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Recipe

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

Quite possibly our favorite pasta sauce of all time, this kid-friendly Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce recipe goes great over any kind of pasta and makes enough to freeze for another night. Easily vegan or dairy-free.

  • Prep Time:
    15 minutes
  • Total Time:
    45 minutes
  • Makes:
    6 cups 1x
  • Prep Time:
    15 minutes
  • Total Time:
    45 minutes
  • Makes:
    6 cups 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 pounds peeled and seeded butternut squash, chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 4 ½ cups)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic chopped
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan (⅓ cup per batch, see notes)

    Instructions

    1. Saute the squash, onion, garlic, and sage. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the squash, onion, garlic, and sage. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
    2. Add broth & simmer. Add the broth. Increase the heat to bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until squash is soft and liquid is reduced by about half, about 15–20 minutes.
    3. Cool slightly and puree. Let cool slightly, then purée everything in a blender (or with an immersion blender) until very smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper.
    4. Eat half, freeze half. If serving over pasta, return half of the sauce back to the pot, stir in cooked pasta of choice and ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese. Portion and top with additional Parmesan, salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired. Once cooled, freeze the remaining sauce in an airtight container.

    Notes

    Favorite Equipment

    Recipe Notes

    This recipe makes a double batch of sauce (3 cups sauce per pound of dry pasta), so enjoy half and freeze half for another night. For the best consistency, hold off on adding the cheese to the sauce you’ll be freezing. It’s best when combined with warmed sauce and hot, freshly cooked pasta just before serving.

    Ingredient Notes

    • Parmesan cheese: Add ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese for every 3 cups sauce (half a batch) and 1 pound dry pasta. Add the cheese just before serving, to warmed sauce and hot, freshly cooked pasta.
      For a vegan sauce: Use vegetable broth and substitute nutritional yeast for the Parmesan
      For a dairy-free sauce: Substitute nutritional yeast for the Parmesan

    Ingredient Prep 

    • Grate the Parmesan cheese up to 2 weeks in advance.
    • Chop the butternut squash and onion up to 5 days in advance.

    Little Helpers 

    Involving little ones can decrease picky eating and increase appetite and willingness to try new foods. Here are a few ways they can help:

    • Toddlers: Add oil, onion, and squash to the pot (closely supervised); peel the garlic, help with pureeing
    • Little Kids: Chop the onion; peel and chop garlic; Peel and mash the bananas, open canned pumpkin, measure ingredients; pour batter into the pan
    • Big Kids: Chop the butternut squash and onion

    Freezing Tips

    Best sauce-to-pasta ratio: 3 cups of sauce for every 1 pound of uncooked pasta. If you typically cook less than a full pound of pasta, portion accordingly when freezing.

    To freeze in a plastic freezer bag or reusable silicone bag, press out as much of the air as possible and lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet to freeze. Stack the bags once frozen. For best taste and texture, enjoy frozen sauce within 4 months.

    Nutrition Notes

    Nutrition calculation is for the sauce itself (no pasta) and includes the Parmesan cheese. 

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 1/2 cup sauce
    • Calories: 86
    • Sugar: 2 g
    • Sodium: 268 mg
    • Fat: 4 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 3 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 11 g
    • Fiber: 2 g
    • Protein: 3 g
    • Cholesterol: 5 mg

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