Butternut Squash Pasta

Everyone loves this butternut squash pasta! It’s covered in a creamy sauce blended with garlic, spices, and goat cheese. Top with Parmesan & serve!

Butternut squash pasta

Say hello to our new favorite way to eat squash: this butternut squash pasta! Alex and I have been on quite the run of healthy pasta recipes lately, from creamy cavatappi with hidden cauliflower to our best ever vegan lasagna. But could you make room in your heart for your more? Because this one is darn good. Tender butternut squash is pureed into a creamy sauce with garlic, spices, and goat cheese. It’s savory with a sweet undertone, and the perfect sauce to cover al dente rigatoni pasta. It’s a little like mac and cheese, but a little sweeter and loads healthier.

What’s in this butternut squash pasta?

The ingredients in this butternut squash pasta are simple: the squash carries a lot of flavor and color for the sauce itself! Here’s what’s in it:

  • Butternut squash
  • Olive oil & vegetable broth for sauteing and simmering the squash
  • Garlic to bring big flavor
  • Chili powder and nutmeg to add complexity
  • Goat cheese to add creamy body

Other than salt and pepper, that’s it! It’s quite simple to make. The only time consuming part is chopping the squash…

Butternut squash

The best way to cut butternut squash?

OK, we know butternut squash can be a pain to cut! It’s worth it in the end, but it can be stressful to wrangle. We’ve created a video to show you just how to do it! The main pointers are that we cut off the neck of the squash, then peel both halves. Then you’ll cut them each into strips, then squares. It’s much easier to watch, so here’s a quick video of How to Cut Butternut Squash!

Fresh vs frozen butternut squash

Let’s say you want to shortcut the chopping part. Can you use frozen butternut squash instead of fresh? Yes! Frozen butternut squash makes this recipe a breeze, and cuts the prep time! With frozen butternut squash you can make this recipe in about 30 minutes. Are there any differences in the recipe? The only thing that you’ll have to pay attention to is the amount of broth that’s added in the blender. Keep reading…

Butternut squash pasta

Main tip: add splashes of broth until a creamy sauce forms!

Once you’ve cut your squash, you’ll saute it with garlic, then simmer it with the veggie broth, chili powder and nutmeg until it’s tender. Then you’ll dump it all in a blender and whiz it up! At this point, the ability of the sauce to blend will depend on the freshness of the squash and whether it’s fresh or frozen. So, add additional splashes of broth until the puree blends into a creamy sauce! Then, you’ll add the goat cheese and blend again: the goat cheese adds the final flavoring and creamy body.

What to serve with butternut squash pasta

And that’s it: a creamy, healthy butternut squash pasta full of nutrients and a total crowd pleaser! Our son Larson is very into this one (he calls it “mac and cheese”). While we’re not the type of people to secretly hide vegetables, we enjoy that this gets him to eat his veggies! To make it into a meal, here are a few easy side dishes that we recommend:

  • Easy Arugula Salad This easy arugula salad is fool-proof: you don’t even need to make dressing. It comes together in minutes!
  • Sauteed Spinach, Mushrooms or Broccoli: Add Sauteed Spinach or Sauteed Broccoli for a splash of healthy green, or Sauteed Mushrooms for a meaty compliment.
  • BEST Kale Salad This is the BEST way to eat kale! A dressing of lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese transforms kale into tangy goodness in this Tuscan kale salad.
  • Easy Garlic Bread Wow, is this easy garlic bread tasty! It’s crunchy on top, chewy on the inside, and full of flavor: the perfect side to go with pasta.
Squash Soup
If you’re looking for other squash recipes, this Curried Butternut Squash Soup is a stunner.

Some favorite butternut squash recipes

Alex and I are big squash fans over here! Confession: we used to skip it in favor of sweet potatoes because they were so much easier to prepare. But today, it makes frequent appearances in our fall and winter repertoire. Here are a few more favorite butternut squash recipes:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Print
Butternut squash pasta

Butternut Squash Pasta


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 4.27 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x

Description

Everyone loves this butternut squash pasta! It’s covered in a creamy sauce blended with garlic, spices, and goat cheese. Top with Parmesan & serve!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni or penne pasta (or gluten-free pasta)
  • 4 cups diced butternut squash (1 small) or frozen
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, plus more for blending
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for the garnish
  • Finely chopped fresh Italian parsley, for the garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside). When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot.
  2. Peel and dice the butternut squash. Mince the garlic.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the butternut squash and saute 5 minutes. Add the garlic for 30 seconds. Add the broth, chili powder, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Cover and bring it to a high simmer, bubbling constantly. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is tender.
  4. Carefully transfer all the contents to a blender and blend until creamy, stopping and adding additional splashes broth as needed to come to a creamy texture (the exact amount will vary based on the freshness of the squash). Add the goat cheese and blend again until a creamy sauce forms.
  5. Stir the sauce into the pasta. Serve immediately, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Butternut Squash Pasta

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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