Pasta/ Popular Recipes

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

February 28, 2018 (Last Updated: August 28, 2019)

Creamy butternut squash pasta made with roasted butternut squash, garlic and parmesan. The thick and creamy sauce (that’s pretty hard not to eat straight from the bowl) is tossed with penne pasta for a quick and incredibly delicious dinner the whole family will enjoy!

An overhead shot of butternut squash pasta on a plate with basil and a fork at the side

I give you the easiest, creamiest butternut squash pasta!

This butternut squash pasta is perfect comfort food for me. It’s almost like mac and cheese with a thick, creamy and very moreish sauce but healthy!

The difference with this recipe is that the creaminess doesn’t come from a cheese sauce is comes from roasted butternut squash and garlic.

Once they are blitzed up with a little splash of cream and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

It creates the most delicious thick sauce that’s not only great for pasta but can be used in so many different ways.

More Ways To Use Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce;

  • Pour over chicken (heat the sauce gently and add cooked chicken or pour over to serve)
  • It would also be delicious served with breaded chicken cutlets
  • Use as pizza sauce (because it’s sweeter than tomato sauce go for toppings such as sausage, capers, salami and onion. Something that’ll cut through the sweetness.)

How To Make Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta – Step By Step

First, cut the skin off the butternut squash and cut into medium-sized cubes.

Place on a baking tray and sprinkle over the oregano, red pepper flakes, paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil (photo1).

Make sure everything is coated with the spices and olive oil then roast in the oven for around 30 minutes until soft (photo 2).

Tip: When the squash is almost ready, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.

step by step photos for making butternut squash pasta

When the butternut squash is ready, add it to a blender or food processor.

Remove the garlic from their skins and add that too then blitz until silky smooth. Add the cream and parmesan and blitz again until smooth and creamy (photos 4 & 5).

Drain the pasta then add it back into the pot you boiled it in, pour over the sauce and toss to coat (photos 6-9).

Tip: Always reserve a cup of pasta water before draining the pasta. If the consistency of the sauce is too thick dilute it a little with some pasta water (not too much).

Top Tips for Making Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

  • When buying the squash make sure to choose one without any blemishes.
  • Squash isn’t as hard as you think to cut if you have a sharp knife ( see the video for how we do it ) alternatively you can buy pre-cut squash.
  • Make sure to reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water to thin out the sauce.
  • This sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You can also freeze the butternut squash sauce on its own without pasta.

A close up of butternut squash pasta on a plate with basil

Why You Need to Reserve the Pasta Water

Using pasta water to emulsify sauces is a great way to add extra flavour to pasta.

The reason it’s important with this butternut squash pasta is because the sauce can have a thick consistency depending on how much water is in the actual squash naturally (everyone is different).

If after blitzing the butternut squash it’s really thick like mashed potatoes don’t worry just add reserved pasta water to thin it out!

More Comfort Food Recipes You Might Like;

This recipe has been one of my most popular recipes for a lonnng time now so I thought I’d update this post with better photos and a great step by step guide.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and found all the tips helpful.

If you’ve tried this creamy butternut squash pasta or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Watch How to Make it

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
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4.64 from 11 votes

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

Creamy butternut squash pasta made with roasted butternut squash, garlic and parmesan. The thick and creamy sauce (that's pretty hard not to eat straight from the bowl) is tossed with penne pasta for a quick and incredibly delicious dinner the whole family will enjoy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 546kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 14 oz (400g) penne pasta
  • 1 lb (500g) butternut squash
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes plus extra for garnish ( if desired)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (double cream)
  • 1/4 cup (20g) freshly grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper , to season
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • small handful of basil , to garnish

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4.
  • Cut the skin off the butternut squash and cut into medium-sized cubes. Place on a baking tray with the garlic cloves (skin still on). Sprinkle over the oregano, red pepper flakes, paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  • Add the olive oil and rub over the squash with your hands so the squash and garlic are evenly coated in the spices. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes until the squash and garlic are soft, toss halfway through.
  • After 20 minutes of roasting the squash bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the penne and cook according to instructions until al dente, drain. Tip: Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining, see notes.
  • Once the squash is cooked, place in a food processor. Squeeze the garlic out of their skins and add that to the squash with the cream and parmesan. Blitz until smooth and creamy. Add extra salt if required.
  • Add the sauce to the drained pot you cooked the pasta in or a clean skillet and add 1 cup pasta water, stir to combine to thin out the sauce. If it's still too thick add more until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Add the cooked penne and toss until evenly coated in the sauce. Serve with torn basil leaves.

Notes

  • When buying the squash make sure to choose one without any blemishes.
  • Squash isn't as hard as you think to cut if you have a sharp knife ( see the video for how we do it ) alternatively you can buy pre-cut squash.
  •  Always reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining the pasta. If the consistency of the sauce is too thick dilute it a little with some pasta water (not too much).
  • This sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You can also freeze the butternut squash sauce on its own without pasta.

More Ways To Use Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce;

  • Pour over chicken (heat the sauce gently and add cooked chicken or pour over to serve)
  • It would also be delicious served with breaded chicken cutlets
  • Use as pizza sauce (because it's sweeter than tomato sauce go for toppings such as sausage, capers, salami and onion. Something that'll cut through the sweetness.)

Nutrition

Calories: 546kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 650mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 12510IU | Vitamin C: 24.8mg | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    Jeannine
    February 13, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Hi, I want to make this recipe for my family this weekend but I don’t understand what you meant by “cream”.
    what do you mean by “cream”?
    Heavy whipping cream, cream cheese . . . ?
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    February 3, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Could you use a different cheese as I don’t like parmesan?

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      February 3, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Michelle, you could skip it altogether or add a little cheddar finely grated so it melts into the sauce.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    January 30, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Going to try this – had 2 questions though 😊
    1 – are chili flakes the same as red pepper flakes? You mentioned both in the recipe so I wasn’t sure 🤷‍♀️
    2 – has anyone tried adding chicken to this? Was thinking I’d cut up some & cook it in a skillet then add to the pasta & sauce unless that’d be bad for some reason.
    Thanks for giving me a new recipe! 😀
    Adding my website below even though it’s not currently up…hopefully soon 😀

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      January 30, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      Hi Andrea, yes they are the same thing (sorry for the confusion) in the UK we call them chili flakes. Also yes, feel free to add chicken that would work well. Hope you enjoy!

      • Reply
        Andrea
        February 2, 2019 at 12:57 am

        Thank you! Trying it tonight for supper! 😀

  • Reply
    Simone
    January 7, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    I love the ideas you have for the sauce! I would have never considered adding it to a pizza base but I can see how this could work!!4 stars

  • Reply
    Katie
    November 6, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Loved this recipe! To reduce sodium I replaced 1/2 cup ricotta for the 1/2 cup parmesan and it was amazing!5 stars

  • Reply
    Rachel
    October 31, 2018 at 5:13 am

    I made this for dinner tonight, my family loved it!!5 stars

  • Reply
    Katie
    October 26, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Can I freeze this? How can I do that?

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      October 29, 2018 at 9:15 pm

      Hi Katie, you could freeze the sauce separately on its own then defrost, heat up and toss with pasta.

  • Reply
    Philip
    October 4, 2018 at 1:16 am

    Ciao Emily,
    This recipe looked and sounded so good however, I did not have the success the others have had. First of all it took almost an hour in the oven. After a half hour at 350 degrees on convection, the squash was still very hard so I turned up the heat to 375 degrees on convection for another 30 minutes. The squash was cut in one inch pieces so I don’t understand why it took so long. It’s not my oven. Secondly, after putting all the ingredients in the blender with the stated amounts in the recipe, I also experienced a “mashed potatoes” consistency. It was so thick that the ingredients would not mix so I had to add more cream. When I added the squash to the pasta, it was still too thick so I added a cup of the pasta water. It still was not the right consistency. It tasted good but I think when I re-heat the leftovers tomorrow, I will add some chicken stock to try and loosen up the sauce. Any thoughts or suggestions? Mi dispiace!3 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      October 4, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Hi Philip, so sorry to hear it didn’t turn out as great as it should’ve. I always use a fan oven for all my recipes so I wonder why it took so long, especially if it was cut up small. I’ve never experienced the blended squash turning out super thick like mash although I’ve seen a couple photos of it turning out like that for people but then many others have had great results. I’m wondering if it’s to do with the amount of water in the squash? Adding chicken stock sounds like a great way to dilute it without losing flavour, be sure to let me know how that turns out! Grazie Mille, Emily!

  • Reply
    fiorino bianchi
    March 4, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Hi…it is my pleasure to inform you that after i posted this recipe on my Twitter ,,,I received within first 10 hours more than 25 likes …5 stars

  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    February 28, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Roasting squash is the best way to cook it. Turning it into a delicious creamy sauce is a great way to enjoy it. Pasta works in our house any night of the week.5 stars

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    February 28, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make a “cheese sauce” with butternut squash and your beautiful pictures are definitely inspiring me to do it. This looks absolutely delicious!5 stars

  • Reply
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    February 28, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    This looks luscious!! Need to try this with my 8 month old, I bet she’d love the creamy sauce 🙂

  • Reply
    Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts
    February 28, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    I LOVE everything about this!!! It is so bright and colourful and I know that roasted pumpkin has so much flavour so this is going to taste divine!!!!!!

    Also sneaking extra veg into a dish…WINNING!!!

    (The photos are gorgeous!!!)5 stars

  • Reply
    sue | theviewfromgreatisland
    February 28, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    This is the perfect way to do pasta ~ comforting AND healthy!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    February 2, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    This looks SOOO good! I’m making it tonight. Hey, someone is using the picture of your pin to take people to a different website. I’m posting the link here so that you can report it to Pintrest. Not cool to steal someones intellectual property! Cook on girl!
    https://pin.it/oz5ht3v572yuix5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      February 3, 2018 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks so much for letting me know Nicole that’s so nice of you, hopefully I can get it sorted out. Hope you enjoyed the pasta! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kaitlyn
    June 21, 2017 at 2:09 am

    My almost 1 year old is inhaling this right now. She hasn’t wasted a single bite by throwing it on the floor, which unusual!
    I didn’t measure well (no scale) so it didn’t turn out very creamy, the texture is more like mashed potatoes on pasta, but still very good! I’ll definitely try again to get the creamy texture.5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      June 22, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Hey Kaitlyn, aww how cute, I’m so happy your baby loves it :). The sauce is thicker in texture to most but definitely not as thick as you described. I can imagine it would still be really yummy though. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Reply
    Eileen
    June 11, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I absolutely love butternut squash with pasta. The chili flakes on top are the perfect touch.

  • Reply
    Jackie Garvin
    June 11, 2017 at 1:20 am

    I’m a huge fan of butternut squash. Love your combination of butternut squash, pasta, and spices. A touch of heat should compliment the butternut squash’s sweetness. Great recipe!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    June 9, 2017 at 3:25 am

    oh man these looks mega delicious and creamy. I wonder if I could make this dairy free, love cheese but it doesn’t sit to well with me.

  • Reply
    Jen
    November 9, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Making it now super easy and what a new way to make butternut squash.

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