Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

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This Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce will leave your whole family happy and satisfied. It’s such an easy recipe that has simple ingredients, like butternut squash, chicken broth, coconut cream, and warm spices. The best part is it’s a kid-friendly comfort food that makes family dinners a breeze!

Looking for easy pasta dishes? Try this Easy Butternut Squash Ravioli, Creamy Cajun Salmon Pasta, Italian Sausage Pasta, or Baked Bechamel Pasta.

Close up of butternut squash pasta sauce on a wooden spoon.

Bursting with the velvety goodness of butternut squash, this pasta sauce is a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors. Roasted butternut squash creates a slightly caramelized taste that pairs perfectly with Parmesan cheese and other savory ingredients.

What I love the most about this simple butternut squash pasta sauce is how versatile it is. Add it to your favorite type of pasta for a rich and flavorful dish or layer it in lasagna for a unique autumn twist. You can even spread it over a tortilla pizza crust for a gourmet pizza night!

The options are limited to your imagination but it’s safe to say this pasta sauce will quickly win the hearts of everyone that tries it.

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • KID FRIENDLY – It’s a delicious sauce that perfectly pairs with any kind of pasta. It’s savory, rich, creamy, and incredibly delicious!
  • MORE VEGGIES! – Butternut squash is a nutritional powerhouse and turning it into a pasta sauce is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. Hey, it’s veggies, right?!
  • INEXPENSIVE – During the winter months when this squash is readily available everywhere, butternut squash is very reasonably priced, making it a cost-effective way to incorporate more veggies into your meals.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce:

Ingredients needed to make butternut squash pasta sauce.

INGREDIENT NOTES

Butternut squash: This winter squash makes a very delicious pasta sauce. Whole squash will yield a richer sauce but pre-cut squash works just as well. Pick up already peeled and cubed butternut squash in the produce section of your local grocery store to save time.

Broth: Helps create the base of the sauce, adding savory flavor and moisture. I prefer to use chicken broth because it has mild flavor but any broth will work.

Coconut cream: Adds creaminess to the squash that takes this pasta sauce to the next level. Make sure you buy UNSWEETENED coconut cream–NOT the sweet version.

Seasonings and aromatics: Dried or fresh thyme, garlic, and a simple seasoning blend of ground nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper is enough to give flavor without overpowering.

HOW TO MAKE BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA SAUCE: STEP-BY-STEP

Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the printable recipe card below!

Step 1: Place cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle a little olive oil over the squash and toss to coat. Roast for 20-30 minutes in a preheated oven or until squash is tender and slightly caramelized. Stir the squash about halfway through the cooking process.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: While squash is roasting, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add diced onions and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until translucent.

Stir in garlic, thyme, nutmeg, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

Step 3: Add roasted butternut squash to the skillet, along with chicken stock and coconut cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Carefully transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Be careful, as the mixture will be very hot.

Step 4: Return the creamy sauce back to the pot and stir in Parmesan cheese. Let the sauce cook a few more minutes until the cheese melts. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Step 5: Toss the cooked pasta with the creamy butternut squash pasta sauce. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and enjoy immediately.

RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS

  • Cook pasta al dente. Follow the package directions, but drain the past while it’s still firm to the tooth as it will continue to cook when tossed with the sauce. Using al dente pasta will help maintain proper texture.
  • Use uniform butternut squash cubes. Make sure the squash pieces are relatively similar in size to ensure proper roasting. I like to cut my pieces small so they roast quickly.
  • Roast until fork tender. Don’t overbake the squash. Roast it just until the fork easily pierces through the squash cubes.
  • Add Parmesan cheese at the proper time. Stir in the cheese while the sauce is still hot to ensure smooth melting. Let it gently cook for a few more minutes to achieve a rich flavor and texture.
Butternut squash pasta sauce in a glass jar.

Confidence Tip

Use an immersion blender to save time on cleanup. A hand blender or immersion blender can process the butternut squash into a smooth sauce quickly without the need to transfer the squash mixture to a food processor or blender.

STORAGE & REHEATING

Storage: Store leftover butternut squash sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be sure to transfer it to the storage container when it is completely cooled.

Reheating: Gently reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a splash of water or additional broth to the pan if you find the sauce is too thick.

Freezing: If you have extra sauce, freeze it for an easy future meal. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bags, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat per instructions.

Additions & Substitutions

ADDITIONS:

  • Fresh herbs: Stir in a handful of fresh herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, or chopped fresh rosemary at the end for a burst of freshness and a pop of color.
  • Add a protein: Make it a meal by adding a protein source like blackened chicken or oven-baked shrimp!

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Use dairy-free options: To make vegan butternut squash pasta sauce, use vegetable broth and omit the Parmesan cheese.
  • Try another squash: Although fresh butternut squash makes the best pasta sauce, try another winter squash, like pumpkin.
  • Use sour cream: Swap out the coconut cream with sour cream, creme fraiche, or heavy cream to make the ultimate creamy pasta sauce.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Can I use frozen butternut squash for this recipe?

Absolutely! You can use frozen squash in a pinch but I recommend you thaw it before roasting to reduce excess moisture. Or you can roast it directly from frozen but give it a few extra minutes during baking time.

The texture of the cubed squash may differ but when you blend it with the other ingredients, it should not be noticeable.

How can I prevent the sauce from becoming too thick?

If the sauce thickens too much, add a splash of broth (vegetable, chicken, or beef broth will all work), pasta cooking water, or another liquid to reach your desired consistency. Always start low and adjust as needed.

Can I meal prep this cream sauce?

Certainly! This savory butternut squash pasta sauce recipe can be made up to 4 days in advance. Make it on the weekend for an easy dinner on busy weeknights.

You can also roast the butternut squash up to a week in advance and refrigerate that until ready to prepare the sauce.

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Butternut squash pasta on a white plate garnished with thyme.

I hope you love this Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Butternut squash pasta on a white plate garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

Casey Rooney
This Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce will make your whole family happy and satisfied. It's such an easy recipe that has simple ingredients, like butternut squash, chicken broth, coconut cream, and warm spices. The best part is it's a kid-friendly comfort food that makes family dinners a breeze.
4.43 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 712 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chicken stock can sub vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut cream can substitute heavy cream
  • 1/2 Parmesan cheese + more for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12-16 oz. of your favorite pasta

Instructions
 

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 425°F or your air fryer to 400°F.
  • Roast: Place cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle 2 tbsp. of olive oil over squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until squash is tender and slightly caramelized. Give the squash a big stir about halfway through the cooking process.
  • Cook Pasta: While squash is roasting. cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Cook: In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, nutmeg, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add: Add roasted butternut squash to the skillet, along with the chicken stock and coconut cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Blend: Carefully transfer mixture to a blender or food processor OR use an immersion blender to puree the squash mixture until smooth and creamy.
  • Finish: Return sauce to the pan and stir in Parmesan cheese. Let the sauce cook a few more minutes until cheese melts. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Notes

Tips:
  • Cook pasta al dente. Follow the package directions, but drain the past while it’s still firm to the tooth as it will continue to cook when tossed with the sauce. Using al dente pasta will help maintain proper texture.
  • Use uniform butternut squash cubes. Make sure the squash pieces are relatively similar in size to ensure proper roasting.  
  • Roast until fork tender. Don’t overbake the squash. Roast it just until the fork easily pierces through the squash cubes.  
  • Use an immersion blender to save time on cleanup. A hand blender or immersion blender can process the butternut squash into a smooth sauce quickly without dirtying up a food processor or blender.
 
Storage:
  • Store leftover butternut squash sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be sure to transfer it to the storage container when it is completely cooled.
Nutrition is only an estimate based on the Very Well Fit Nutrition Calculator. Includes 16oz. of pasta.
 
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Nutrition

Calories: 712kcalCarbohydrates: 107.7gProtein: 14.8gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 825mgPotassium: 834mgFiber: 6.6gSugar: 45gCalcium: 242mgIron: 4mg
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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. I have seen butternut squash cooked all kinds of ways, but I’ve never seen it turned into pasta sauce. I have to try this!

  2. Such a perfect fall meal! Loved this pasta and how simple and easy it was. My daughter even loved it too so I’ll be adding this to our dinner rotation.

  3. This butternut squash pasta sauce is yummy – full of flavor and made an excellent dinner! Thanks, Casey!

  4. I’ve been looking for a butternut squash pasta recipe and this one looks so good and simple to make! Going to try this for dinner tonight!