Butternut Squash Pasta with Walnuts & Sage

I make this butternut squash pasta recipe when I'm craving fall comfort food. It's so easy, and the sage & squash fill it with cozy autumn flavor.

Butternut Squash Pasta

Butternut squash soup may be my favorite fall comfort food, but this butternut squash pasta is now a close second. It’s a pretty easy throw-together pasta made from a classic fall flavor combo: butternut squash, sage, and walnuts. The sweet, caramelized squash plays perfectly off the earthy sage and nutty walnuts, and a little butter and pecorino add the perfect amount of richness. This is one we’ll have on repeat all season long.

Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe ingredients

To make it, simply roasted the squash until it’s tender and caramelized. Then, sauté the shallot, sage, walnuts, chickpeas, cooked butternut squash, and garlic until the chickpeas and squash get a little brown. Deglaze the pan with lemon juice and balsamic, and stir in the cooked pasta and a handful of leafy greens. Toss until the greens wilt, and serve with a generous grating of cheese and fresh parsley.

Butternut squash pasta recipe ingredients

Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe Variations

This butternut squash pasta recipe can be customized a thousand ways. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Omit the pecorino if you’re vegan.
  • If you’re not vegan, try adding creamy feta or goat cheese, or use Parmesan instead of pecorino.
  • If you eat meat, toss in some crispy pancetta for a nice salty bite.
  • Swap the walnuts for pine nuts.
  • Use your favorite type of pasta! I like spaghetti or linguine, but whatever you have on hand will work here.

I threw some chickpeas into this dish because I had some on hand to use up, and it ended up being delicious – I encourage you to take inspiration from what’s in your kitchen as well. Let me know what variations you try!

No matter what, this butternut squash pasta is a great dish to stay in and eat with someone you love.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Walnuts and Sage

If you love this butternut squash pasta…

Try this mushroom pasta, this kale pasta, this roasted veggie pasta, or this orecchiette next!


4.7 from 7 reviews

Butternut Squash Pasta with Walnuts & Sage

 
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This cozy butternut squash pasta is easy to make and is full of cozy fall flavor! Serve it for a healthy weeknight dinner or date night in.
Author:
Recipe type: Main dish
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or vegan butter or more olive oil)
  • 1 small shallot, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped sage leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Big squeeze of lemon
  • Splash balsamic vinegar
  • 4-6 ounces spaghetti or linguine (and save some pasta water)
  • A few handfuls of chopped spinach (or kale or chard)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • Grated pecorino cheese (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the butternut squash cubes with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 20 minutes, or until they're soft and mostly cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in salty water until al dente and reserve at least 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter, then add the shallot and cook until translucent. Add the chopped sage and cook for another 30 seconds, then add the walnuts, chickpeas, butternut squash cubes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chickpeas and squash brown a bit (but before the garlic burns).
  4. Add a big squeeze of lemon and a good splash of balsamic and stir.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and spinach. Use tongs to gently toss the pasta with everything in the pan, allowing the greens to wilt. Add pasta water to help loosen it (I used about ¼ cup).
  6. Add some grated pecorino at this step if you wish.
  7. Remove from heat, then stir in the chopped parsley.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with extra grated cheese.
Notes
Make this vegan by skipping the butter (or use vegan butter) and omit cheese. Make this gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.

44 comments

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  1. cheyenne from wanderfulways.blogspot.nl
    10.18.2014

    ohh this sounds amazing 🙂 thanks for sharing!
    xo, cheyenne

  2. I read the title of this post and said “Oh that sounds so good”. Love when I title can do that 🙂 I adore sage paired with something sweet – sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin. I bet with the pecorino cheese this is fantastic! Thanks for sharing and love the tip about eloping in Italy – I’ll be sure to remember that 🙂

    • jeanine
      10.19.2014

      thanks, ha! I sometimes have a hard time choosing titles :).

  3. Meg from liquidsunshineak.com
    10.18.2014

    I love butternut squash. This dish looks wonderful. Thanks for the variation tips!

  4. Lots of yum! I love walnuts in pasta dishes… cheers for a pasta dish that doesn’t depend on the cheese for flavor 🙂

  5. Pumpkin and sage were meant to be together, so this is winning combo. I would love to visit Nashville one day, it sounds like such a cool place.

  6. chloe
    10.19.2014

    just made this, and it was amazing! I didn’t have sage, so I used rosemary instead. thanks for sharing and I’ll be making this again!! 🙂

  7. jessica from twogreenpeas.com
    10.20.2014

    Loving the squash and walnut pairing….yum! haven’t commented before but wanted to say I love the style of your photos, they are always gorgeous.

  8. Kristin
    10.20.2014

    This has me written all over it! Yum!! I’ll certainly be making this one. Total side note…my whole family was at a wedding in Nashville this weekend too. Wonder if it was the same one! Lol! 🙂 Have a great week!

  9. Sam
    10.22.2014

    Would you suggest anything as an alternative to pasta? Spaghetti squash?

    • jeanine
      10.23.2014

      Hi Sam, I think Spaghetti Squash would be a delicious variation.

  10. Aarthi from Tapasyablog.wordpress.com
    10.24.2014

    Butternut squash, walnuts and sage- could there be a better marriage of ingredients?! I will definitely be trying this out.

  11. Becky
    10.28.2014

    Made this for dinner last night and it all came together very quickly and tasted great. This one’s a keeper.

  12. Kimberly
    11.10.2014

    Really enjoyed this blog post. I am currently all over butternut squash for the fall season. I am not a huge fan of sage, did you have any other suggestions on a herb to use for this particular post.
    Also have you ever tried a goat cheese cream pasta with butternut squash in it?

    vegetable oil cooking spray
    1 (2-pound) butternut or kobucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
    Olive oil, for drizzling
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 pound penne pasta
    1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
    1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
    1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
    Directions
    Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

    Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

    While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

    To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes Cool completely before using

    I found that recipe on the food network and loved it!

  13. Rebecca from foodflav.com
    11.17.2014

    Just made this tonight and it is delish! My first time making butternut with pasta and it did not disappoint.

  14. Leslie
    01.06.2015

    Wow I am eating this right now and it is INCREDIBLE! One of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had.

    • jeanine
      01.07.2015

      yay! thanks for stopping back to let me know!

  15. Alejandra from oseephotography.smugmug.com
    11.11.2015

    You images looking down at the food make me dizzy, perhaps its the angle. I love this site but have to constantly take brakes because the angle the images are taken at make me dizzy 🙁

    • jeanine
      11.11.2015

      I’m sorry you don’t like our photos…

  16. Karen
    11.14.2015

    Wow…this was fantastic. The blend of flavors was excellent. I never would have put lemon and balsamic together. Family loved it. Sharing with all my friends!

  17. SuziCat
    09.09.2016

    Flash backs of a delicious butternut pasta dish came to me when I saw this year’s harvest of butternut at the grocery recently. Standing in the middle of the aisle on my phone, i found your site and recipe while searching for a reminder of the ingredients. So glad I tried this tonight – with friends! It is Ah-Mazing!!!! I followed your directions to a “T” (missing the parsley though) and it is simply divine.
    How fabulous of a couple you must be to “throw this together” after a big night out. It is so inspired!!
    I had many cheers throughout our meal ~ this ones a KEEPER.
    Salut!

  18. April Taylor
    02.09.2017

    As a red meat eater is there something i can make where i add chuck tenderloin (as its cheaper) and perhaps braise it in a red or white wine….

    Ive been searching for hours for a recipe but i have spinach, butternut squash, sage all favorites. Both red and white wine, pasta cauliflowet, balsamic vinegar and all my fav flavors but trying to makes a creamy yet meaty dish with all of them

  19. Rachel
    10.20.2017

    Hello! I just came across this pasta recipe from a current post and was wondering if you were to add pancetta, would you sautee before the shallot and then leave it in while cooking to rest? Or remove after browning and add it in at the end?

    That addition sounds super delicious, just want to see if you had any advice on how to cook it best.

    Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.21.2017

      Hi Rachel, I don’t really cook with pancetta, but I would probably cook it first, until browned – remove it, and then add it back in at the end. I’m sure it would be a delicious addition 🙂

  20. Lisa Bymark
    12.29.2017

    Just came across this..WOW!! My daughter is home from college and is a vegetarian so I am always looking for new recipes. This popped out at me..she is waiting for me to finish this and get back to the kitchen!! Will let you know the outcome…

  21. Marny
    12.31.2017

    Really nice Fall flavors and I loved the added crunch from the walnuts. And I LOVE sage so any recipe with sage makes me happy. Thanks for a great recipe.

  22. Lots of yum! I love walnuts in pasta dishes… cheers for a pasta dish that doesn’t depend on the cheese for flavor 🙂

  23. Really nice Fall flavors and I loved the added crunch from the walnuts. And I LOVE sage so any recipe with sage makes me happy. Thanks for a great recipe.

  24. Urjit
    02.04.2019

    Very quick n testy recipe.

  25. Nichole
    07.18.2019

    Thanks for posting this. Just made a lite vegan version without oil, butter, cheese, or pasta and it’s delicious.
    Great recipe

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.