This butternut squash pasta is an easy, seasonal meal that comes together in just 30 minutes! It’s bursting with fall flavors including sweet butternut squash and earthy sage leaves. Parmesan cheese adds a nutty saltiness, while onions and garlic bring savory goodness. You’ll be making this butternut squash pasta recipe all winter long!
I love using seasonal ingredients, and nothing beats winter squash this time of year. Now that we’re officially into the chilly weather months, I’m enjoying heartier recipes like stews, soups and pasta. This recipe is a great way to highlight fall flavors. It reminds me a bit of my baked butternut squash mac and cheese, but it’s less time consuming and heavy.
How to Make Butternut Squash Pasta
This recipe is very easy to prepare. While the pasta is cooking, steam or boil the butternut squash. They take a similar amount of time to cook, but the squash may need a few minutes longer than the pasta. Once those are done, use one of the same pots (less dishes) to cook some onions, garlic and sage in olive oil. Puree everything together in a blender along with parmesan cheese, half-and-half, and a few spices. The whole thing is ready to serve in 30 minutes.
If you want to save time, you can purchase pre-peeled and chopped butternut squash. It’s pricier, but sometimes it’s worth paying a bit extra if you’re tired at the end of a long day and just want to get dinner on the table. Keep in mind that the pre-diced squash usually comes in larger pieces, so I recommend cutting it into 1/2-inch cubes so it cooks in the amount of time I’ve listed in the recipe instructions.
If you’ve never cubed a whole butternut squash before, here’s a great tutorial from Fifteen Spatulas.
How long will butternut squash pasta sauce keep?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3-4 days.
Can you freeze butternut squash pasta sauce?
Yes, leftovers will keep in the freezer for up to one month; however, it’s best to store the sauce on its own without the pasta. Cooked pasta can become mushy when thawed and reheated. Before freezing, cool the butternut squash sauce to room temperature, then transfer it to and airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
What Is Half-And-Half?
This recipe calls for half-and-half. What is half-and-half, and how do you make it if you already have cream and milk in the fridge? Read my tutorial on how to make half-and-half so you can save time and money!
More Butternut Squash Recipes
If you like this butternut squash pasta, you may also enjoy this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Pistachios, Butternut Squash Galette with Goat Cheese and Sage, and Butternut Lobster Bisque!
Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta (I used rotini)
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1 medium squash)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium)
- 2 large or 3 small cloves garlic, finely minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, chopped (plus more for optional garnish)
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (see notes)
- 1/2 cup half-and-half (or 50% whole milk + 50% heavy cream)
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- In a large pot of generously salted water, cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water. Rinse pasta with a bit of cold water or toss with a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent sticking while preparing the other ingredients.
- Meanwhile, steam the butternut squash until fork tender, around 10 -15 minutes. (Note: larger pieces will take longer to cook). Alternately, you can cook the squash in boiling water for approximately the same amount of time if you don’t have a steamer. After boiling, drain through a colander, shaking to remove excess water.
- In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottom saucepan set over medium-low heat (you can use the same pot used for the pasta), add 2 teaspoons olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once the oil is heated, add the onions. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent or just starting to brown. If necessary, add a tablespoon of water to the pot periodically to detach any brown bits that form, stirring them back into the onions. Add the garlic and sage and cook for an additional minute, stirring frequently, then remove the pot from the heat.
- Microwave the half-and-half for around 45-60 seconds until warm. If you prefer, you can add the half-and-half directly to the pot with the onions and stir over low heat until warmed through, but be careful to make sure the liquid doesn’t bubble and reduce.
- Puree the butternut squash, onion mixture, parmesan cheese, half-and-half, salt, pepper and nutmeg in blender. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Toss sauce with the pasta. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, you can add some of the reserved pasta water.
- Serve immediately, optionally garnishing each bowl with a small amount of chopped sage. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3-4 days.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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