Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

Everyone will love this cozy butternut squash pasta! It’s covered in a creamy sauce blended with garlic, spices, and goat cheese.

Butternut squash pasta

Say hello to our new favorite way to eat squash: butternut squash pasta! We’ve been on a healthy pasta recipes kick lately, from creamy cavatappi with hidden cauliflower to veggie-packed vegan lasagna. Can you make room in your heart for your more? Because this one is darn good. Puree that orange squash into a creamy sauce with garlic, spices, and goat cheese. It’s savory with a sweet undertone, ideal for covering chewy rigatoni pasta. It’s kind of like mac and cheese, but loads healthier.

What’s in this butternut squash pasta?

The ingredients in this easy 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 can be stressful to wrangle, but is worth it in the end for this butternut squash pasta. Here are the basic steps, or watch this quick video of How to Cut Butternut Squash!

  1. Cut off the neck and peel it: Using a large chef’s knife, cut off the neck of the butternut squash right where it meets the base. Cut off the top, then use a peeler to peel off the skin.
  2. Remove the seeds: Slice the base in half, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  3. Cut the neck into cubes: Cut a flat edge on the side of the neck, to use as a base. Cut the neck into roughly 1/4″ slices. Cut the slices into strips, then turn the strips and chop them crosswise to create cubes.
  4. Peel and cut the base into cubes: Peel the base. Slice off the end of the base and slice it into roughly 1/4″ slices. Then chop the slices crosswise to create cubes.

Tip: Use a squash peeler! It’s serrated, which makes it easier than a normal vegetable peeler. Here’s the serrated vegetable peeler we use.

Fresh vs frozen butternut squash

Want to shortcut the chopping part? Guess what: you can use frozen squash in this butternut squash pasta instead of fresh. Here are a few notes:

  • Frozen saves 10 minutes in prep time. It makes this recipe a breeze! With frozen butternut squash you can make this recipe in about 30 minutes.
  • You may need to add more broth to make the creamy sauce. 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

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 and spices until it’s tender. Then 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 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 pair well with butternut squash pasta:

  • Salad: With this Easy Arugula Salad you don’t even need to make dressing: it comes together in minutes! Or try Best Kale Salad, paired with lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese that transforms this leafy green into tangy goodness.
  • Sauteed Veggies: Add Sauteed Spinach or Sauteed Broccoli for a splash of healthy green, or Sauteed Mushrooms for a meaty compliment.
  • Garlic Bread: Try Classic Garlic Bread, a decadent, comfort food side dish idea! This garlic bread is crunchy on top, chewy on the inside, and has the best garlicky flavor.
Squash Soup
Want more squash recipes ? This Curried Butternut Squash Soup is a stunner.

Some favorite butternut squash recipes

Alex and I are big squash fans! We used to skip it in favor of sweet potatoes because they were so much easier to prepare. But today, recipes like this butternut squash pasta often appear 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 or legume pasta.

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Butternut squash pasta

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.38 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 will love this cozy butternut squash pasta! It’s covered in a creamy sauce blended with garlic, spices, and goat cheese. 


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

Last updated: August 2020

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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.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Susan
    June 23, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Made this for supper tonight.baked the squash in the oven first so it wouldn’t be so hard to peel. Worked out great. Sauce turned out wonderful. Made a quick easy dinner.
    Thanks for another great recipe

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