you want Comfort and decadence, but need healthy and nutritious butternut squash pasta is the solution. Butternut squash is a swoon-worthy sauce secret and an ideal addition to your healthy recipe rotation.
The vegetables are hidden in the sauce, so this pasta is perfect for children and people who don’t like vegetables.
The secret sauce (literally) for this pasta is roasted butternut squash.
Cooking squash in the oven until caramelized and tender unlocks its true potential, as this Roasted Butternut Squash demonstrates.
- This pasta is mixed with a sauce that takes advantage of the pumpkin’s aroma, sweetness, and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- From there, high additives like roasted garlic, brown butter, and gouda make it the eternal keeper you can offer your company.
This easy butternut squash pasta is on our family’s favorite list.
Why We Love Butternut Squash Pasta
In case you haven’t heard the idea of butternut squash pasta yet, here are a few reasons why I love this recipe so much.
- cheeseButternut squash pairs well with cheese. While this isn’t a mac and cheese recipe per se (see Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese for that), cheese and butternut squash complement each other beautifully.
- this is multipurposeThis recipe can be enjoyed as a side or a vegetarian main, or you can upgrade it by adding a filling protein, like this butternut squash sausage pasta.
- nutritiousThis is a creamy comforting pasta dish without heavy cream. A healthy swap keeps things light, and an array of veggies adds valuable nutrition. See the FAQ section below for ideas.)
How to make butternut squash pasta
This roasted garlic and butternut squash pasta tastes luxurious.
Much of the creaminess and richness of this recipe comes from the butternut squash itself.
By adding milk and cheese, pumpkin turns into a rich pasta sauce.
- pastaWhole-wheat pasta ensures this dish is packed with fiber and additional nutrients.
- butternut squashCreamy, nutty and naturally sweet, butternut squash pairs well with cheese sauces. They are also rich in vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fiber.
- garlic + onionA small but mighty flavor builder. These are roasted in a sheet pan along with butternut squash.
- milkI used 1% milk this time, but you can use whatever milk you have on hand.
- butter + SageCooking sage leaves in browned butter adds earthiness, warmth, and richness to the butternut squash sauce.
- cheeseNutty creamy Gouda and savory Parmesan are the perfect cheese duo to take this butternut squash pasta from simple to fancy.
- red pepper flakesA hint of heat perfectly complements the sweet and savory notes.
- Cut off the stalk from the garlic, sprinkle with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, and arrange on a baking sheet. Poke a hole in the pumpkin, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and arrange on a baking sheet.
- Cut the onion, peel it and halve it. Add to baking sheet.
- Roast at 400 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. Let cool.
- Boil and drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Remove the pumpkin skin and add the meat to the blender along with the onion and garlic cloves.
- Add milk and mix until smooth.
- Brown the butter with the sage in a pasta pot.
- Stir in squash sauce and gouda cheese.
- Stir everything together. fun!
- to the storeRefrigerate the pasta in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- reheatHeat the leftovers in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding a little milk if needed to rehydrate. This dish can also be reheated in the microwave.
- To freezeFreeze pasta for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe, airtight storage container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
meal prep tips
Roast butternut squash, garlic, and onions a day in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight storage container until you are ready to complete the recipe.
What to Pair with Butternut Squash Pasta
Recommended tools for making this recipe
- baking sheetThe baking sheet is important because butternut squash is better roasted than boiled.
- blenderEssential for making the best butternut squash pasta sauce. This more economical version is also great.
- large potThis high quality pan is perfect for making this pasta.
high power blender
For ultra-smooth sauces, spreads, soups and smoothies, this blender can’t be beat. Great quality and will last for years.
We happily ate this dish several nights in a row and missed it as soon as it ran out.
I’m sure you’ll love it! Make sure it reaches your table quickly.
Dairy-free milk and butter substitutes should be used to make this recipe vegan. Cheeses can be dairy-free Gouda and Parmesan. Consider adding butternut squash to this dairy-free penne alla vodka instead.
To enrich this pasta dish, stir in chopped spinach, kale, roasted cauliflower, roasted broccoli, or your favorite veggies.
- 1 big head garlic
- 1 medium butternut squash 2 lbs to 2 1/2 lbs
- 1 mini onions
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Divided
- 1 tea spoon kosher salt plus an addition for cooking pasta
- 1/2 cup low fat milk (I use 1%), add as needed
- 1 lb Whole wheat rotini pasta Or similar short twisted tubular pasta such as cava tappi, penne, fusilli
- 2 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage Addition for Serving
- Four ounce gouda cheese chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 tea spoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese about 1 ounce, optional
Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut off the top of the garlic bulb, exposing the top of the clove (see Roasted Garlic for more prep tips). Place a piece of aluminum foil on the prepared baking sheet to completely enclose it, place the garlic bulb in the center, and drizzle the garlic with 1 tablespoon of oil. Wrap the garlic in foil so that the garlic is completely encased. Scoop it in one corner of the baking sheet.
Lightly prick the butternut squash all over with the tip of a fork. Trim off the ends and bottoms of the stems so they can stand flat. Stand the bottom end of the pumpkin upright and slice it in half lengthwise from top to bottom with a sharp knife. Scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy parts. Place the cut side up on the baking sheet.
Cut off the stem of the onion and cut it in half along the stem. Peel each half (discard the skin) and place the halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet next to the pumpkin.
Drizzle the pumpkin and onions with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil. Lightly rub the pumpkin and onion with your fingers to coat the cut edges evenly with the oil. Sprinkle with onion and squash with 1 teaspoon salt (seems like a lot). Roast until pumpkin is tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove and let cool for 20 minutes.
While the pumpkin is cooling, fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water well and then add the pasta. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Set aside 1 cup of pasta water (don’t forget), let the pasta drain and rinse quickly with cold water. Shake out as much water as possible, then set aside for more drainage.
When the pumpkin is cool enough, peel it and chop the pulp into a powerful blender or food processor. Discard the charred outer onion layer and add the remaining onion to the blender. Unwrap the garlic cloves and squeeze the cooked garlic cloves out of the skins. Transfer to blender.
Add 1/2 cup milk and mix until smooth and creamy. Add milk as needed to help the sauce mix. The mixture will thicken. Stop scraping the blender as needed.
Add the butter and sage to the empty pasta pot. Cook over medium-low heat until the butter begins to turn amber, stirring constantly, scraping up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan (this should take 2-4 minutes). Immediately add the blended pumpkin mixture and gouda. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted.
Shake the pasta again to remove any remaining moisture and add to the pan. Add red pepper flakes. Add pasta water (or milk) to loosen if necessary. Taste and adjust the saltiness to your liking. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, add fresh sage and serve immediately.
- store: You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days.
- reheat: Heat the leftovers in a saucepan on the stove over medium to low heat, adding a little milk if needed to moisten. This dish can also be reheated in the microwave.
- To freeze: Freeze pasta in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Serving: 1(out of 4) about 2 cupscalorie: 746kcalcarbohydrates: 100gprotein: twenty fivegobesity: 27gsaturated fat: 11gPolyunsaturated fat: 2gMonounsaturated fat: 11gTrans fat: 0.2gcholesterol: 49mgpotassium: 795mgfiber: 15gsugar: 11gVitamin A: 20361IUVitamin C: 42mgcalcium: 346mgiron: 2mg
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