September 3, 2023
From Vegan Huggs
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Side view of cooked pasta in a white bowl. Topped with crispy sage.
overhead shot of butternut squash pasta in a white bowl. Fork and napkin on the side.

This Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta is the ultimate comfort food with its rich, silky-smooth sauce and crispy sage topping. It’s heavenly!

Side view of cooked butternut squash pasta in a white bowl with crispy sage on top.

If you’re looking for more ways to cook winter squash, you may want to try out this Butternut Squash Pasta recipe.

Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables and it goes so well with a variety of dishes. It’s a great side, delicious in salad, and so good when it’s stuffed and roasted.

I also love using it for a variety of soups including my Vegan Butternut Squash Soup. It has a very mild, buttery, and somewhat nutty flavor.

Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions

🌟 This is a quick overview with step-by-step photos. For the complete ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card below.

All ingredients needed to make the pasta recipe.
  • Fresh Sage Leaves – have a bold, earthy, and slight peppery flavor. It’s fried and used as a topping for the dish, so it’s not needed to make the sauce.
  • Spaghetti – This recipe also works well with farfalle and fusilli pasta.
  • Butternut Squash – It’s the star of the show, but you can also use acorn squash and it’ll be equally delicious!
  • Nutritional Yeast – adds a cheesy flavor and helps thicken the sauce. You can also use vegan parmesan or a tablespoon of vegan cream cheese to thicken.
  • Non-Dairy Milk – Try to pick a thicker variety, but any kind will do, just make sure it’s unsweetened.
  • Vegan Parmesan – This is just for topping, so it’s totally optional.
  • Nutmeg – adds a hint of warmth and a slightly nutty flavor. I only added a pinch, but you can omit it altogether if preferred.
  • Onion – shallots will work here, too.

How to make Butternut Squash Pasta

Four process photos of frying sage, sautéing onions and garlic, and cooking squash in broth.

1. Fry the sage in oil over medium-high heat for 15-20 seconds on each side until crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

2. Heat oil over medium heat, then add the onions and sauté until softened.

3. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, and thyme. Sauté for 30-60 seconds.

4. Pour the broth into the pan, then add the squash, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer until the squash is fork-tender. Start boiling the spaghetti and cook until just shy of al dente. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and drizzle with olive oil.

Four process photos of blending sauce and cooking the sauce with the pasta.

5. Add the contents of the pan to a blender, along with the milk, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Blend on high until smooth.

6. Pour into the pan over medium heat. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.

7. Add the pasta and gently toss to combine, then cook for 1-2 minutes more. If the sauce is too thick, you can start adding some of the pasta water until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

8. Remove from heat and toss with vegan parmesan and a few crumbled sage leaves.

Success Tips

Here are some extra tips to make the most delicious butternut squash pasta ever!

  • Don’t overcook the pasta or it will get too soft. You want to cook it just shy of al dente. It’ll cook more in the sauce.
  • If the sauce is too thin for your taste, you can cook it down in the pan for a few minutes before adding the pasta. You can also thicken it with 1-2 teaspoons more of nutritional yeast, or use 2-3 teaspoons of vegan cream cheese.
  • Make sure to save some pasta water in case you need to thin the sauce out a little (you may not need it). It will also help make the sauce even creamier and silkier.
  • The sage leaves only need to be fried for a short time. You want them to be dark green and crisp. Browning them will make them taste slightly bitter.
  • Choose a squash that has a medium-beige skin that is somewhat matte and not shiny. If it’s too pale, shiny, or has green streaks in it, it’s likely that the squash was picked too early and it will taste bland. You can also knock on the surface to check for ripeness. If it sounds somewhat hollow, it’s likely perfectly ripe to eat. The inside color should be deep orange for optimal flavor. If you’d like to learn more, here’s an informative article on how to pick the best butternut squash.
  • You will probably have leftover butternut squash if you purchased it whole. You can cube it and freeze/refrigerate it for another recipe.
  • Cut the butternut squash cubes similar in size and no more than a ½ inch. This will help them cook quickly and evenly.

Butternut Squash Pasta Serving Suggestions

This Butternut Squash Pasta is perfect all on its own and very filling. However, if you’d like to change it up, you can serve it with a salad, a side of artisan bread, or roasted veggies.

This dish also goes well with browned vegan sausage crumbles. I highly recommend the Field Roast – Smoked Apple Sage Sausages. The flavors really complement the sauce. Just brown them in a small amount of oil for 3-5 minutes, then remove them from the pan. Toss them in the pasta right before serving.

Overhead view of 3 butternut squash pasta nests in a white bowl with sage on top.

More Comfort Food Recipes to Try

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📖 Recipe

Side view of cooked pasta in a white bowl. Topped with crispy sage.

5 from 5 votes

Butternut Squash Pasta

This Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta is the ultimate comfort food with its rich, silky-smooth sauce and crispy sage topping. It’s heavenly!

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 489kcal

Ingredients

Crispy Sage

Butternut Squash Pasta

Recommended Equipment

  • Large Pan with Lid

Instructions

  • Start by heating up a large pot of salted water over high heat until it’s almost boiling. Then cover and lower the heat to keep it hot until ready to use.

  • For the crispy sage, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot and shimmering. Now add the sage leaves in a single layer and fry for 15-20 seconds, then flip with tongs, and fry for another 15-20 until crisp, but not browned. The color should turn dark green. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

  • For the sauce, wipe out the pan and place it back on the stove, and heat up oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté until tender and slightly golden. About 4-6 minutes.

  • Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, and thyme. Sauté for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.

  • Pour the broth into the pan, then add the cubed squash, salt, and pepper, now give it a good stir. Raise the heat to get things simmering, then lower the heat to maintain a medium simmer. Cover with a lid and cook until the squash is fork-tender, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • While the squash is cooking, bring the pasta water to a boil, then add the spaghetti and cook until just shy of al dente, and according to package directions (usually around 8-9 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve ½ cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.

  • Now, carefully add the contents of the pan into a blender, along with the milk, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Blend on high until smooth. Now pour the mixture back into the pan over medium heat. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.

  • Add the pasta and gently toss to combine, then cook for 1-2 minutes more. If the sauce is too thick, you can start adding some of the pasta water until you’ve reached desired consistency. You may not need any or much at all.

  • Remove from heat and toss with a few crumbled sage leaves and vegan parmesan (optional). Serve with the remaining sage leaves and more vegan parmesan if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Nutritional Yeast – adds a slightly cheesy flavor and helps thicken the sauce. You can also use vegan parmesan or 2-3 teaspoons of vegan cream cheese to thicken.
  2. Butternut Squash – Choose a squash that has a medium-dark beige skin that is somewhat matte and not shiny. If it’s too pale, shiny, or has green streaks in it, it’s likely that the squash was picked too early and it will taste bland. You can also knock on the surface to check for ripeness. If it sounds somewhat hollow, it’s likely ripened inside. The inside color should be deep orange for optimal flavor.
  3. Cut the butternut squash cubes similar in size and no more than a ½ inch. This will help them cook quickly and evenly in the broth.
  4. You will probably have leftover butternut squash if you purchased it whole. You can cube it and freeze/refrigerate it for another recipe. 
  5. This recipe goes well with vegan sausage crumbles (I highly recommend the Field Roast – Smoked Apple Sage flavor). You can crumble up 1-2 and brown them in a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes (I usually cook them after the sage leaves). After browning the crumbles, remove from the pan and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Then proceed with the sauce. I usually toss it with the pasta right before serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 350mg | Sugar: 6g




Source: Veganhuggs.com