Butternut squash pasta is creamy, tasty, and so incredibly simple you can make it any day of the week with minimal effort.

We roast the squash in the oven for maximum flavor, blend it with ricotta and parmesan, and mix the pasta in the sauce. It’s a colorful and easy-cheesy pasta recipe with few ingredients.

Butternut squash pasta with fork

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Butternut squash is THE autumn vegetable! You can make anything with it, from gnocchi and ravioli to risotto and this scrumptious and creamy butternut squash pasta.

This recipe is straight-up beginner-level since there’s not much cooking involved. But the taste is not beginner at all. Every bite is packed with flavor and an irresistible chewy-creamy texture.

The secret? A creamy-dreamy, velvety butternut squash pasta sauce you could eat with a spoon straight out of the blender.

To make it, we roast the ingredients in the oven because they get so flavorful this way. Roasted butternut squash is so-much-better than stovetop butternut squash!

And while the veggies roast in the oven, you can cook your favorite pasta shape, al dente, drain it and stir it in the sauce.

And that’s it! That’s how to make the tastiest and creamiest butternut squash pasta.

Butternut squash pasta with pistachio

Ingredients

Ricotta and butternut ingredients

Butternut squash

You can get whole butternut squash, peel it, and chop it yourself. Or you can purchase pre-cut butternut squash to save some time.

You can substitute pumpkin or another winter squash for butternut squash. To add extra flavor to the squash, you can roast it with a crushed garlic powder or clove and a few sage leaves.

Pasta

Any pasta shape works for this recipe. We use rigatoni, farfalle, fusilli, rotini, penne, and even long pasta shapes such as spaghetti and linguine.

To make the recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Olive oil

We recommend extra virgin olive oil if you have it; it’s more stable at high temperatures and has a fruitier taste. We use it to roast the butternut squash.

Salt and pepper

We use sea salt or kosher salt to add taste and black pepper for the aroma. The butternut squash sauce can take quite a bit of black pepper; freshly ground is best.

Ricotta

Both regular ricotta cheese and our homemade dairy-free ricotta work well for this recipe. Ricotta helps soften the sweet butternut squash flavor and make the creamy butternut squash pasta more balanced and fulfilling.

Parmesan

Parmesan is for taste! Lots of taste. If you are vegan, you can keep the parmesan cheese out, or replace it with a vegan cheese replacement.

Pistachio nuts and thyme leaves

We garnish the plate with toasted pistachio nuts for a little nutty crunch, and fresh thyme leaves for a pleasant aroma. You can substitute walnuts for pistachios, or you can omit nuts all-together, and simply sprinkle with parmesan.

Other fresh herbs that work well are sage and parsley.

Butternut squash pasta with pistachio

Instructions

Step 1: roast the butternut squash

Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel and seed the butternut squash, then cut it into 1-inch cubes.

Add it to the baking sheet with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.

Toss and bake for 30 minutes, until completely soft and slightly browned.

roasted butternut squash cubes

Step 2: make the sauce

Transfer the roasted butternut squash to a food processor (or blender) and add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, a few thyme leaves, and water.

Butternut squash and ricotta

Blend until you have a smooth sauce, then transfer it into a large pan.

Butternut squash sauce in a skillet

Step 3: toss in the pasta

Boil the pasta al dente in a large pot with heavily salted water.

Reserve one cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and add it to the pan.

Tip: we like to add some extra freshly ground blacked pepper.

Butternut pasta with ricotta

Toss on medium heat for about a minute, adding as much reserved pasta water as you need to make the dish perfectly creamy.

rigatoni butternut squash pasta

Serve the butternut squash pasta with fresh thyme laves, pistachio nuts, and optionally a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.

butternut squash pasta

Serving suggestions

This creamy butternut squash pasta pairs well with greens and roasted veggies on the side. Here are some vibrant side dish ideas:

Variations

Dairy-free butternut squash pasta (vegan)

vegan butternut squash pasta

To make this recipe vegan, you can either keep out ricotta and parmesan cheese or replace them with vegan alternatives.

If you decide to keep them out, keep in mind that the sauce will be sweeter and lighter. We’d recommend topping the pasta with a tasty mix of fried sage and walnuts.

Chop the sage and the walnuts and gently fry them on a non-stick pan for one minute in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and with a pinch of salt.

Transfer them onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb extra oil, then drizzle on top of the pasta.

Storage

Refrigerator: store leftover butternut squash pasta in an airtight container for up to two days. Also, store some reserved pasta water that you’ll use to warm up the pasta on day two.

After a few hours in the fridge, the pasta sauce will inevitably thicken up. To make it creamy again, warm it up with a dash of reserved pasta water on a pan or in the microwave for two minutes.

Freezer: this recipe is not freezer friendly.

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Butternut pasta with fork

Butternut Squash Pasta

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 7 votes
Butternut squash pasta is creamy, tasty, and so incredibly simple you can make it any day of the week with minimal effort.
We roast the squash in the oven for maximum flavor, blend it with ricotta and parmesan, and mix the pasta in the sauce. It's a colorful and easy-cheesy pasta recipe with few ingredients.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Squash Roasting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main, pasta
Cuisine: American Italian

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound rigatoni pasta or any other

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA SAUCE

  • ¾ pound butternut squash peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

FOR THE SAUCE

  • cup ricotta cheese or our dairy-free ricotta*
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese or dairy-free parmesan
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 2 twists black pepper

GARNISH

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoon pistachio nuts

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 430°F or 220°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Peel and seed the butternut squash, then cut it into 1-inch cubes.
    Add it to the baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder.
    Toss and bake for 30 minutes, until completely soft and slightly browned.
    Butternut on a baking tray
  • Transfer the roasted butternut squash to a food processor (or blender) and add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and water.
    Butternut squash and ricotta
  • Blend until you have a smooth sauce, then transfer it into a large pan.
    Butternut squash sauce in a skillet
  • Cook the pasta al dente in a large pot with salted boiling water. Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and toss it in the sauce.
    Stir for half a minute on medium heat. Add some reserved pasta water if necessary.
    rigatoni butternut squash pasta
  • Serve the butternut squash pasta with fresh thyme lavespistachio nuts, and optionally a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.
    Butternut squash pasta with pistachio

Video

Butternut Pasta | You need to try this creamy dreamy sauce

Notes

Nutrition information is for one portion of butternut squash pasta out of four portions.
*Check out our soy ricotta recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 587kcal, Carbohydrates: 80g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Potassium: 637mg, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 9493IU, Vitamin B6: 0.4mg, Vitamin C: 19mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 5µg, Calcium: 376mg, Folate: 47µg, Iron: 2mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 95mg, Zinc: 3mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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6 Comments

    1. Hi Sarah, oh I’m so very happy you liked this pasta, thanks for your kind comment! Enjoy your Wednesday. Cheers, Louise

    1. Hi Kathy, you are absolutely right! The pictures and instructions are now updated to reflect the video. Thanks so much for your message. Cheers, Nico

    2. Hi! I’m thinking of making this for Thanksgiving. Can I make the butternut squash sauce the day before? I would make the pasta on thanksgiving Day.

      1. Hi Josephine, yes you certainly can make this sauce the day before. Store it in an airtight container and be mindful that it will thicken up a little in the fridge. To make it nice and creamy when you mix it with pasta on Thanksgiving Day, simply save 1-2 cups of pasta water and mix it in until you reach your desired consistency. Have an amazing Thanksgiving! Cheers, Nico