Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon

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Make the most of harvest season with Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon! Create an easy homemade butternut squash pasta sauce by roasting hearty squash with shallot, garlic, fresh herbs, & bacon, which renders right into the vegetables for irresistible rich flavor! Simply blend the roasted veggies smooth with parmesan, then toss the sauce into your favorite pasta.

The ultimate cozy & comforting fall dinner, ready in 45 minutes or less!

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Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta shown in speckled ceramic pasta bowl, topped with crispy bacon, grated parmesan, ground black pepper, & fresh sage leaves. A silver fork rests inside of the pasta bowl & the bowl sits atop a white textured surface surrounded by a light blue linen napkin, & a small white bowl filled with freshly grated parmesan.

Butternut Squash and Pasta – the Makings of the Perfect Cozy Fall Dinner!

Embrace harvest season with the most comforting bowl of carbs imaginable, Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon! This cozy fall pasta is so impressive & festive that you’d never guess it’s also a great lazy dinner – low in effort & deliciously high in reward. What’s not to love about that?!

The star of this recipe is a homemade creamy butternut squash pasta sauce. Butternut, shallot, garlic, & loads of hardy fresh herbs roast on a sheet pan, developing intensely caramelized, toasty flavor. Center cut bacon is draped over top, which renders & infuses the veggies with irresistible richness as it all roasts together. From there, the roasted veggies are blitzed up into a smooth & creamy sauce perfect for tossing into a pile of piping hot pasta.

Best of all, though? It’s a scratch-made comfort food meal but this butternut squash pasta is so insanely easy to throw together. It’s effectively an easy sheet pan dinner that comes together in with less than 30 minutes of active work. Aside from boiling a pot of pasta, the oven does all of the work!

Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe Highlights

This creamy butternut squash pasta is seriously love at first bite. It’s…

A TASTE OF AUTUMN. With hearty butternut squash, fresh sage, & smoky bacon, this cozy pasta is the best recipe to welcome fall!

COMPLETELY HANDS-OFF! Despite the fact that it’s a made-from-scratch comfort food dinner, this butternut squash pasta is effectively an easy sheet pan recipe that comes together in with less than 30 minutes of active work.

ABSOLUTELY CRAVE-WORTHY. Blitzing up roasted squash, shallots, & garlic with some grated parmesan cheese & vegetable stock creates the most luscious, silky-smooth sauce that practically begs to be tossed in a pile of pasta. There’s nothing better!

I am certain that you’re going to be obsessed! ♡ Read on to learn more about this Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!

How to Cut Butternut Squash

If you’ve never broken one down before, now’s the perfect opportunity to learn how to cut a butternut squash. This may seem intimidating, given its hefty size & oblong shape, but it’s really simple! Plus, compared to buying bags of pre-cubed squash from the store, cutting butternut squash at home is cost-effective, reduces waste, & yields enough squash for a couple of different recipes. Win-win!

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

Aside from the butternut squash, you need a sharp chef’s knife & a Y-peeler. Here’s what you’ll do:

1

Peel the squash. While a butternut squash’s skin is thick & tough, a Y-peeler makes this an incredibly quick & simple job. As opposed to a straight/swivel peeler, a Y-peeler’s wide handle is situated under the blade, which makes peeling especially efficient & comfortable.

2

Slice the squash in half. Trim both ends off the squash & carefully halve the squash lengthwise. I like to do this by setting the squash on its large, flat bottom side (where the seeds are) & carefully slicing down through the center of the squash. If this motion feels awkward or uncomfortable, you can also cut the squash in half crosswise first, where the rounded portion meets the oblong portion, then cut each piece in half lengthwise.

3

Remove the seeds. Use a large spoon to remove the seeds from the squash. Discard them, or set them aside to roast up as a quick fall snack!

4

Slice & dice the butternut squash. Cut the oblong section of the squash into planks, then dice into cubes. Cut the round end into slices, then dice.

Meal Prep Tips!

Most of the active prep work involved in this creamy butternut squash pasta recipe comes from breaking down the squash. Taking care of it in advance takes 10 minutes tops & diced butternut squash will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks. At dinnertime, you can jump straight into cooking – easy!

Leftover squash? No problem! ⇢ This recipe calls for about 4 cups diced squash. Feel free to use any leftovers to make another butternut squash recipe, like Butternut Squash Red CurryBlack Bean & Butternut Squash Skillet Enchiladas, or our favorite Golden Chicken Soup.

Cubed butternut squash, shallots, & garlic seasoned with olive oil & fresh herbs on a baking sheet before roasting.

How to Make Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

The kinda fun thing about this creamy butternut squash pasta sauce is the fact that it’s basically a sheet pan recipe!

While a sheet pan might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of homemade pasta sauce, roasting butternut squash with aromatics like shallot, garlic, & fresh herbs creates deep caramelization, resulting in a butternut squash pasta sauce that is especially rich in flavor but totally hands off. What’s not to love about that?!

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Assemble the sheet pan. Place the cubed butternut squash on a large sheet pan with shallots, whole garlic cloves, & a handful of finely chopped hardy herbs like fresh thyme, sage, & rosemary. Drizzle with oil & toss to combine. Tip! ⇢ Use a large sheet pan to avoid overcrowding. For richer, deeper flavor, the warm air in the oven needs to circulate all around the veggies as they roast.

2

Drape with bacon & roast. Drape a few slices of center-cut bacon over the veggies. Transfer to the oven & roast until the bacon is rendered & the squash is fork-tender. Why? ⇢ The rich bacon fat renders down onto the veggies as everything roasts, infusing the roasted butternut squash & aromatics with smoky flavor.

3

Blend the roasted butternut squash pasta sauce. Set the bacon aside for garnishing the creamy butternut squash pasta, then transfer the roasted butternut squash, shallot, & garlic to a food processor or high-speed blender or food processor. Puree with some vegetable stock & grated parmesan until you reach a beautifully smooth & creamy texture.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

Freezing For Later

The creamy butternut squash pasta sauce is incredibly freezer-friendly – it’s a great winter freezer staple!

Transfer the cooled squash pasta sauce to a freezer container or divide between multiple freezer containers for smaller portions – Souper Cubes are our favorite! – & freeze for up to 3 months. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for full freezing & thawing instructions!

Bring It All Together – Toss With Pasta!

The #1 mistake I see home chefs make when they serve a pasta dish is simply plopping their prepared sauce atop a pile of pasta – please don’t do this! Al dente pasta should always cook with sauce for couple of minutes on the stovetop, allowing the two separate components to come together into one cohesive dish. That’s exactly how we’re going to create a killer creamy pasta dish using our homemade butternut squash pasta sauce.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Boil the pasta. As the squash roasts, cook your pasta of choice just to al dente in a large pot of generously salted boiling water. Al dente cooking time is typically indicated on the pasta’s package instructions. Reserve about a cup of the starchy pasta water, then drain the pasta – but do not rinse it! Why? ⇢ Rinsing washes the starchy goodness off the surface of the pasta, preventing it from absorbing & clinging to the roasted butternut squash pasta sauce.

2

Toss, toss, toss! Add the cooked pasta back into the pot & pour the prepared butternut squash sauce overtop. Stir to combine well. Adjust as needed so the butternut squash pasta sauce evenly coats the pasta. Cook for a couple minutes more, allowing the pasta to meld with & absorb some of the sauce. Learn more! 🤓 ⇢ How to Cook Pasta Perfectly Every Single Time.

Choosing the Right Pasta

Butternut Squash Pasta FAQ ⇢ What’s the best pasta to use? Creamy sauces pair beautifully with a wide variety of different pastas.

Personally, I like pairing roasted butternut squash pasta with long pasta, like linguine or fettuccine (pictured). Spaghetti alla chitarra (flat spaghetti) & bucatini (tubular spaghetti) are also great options.

Feel free to use your favorite short pasta. Rather than a tubular shape like penne or rigatoni, I suggest picking something with lots of crevices or twirls. The creamy sauce gets trapped in every nook & cranny, creating especially flavorful bites. Short pasta such as cavatappi, gemelli, or orecchiette are great choices!

In the mood for a fun project? 👩🏻‍🍳 ⇢ Try Homemade Pasta & Fresh Pasta Dough!

 

An overhead shot of creamy Butternut Squash Pasta shown in speckled ceramic pasta bowl, topped with crispy bacon, grated parmesan, ground black pepper, & fresh sage leaves. A set of silverware rests inside of the pasta bowl & the bowl sits atop a white textured surface surrounded by a clear drinking glass, a light blue linen napkin & a small white bowl filled with freshly grated parmesan.

Serving Suggestions

Once the butternut squash sauce is tossed into the pasta, it’s time to feast! Portion the pasta into your favorite pasta bowls & finish with your toppings of choice – I like a sprinkling of finely chopped bacon, freshly cracked pepper, & grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Some other ideas for serving your butternut squash pasta include…

  • Crispy fried sage – The garnish of the season! Simply warm a little oil in a small skillet over medium heat & fry sage leaves whole until they’re fragrant & crisp.
  • Toasted nuts – For hearty, satisfying texture, walnuts, pine nuts, & hazelnuts are all amazing add-ons for this creamy butternut squash pasta. Simply add finely chopped nuts to a small skillet over low heat. Cook, tossing frequently, until fragrant & golden.
  • Toasted breadcrumbs – For amazing crisp texture! Heat a little oil in a small skillet, then add in a handful of panko breadcrumbs & a little finely chopped garlic. Cook, tossing frequently, until fragrant & golden.
  • Roasted butternut squash – To double down on the flavor of the butternut squash, reserve some of your roasted butternut squash & fold it into your pasta. The ultimate butternut squash and pasta dish!
An overhead shot of creamy Butternut Squash Pasta shown in speckled ceramic pasta bowl, topped with crispy bacon, grated parmesan, ground black pepper, & fresh sage leaves. A silver fork rests inside of the pasta bowl & the bowl sits atop a white textured surface surrounded by a light blue linen napkin & a small white bowl filled with freshly grated parmesan.

I can’t wait for you to try this Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta recipe! It’s the perfect fall meal, & I know you’re going to love it as much as we do!

If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!

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An overhead shot of creamy Butternut Squash Pasta shown in speckled ceramic pasta bowl, topped with crispy bacon, grated parmesan, ground black pepper, & fresh sage leaves. The bowl sits atop a white textured surface surrounded by a light blue linen napkin & a small white bowl filled with freshly grated parmesan.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Pasta Recipes, Main Dishes
  • Method: Roasted, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian, American

Description

This Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon is one of the fall dinner recipes I look forward to the most this time of year. It’s a made-from-scratch comfort food meal & each bite is seriously packed with seasonal flavor, but it couldn’t be easier to make!

The secret? The homemade butternut squash pasta sauce is effectively a sheet pan recipe! Toss cubed butternut squash with fragrant fresh herbs, then nestle it on a sheet pan with shallot & garlic, draping thick pieces of bacon over top. The bacon renders into the vegetables as it roasts, infusing them with incredible richness. 

From there, the simply blend the roasted veggies with parmesan & a little stock, creating a luscious, smooth & creamy sauce to toss into your pasta of choice. Feel free to use any long or twirly pasta you love, & don’t forget to top it all off with crispy chopped bacon!

If you’ve never broken down a butternut squash before, it’s really the simplest thing – check out the blog post, above, for a full how-to including step-by-step photos to help you along the way. ♡ Happy cooking!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 16 ounces dried pasta of choice
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, & diced into ½-inch cubes (roughly 4 cups cubed)
  • 2 large shallots, peeled & halved lengthwise
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped hardy fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme)
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 12 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • optional: 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the top third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper as desired for easy clean up. Break down the butternut squash: use a Y-peeler to peel the squash, trim the ends off & slice the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds & discard. Dice the squash into ½-inch cubes.Butternut squash pasta ingredients arranged on a light plaster surface: butternut squash, shallots, garlic, olive oil, fresh herbs, bacon, vegetable stock, grated parmesan, linguine noodles.
  2. Roast the squash & aromatics: Place the cubed butternut squash, shallots, & garlic on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil & season with the chopped fresh herbs, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, & ground black pepper as desired. Drape bacon over the seasoned veggies. Place in the oven & roast 30-35 minutes, until the bacon is rendered & the squash is very tender – you should be able to easily smash it with a fork. Remove from the oven. Transfer the bacon to a cutting board & chop fine. Carefully peel the roasted garlic. Set aside.
  3. Boil the pasta: Meanwhile, as the squash roasts, boil the pasta. I suggest beginning to boil generously salted water after you first put the squash in the oven to roast. About 10 minutes before the squash is ready to pull from the oven, drop the pasta. Cook to al dente according to package directions, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Once cooked, carefully dip a liquid measuring cup into the pot to reserve about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water, and set aside. Carefully drain the pasta & return to the pot. (Learn more How to Cook Pasta Perfectly Every Single Time!)Al dente cooked linguine pasta noodles strained using a mesh strainer that rests inside of a Staub dutch oven. The Dutch oven rests atop a white textured surface.
  4. Blend the creamy butternut squash pasta sauce: Transfer the roasted butternut squash, shallot, & garlic to the jar of a high-speed blender. Add in 1 cup of the vegetable stock, grated parmesan, & heavy cream (if using). Blend until the sauce is smooth & creamy, about 30-45 seconds. If the mixture is too thick, simply drizzle in a little extra vegetable stock or reserved pasta water. Taste and season with additional salt or ground black pepper as needed.
  5. Toss the pasta: Pour the butternut squash pasta sauce over the cooked pasta, tossing to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, allowing everything to meld together. Adjust as needed so the butternut squash pasta sauce evenly coats the pasta – if the mixture is too thick, toss in a little of the reserved pasta water; if the mixture is too loose, toss in an extra handful of parmesan cheese, etc.A small skillet filled with cooked linguine noodles tossed in creamy butternut squash pasta sauce. The noodles have been garnished with freshly grated parmesan & ground black pepper. The skillet sits atop a white textured surface.
  6. Serve immediately, topped with chopped bacon, crispy sage leaves, or additional grated parmesan, as desired. Enjoy!An overhead shot of creamy Butternut Squash Pasta shown in speckled ceramic pasta bowl, topped with crispy bacon, grated parmesan, ground black pepper, & fresh sage leaves. The bowl sits atop a white textured surface surrounded by a light blue linen napkin & a small white bowl filled with freshly grated parmesan.

Notes

  • Storage & Freezing:
    • Butternut Squash Pasta Storage & Reheating: Leftover creamy butternut squash pasta will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
    • Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce Freezer Instructions: The creamy butternut squash pasta sauce is also very freezer friendly. To freeze, transfer cooled butternut squash pasta sauce to a freezer container or divide between multiple freezer containers for smaller portions & freeze up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen butternut squash pasta sauce in the refrigerator overnight or submerge the freezer container in room temperature water for a quicker thaw. Easily reheat on the stovetop. The sauce may be a little watery from freezing, simply simmer excess water off. Once simmering, finish according to Steps 3, 5-6 of Recipe Directions, above.
  • 10-Minute Meal Prep: Nearly all the active prep work for this creamy butternut squash pasta comes from prepping the veggies. Take care of this in advance – it takes 10 minutes, tops – & you can jump straight in to cooking during the week:
    • Peel, deseed & dice 1 small butternut squash into ½-inch cubes. Peel & halve 2 shallots. Transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (10 minutes active)

Keywords: butternut squash pasta, creamy, butternut squash pasta sauce, pasta recipes, comfort food recipes, weeknight dinner, fall, winter

Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Comments

  1. 10.31.21
    Danyelle said:

    My new favorite way to use butternut squash! This pasta is so simple, yet so flavorful. I used my airfryer to bake the squash, and it turned out great. This will definitely be a repeat recipe. Highly recommend!

    • 10.31.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hi Danyelle! We are so glad you loved this pasta – it is such a simple dish! So glad to hear that baking the squash with an air fryer turned out well – thank you for sharing!!

  2. 10.24.21
    Kristina said:

    This dish is perfect for any day, but definitely great for a weeknight. The sheet pan made cooking simple and cleaning even easier! The flavor of the squash, garlic, and shallots combined made a delicious sauce. I would make more bacon next time, but I am so happy it made leftovers. It’s a great fall staple!

  3. 10.22.21
    Megan said:

    YUM! My husband ate his straight out of the pot, he loved it so much he couldn’t wait for me to plate it, and that’s the indicator of a GREAT recipe! I made it according to the directions. The tips on peeling a squash were super helpful. Thanks for another winner, Jess!

  4. 10.20.21
    Lauren Hobson said:

    Made this for dinner tonight! It was amazing. I used kobucha squash instead of butternut and added broccoli and sausage the the pasta! Highly recommend

  5. 10.18.21
    Kimberly Behm said:

    Made this for dinner tonight, the whole family loved it! Was super easy to make and manageable for a weeknight meal. Thanks for sharing!

    • 10.31.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Hey Kimberly! Yes, we love how quickly this comes together too (& that the oven & blender do all the work!). So glad to hear that the whole family enjoyed – thank you for taking the time to share!

  6. 10.17.21
    Shelley Koplien said:

    Oh so creamy and tasty! This pasta was so good! Super easy to prep and cook, too! I used fresh herbs from my garden and my kitchen smelled so good will roasting with the squash. The bacon add a nice touch as well (who doesn’t love bacon!). It was a big hit with the fam and will be a regular on the menu. 🙂

    • 12.29.21
      Erin @ Plays Well With Butter said:

      Couldn’t agree more Shelley – who doesn’t love bacon?! So glad to hear that you loved the pasta & we’re able to use fresh herbs from your garden!