This butternut squash pasta sauce is a creamy sauce made with roasted butternut squash, roasted garlic, butter-fried sage, and mascarpone cheese. This creamy pasta sauce needs only 20 minutes of hands on time and uses a few simple ingredients.
It's that time of year for fall flavors! Butternut squash is a winter squash that tastes similar to a sweet potato but less starchy. The easy way to roast butternut squash is halved, but you can also roast it cubed.
What You Will Love
This creamy butternut sauce is finger-licking good! It's the perfect way to prepare butternut squash and sneak some vegetable servings for unsuspecting family members. This delicious pasta dish is a great weeknight meal paired with some grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken.
- Butternut squash: The main ingredient for this recipe is whole squash. I used half of a large squash (they come in different sizes). You need enough for 3 cups of butternut squash. Substitute frozen butternut squash for halved squash.
- Mascarpone cheese: Use full-fat or reduced fat. Substitute ricotta if needed. This cheese is a mild, creamy cheese with a consistency similar to cream cheese.
- Head of garlic: Roast a whole head of garlic (unpeeled) but with the end cut off. You can also roast individual cloves of garlic.
- Fresh sage: Use freshly chopped sage. Other can be substituted.
- Olive oil and butter: Use olive oil for roasting the butternut squash and butter to fry the sage. Both can be interchanged.
- Salt and black pepper
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
Split the squash. Scoop the seeds. Roast squash and garlic head. Fry sage in butter. Add everything to the food processor. Blend on high. Serve with pasta.
Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce (Step By Step)
Cut the stem off the top of the butternut squash. Split it in half.
Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.
Cut the end off a garlic head. Put the halved squash (skin side down) and garlic head in a baking dish. Drizzle a little olive oil. Add a pinch of salt.
Bake at 400 ℉ (205 ℃). Cook the garlic head for 30 minutes and the squash for about an hour.
Melt butter on medium-high heat. Fry the chopped sage leaves.
Remove the sage once it turns dark green (about 2 minutes).
Add the peeled roasted butternut squash, peeled roasted garlic, butter fried sage, mascarpone cheese, salt, and pepper to a food processor.
Blend the butternut squash pasta sauce until smooth.
Boil a pot of water. Cook the pasta as per the package instructions to al dente. Strain.
Pour the butternut squash purée on top of the pasta. Mix well. Top with grated parmesan cheese or herbs.
Tips and Tricks
Roast the butternut squash until fork tender. When roasting butternut squash halves, it cooks longer than cubed butternut squash. Give it enough time to cook fully. The squash is done when you can easily scoop out the flesh using a spoon.
Don't burn the garlic. The head of garlic cooks faster than the squash, so make sure to take it out before. If you like garlic, roast a second garlic head for the sauce. The roasted garlic makes the sauce so good.
Fry the sage in butter. Pour the sage (and butter) into the food processor to blend. Fried sage has a different flavor and compliments the pasta sauce well.
Variations and Substitutions
Substitute equal parts ricotta cheese for mascarpone cheese. Use full-fat or reduced fat mascarpone cheese.
Use frozen cubed butternut squash from the grocery store. Bake the squash at 400 ℉ (205 ℃) for about 30 to 40 minutes or until tender.
Substitute other fresh herbs like fresh rosemary or fresh thyme instead of sage.
- Food processor, regular blender, or immersion blender to blend the squash mixture
- Chef's knife and cutting board
- Pot and strainer for the pasta
Store butternut squash pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The unused roasted squash can be stored in freezer bags for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Butternut squash pasta sauce is a combination of creamy, savory, and sweet.
Use spaghetti, macaroni, fusilli, tagliatelle, rotini, penne, or your favorite pasta.
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Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
- Half a whole butternut squash about 3 cups
- ¾ cup of mascarpone
- 1 head of garlic optional second head of garlic
- 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped sage
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 lb of dry pasta
- Cut the stem off the top of the butternut squash. Split it in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- Cut the end off a garlic head. Don't peel the garlic. Roast it as-is.
- Sprinkle olive oil and salt on top of the squash and garlic clove. Bake at 400 ℉ (205 ℃). Cook the garlic head for 30 minutes and the squash for about an hour. The garlic and squash have different cooking times!
- Melt butter on medium-high heat. Fry the chopped fresh sage until it turns dark brown (about 2 minutes).
- Add the peeled roasted butternut squash, peeled roasted garlic, butter fried sage, mascarpone cheese, salt, and pepper to a food processor. Blend on high until combined.
- Serve the pasta sauce with some al dente pasta!
- This goes great with some grilled or roasted chicken. You can also add shred some rotisserie chicken and mix it in. Another great protein to add is grilled shrimp or butter sauteed shrimp.
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. The pasta can dry out if reheating the next day. Add a bit of water or broth when reheating.
- Use frozen butternut squash as a substitute. The cooking time for the squash depends on if you are roasting the squash as a half or as cubes. If roasting cubes, the cooking time should be between 30 to 40 minutes. When roasting a whole squash cut into halves, it should take 50 to 65 minutes (depending on your oven) at a 400 ℉ (205 ℃) oven.
- You don't need to wrap anything in foil. Just open roast the squash and garlic. Garlic can burn easily, so keep an eye on it.
- What to do with the other half of the squash? Scoop the squash into a freezer-friendly bag and store in the freezer for future use. You can make this recipe with frozen roasted squash, just reheat the squash then blend with the other ingredients.
- Use any kind of pasta for this creamy squash pasta sauce.
- Lighten up this sauce by using reduced-fat mascarpone cheese. You can also reduce the amount of mascarpone cheese from ¾ cup to ½ cup. Add a ⅓ cup of water or broth when blending the pasta sauce.
- The nutrition facts don't include the pasta.