Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Mash

This Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Mash with low-fat bacon, sage, and smoked paprika is a hearty, healthy, and delicious autumn side dish.

This post was originally published in November 2015. I have taken and uploaded new photos. I also made this dish differently this time; it’s much healthier and a bit faster. I have reflected this as the 2nd version in the recipe. The blog post itself remains unchanged. 

Hello, I’m Ben, and I have a confession to make.

Nope, this time it’s not about donuts.

It’s not about being a props addict either.

I’ve got a bad horrible memory for names and faces. Indeed, usually, I remember well both names and faces. But I often remember them separately. Let’s say there are two guys, Brett and Greg. I will easily remember these two names. When it comes to distinguishing their faces, I will still know one of them is either Brett or Greg. It’s a half of success.

Now let’s imagine you’ve got to remember 50 people, eh? Worse, you should match the names to the faces.

As you may know, I’ve recently started my new job. New people and their names have always been the most challenging part of any new job to me. Exciting but yet challenging. I may not ever professionally communicate with most of them, but it still feels great when you know your co-workers.

It’s great when a person has a remarkable characteristic such as the voice or laugh. That really is a helpful thing. I also like when a few people share the same name. I mean, your chances to choose the right name dramatically increase. Could you imagine the situation when everyone in your team has the same name? #SuchaUtopianWorld

Or another story. Last Friday I remembered the name of one nice lady. Plus one. I was quite happy about such an event. However, later on, I found out it was her last day at this company #SuchaUnfairWorld!

On the other hand, I’ve got a great memory for some small personal events and details such as clothes, gifts or food. Specifically, I may not remember an event as a whole picture, but I can still remember what I or other folks were wearing or eating. Weird, isn’t it?

I may not fully remember all events Andrey and myself shared together, but I remember the first meal I made for him almost 10 years ago. Or I quite clearly remember our Valentine’s dinner in 2010. Why 2010? Why not 2012? By the way, if you’re interested, that year I made a shrimp salad with oranges and whiskey mayo dressing and tiramisu. As for 2011, I got a shrimp salad with sparkling wine jello cubes and tiramisu ice cream cake.

But 2012. Blank.

I’ve got a concept. Perhaps, I do remember only those meals when I incorporated alcohol.

In this case, I’m not going to remember this Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Mash.

That’s good I have this blog, isn’t it?

With a Thanksgiving Day on the corner, this mash can be a nice option for your festive dinner. For those not celebrating Thanksgiving, this Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Mash will be another comfort fall meal. Generously seasoned with smoked paprika and served with crispy chicken bacon and sage, it’s a perfect side dish. Indeed, we had it as a main course with some fresh greens, and we loved this satisfying high in protein mash.

To make it even healthier, you can easily ditch out the bacon. But I mean, who would ever do this, right?

But what about you, guys? Have you already decided on your Thanksgiving menu? Do you have any similar memory issues? And last….mmm….what’s my name, eh?


Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Mash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Category: Side Dish

Servings: 2-4

Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Mash with Crispy Chicken Bacon and Sage is a simple, healthy, and delicious comfort fall dish. It's perfect for Thanksgiving too.


    1st Version:
  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded (for this recipe you will need only one half)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 3-5 chicken bacon strips, sliced
  • a handful of fresh sage
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    2nd Version:
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 package (ab. 350 - 400 gr) frozen butternut squash
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 5-10 fresh sage leaves, to taste
  • 3-5 law fat bacon (such as Back bacon, turkey or chicken bacon) strips, sliced
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup


    1st Version:
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F). Place the butternut squash halves on a baking sheet flesh side up. Roast about 25-30 minutes or until the flesh is fork-tender.
  2. In a meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a pan and cook the onion and garlic 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the lentils and toss in the oil, for a minute. Add the water (about 1 cup or more), to fully cover the lentils. Decrease heat, cover the pan, and cook until almost ready, for about 15 minutes. Season with the salt and smoked paprika in the end.
  3. In another pan cook the chicken bacon few minutes or as recommended on the package. Add the sage and 1/2 tablespoon of oil (or butter) and cook another few minutes until the sage is crispy.
  4. Scoop out the flesh of one half (about 3 cups). Combine with the cooked lentils and process in a combine until smooth. Add the additional tablespoon of the butter. If the mash is too thick, you can add some light cream.
  5. Serve the mash with the crispy bacon and sage.
  6. Enjoy!
    2nd Version:
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic, 3 minutes.
  2. Add the butternut squash (frozen) and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lentils, add water enough to cover the ingredients (should be 1 cm above the veggies and lentils), cover, and cook over low heat, occasionally stirring and adding more hot water when the previous has been absorbed.
  4. When the lentils are almost ready, season with the salt, pepper, paprika. When it's soft, remove from heat and let cool a bit until comfortable to handle.
  5. In a meanwhile, cook the bacon in a separate pan, 2-3 minutes then add the maple syrup and caramelize for 1-2 minutes more.
  6. Place the lentils and squash in a processor and pure until the desired consistency. Serve sprinkled with the bacon and more sage.
  7. The 2nd version will not be as smooth, silky, and decadent as the 1st one, but it's certainly so much healthier (and a bit faster).
  8. Enjoy!





13 thoughts on “Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Mash

  1. It’s the worst when you forget someone’s name and then you have to introduce them to someone else. Ugh!! I’m eat a lot of butternut squash but find myself in a rut making it the same old ways. Glad to see this recipe and can’t wait to try it. BTW, I’ll try to forgive you for suggesting that the bacon can be left out, but it might be impossible. How dare you, Ben?!? lol!
    karrie @ Tasty Ever After recently posted…Easy Risotto CakesMy Profile

  2. Haha…this blog will totally help you remember what you had to eat back in 2015! Future Ben will probably be scrolling through his old posts and think, “hey that Butternut Squash Lentil Mash was insanely delicious…I should make that! Thanks for the idea, Past Ben.” I think I’m going to join Future Ben and make a batch of this mash soon…it sounds like a great Autumn meal! :-)
    David Dial (@SpicedBlog) recently posted…Brazilian Cheese BreadMy Profile

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