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.
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.
Here are all the ingredients you'll need to make this vegan butternut squash pasta sauce recipe:
You can use either a butternut squash, or the smaller and sweeter variety- honeynut squash. Either will work!
To make this vegan butternut squash sauce even smoother and creamier, I use some raw cashews.
To add some vegan cheese flavour, some nutritional yeast is a good idea. I love this stuff and put it on nearly everything.
Any type of green will work, spinach, arugula or kale.
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.
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.
Crispy, fried sage is excellent in this pasta dish! It pairs so well with the squash so I don't recommend skipping it.
I love adding some smoked paprika for flavour and depth. It really helps balance out the natural sweetness from the squash.
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.
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.
And back to the cravings for carbs for a minute because I think it's important. So often I hear about those in the health and wellness community talk about cravings as a bad thing. And they are constantly coming up with ways to make the cravings healthier and to trick ourselves, our bodies and minds.
But our bodies are pretty smart and they know whats up. When you attempt to always stifle your cravings for things with something that doesn't quite measure up, our bodies and our minds know. And what usually follows are more cravings and rummaging through our cupboards and kitchen to find something that can ward it off. We end up angry that our tricks didn't work and eating more foods to make up for it.
Rather, if we just listened to our bodies, gave it what it needs and moved on without thinking twice, we could avoid this problem entirely.
The first thing you'll want to do is soak your cashews. Soak your cashews in water for at least 1-2 hours, or in a pinch in just boiled water for 20-30 minutes.
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!
Wash and dry your sage leaves and heat up a small pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or ghee and fry the sage until crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Then remove and set aside.
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.
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 eat it later.
Add the sauce to your pasta, top with toasted pumpkin seeds and crispy sage. Devour!
I love squash in the fall and winter. Here are some other squash recipes you may like:
This butternut squash pasta sauce is amazing! A lot of times, I find that squash sauces tend to be a little more on the sweet side and I wanted this to be super savoury.
So, I added in a few key ingredients such as:
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 but of oil or ghee 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.
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. Or just serve some veggies or a salad on the side!
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.
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!
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You won't believe how good this vegan butternut squash sauce is! It's creamy, cheezy and savoury and a definite fall and winter staple.
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