Butternut Squash Pasta with Toasted Panko

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This butternut squash pasta with toasted panko and sage is a creamy, delicious recipe. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes, so it’s a perfect weeknight meal!

Why You Should Make This Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe

Sometimes you just need a pasta night! This pasta includes a good serving of butternut squash in the creamy sauce, making it a pasta dish you can feel good about. The toasted panko on the top is reminiscent of a baked mac and cheese casserole with a crunchy top (I grew up with those, maybe you did too!)

Ingredients You’ll Need for this Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need to make this creamy butternut squash pasta.

  • 14 ounces curly pasta*
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups butternut squash, diced**
  • 1 cup low-fat milk 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

*You can use any sort of fun pasta shape you’d like. Penne, fusilli, and strozzapreti would all work. We used Campanelle pasta from Whole Foods. Whatever you use should be bulky enough to hold a thick sauce.

**2 1/2 cups of diced butternut squash is about half a regular sized butternut squash.

How to Make Butternut Squash Pasta

Here’s how to make this pasta recipe. The most important step (that’s easy to overlook) is to reserve the half cup of cooked pasta water – it’s going to help bind the sauce to the pasta!

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat on the stovetop and cook the pasta according to package directions. 
  2. Heat half the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet until it has browned (3 to 5 minutes). 
  3. Add the butternut squash, sage, and half the kosher salt. Stir to fully coat the squash with the butter and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta and returning to it to its pot. 
  5. Add 3/4 of the cooked butternut squash, the milk, and reserved pasta water to a blender and blend for 30 seconds or until fully combined. 
  6. Add the rest of the butternut squash to the pasta along with 3 tablespoons of the butter. Then pour the blended squash into the pot as well along with the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine. 
  7. Add a handful of parmesan to the pasta and stir, then repeat with the rest of the cheese, reserving a tablespoon for garnish if you’d like. 
  8. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat in the skillet and toast the panko breadcrumbs until they are golden brown. 
  9. Serve the pasta topped with toasted panko and any reserved parmesan. 
  10. If you are saving this pasta in the refrigerator and reheating it, add a tablespoon of water to it to loosen the sauce. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

More Delicious Squash Recipes to Try

We love to use fresh winter squash in recipes! If you like this recipe, we think you’ll enjoy our other squash recipes.

Tips for Making this Recipe

  • If you can’t find panko breadcrumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs as a substitute.
  • If your pasta gives you a range of cooking time, say 7 to 9 minutes, boil the pasta for 7 minutes. The sauce will be quite hot when you add it to the pasta and will continue to cook it. Nobody wants overdone pasta!
Yield: 4 servings

Butternut Squash Pasta

Butternut Squash Pasta

This butternut squash pasta with toasted panko and sage is a creamy, delicious recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 3 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces curly pasta*
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups butternut squash, diced**
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat on the stovetop and cook the pasta according to package directions. 
  2. Heat half the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet until it has browned (3 to 5 minutes). 
  3. Add the butternut squash, sage, and half the kosher salt. Stir to fully coat the squash with the butter and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta and returning to it to its pot. 
  5. Add 3/4 of the cooked butternut squash, the milk, and reserved pasta water to a blender and blend for 30 seconds or until fully combined. 
  6. Add the rest of the butternut squash to the pasta along with 3 tablespoons of the butter. Then pour the blended squash into the pot as well along with the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine. 
  7. Add a handful of parmesan to the pasta and stir, then repeat with the rest of the cheese, reserving a tablespoon for garnish if you’d like. 
  8. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat in the skillet and toast the panko breadcrumbs until they are golden brown. 
  9. Serve the pasta topped with toasted panko and any reserved parmesan. 
  10. If you are saving this pasta in the refrigerator and reheating it, add a tablespoon of water to it to loosen the sauce. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Notes

*You can use any sort of fun pasta shape you'd like. Penne, fusilli, and strozzapreti would all work. We used Campanelle. Whatever you use should be bulky enough to hold a thick sauce.

**2 1/2 cups of diced butternut squash equal about half a regular-sized butternut squash.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 493Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 1434mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g

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