Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

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Bowls of butternut squash pasta topped with shiitake bacon and fresh sage

The idea for this pasta floated into my brain one day: sweet roasted butternut squash tossed with pasta and a garlicky white sauce. After a few rounds of testing, I knew I had something incredible to share. This is my favorite fall and winter pasta yet!

Squash is halved and roasted until caramelized with the skin for ease. The sauce requires just 5 pantry staple ingredients. And when topped with (optional) shiitake bacon, the salty-sweet flavor combination takes it to the next level! Let us show you how it’s done!

Butternut squash, GF pasta, cashews, nutritional yeast, onions, almond milk, cashews, shiitake bacon, bay leaf, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes

This 10-ingredient pasta starts with roasting butternut squash and garlic cloves until caramelized and tender. Roasting brings out their natural sweetness and keeping the squash halved and the garlic whole minimizes chopping time.

Roasted butternut squash, garlic, and sage

For the sauce, cashews provide a neutral, creamy base and add a bit of protein. Raw garlic adds a punchy garlic flavor, nutritional yeast provides the cheesy element, sea salt adds saltiness, and almond milk transforms it into a thin, pourable sauce.

Blender with almond milk, roasted garlic, and nutritional yeast

Then the pasta gets cooked and added to a pan with sautéed onion or shallot for additional flavor. All that’s left to do is add the blended sauce, roasted squash, and red pepper flake for heat. Then it’s cooked a minute or two until warm.

Skillet of cooked pasta, caramelized onion, butternut squash, and garlicky vegan alfredo

For an optional garnish, we recommend our vegan parmesan for a salty cheesiness, red pepper flake for more heat, and shiitake bacon for a savory-sweet finish. The flavor combination is incredibly dreamy.

Skillet of vegan butternut squash pasta topped with sage leaves

We hope you LOVE this butternut squash pasta! It’s:

Savory-sweet
Super comforting
Hearty
Quick & easy
& SO delicious!

Enjoy as a standalone meal when craving comfort and carbs, or for a lighter meal, serve alongside roasted brussels sprouts, chickpea kale salad, garlicky green beans, or a simple green salad.

More Vegan Pasta Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowls of butternut squash pasta topped with shiitake bacon and sage

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

Incredibly flavorful roasted butternut squash pasta with garlicky alfredo sauce and optional shiitake bacon. Savory-sweet, comforting, 10 simple ingredients required! Naturally plant-based and gluten-free.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of gluten-free butternut squash pasta with shiitake bacon
4.75 from 16 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

SQUASH

  • 1/2 medium to large butternut squash
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (if nut-free, try subbing sunflower or hemp seeds)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled (plus more to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other neutral flavored dairy-free milk, such as oat or rice)

PASTA

  • Water to cook
  • 1 healthy pinch sea salt
  • 10 ounces gluten-free pasta (ensure vegan-friendly as needed // we prefer Trader Joe’s brown rice quinoa fusilli)

ONION / SHALLOT

  • 1 tsp oil (or sub water, adding more as needed as it evaporates)
  • 1/3 cup very thinly sliced onion or shallot
  • 1 pinch red pepper flake

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • If serving with shiitake bacon, prepare first and set aside (optional).
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice your squash in half lengthwise, leaving skin on (reserve the other half for another use, such as Butternut Squash Soup!). NOTE: Your squash should be bright orange in color. If pale, it’d be best to try another squash. Scoop out seeds and discard or compost.
  • Rub squash in a bit of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place garlic cloves on the prepared baking sheet and top with squash cut-side down (the squash should cover the garlic so it doesn’t burn). Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the skin is blistered, golden brown, and a knife inserted into the squash comes out very easily.
  • In the meantime, prepare sauce by soaking raw cashews in very hot water for 30 minutes.
  • Once the cashews are almost done soaking, bring a pot of water to a boil and season with a healthy pinch of salt. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside until serving (ideally the pasta is ready within a few minutes of serving — try to time accordingly). OPTIONAL: Toss cooked pasta in a little oil and cover to keep warm and prevent it from sticking until serving.
  • Once cashews are done soaking, drain and add to a small blender with remaining sauce ingredients (garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and almond milk), as well as the garlic cloves that were roasted under the squash (roasted garlic is much milder and sweeter and adds dimension to the sauce). Blend until creamy and smooth. The sauce should be somewhat thin and pourable.
  • Taste and adjust flavors as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, salt to taste, or raw garlic for zing. Set aside.
  • Once your sauce is ready and pasta is almost ready, heat a large rimmed skillet (non-stick if you have it — such as Always Pan) over medium heat. Once hot, add a small amount of oil (if oil-free, use water) and add sliced onion or shallot. Season with a pinch of red pepper flake and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until tender and slightly brown. Then turn heat to low.
  • Add cooked drained pasta to the skillet along with the roasted squash in bite-sized spoonfuls (it should be very tender), and pour over the sauce. Toss to combine over low heat until everything is warmed through and just combined (be careful not to overstir so there are still chunks of squash intact).
  • Serve as is, or garnish with shiitake bacon, vegan parmesan cheese, or red pepper flake (optional). Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days (reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot, adding a little dairy-free milk if it appears dry). Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
*Squash roasting method adapted from Carolina Gelen.
*Pasta recipe modified from our Creamy White Vegan Pasta with Summer Vegetables.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 403 Carbohydrates: 76.4 g Protein: 10.8 g Fat: 8.4 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.12 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3.81 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 352 mg Potassium: 585 mg Fiber: 8.5 g Sugar: 4.5 g Vitamin A: 16733 IU Vitamin C: 18.45 mg Calcium: 158.58 mg Iron: 2.66 mg

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    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Laura, it will still be tasty if you leave it out. Perhaps a little chickpea miso (or another light-flavored miso) or lemon juice if it feels like it needs something more when you taste test.

  1. Marie Biddix says

    I have looked at this recipe for a long time and wanted to make it, but I don’t have much experience with butternut squash. and just kept going to the other recipes I already love! Well I made it yesterday and all I can say is WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG? I make many pasta dishes from MB and this is now my favorite. I invited my daughter over for lunch and served this and she went back for thirds. Knowing I am an over-tosser/stirrer, I only added half of the butternut squash as first and that proved to be a good idea, once everything was combined, I added the rest. I also used red onions instead of the shallots and added a whole zucchini for some extra vegetable power. Since I basically creamed the squash too much I did need to thin it out a bit with about 1/4 cup pasta water. I used GF brown rice penne pasta. This dish is amazing, like all MB recipes. Thank you all so much for providing excellent recipes that help those of us that use food as medicine, you help us live better lives!

  2. Sage says

    Wow ! So nice! I’m a big fan of this easy sauce, if I made this sauce alone will it freeze ok? I’m going to definitely be using the sauce as my go to pasta sauce – totally yum! I just used red onion – everything else was the same — also used my favourite rigatoni pasta. This is going to be made regularly in my house now ! Thank you

  3. Anne says

    I made this for dinner tonight and I loved it!!! I really liked that the butternut squash was added to the dish and not blended with the sauce, so I could really taste it. I used garlic powder instead of the raw garlic because I don’t love raw garlic taste, as well as the roasted garlic. Wonderful! Will make again!

  4. CommodoreCait says

    Such a nice winter dish! I doubled this recipe and added the shiitake “bacon” for maximum results. We loved it! I’d say next time we will add more time for roasting the squash to get it more even. And I’ll add more garlic to roast with the squash, too.
    The sauce was yummy, but I love the rich flavor from the roasted garlic. Also added more nutritional yeast for that yummy flavor. Next time I’ll also save some pasta water for the sauce to make it extra creamy.
    We swapped some pasta that looked adventurous AND added a bunch of spinach for some green.
    Over all, make this. It’s yummy and pretty simple. Enjoy!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  5. Sophie says

    I made this for 4 meat eaters and we all loved it! Super creamy and satisfying, great balance of sweet, cheesy, and spicy.

    I used regular milk in the sauce. I also made the mushrooms which were fantastic! I sautéed the shallots in the sauce leftover from the mushrooms and it was very tasty. Served with an arugula salad.

      • Cadey says

        Honestly wasn’t my favorite dish! Something was missing as far as flavor goes. Also, I think it would be better to roast the squash as cubes with some seasonings and more olive oil to pack in more flavor there! You’ll probably like it if you like umami flavor!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Sorry to hear it wasn’t your favorite, Cadey. Were you using a bright orange squash? We find that those that are more of a pale color aren’t as sweet and flavorful.

  6. Hanusia says

    Great recipe! I didn’t make the shiitake bacon, so instead I added some chickpeas for protein and garnished with rosemary and fresh basil since I had it on hand. I also subbed almonds since I didn’t have cashews for the sauce and they worked just fine. I think I will use the other half of my butternut squash in those brussels sprouts and butternut nourish bowls.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience! Those nourish bowls are one of our personal favorites =) Let us know what you think!

  7. Samantha Hart says

    Very nice! My experience so far of pasta dishes has been jars of store bought tomato based sauces and pesto. This was a very nice and much healthier alternative. Yummy! Thank-you for the recipe!

  8. Genevieve says

    This is **ridiculous**! I’m not vegan, and this is one of the best pasta recipes I’ve made in a long time. Do yourself a favor, and instead of reserving the other half of the squash for another recipe, roast it, and add it to the blender with the cashews and other ingredients (or, buy a can of pureed butternut squash and add it to the blender). I also added about a cup of the pasta water to loosen the sauce up. You should just go ahead and cook the entire box of pasta and adjust the sauce ingredients up because you’ll want leftovers.

  9. Andrea says

    This was SO good! I opted to cut the squash in cubes before they roasted for 45 min and only put the garlic in with it for 20 min so it didn’t burn. The roasted garlic added a great flavor to the sauce. I also used onion powder instead of onions or shallots. Will definitely make again, thank you for this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this one, Andrea! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications!

  10. Laura says

    Made this as written—so delicious and satisfying. The shiitake “bacon” definitely takes it up a notch. Thank you for another winner! My meat-loving husband no longer hesitates before trying a vegetarian dish if it’s from Minimalist Baker.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you both enjoy our recipes, Laura. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  11. Silvi says

    Made this last night (the first night it published!) and it was so yummy! I added more garlic and also some roasted grape tomatoes. Will definitely become a staple!

  12. Nicole says

    This sounds dreamy, but I’d love to know your thoughts on whether buttercup squash could be used instead of butternut? Local food boxes tend to have buttercup this time of year rather than the more popular butternut, so I usually have some kicking around to use.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nicole, we haven’t tried with buttercup, but we do think it would be nice. Let us know if you give it a try!

  13. Paul says

    Sauce alternative? I need to avoid all saturated fat, any idea whether a white bean would work as an acceptable alternate to the cashews? Thanks

  14. Jess says

    This recipe was delicious! It is going to be one of our fall staples. We are not vegan and still felt like it was nourishing and creamy. There are a lot of dishes after but they are worth the scrumptious flavor!

  15. Annabelle says

    This was great. Like vegan mac and cheese with squash. My sweetie doesn’t do well with garlic so I halved it and it still had a strong garlic flavor. I loved it. The prep was easy. This will make a great base for lots of other pasta meals. FYI – the pdf is missing the sauce ingredients.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Annabelle! Thanks for sharing! We aren’t sure what you mean by the PDF. Would you mind clarifying?

      • Annabelle says

        All is good. I’m not sure what happened. When I go to print the recipe, I then hit pdf. so I can copy in a concise form. For some reason that pdf was missing the sauce ingredients. When I went back to check after I had done the review, everything was there. Must have been a glitch with my computer.

  16. anon says

    SAUCE
    1/4 cup raw cashews (if nut-free, try subbing sunflower or hemp seeds)

    I have noticed you have said try sunflower or hump seeds if nut free,
    as someone whom is ana to nuts this would be a bad idea,

    would you have a suggestion in what i could use instead of nuts in this recipe. thank you :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Interesting! Thanks for sharing, Anon. Other readers with nut allergies have mentioned using seeds as an alternative. You could try white beans and olive oil, but it won’t have quite the same richness/flavor.

      • anon says

        thank you for the suggestion, i have looked further into the hemp and sunflower seed idea – unfortunately for me i would not be able to have that, but my allergist/doctor had mentioned that the type of allergy depended on the person. so thank you for this, it has been a learning experience for me,
        i subbed the nut for flour and water to make it a sauce. I used orgran plain flour,