Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta
on Dec 06, 2021, Updated Sep 08, 2023
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This roasted butternut squash pasta starts on a sheet pan in the oven. Then the rest of it comes together on the stove with farfalle (bow-tie pasta), chili-garlic breadcrumbs and kale. It’s finished with Parmesan, chives and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s perfect for vegetarian dinners during the chill of fall and winter.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Pasta Recipe
Instead of limiting roasted butternut squash to a side dish, you can turn it into a vegetarian main dish. When fall starts, I can’t get enough squash. No matter the variety, I have my sheet pans and oven ready for roasting. You can make it something more by combining it with pasta, rice or grains.
The chili garlic breadcrumbs in this pasta are fantastic. Toasted breadcrumbs add texture to pastas. Because I sauté them with minced garlic and chilies they have lots of flavor and a spicy kick that goes well with roasted butternut squash that is more mellow in taste.
This pasta dish is packed with healthy greens and veggies. Sautéing kale is such a simple way to add nutrition with the butternut squash. It all balances out with the pasta.
This is what you need:
- Butternut squash: Look for a medium butternut squash that feels firm and is heavy for its size. The squash should be about 3 pounds before you peel and dice it.
- Farfalle: This bowtie pasta does a good job picking up the breadcrumbs. Also, the shape works really well with the cubes of butternut squash.
- Kale: I can never resist super-charging the nutrition on a noodle dish by adding leafy greens. It’s so simple to take advantage of the heat that’s already in the skillet to wilt the kale.
- Breadcrumbs: Because they are so crunchy even before they are toasted, I always reach for panko breadcrumbs.
- Garlic: The recipe calls for 3 minced garlic cloves, which may sound like a lot, but for this amount of pasta and squash, the garlic is not overwhelming.
- Chilies: To give this vegetarian dish just a touch of heat, I sauté a minced red finger chile pepper with the garlic.
- Parmesan: When the pasta is almost finished, I stir in Parmesan cheese. If want to keep the pasta vegan, skip the cheese and add 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast instead.
- Chives: For fresh herbs that are lightly oniony, I add minced chives.
- Olive oil: Use extra virgin olive oil. You will need olive oil for roasting the squash and sautéing the pasta.
- Salt & pepper: Make sure to season both the squash when you roast it as well as the breadcrumbs when you toast them.
You can use substitutes for the following ingredients:
- Butternut squash: You can use sweet potatoes if you prefer.
- Pasta: Instead of bowties, penne or fusilli would also work.
- Kale: Try swiss chard, collard greens or spinach.
- Parmesan: To make the dish vegan, omit the cheese and use nutritional yeast.
How To Make Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta
Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.
1. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Spread it out into a single layer. You want to make sure all the cubed butternut squash makes direct contact with pan.
2. Roast the butternut squash until it’s soft and fork tender in the center and lightly browned at the edges.
3. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Then drain it.
4. Toast the breadcrumbs. Heat olive oil in a skillet, sauté the breadcrumbs until golden brown. Then add the garlic and chilies.
5. Sauté the kale letting it wilt in the pan.
6. Fold in the roasted butternut squash and pasta. Use a wooden spoon to carefully mix it all together. It’s ok if some of the squash falls apart. Try to have a light touch, so you don’t smash the squash. Stir in the Parmesan and chives. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian dinner for the fall and winter months, bookmark this recipe. The combination of pasta and roasted vegetables is very filling. Serve it an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette or an Italian chopped salad.
Leftovers & Storage
If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. You can warm them in the microwave or eat them cold as a pasta salad with a splash of vinaigrette.
Don’t overcook the pasta. You want it to be al dente and have some bite. It’s important to get it right to contrast with the tender roasted squash.
Make sure to use panko breadcrumbs. They are crunchy to begin with even before you toast them, so it’s almost like you have a head start. Also, they toast well in olive oil on the stove.
Drizzle the pasta with extra virgin olive oil before you serve it. Divide it into bowls or spoon it on to serving plates, and then give it a light splash of oil.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Pasta
- For roasted butternut squash
- 1 butternut squash about 3 pounds, peeled and diced 1/2-inch
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- For pasta
- 8 ounces farfalle pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 red finger chile pepper minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chopped curly kale
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Spread across a sheet pan. Roast the squash until tender and lightly browned at the edges, about 25-30 minutes.
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente according to package instructions and drain.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Toast the breadcrumbs until golden, about 2 minutes. Then add the garlic, chilies, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and sauté for 30 seconds letting the mixture get fragrant.
- Add the kale sautéing it for a few minutes till it starts wilts. Carefully fold in the butternut squash and pasta.
- Stir in the Parmesan and chives. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.