Dinner

November 1, 2018

Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

vegan butternut squash pasta sauce

I've been really into carbs lately, I mean, I'll be honest I am always into carbs, but now it seems to be more than ever. And you know what, I'm going with it. Rather than trying to fight my body or stifle my needs with more protein or fat, I'm letting myself have the carbs. Because this will also pass. The good thing about my recent carb extravaganza is definitely this roasted vegan butternut squash pasta sauce. I've been slathering it on all the pasta. Add in some crispy sage, pumpkin seeds and some greens and you're all set!

This post was originally shared in 2018 but has since been updated with newer photos. The recipe has not changed.

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

This butternut squash sauce is so creamy and delicious, you'll be blown away that it contains zero dairy at all. It tastes like a rich creamy, cheesy sauce but it's made with simple everyday ingredients like squash, cashews, nutritional yeast and a few spices.

vegan butternut squash pasta sauce

Ingredients

Here are all the ingredients you'll need to make this vegan butternut squash pasta sauce recipe:

Squash

You can use either a butternut squash, or the smaller and sweeter variety - honeynut squash. Either will work!

squash halved

Cashews

To make this vegan butternut squash sauce even smoother and creamier, I use some raw cashews.

Nutritional Yeast

To add some vegan cheese flavour, some nutritional yeast is a good idea. I love this stuff and put it on nearly everything.

Kale

Any type of green will work, spinach, arugula or kale.

Pasta

Choose your favourite type of pasta and enjoy! I loved serving this with some big rigatoni, but penne, rotini, shells or even linguine will all work.

Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted pumpkin seeds add some crunch and texture to this pasta dish. I love toasting raw pumpkin seeds with some oil and using the oil and seeds in the final dish.

Sage

Crispy, fried sage is excellent in this pasta dish! It pairs so well with the squash so I don't recommend skipping it.

Smoked Paprika

I love adding some smoked paprika for flavour and depth. It really helps balance out the natural sweetness from the squash.

Ancho Chile Powder

Chili powder is often a blend with other spices, whereas ancho chile powder is ground ancho (poblano) pepper only. I love using it in lots of recipes, if you don't have it, just use chili pepper.

Here is where to find Ancho Chili Powder!

Garlic

An easy addition to roasting the squash is to add some garlic cloves in with it too. Roasted garlic is much more mellow and it works very well in this vegan butternut squash pasta sauce. You can also use raw garlic, but why not throw in some cloves and roast them with the squash.

vegan butternut squash pasta sauce

How to Make This Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

The first thing you'll want to do is soak your cashews. Soak your cashews in water for at least two hours, or in a pinch, you can soak them in just boiled water for about 30 minutes. 

cashews soaking in water

Cook your Squash

Cut the butternut squash in half, removing the seeds and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked through. Add in some garlic cloves too!

honeynut squash cooked

Fry the Sage Leaves

Wash and dry your sage leaves and heat up a small pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fry the sage until crispy, about four to five minutes. Then remove and set aside. 

Prepare the Vegan Butternut Squash Sauce

Remove the butternut squash and let cool while you boil some water in a pot for your pasta and cook according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and add back into the pot. Reserve some pasta water for blending the sauce.

Add your greens to the pasta so that it has time to wilt a little with the heat of the pasta. 

Once the squash has cooled slightly, scoop out 2 cups and add to a blender along with the remaining pasta ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. It's important to use about 2 cups, if you add more, increase the other ingredients as well. You'll have some leftover cooked squash, which you can add to your pasta, or save it for another use.

vegan butternut squash pasta sauce

Essential Ingredients

This butternut squash pasta sauce is amazing! A lot of times, I find that squash pasta sauces tend to be a little more on the sweet side and I wanted this to be super savoury.

So, I add in a few key ingredients such as:

  • Smoked paprika
  • Ancho Chili powder
  • Fried sage 
  • Cashews
  • Roasted garlic

Usually I would say that you can get away without some ingredients if you don't have them, but with this one, I would say don't miss out on the sage.

When you fry it in a little bit of oil it gets all crispy and tastes so amazing in this dish. It really helps balance out the sweetness of this vegan butternut squash pasta sauce in my opinion.

vegan butternut squash pasta sauce

Substitutions For Making This Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

  • No Nuts: omit the cashews, it will be less creamy, but still delicious. You can also sub with sunflower seeds (soaked) instead as well.
  • No Greens: omit. Any type of green leafy vegetable would be nice in here if you have.
  • Make it Gluten Free: use your favourite gluten free pasta.
  • More Protein: add in some cooked protein such as chicken to the dish. Or, sprinkle some hemp seeds on top for a little boost. You can also use a higher protein/fiber pasta such as quinoa, chickpea or lentil.

As always, if you make this vegan butternut squash pasta sauce recipe please share with me, by tagging me on Instagram or leave a comment and/or review below. I truly love seeing and hearing form you!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

vegan butternut squash pasta sauce in a jar

LIKE THIS RECIPE? HERE ARE MORE RECIPES TO TRY:

Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

You won't believe how good this vegan butternut squash sauce is! It's creamy, cheesy and savoury and a definite fall and winter staple.

Prep:
10
min
cook:
35
min
total:
45
min
servings:
4
Author:

Jaclyn

Ingredients


For the add-in’s:

Instructions


  1. Soak your cashews in water for at least two hours, or if you're in a pinch, you can soak them in just boiled water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cut the butternut squash in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds. Place the squash cut-side up on the baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked through. Add the garlic cloves (wrapped in foil) alongside if roasting.
  4. Prepare the add-in's. Heat up a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fry the sage until crispy, about three to five minutes. Then remove and set aside. If toasting your pumpkin seeds, toast them in the same skillet and then remove and set aside.
  5. Cook the pasta according to package directions, reserve water for the sauce. Drain and set aside.
  6. Once the squash has cooled slightly, scoop out 2 cups and add to a blender along with the drained cashews, water (reserved pasta water is best), roasted garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, chili powder, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  7. Toss the spinach (or arugula) in the same large pot used to cook your pasta and then add the warm pasta on top. The heat from the pasta will wilt the greens a bit.
  8. Add the sauce to the pasta and greens and stir well to combine. You can turn the heat on low to get everything hot and wilt the greens more.
  9. Divide onto plates and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds and crispy sage. Enjoy!

Notes

If you don’t have spinach, simply omit, or add in another green like arugula or kale.

If you can’t have cashews, you could try using soaked sunflower seeds to create a creamy consistency.

This sauce makes just over 2 cups.

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