Dinner/Mains

August 4, 2021

Butternut Squash Alfredo

Butternut squash alfredo may be bright orange like boxed mac’n’cheese, but it is full of whole foods and flavor, unlike that other bright orange pasta dish. This sauce is not vegan, but it does make use of plant-based ingredients to build layers of flavor and nutrition, while reducing the amount of dairy and saturated fat found in traditional alfredo sauces.

I’ve mentioned my love for squash a few times here and on social media. I can’t get enough of them in fall and winter. They can be used in so many ways, from soups to sauces, stuffed or mashed, roasted and baked, sweet or savory… Here the butternut squash lends a touch of sweetness to savory caramelized onions, garlic, and sage. This sauce tastes rich and feels luxurious, but is actually lighter and more nutrient-dense than typical alfredo sauce.

Pair this sauce with your favorite pasta. Short cuts like penne or rotini are great, but spaghetti or linguine would also be fun, too. It will seem like there’s a lot of sauce for the amount of pasta, but trust me, it won’t be a problem. Serve this pasta alongside roasted vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, or romanesco, which happily become coated in any extra sauce in your bowl.

Stages of preparing the butternut squash for roasting
Prepare the roasted butternut squash. Cut squash in half, remove seeds. Brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender.

Stages of creating the butternut squash alfredo sauce from sautéing vegetables to adding milk then adding cooked butternut squash
Build your sauce - saute onions, garlic, and sage in butter and olive oil; add flour, broth, and almond milk to create a béchamel; add roasted squash.

Immersion blender in a large pot blending butternut squash alfresco sauce, then stirring in parmesan cheese, then stirring in cooked pasta
Puree sauce until smooth using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender or food processor. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add cooked pasta and toss to coat in sauce.

Finished Butternut Squash Alfredo sauce and pasta in a large pot
Hello, beautiful! Serve pasta with roasted vegetables to catch all that extra sauce.


Original publication date: November 16, 2020

Butternut Squash Alfredo

Butternut squash alfredo may be bright orange like boxed mac’n’cheese, but it is full of whole foods and flavor, unlike that other bright orange pasta dish.

Author:

Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful

Prep:

10

min

cook:

45

min

total:

55

min

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 medium onion, diced

5-6 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage leaves

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

3/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

12-16 oz. pasta of your choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Prepare butternut squash. Slice off stem. Cut squash in half, top to bottom. Scoop out seeds from both halves. Brush each butternut squash half, cut-side up, with 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper, then place cut-side down on baking sheet. Bake squash at 425 degrees F for 40 minutes. Test squash for doneness by piercing with a fork; it should slide in easily. Set roasted squash aside.
  3. While the squash is roasting, begin preparing the base for the sauce by sautéing diced onion in a large heavy-bottomed pot in remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. butter, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Sauté until onions begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add minced garlic and sage to pot with onions, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add flour over the sautéed vegetables, and cook about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  6. Add broth, then milk to the flour mixture, stirring well to scrape up bits from the bottom of the pot, and bring to a simmer. Add remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and nutmeg to sauce. Stir to combine. Simmer sauce until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
  7. While sauce is cooking, cook the pasta of your choice according to package directions. Set cooked pasta aside.
  8. Scoop butternut squash flesh from the cooled, roasted halves into the sauce. Remove from heat.
  9. Puree sauce using an immersion blender until smooth. (Or, transfer sauce to a food processor or blender to puree until smooth, and then return sauce to pot.) Return pot to the stove on low heat.
  10. Add 1 cup parmesan cheese to pureed sauce, and stir until melted and smooth. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and/or pepper if desired. Add cooked pasta to the butternut squash alfredo sauce, and stir to combine.
  11. Serve hot, ideally with roasted vegetables to catch the extra sauce!
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May 24, 2022
Elizabeth
I don't normally comment on recipes but this has got to be the best thing I've ever made. It came together pretty easy and made five meals - perfect for meal prep for the week. I already can't wait to make it again.
January 22, 2022
Sherry Ruiter
I love this section!!!!!