          2. I love this prep for butternut squash and it would be really different than sweet potatoes.


            1. If you steam the squash with just a bit of water, it comes out drier....just as delicious