Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta gets its creaminess from the favorite squash. Topped with bacon and pumpkin seeds for extra flavor. Originally posted in 2015, updated with new photos and a wine pairing in May 2020
Original recipe inspiration
I first developed this Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta recipe in response to a Sunday Supper blog group theme on “fall flavor”.
Using cooked squash as the basis for a healthy, creamy pasta sauce is a good strategy. I use that approach in this Creamy Roasted Acorn Squash Pasta recipe.
Our son was asking for bacon around the time I first made this recipe. So some crispy bacon gets added to the top of the creamy pasta for some delicious savory flavor. Pumpkin seeds added to the top, along with the bacon, add a nice crunch.
We have had the Pasta with Creamy Butternut and Bacon primarily as a main course. The dish can also can make a nice side for roasted chicken or turkey.
Although this recipe is definitely great to make in the fall; these days I’ve been looking for ingredients I can get in my limited shopping trips or deliveries that will last awhile.
I figured a butternut squash could last awhile stored in our cellar, so I picked one up early in our stay at home phase. It was down there for at least a month, still in perfect shape, before I decided to do a remake of this butternut squash pasta recipe.
So you don’t need to wait until fall to make this recipe! Pick up a butternut squash next time you are shopping. Maybe save it for when you are low on other fresh veggies.
The butternut squash gets boiled, the cooked up with some garlic and chicken stock. My original plan was to put the squash mixture into the food processor at the end to reach the desired creamy consistency, but the way the squash broke apart when stirring it, that wasn’t necessary. By the time I stirred in the cream, I had my sauce made right in the skillet.
You can see from the photos that I tossed the creamy butternut with linguine. However, this sauce is pretty thick, so I’d say a short shape like penne or ziti could work too.
My other pointer is to be sure to eat this right after you toss the pasta with the butternut sauce, as it starts to thicken pretty quickly.
I topped the pasta with creamy butternut pasta with some toasted pumpkin seeds along with the bacon bits. A nice crunch to go along with the creaminess!
More bacon! One reader suggests you could add a bit more bacon than called for here. I’m not going to argue with the idea of more bacon!
One important part of updating this post was to add a wine pairing!
The butternut and bacon flavors suggested to me that a Pinot Noir could work well. So I opened the 2013 Holloran Oregon Pinot Noir ($25, 13% ABV) from the Willamette Valley.
This Pinot has violets on the nose. Bright berry fruit with a touch of cinnamon on the palate. Light, ethereal mouthfeel. Very good quality wine, and a good pairing choice for the recipe!
I would say this Holloran Pinot is definitely a good value at $25, and a good option for the dish. But you could certainly try other Pinots you like with it. Or try a different wine and let me know what you come up with–cheers!Print
Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon
Pasta tossed with a creamy butternut squash sauce and topped with bacon for a flavorful meal.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 6 cups butternut squash, chopped (1 medium squash)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 slices bacon
- ½ tsp dried sage
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup coconut or dairy cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 12 ozs pasta, preferably a short shape like ziti or penne
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
- Cook the squash: Boil a pot of water. Add the butternut squash, boil for 15 minutes or so, until the squash is tender. Drain the squash, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Start boiling water for pasta.
- Cook the bacon: Meanwhile, spray a skillet with oil, and heat it on medium. Add the bacon, and cook until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the bacon from the skillet and place on a plate with a paper towel on top. Drain the excess bacon fat from the skillet, and wipe the skillet with a paper towel to get most of the bacon grease out but leaving a bit for flavor. When the bacon has cooled, crumble it into small pieces.
- Get the garlic going: Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, and heat on medium. Add the garlic, cook for a minute or so until it becomes fragrant.
- Add the cooked squash to the skillet along with the chicken broth and sage. Bring the broth to a simmer, stir occasionally with a sturdy spoon. As you stir, gradually break up the squash.
- Simmer squash: Let the squash simmer for about 10 minutes, and it will gradually break up into a creamy sauce. When most of stock has been absorbed, gradually stir in the cream to finish the sauce. Keep the sauce warm on low heat as the pasta cooks.
- Start cooking the pasta according to package instructions after you add the squash to the skillet.
- Combine pasta and sauce: When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss immediately with the butternut sauce and the additional tablespoon olive oil. Stir in the cheese.
- Plate the pasta right after tossing with the sauce. Top the pasta with bacon bits and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
- We often have coconut cream on hand as a dairy free option, and it works well in this recipe. But you can certainly use regular dairy cream.
- Starting by cooking bacon in the same skillet you will make the sauce is a great way to add a bit of bacon flavor to the dish.
Keywords: butternut squash, bacon, pasta with butternut squash, butternut squash sauce