Easy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

This kid-friendly butternut squash sauce 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 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
    • 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)


    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, occasionally stirring, until onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. 
    2. Add broth & simmer. Add the broth. Increase the heat to bring the 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 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 the 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.


    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. See the Freezing tips section above for all the details.

    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 the garlic
    • Big Kids: Give them the recipe (maybe you chop the squash, though) and see how they do!

    Nutrition Notes

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


    • 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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