This simple butternut squash pasta sauce is quick and easy to make. It's creamy, comforting and perfect with pasta or gnocchi. Plus you can prepare it ahead, too.
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I'll be honest, this recipe originally came about a little by accident, as sometimes happens. I had been planing to work on some sauce recipes anyway, but a particular conversation sparked this squash sauce.
A friend had said she had liked the sound of my acorn squash gnocchi, but then had been a little intimidated by the fact they were gnocchi made from scratch - she had thought it was a sauce at first.
I decided to get to work on some good sauces that would be work with homemade gnocchi if you had the time, but that would also be good with store-bought if you didn't. And since we had been talking about squash, where better place to start.
Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in the squash that then combines perfectly with a smooth, creamy finish as well. A little parmesan for extra flavor and you're just about there.
How to make butternut squash sauce
This is really one of the simplest recipes as it only consists of pureed butternut squash, cream, stock, parmesan and a little nutmeg. But they go together to make a deliciously smooth, flavorful sauce that works perfectly with both gnocchi and pasta.
After roasting the squash, you then simply blend it with everything else. At this point, if you want you can store and then simply re-heat when needed.
If it's a little thick, you can thin it out with a little pasta cooking water. Feel free to add a little more cream or cheese for more of those flavors and textures, too.
A use for leftover roast squash
While I have written the recipe as being from scratch, it's also a great way to use up any leftover squash you may have from another meal. Butternut is definitely one of the best choices, but other sweeter winter squashes such as kabocha, red kuri or honeynut would also work well.
This butternut squash pasta sauce is so easy to make, especially if you have leftover cooked squash. It makes a delicious change from your more usual sauces for gnocchi and pasta and works so well. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean.
Try these other tasty ways to serve gnocchi and pasta:
- Gnocchi with pork and fennel
- Creamy bacon sauce with spinach (for pasta/gnocchi)
- Pesto alla Trapanese (a Sicilian pesto made with almonds and raw tomato)
- Plus get more sauce and condiment recipes in the archives.
Butternut squash pasta sauce
- 8 oz butternut squash 225g, peeled and deseeded weight
- ½ tablespoon olive oil approx
- ¼ cup heavy cream 60ml double cream
- ¼ cup light chicken stock 60ml, or vegetable stock
- ½ cup parmesan 20g, finely grated
- 1 pinch nutmeg (optional, or a little more to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Cut the squash into bite sized pieces, arrange on a baking sheet/tray and drizzle over the olive oil. Toss the chunks of squash to evenly coat.
- Roast the squash until tender and the edges are starting to become slightly brown and caramelized, around 25 - 40 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Once the squash has cooled enough to handle, place in a blender or food processor with the cream, stock, parmesan and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. At this point, you can transfer the sauce to a container and store in the fridge for a day or two until needed, warm before using.
- Stir through pasta, using some pasta cooking water to thin out the sauce a little, as needed. Alternatively, use with gnocchi (you may also need a little of the hot water from cooking to thin).
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This post was first shared in January 2015 and has been updated, primarily with new photos.