This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Oct 30, 2018

Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta

Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta - an easy to prepare one-pot meal or side dish that is ready for the table in about 30 minutes.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta

The butternut squash in this pasta dish, combined with the Parmesan cheese, adds so much creaminess that there is no need for added milk or cream to create a sauce. The cheese and the squash, along with the pasta, do all of the heavy lifting.

While I peeled and cut up my own squash, to make this cheesy butternut squash pasta even easier to prepare, you can buy pre-cut butternut squash in some grocery stores.

I did cheat a little and used Gourmet Garden lightly dried basil instead of fresh basil in this recipe. You can usually find the little bowls of the stuff near the fresh herbs in the produce section of your grocery store.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta with crushed red pepper

I love the flavors of this pasta dish. I also think it's pretty gorgeous with the yellow-orange squash, cheese, basil, and crushed red pepper.

Oh, and this dish is deliciously garlicky!

If you use vegetable stock to prepare this dish, it is also vegetarian.

This pasta is wonderful served with a salad for lunch or a vegetarian dinner. We served this as a side dish with rotisserie chicken for a simple but delicious dinner for four.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta with crushed red pepper and basil

This pasta is spiced with crushed red pepper, one of my favorite seasonings (I pretty much put it on everything).

Leftovers of this pasta were great microwaved with some baby spinach and a dash of marinara sauce for an entirely different take on this dish.

If you have some leftover meatballs or meatloaf, just layer some fresh spinach, the pasta, the meat, and a couple of spoonfuls of marinara and microwave for a minute or two and stir. Pretty tasty improv leftovers.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Parmesan cheese

For another great pasta dish with veggies, be sure to try Pasta Salad with Roasted Carrots and Kale

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month features a bunch of recipes for winter squash, and one for a perennial favorite of summer squash that's good to have in your back pocket all year long. Our host this month is Susan who blogs at The Wimpy Vegetarian.

Before the recipe, be sure to check out everyone else's links.

Comforting Squash Dishes

If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious fall dishes!

pasta, butternut squash, vegetarian, basil, Parmesan, side dishes, main dishes
side dishes, pasta, main dishes
Yield: 6 servings

Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash, about a medium or two pound squash
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock (1 carton)
  • 1 pound penne pasta (16 ounce package)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, or a scant 1/4 cup lightly dried chopped basil, such as Gourmet Garden
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and crushed red pepper for garnish


  1. In a 6 to 8 quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 4 minutes. 
  2. Add the cubed butternut squash, salt, and red pepper. Stir, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. 
  3. Add the stock and bring the pot to a boil. Add the pasta and, when the mixture returns to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. When the pasta is al dente, stir in the basil and Parmesan. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, basil, and crushed red pepper. 
This recipe is adapted from Cook Real Food Every Day Magazine

Would you like to comment?

  1. Pinned! Never had squash this way, and are definitely trying this out! And we loved what you did with leftovers, we think the exact same way it seems:)

    1. I am so sure you would love this. Thanks for liking my leftovers improv!

  2. What a perfect autumn side dish or vegetarian main course Karen. I love the flavor combinations and it will be something my husband will love!

  3. You are a goddess! if there is one shortcut I take, is buying the pre-cut butternut squash - I am sooooo afraid of losing two or three fingers, but I admit, the texture is much better if you cut it yourself. Kudos to you!

    very nice pasta dish!

    1. I'm pretty sure the texture doesn't matter here since you kind of want it to get all soft and mushy. P.S. You calling me a goddess made my day/week/year.

    2. but but but... you know you are! ;-) Haven't said anything new....

  4. I have made this many times, it is a slightly sweet taste, but not overpowering. The squash goes very well with cheddar. It’s very good!

  5. This is a great recipe that I will make again. The butternut squash can be very bland though, so sharp/old cheese is a must! I opted to partially microwave my squash first, to make it easier to cube, and I cooked the squash in a skillet rather than boiling it.

  6. This was absolutely delicious! I held about half a cup of the puree back because I thought the consistency was perfect. I was pleasantly surprised at its silky, smooth texture. Using extra sharp Cabot cheddar made the squash totally undetectable. Thanks for another great recipe!

  7. Made this a week ago for family and lots of little ones. We all loved it and wanted more. We will definitely make this again.

  8. Oh I am so excited it is cheesy and creamy without added dairy other than the parm. I can't wait to try this! And I also love the leftover ideas!

  9. Love this and love that everything cooks together in the same pot! We've got so much butternut squash from our garden so I'm definitely going to give this a try!

  10. Sounds wonderful Karen,and looks delicious,it's funny you made this Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta and I made butternut pancakes from scratch,absolutely delicious..������

  11. I don't care whether its cakes or bakes or pasta, All i care is that, it has cheese in it. Thanks for the great article anyways!

  12. I love that this is a one-pot meal. Thanks for sharing on the Celebrate 365 Blog Party!

  13. That sounds so good! I love butternut squash but have never thought of combining it with pasta. Pinned.


I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.