5 from 4 votes

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

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This butternut squash pasta recipe is delicious, healthy, comforting, and features an irresistibly creamy sauce. It packs a punch with autumn flavours.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
£1.07
Makes: 5
mains
American
Freezable

If you’re looking for a deliciously creamy butternut squash pasta recipe, you’ve come to the right place! Even though this fall dish is satisfying, comforting, warm, cosy, and it’s quite healthy. Instead of adding a large amount of cheese to make the sauce for this creamy pasta recipe, it’s made with pureed butternut squash as the base. Using squash makes the dish lighter and adds yummy, nutty, complex flavours.

Close up of rigatoni pasta with a sauce and grated parmesan and fresh basil in a pan.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Easy – You need minimal ingredients and kitchen tools for this pasta recipe.

Delicious – The complex flavours in this recipe make it uber-tasty!

Tasty – Creamy, cheesy, herby, this roasted butternut squash pasta is packed with flavour.

Creamy – The cream and butternut squash help create a deliciously comforting sauce.

Healthy – Instead of using cheese as the base for this sauce, you’re using roasted butternut squash, making this a healthier option.

Comforting – Warm, cheesy, creamy, and delicious, you’ll want to eat this recipe whenever you’re craving a cosy meal.

Great for chilly weather – This yummy butternut squash pasta is the perfect recipe for chilly or gloomy weather.Use leftover butternut squash to make these yummy recipes: Creamy Butternut Squash Risotto, Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad, or Creamy Butternut Squash Soup.

How To Prepare Butternut Squash

These tips will help you prepare butternut squash pasta more easily!

Do you have to peel it?
Yes, you need to peel butternut squash before blending it into a sauce. While you can eat the skin of butternut squash, it’s overly tough to eat. You can create a much smoother, creamier sauce without the skin.

How do you cut it?
When making butternut squash pasta recipes, you can cut it a few ways before cooking it. In this recipe, I recommend slicing the squash in half. Then, deseed and cut it into slices. Smaller pieces will cook more quickly in the oven.

How do you cook it? Roast? Boil?
For this recipe, it’s best to roast the squash in the oven. This method allows the squash pieces to caramelize, bringing out the natural sweetness and flavour.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Why do you roast it?
As mentioned above, roasting butternut squash for this butternut squash pasta dish helps bring out the natural flavours of the squash. By roasting the squash, you’re creating a more delicious final dish.

How does it change the flavours?
Roasting the squash means having a slightly sweeter butternut squash pasta sauce. So, your sauce will be even more packed with flavour.

What does it look like?
You’ll know butternut squash is done roasting when the skin has a golden-brown colour and some bubbling. It will also be easy to poke a fork into the flesh of the squash.

3 plates with pasta tubes in a creamy sauce topped with parmesan and fresh basil on a blue background.

Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce

What makes up the sauce and makes it so delicious and silky?
The secret to the creamy sauce in this squash pasta is the squash itself. Once roasted, butternut squash has a creamy consistency. When it’s added to the blender with roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, pasta water, cream, and onion powder, it blends into a silky, smooth sauce. The pasta water is another key ingredient, as it helps the sauce bind together.

What equipment and technique are used to make the sauce? Food processor? Immersion blender?
I prefer using a blender to create the sauce for this butternut squash recipe, as you can leave the cap in the lid off to allow the steam to come out. However, a food processor or an immersion blender will work similarly. Whichever you have on hand will provide a delicious, creamy sauce.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make butternut squash pasta laid out on a pale blue back ground and labelled.

Butternut Squash
I love butternut squash for recipes like this, as it’s known for its creamy consistency. However, you can use other roasted squash to create a creamy sauce like acorn or delicata squash. In a pinch, you can also use sweet potatoes as a replacement.

Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan cheese helps create a decadent taste in this butternut squash pasta dish. For an even cheesier recipe, consider using a meltier option like mozzarella, gouda, or even cheddar cheese.

Garlic
This is one recipe that works best with a whole garlic head (or pre-peeled garlic cloves). Do not use pre-minced garlic, as it won’t roast well in the oven.

How to make

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (FAN) 200°C/390°F (Conventional)

  1. Start by slicing your squash in half and then into strips and remove the seeds (Image 1).
  2. Place on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil (reserve a tsp for the garlic) and season with dried sage, salt and pepper (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with butternut squash slices on a chopping board and the second with pieces ofbutternute squash on a baking tray.

3. Add the garlic halves onto a sheet of foil and coat with a little oil. Season with salt and scrunch up the foil to cover the garlic (Image 3).

4. Place on the baking tray with squash and pop in the oven.  Set your timer to 40 minutes, rotating half way. When your timer goes off, remove the tray from the oven and set aside (Image 4).

Meanwhile add your pasta to heavily salted boiling water and set a timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes. 

2 step by step photos, the first with partly sliced garlic bulb in foil and the second with pieces of butternut squash on a baking tray.

5. Once your squash has cooled enough to touch – remove the squash from the skin and place into a blender (Image 5).

6. Then add the roasted garlic squeezed from its skin, onion powder, cream, parmesan, lemon juice and a ladle of pasta water (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with butternut squash in a blender cup and the second with parmesan added to the cup.

7. Blend together until smooth (Image 7). 

8. Reserving a large jug of pasta water, drain your pasta and add into a pan with the sauce. Stir to combine and loosen with additional pasta water. Continue to cook on a low heat until you achieve a thick and glossy sauce. Serve slightly thinner as it’ll thicken up as it cools (Image 8). 

Top with additional grated parmesan and fresh basil. 

2 step by step photos, the first with the butternut squash blended in a blender cup held with a hand and the second with the rigatoni pasta in the sauce in a large pan.

Tips for the best result

Add fresh herbs
If you prefer a more herby pasta recipe, feel free to mix in multiple fresh herbs. Or, use another fresh herb instead of sage if you prefer.

Make the recipe dairy-free
If you have family members who can’t have dairy, you can easily turn this into a dairy-free recipe. Swap the cream for a non-dairy option (like Silk dairy-free heavy cream) and skip the parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you can use non-dairy parmesan instead.

Remove the skin after cooking
After roasting the squash, the skin should peel off easily. Ensure you remove it before blending the squash for a creamier consistency

Close up of rigatoni pasta with a sauce and grated parmesan and fresh basil in a pan with a wooden spoon

Butternut Squash Pasta Serving Suggestions

While butternut squash pasta is filling on its own, it also pairs well with quite a few sides. Here are a few options to create a more filling meal.

Roasted Vegetables – While the oven is still on from the squash/garlic, toss another baking sheet in with chopped veggies tossed in olive oil and fresh herbs. You can use any veggies on hand, like zucchini, asparagus, and green beans.

Garlic Bread – A crusty bread with a garlic butter spread will make this pasta dish even more comforting. Plus, you can use the bread to sop up all the creamy sauce. Try my Homemade Butter recipe or the BEST Compound Butter as a side to make the garlic bread.

Salad – For a more nourishing meal, consider adding a fresh salad to the side. Any salad will do, from Caesar to a garden salad.Here are a few more recipes you can make to use up extra butternut squash: Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad, Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash, or Loaded Vegetable Quesadillas.

Storage and Reheat Instructions

Freezer: Skip freezing pasta, as it typically dries out and does not reheat well later. Instead, only freeze leftover butternut squash sauce. You can keep the sauce in the freezer for up to six months. Since it has dairy, the sauce will likely separate in the freezer. To reheat it, warm it in a pan on the stove over low heat. Ensure you stir it consistently until it has recombined.

Refrigerator: Once the butternut squash pasta has fully cooled, pack it into an airtight container (or multiple containers for meal prep) and store it in the fridge. It should stay good for up to four days. Pasta typically dries out in the fridge, so you may need to add a tablespoon or so of water before reheating it in the microwave.

FAQs

Can I use something other than sage?

Yes, you can use an herb besides sage! Most herbs have a flavour that works well with butternut squash pasta, such as rosemary and thyme. If you have fresh herbs on hand, feel free to use those instead.

Can I add meat to this?

Yes, you can add meat to this pasta with butternut squash. An option that pairs well with the flavours of this dish is pan-fried pancetta. It adds a rich flavour and taste to the creamy pasta.

What other types of pasta can I use for this recipe?

You can use nearly any pasta you’d like for this recipe, such as linguine, fusilli, spaghetti, tortiglioni, etc. Boost the protein in this pasta dish by using chickpea or lentil pasta instead. Or, use gluten-free pasta if you’d like.
 
As mentioned, this dish pairs well with salads. Here are a few salads to make alongside butternut squash pasta: Halloumi and Chickpea Salad, Panzanella Salad with Halloumi, or Halloumi Caesar Salad.

Overhead shot of pasta tubes with a creamy sauce topped with parmesan and basil and mixed with a wooden spoon.

If you tried this Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

 

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

Print
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
£1.07
mains
American
Freezable
Servings: 5
This butternut squash pasta recipe is delicious, healthy, comforting, and features an irresistibly creamy sauce. It packs a punch with autumn flavours.

Ingredients

  • 1.2 kg (1 butternut squash)sliced into strips (£1.62)
  • 1 head of garlic (£0.39)
  • 50 g of parmesan, finely grated + extra to serve (£2.40/3)=(£0.80)
  • Juice of half a lemon (£0.30)
  • 100 ml cream (£1.20/3)=(£0.40)
  • 500 g mezze rigatoni or pasta of choice (£1.85)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried Sage
  • 1 tsp onion powder/onion salt
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (FAN) 200°C/390°F (Conventional)

  • Start by slicing your squash in half and then into strips. Remove the seeds and place on a baking sheet. Coat with olive oil (reserve a tsp for the garlic) and season with dried sage, salt and pepper.
  • Add the garlic halves onto a sheet of foil and coat with a little oil. Season with salt and scrunch up the foil to cover the garlic. Place on the baking tray with squash and pop in the oven. Set your timer to 40 minutes, rotating half way.
  • When your timer goes off, remove the tray from the oven and set aside whilst you cook your pasta. Add your pasta to heavily salted boiling water and set a timer to the packet time minus 2 minutes.
  • Once your squash has cooled enough to touch - remove the squash from the skin and place into a blender, along with the roasted garlic squeezed from its skin, onion powder, cream, parmesan, lemon juice and a ladle of pasta water. Blend until smooth.
  • Reserving a large jug of pasta water, drain your pasta and add into a pan with the sauce. Stir to combine and loosen with additional pasta water. Continue to cook on a low heat until you achieve a thick and glossy sauce. Serve slightly thinner as it’ll thicken up as it cools.
  • Top with additional grated parmesan and fresh basil.

Notes

  • Elevate flavor with diverse herbs: Experiment with a blend of fresh herbs or substitute sage for a different aromatic twist.
  • Cater to dietary needs: Make it dairy-free by swapping cream for a non-dairy alternative and leave out the parmesan, or opt for non-dairy parmesan.
  • After roasting squash, easily peel off the skin before blending to achieve a smoother, creamier texture in the recipe.

Nutrition

Servings: 5 servings
Fat: 12g
Calories: 531kcal
Carbohydrates: 88g
Protein: 19g

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