Mashed Kabocha Squash

This mashed kabocha squash is an easy vegan dish made with non-dairy milk, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. It’s as welcome on the dinner table as it is at breakfast.

A ceramic bowl filled with mashed kabocha with a spoon resting in it.

Sometimes doing less is more. Kabocha squash—or Japanese pumpkin as it is often called—has a sweet, earthy flavor and a lower water content than many other winter squashes, making it ideal for simple preparation like oven-roasting. In this recipe, I roast and then mash the squash along with coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, and oat milk for creaminess. While I mostly make this as a side dish, we sometimes have it for breakfast.–Bryant Terry

*What is a kabocha squash?

A tasty Japanese squash, kabocha is squat with a thin, dark green rind. It has a creamy texture and sweet flavor that tastes sorta like a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The thin skin can be cooked and eaten, too. Plus, it’s packed with beta carotene, iron and vitamin C.

Mashed Kabocha Squash

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C).

Remove the seeds and strings from the squash, reserving the seeds for another use. Arrange the squash on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side up. Add enough water to reach 1/4 inch (6 mm) up the sides of the baking sheet.

Tester tip: Toss the seeds in coconut oil and roast until golden. Enjoy as a snack or sprinkle over the finished dish.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the squash cool for 10 minutes.

Using a spoon, scrape the flesh of the squash from the skin and transfer it to a medium bowl. Compost the skin.

With a fork, mash the squash. Add the coconut oil, sugar, and cinnamon. While stirring with the fork, slowly pour in the milk and stir until the mixture is smooth and reaches your desired consistency.

Tester tip: If the milk is not incorporating into the squash as well as you’d like, or you’d prefer a very smooth texture, use an immersion blender to puree it.

Sprinkle with flaky salt, and drizzle with honey or maple syrup, if using. Top with the nuts, if desired, and serve.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Squash is a staple vegetable in my house, but I’ve never cooked with a kabocha squash. The subtle sweetness offers quite a refreshing change from your average winter squash, plus the texture was almost creamier and smoother. Overall, an easy dish with simple ingredients that’s perfect for a cozy dinner on a cold night.

If you like this recipe, I suggest changing up your type of milk (i.e. switch to almond or maybe even cashew?) and see how the subtle difference in flavor pairs with the mashed kabocha.

This mashed kabocha is like pumpkin pie filling for breakfast. Sweet, but not cloying, smooth and gently spiced. I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the pumpkin broke down as I mashed it—other varieties can be more stringy/fibrous and kabocha has a uniquely satisfying texture for this particular purpose.


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  1. 5 stars
    You know you like a recipe when, throughout the year, you anticipate the arrival of the season of the main ingredient. I made and reviewed this recipe last year and we’ve been talking about it since. There’s just something about it we love. It’s slightly sweet, a little earthy, and the color is stunning. We loved it for breakfast or as a snack. Super glad that fall has arrived. I saw kabocha squash the other day in my grocery store and immediately bought four. Guess what I’m making this weekend?!

    1. That’s wonderful to hear, Jennifer. It’s so great to have a recipe like this one that you can look forward to all year.

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