This roasted butternut squash pasta is the perfect vegetarian dinner recipe for fall. It's quick & easy to make with less than 10 simple, flavorful ingredients!
It's almost fall, which means that butternut squash season is here! Specially in the form of roasted butternut squash and pasta.
My favorite way to enjoy butternut squash is by dicing it and then roasting it with a little bit of a neutral oil, salt, and pepper. That's how we'll prepare it for this easy recipe (and for my tortellini with butternut squash recipe!).
Here's why this recipe works
- Dietary features: vegetarian, vegan-optional, gluten-free optional, soy-free, nut-free
- Made with less than 10 ingredients
- Made with a 4-ingredient olive oil based pasta sauce
- Roasting butternut squash results in tender, almost-caramelized, and sweet squash
- Easy to customize: use your favorite pasta or add your favorite greens and protein
If you came to this recipe hoping for a butternut squash sauce, I recommend checking out my butternut squash mac and cheese instead.
- Butternut squash: If you're new to butternut squash, I share how to prepare a butternut squash here. For an even easier option, you can often find pre-diced butternut squash at grocery stores.
- Arugula: This salad green adds a pop of color and zesty/spicy flavor. Alternatively, you can use equivalent amounts of spinach or kale. Frozen greens will work if cooked before adding to the pasta.
- Angel hair pasta: I like angel hair pasta because it cooks quickly, but you can really use any pasta you have on hand. Linguine, spaghetti, or even short pasta like penne will work. Try whole grain pasta for additional fiber and flavor, or use a bean pasta to increase the protein.
- Great northern beans are an easy way to add plant-based protein to pasta. Cannellini beans or chickpeas also work.
- Olive oil and Italian seasoning combine to make a simple but flavorful sauce. I recommend using a "good" olive oil with a flavor that you enjoy. Choose a salt-free Italian seasoning.
Tips for making olive oil sauce
The olive oil pasta sauce requires only four ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
Here are a few tips to make the best possible olive oil sauce for your butternut squash pasta:
- Using a high-quality extra virgin olive oil takes the dressing from good to great. In the past I only bought the cheapest olive oil on the shelf, but I've found that spending just a few more dollars on good olive oil is a game-changer.
- As it is one of the main flavors in this recipe, you will want to choose an olive oil with a flavor that you enjoy. I find that rich extra virgin olive oil works better for these situations than light olive oil, because it has a stronger flavor.
- Always bloom spices in oil to enhance their flavor. In this case we'll blooming the Italian seasonings.
- Check out this vegan avocado pesto pasta for another great way to use olive oil in pasta.
Steps to make this recipe
Start by prepping and roasting the butternut squash. Dice squash into 1 inch pieces and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 425F for 30-35 minutes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
For more tips, check out my full post on how to roast butternut squash.
You want the butternut squash to be soft and easy to pierce with a fork. It should be turning golden on some sides.
Cook the angel hair or spaghetti pasta in well salted water according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
To the hot pot you cooked the pasta in, add the olive oil, Italian seasoning and beans. Place over medium heat. Stir for 30 seconds to a minute to bloom the spices and allow the oil to get hot, though the oil should sizzle as soon as it is added to the pot.
Stir in the spaghetti so that it is well coated with olive oil. Add the squash and arugula, stirring to wilt the arugula.
Serve topped with extra black pepper, freshly grated Parmesan and a lemon wedge for a burst of acidity.
For best quality, keep leftover butternut squash and pasta refrigerated for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 1-2 minutes or place on the stove over medium-low heat with a splash of vegetable broth to loosen the pasta up.
Yes, you can easily make this recipe vegan by replacing Parmesan with your favorite vegan Parmesan or by omitting it entirely. Follow your Heart makes a delicious grated vegan parm.
Yes! Butternut squash is a low calorie winter squash that has an ample amount of Vitamin A and antioxidants. It also contains fiber and Vitamin C.
Looking for more vegetarian pasta recipes?
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Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 large butternut squash cut into 1" cubes, see note #1
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil such as vegetable, canola, or olive oil
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces dry angelhair pasta see note #2
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil see note #3
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning see note #4
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- freshly ground black pepper for topping
- 15 ounce can (1 can) Great white northern beans see note #5
- 3 cups fresh arugula loosely packed
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping, see note #
- lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Place the butternut squash cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, tossing to coat. Transfer to the sheet pan, careful not to overlap pieces of squash.
- Roast butternut squash for 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees F, until soft and golden. Toss the squash halfway through to ensure even roasting.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions in well salted water. Drain water and set pasta aside when cooked through.
- To the hot pot you cooked the pasta in, add the ¼ cup olive oil, Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon salt, a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper the and drained can of beans. Place over medium heat. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute to bloom the spices.
- Stir in the cooked pasta so that it is well coated with olive oil. Add the roasted squash and arugula, stirring to wilt the arugula.
- Serve topped with extra black pepper, freshly grated Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon. For best quality, enjoy leftovers within 3-4 days.
- To prepare butternut squash: Remove the skin using a potato peeler. Slice in half lengthways Use a grapefruit spoon or regular spoon to remove the stringy bits and seeds. Dice squash into 1" cubes.
- Pasta: Feel free to use any kind of pasta, such as spaghetti, penne, chickpea, gluten-free, etc.
- Extra virgin olive oil: As it is one of the main flavors in this recipe, you will want to choose an olive oil with a flavor that you enjoy. I find that rich olive oil works better than light olive oil because it has a stronger flavor.
- Italian seasoning: Salt-free Italian seasoning blends work best here. If using a seasoning that contains salt, omit the salt in the olive oil sauce.
- Beans: Any kind of white beans or even chickpeas will work.
- Parmesan cheese: If you're vegetarian, make sure to choose a Parmesan labeled as vegetarian. Many Parms are not actually vegetarian. Asiago cheese is also a good option.
Author's note: This recipe was originally shared October 2019. It was updated August 2021 with new photos, a video and revised instructions. The recipe remains the same.