This 8-ingredient creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta will be your new favorite fall meal. Packed with good for you ingredients, simple to make, delicious, and oh so comforting! Kids love this dish, too!
The creaminess that is this Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta....holy moly butternut guacamole.
I could live off cashews. I blend them into anything and everything because they legitimately make everything taste way better!
It's time for another episode of pasta-is-the-perfect-blank-canvas. Protein, fiber, oodles of vitamins and minerals...100% whole grain pasta has it all, my friends.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't douse this epically creamy pasta in Frank's hot sauce. They should hire me as their spokesperson.
Sage is kind of weird but I kind of adore it. Mostly because it's so fuzzy. Like can I pet you before I stuff you into a casserole and eat you? Fall would be nothing without sage. Admittedly, last time I made this I didn't have any fresh on hand so I added a bit of dried to the sauce instead. I prefer fresh, but dried will work in a pinch!
Recipe tips and substitutions
This is a really stellar weeknight meal with whole grains, healthy fats, and veggies all rolled into one. It. boasts over 15 grams of plant-powered protein and 11 grams of filing fiber per serving!
- Pasta: Whole wheat penne is my favorite here. I've also made it with brown rice noodles which is great for gluten free. Trader Joe's brown rice penne is what's pictured here!
- Butternut squash: You can peel, slice, and deseed a whole one or you can buy frozen pre-cut squash to cut down on prep time.
- Vegetable broth: Go full sodium here, since we've got plenty of squash and pasta to season. If you're not vegan, chicken broth would also be great!
- Raw cashews: Key for creaminess and velvety mouth feel. If you don't have raw, roasted will work in a pinch but the dish may have a more roasted flavor. We're soaking the cashews while the pasta and squash cook to make them blend easier.
- Maple syrup: For a touch of sweetness. Honey or agave are great, too.
- Sage: I love fresh sage, but you could also do dried if you don't have any fresh.
- Peas: I love adding thawed from frozen peas for a pop of color and texture. Sautéed spinach would also be a great addition!
Can you use frozen squash?
Yes! You can find cubed butternut squash in the freezer section at most grocery stores, which cuts down on prep time and clean up. I always keep a bag in the freezer! See the recipe instructions for roasting frozen squash.
Fun add-in ideas
- Veggies. Peas are my favorite here, but you could also do sautéed greens, finely chopped broccoli, or mushrooms!
- Toppings. If you decide to bake this dish, I love topping it with a handful of panko bread crumbs tossed in some butter for a nice crispy topping. A sprinkle of parm would also be delish if you're not vegan!
- Protein. This dish already boasts 15 grams of protein per serving, but if you want something extra, you could stir in baked tofu, tempeh, or some chickpeas.
The noodles will continue to soak up the sauce as it sits so leftovers may be a bit softer. Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. I wouldn't recommend freezing this dish as is, but you could definitely freeze just the sauce.
If you want to prep this ahead of time, simply cook the noodles, make the butternut squash sauce, then store them separately in the refrigerator. Combine just before serving.
More tasty pasta dinner ideas:
I hope you’re as in love with this Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta as I am! If you make it, please leave a comment and star rating letting me know how it turned out. I’m so grateful for your feedback!Print
This 8-ingredient creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta will be your new favorite fall meal. Healthy, delicious, and oh so comforting!
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked
- 24 oz cubed butternut squash (I used frozen)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 16 oz whole-grain penne pasta (or pasta of choice)
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh shopped sage (plus more for garnish, can sub 1 tsp dried sage)
- 1 cup peas, optional
- Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with hot water and set aside. Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place squash in an even layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (If using frozen squash, you can use this post as a guide to roasting.) Drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Drain and rinse cashews. Once squash has cooled a bit, add to the bowl of a large food processor along with cashews, broth, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. If using dried sage, you can add that now too. Process until sauce is smooth and creamy. Stir in fresh sage. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed.
- Return noodles to pot they were cooked in. Add sauce and toss to combine. Stir in optional peas. You can serve as is (you may need to reheat) or place in an 8x8in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray at bake at 350F (topping with bread crumbs is also nice!) for about 10 minutes, or until hot. Serve with plenty of Frank's hot sauce!
TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Use your favorite gluten free pasta.