Get her easy recipe.


Instead of dwelling on the fact that the raging coronavirus pandemic is interfering with cherished Thanksgiving traditions, why not use this topsy-turvy Turkey Day to try something new?  

With limited guest lists, the pared-down Thanksgivings of 2020 present the perfect opportunity to experiment with an alternative side dish. And who better to lead us into the culinary unknown than queen of elevated home-cooking, Ina Garten?

The Barefoot Contessa recently shared her Thanksgiving menu with Williams-Sonoma, and it is chock-full of twists on tradition. In addition to serving a Tuscan Turkey Roulade main dish, Garten seems to have replaced classic mashed potatoes with mashed butternut squash. Yum.

That's not to say that there are no potatoes on the menu (we see you, potato-fennel gratin), but the decision to switch up the mashed component is certainly intriguing. And, as it turns out, Garten stumbled upon the dish sort of by accident.

"It's always exciting when a recipe evolves to the next level," Garten explains. "One day I was making roasted butternut squash from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and decided to try it as a puree—and it's even better."

Ina Garten
Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images

To make the Food Network star's mashed squash, you need just four simple ingredients: unsalted butter, light brown sugar, half-and-half, and butternut squash. All you have to do to bring it to life is cut the squash into cubes; roast them with butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper for 40 minutes; then puree the roasted ingredients and half-and-half in a food processor. You can even make it a few days in advance and heat it up for the occasion.

"If the squash is too thick, thin it with milk, orange juice or water," Garten adds.

Consider us sold.

No offense mashed potatoes, but we're calling it: 2020 is the year of the mashed butternut squash.