Butternut Squash Noodle Pasta

butternut squash noodle pasta / loveandlemons.com

Get excited, it’s fall faux noodle time! In the past we’ve done papayazucchini, and cucumber, but today’s seasonal “noodle” is butternut squash. I mixed these pretty orange julienned spirals with regular noodles and made this simple leek & sage pasta. Of course, you could make this same dish with cubed squash, but you can’t twirl cubes on your fork, so where’s the fun in that?

butternut squash noodle pasta / loveandlemons.com

The butternut noodles make for a fun texture variation – I cooked them for less time than the pasta noodles, so they had nice firm bite. I topped it all with walnuts and fried sage and chile flakes.

butternut squash noodle pasta / loveandlemons.com

The squash is little bit more difficult to get through than a cucumber, but it was easy once I figured out this little trick. Slice your squash lengthwise in half (scrape out the seeds), and then slice the half (lengthwise again) into 5 or 6 thinner wedge-shaped strips that are closer in width to your peeler (an inch and a half or so). Push your julienne peeler over each wedge, and voilà… noodles… and a *bonus* arm workout.

(I have this julienne peeler).

butternut noodle pasta
Serves: serves 2
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 2 cups spiraled butternut squash (about ¼ of a large one)
  • 1.5 cups leeks, white and light green parts
  • 4 oz. brown rice pasta
  • canola, grapeseed or other high-heat oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or vegan earth balance)
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • a few pinches of red chile flakes
  • salt, pepper
optional additions:
  • grated pecorino cheese, or crumbly cheese
  • drizzle of balsamic or reduced balsamic
  1. First, fry the sage. In a large skillet, add enough oil to well coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, test-fry 1 sage leaf. In a few seconds it should turn deeper green, remove and drain on a paper towel, it should become crispy as it dries. If it burns turn your heat down and test another. (I put 10 leaves in the recipe so you can mess up a few). Once your oil is at the right temp, fry them all. Drain and set aside. Turn off the heat and let the pan cool for a few minutes, then pour out excess oil, leaving just enough to continue to cook with.
  2. Boil pasta in salty water for 8 minutes, or until al-dente. In the last 2 minutes, add the butternut squash spirals.
  3. Meanwhile, turn your large skillet back up to medium heat. Add the leeks and a few pinches of salt & pepper. Cook until soft and translucent, then add the minced garlic. When your pasta & butternut noodles are ready, drain and add them to the skillet, reserving ¼ to ½ cup of the starchy pasta water for later.
  4. Add a few squeezes of lemon, a pat of butter, and a few good pinches of salt, pepper, and red chile flakes. Toss everything together to coat. Add pasta water, ¼ cup at a time if necessary to loosen the pasta.
  5. Once the butternut noodles are tender but still have a firm bite, turn the heat off (you don't want mushy butternut squash). Taste and adjust seasonings, then transfer the pasta to a serving platter or bowls.
  6. Top with chopped walnuts and fried sage leaves.
  7. Serve with grated pecorino and/or balsamic vinegar, if you like.

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. So very pretty, I would love to try the pumpkin pasta with a soba salad. this sounds amazing and great for fall

  2. michelle from lovely-little-things.blogspot.com on said:

    How intriguing!

  3. Beautiful recipe. I just ordered a spiral cutter and cannot wait to make more “veggie” noodles!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      you’ll love them, they’re so fun!

  4. Exactly what kind of peeler do you use? Maybe a dumb question, but I know my vegetable peeler can’t do that…

    Also, so pretty & fresh!

  5. Lemon, butter, chili flakes, sage, and butternut squash work so well together. I just added that peeler to my cart on Amazon. I totally need one!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      it’s a pretty fun gadget 🙂

  6. Kathryn from londonbakes.com on said:

    Love the sound of this pasta – I really like that you made the butternut squash into noodles too for an extra dimension of texture. The flavours in this are so great too.

  7. Rachel from popandsizzle.com on said:

    Gorgeous! I just got into making ‘faux noodles’ and I’m pretty much hooked.

  8. Medha from farmonplate.com on said:

    Great idea! Your pictures are so tempting that i have to try this pasta for dinner:) Love your blog and photography!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks Medha!

  9. Oh my gosh, how have I never thought to run butternut squash through my spiralizer!?! It might be a bit too firm but I’m totally going to try now that you’ve planted the idea in my head. These photos are beautiful!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks! It is a bit firm, I didn’t try it in the spirilazer, let me know if that works for you (or if it doesn’t!).

  10. Tieghan Gerard from halfbakedharvest.com on said:

    Butternut, chili and sage are such a great combo! I love the sound (and look!!) of this! Perfect dinner in my mind!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I know, probably my 3 favorite fall ingredients!

  11. what a unique take on pasta! i make wheat pasta with spinach, walnuts, goat cheese, and butternut squash cubes all the time but never thought to shave it to create “noodles.” delicious!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      a very worthwhile purchase, I use mine all the time!

  12. Beth Young from mozzarelladiaries.blogspot.it on said:

    This sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it out on my Italian family!

  13. Natasha from tartletsweets.blogspot.com on said:

    This might the prettiest veggie noodle dish ever. That color!! And it sounds delicious too!

  14. Gorgeous orange noodles! I love the combination of squash, sage and walnuts, so I’d love to try it in its pasta form.

  15. Coco on said:

    I made this dish last night. It was great. However, the final product does not look as pretty as yours. The butternut “noodles” broke up in the final step in the pan. Maybe they were in for too long? Still tasty anyway.
    I love your blog and would like to move in with you guys. (I can take care of your dog.) Thanks for posting such wonderful recipes and being so awe-inspiring.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Coco, ha, thanks! I cooked mine for a pretty short time in the pan, in the end they still had a good bite (even bordering on undercooked). But I’ll try to time those steps better next time. Or maybe yours were a bit thinner than mine, you could probably skip boiling them in water first.

  16. Kaylee from lemonsandbasil.com on said:

    Love the idea of running the butternut squash through a spiralizer! Your recipes and pictures are ABSOLUTELY beautiful and inspiring!

  17. Benny Pearce from miraclenoodle.com on said:

    The dish is new to me. I haven’t tried a noodle dish with squash on it. Looking forward to trying it since I love noodles of any form.

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