Add some vegetable goodness to dessert by using naturally sweet butternut squash puree in this frozen dairy-free treat. The squash balances the banana in the base and highlights the roasted flavor of the pecans. For more nice cream recipes and tips, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Nice Cream

By Mary Margaret Chappell,


  • 1 15-oz. can butternut squash puree (1½ cups)
  • 2 cups frozen banana pieces (2 large bananas)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup chopped toasted pecans


  • Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a spoon to drop squash puree into small mounds on parchment; freeze until solid.
  • In a high-speed blender or food processor combine frozen squash mounds and banana pieces; pulse or blend on low to medium-low until crumbly, stopping and scraping down sides once or twice. Add maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. milk, and the vanilla; blend continuously 30 seconds to 1 minute or until smooth and creamy, adding more milk if needed. Stir in pecans.
  • Serve immediately or transfer to a 1-quart container and store in the freezer up to 1 week.

Comments (10)

(5 from 3 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Patti Young

I really enjoyed this treat. I made it with pumpkin since I did not have any butternut squash. My daughter thought it tasted like bananas, but I felt it was a good substitute for ice cream when I get the urge for it It was really hard. I think I’d let the squash not get so hard. It was hard on the motor of my vitamix.


I must have frozen my butternut too long. It was hard as a rock and it had to let it thaw several hours in order to be able to make the recipe. We loved the butternut pecan nice cream. Next time I will "barely" freeze the butternut. Thanks so much for the great recipe!!!

Marianne Heath

I’m allergic to banana. What can I use to substitute?


Sounds delicious! Is there a banana substitute by any chance. Sometimes blended bananas don’t agree with me. Thanks!


My daughter, who doesn't like bananas, substitutes cooked golden beets. She makes a big batch of them in the Instant Pot and freezes them to use when she wants them.

Herb Brackman

Dates are often a good substitute for bananas. I'll bet, in this recipe, dates would be terrific!


White flesh sweet potatoes!


Haven’t tried it, but the two are pretty interchangeable in most recipes. I think I might just do that myself. I love almost anything with pumpkin in it.


Can we sub pumpkin puree?


Jen, yep, pumpkin puree will work just fine. Canned pumpkin puree is often made from butternut squash anyway.

About the Author

Headshot of Mary Margaret Chappell

About the Author

Mary Margaret Chappell

When Mary Margaret Chappell first started out in the plant-based food world as a writer, editor, and recipe developer, she was a bacon-loving former pastry chef who didn’t think she could ever cook without butter. Fourteen years, four cookbooks, dozens of cooking classes, and hundreds of recipes later, her favorite thing in the world is sharing the tips, techniques, and recipes that show just how easy and delicious whole-food, plant-based cooking can be. The former food editor of Vegetarian Times magazine has done away with her dependency on butter and is honing her skills at baking with natural sweeteners. Chappell lives in France, where plant-based eating can often be a challenge, but the fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes available are simply amazing. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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