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pot with squash pasta up close

Nourishing Butternut Squash Pasta with Goat Cheese

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Alexis Joseph
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Meals
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Cozy up with this comforting Butternut Squash Pasta with goat cheese and pecan topping. A super flavorful vegetarian dinner for fall and winter nights!


Units Scale
  • 12 oz box penne pasta (or other short cut pasta, reserve 2 cups pasta water)
  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced small (20 oz)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten free if needed)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup shallot, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh sage, chopped (optional)
  • 2 oz goat cheese (use log style versus pre-crumbled)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F and move the rack to the lowest position. Line your largest baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place squash on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil plus a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bake on the lowest rack for 30 minutes, tossing halfway.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 2 cups of pasta water. Drain and set aside.
  4. Warm 1 tbsp butter over medium heat in a large pot (I used my 5.5 qt dutch oven). Add breadcrumbs and pecans and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Transfer mixture to a small bowl.
  5. In the same pot, melt remaining 3 tbsp butter. Add shallot and a pinch of salt and cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and sage and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add goat cheese, squash, and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water, stirring to form a creamy sauce. If mixture looks too thick, add another 1/2 cup water.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in pasta, tossing to combine. Fold in 1/2 cup of the breadcrumb mixture. The pasta will absorb liquid as it sits, so serve immediately or add more pasta water as needed to loosen. Top with remaining breadcrumbs before serving!


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