Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce


Butternut Parmesan Pasta! Pasta served with a sauce of roasted butternut squash, shallots, cream, and Parmesan cheese.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of the best things about fall is the abundance of pumpkins and hardy winter squash. Ever wonder why winter squash is called “winter” squash when it first makes its appearance in the fall?

Perhaps because if stored in a cool place, they’ll last several months, well into winter.

Anyway, butternut squash is the queen of winter squashes. The taste is so good, and so consistent, that from what I understand, most “canned pumpkin” that we use to make pumpkin pie is actually made with a variety of pumpkin more akin to butternut squash than to the pumpkins we use for jack-o-lanterns.

The ever fabulous Garrett came over recently with a pint of roasted butternut squash purée and a mission to create a pasta sauce with it.

We often find butternut squash inside of ravioli, why not on the outside?

It just needed to be thinned a bit with water, made savory with Parmesan, and brightened with some sour cream and parsley.

The result was absolutely delicious; I ate the leftover sauce with a spoon straight out the fridge for days.

Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

This sauce will work with any pasta, but spaghetti is an especially good pairing.

Be careful when you cut the squash, winter squash are hard! The best way to do it safely is to slice a bit off of both ends so that you can stand the squash upright without it rolling. Then cut down the middle. See how to cut and peel a butternut squash for visuals, though note for this recipe you do not want to peel the squash before roasting.


  • 1 butternut squash weighing about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of chopped shallots or onions
  • 1/4 cup of packed, freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Water as needed to thin the sauce, about 1 cup


1 Bake the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise in half and scoop out the guts and seeds and discard them (or save the seeds and toast them).

Pour 1/4 cup of water into a baking dish and place the butternut squash halves cut side down.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the squash. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Scoop out the squash flesh from the skins and put into a blender. Discard the skins.

2 Sauté the shallots in the olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet until just beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes.

3 Purée in blender: Add the shallots to the blender. Add 1 cup water, the parmesan, 1 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little more water.

4 Add sour cream and heat until warm: Pour the sauce into a small pot set over low heat. Mix in the sour cream and warm it through. Do not let the sauce boil.

5 Cook pasta in boiling salted water: Fill a pot with water and salt (1 tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water). Set over high heat to bring to a hard boil. Add the pasta and cook at a hard boil, uncovered until al dente.

6 Mix cooked pasta with sauce: When the pasta is ready, drain and put it into a bowl. Mix with a little of the sauce and serve. Add a dollop of additional sauce and some parsley right when you bring it to the table.

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Showing 4 of 46 Comments / Reviews

  • Stacy

    This dish was delicious! It’s a keeper that will return to the supper table at my house. Thank you!

  • Fire Restaurant

    Amazing! Butternut Parmesan :) Brilliant idea!

  • pam

    this is so good. thanks

  • Dev

    I made this recipe back in 2009 with fresh roasted butternut squash and loved it. Fastforward to 2011 when I have a 13 month old running around and decided to cut the cooking time by using canned organic butternut squash puree and loved it even more! The texture was more sauce-like with the canned squash. This recipe always hurtles me into fall. Thanks for posting.

  • Robin


    We had 4 big leftover sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving, and my mom and I were trying to figure out what to do with them when I stumbled upon this recipe. I measured out about a pound of sweet potatoes, mashed them, and added a little water to them because they were very thick….added the rest of the ingredients.. and holy crap. This is so amazing. I’m making extra sweet potatoes every year, just so I can make this sauce.

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