This dairy-free dinner has a surprisingly short ingredient list that's exploding with delicious seasonal flavor! Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta gets topped with savory Caramelized Onions for a restaurant-quality dish that's easy enough to make as a weeknight dinner.
Two of my very favorite things just might be pasta and winter squash, so you can imagine how happy I get when they're in season and I can make recipes like this one! This Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta gets topped with Caramelized Onions and oh my goodness, it just might be one of the easiest AND most flavorful dinners of all time! My whole family gave it a thumbs up, and the leftovers reheat perfectly for lunch the next day. A true weeknight wonder!
Ingredients in Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Caramelized Onions
This is actually a really short ingredient list! That's the beauty of a vegetable like butternut squash: it's already loaded with so much color and natural flavor, you only have to help it out a little bit to make it shine.
- Butternut squash - You'll need two cups total of peeled, diced butternut squash with the seeds removed. I've found that this is about half of a medium butternut squash!
- Raw Cashews - This is an ingredient that I always buy in bulk because I use it so much!
- Maple Syrup - Pure maple is an all-natural sweetener made from the sap of maple trees. It's another ingredient I use often and buy in bulk. It's optional in this recipe (the butternut squash has a fair amount of sweetness by itself!) but I always like a little splash of maple.
- Salt & pepper - Adjust these to taste as you go.
- Caramelized onions - Caramelized onions take every single dish I've used them in and make it EXTRAORDINARY! They have an incredible depth of flavor and everyone goes crazy for them. Especially my daughter, Riley. She eats anything with caramelized onions on it!
- Dry pasta - I suggest 8 ounces for this recipe, and check your ingredient list carefully if you want a gluten-free dish!
How to Make Caramelized Onions
Caramelized onions are SO EASY to make, but they do take a while! Plan for an hour of stovetop time for your onions to get them rich, sweet and crispy. The good news is that they can be made ahead of time. This is an awesome step to meal prep ahead of time and then just toss them in while you're making dinner! I often freeze them so I can pull out of the freezer whenever I need a pop of umami flavor.
All About Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is not only a delicious seasonal favorite, it's a veggie loaded with nutritional benefits! It is a good source of fiber, potassium and magnesium and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Butternut squash contains phytochemicals (natural plant chemicals) that support vision, heart and gastrointestinal health. It also boosts your immune system and lowers your risk of some cancers!
Creamy Vegan Pasta
I use cashews to make this recipe both creamy and dairy-free! Cashews are a staple ingredient in my kitchen. They add incredibly protein, which many friends who are new to plant-based eating worry about, as well as copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous and zinc. I make frequent batches of my Easy Homemade Cashew Cream to add into sweet treats, savory dishes, and smoothies for creaminess and nutrition! For a nut-free Butternut Squash Pasta, try swapping the cashews for my Easy Sunflower Seed Cream Sauce.
My Favorite Gluten-Free Pasta
I love the brand Jovial for gluten-free pasta! I also use Andean Dream's quinoa pasta quite a bit. Any of your favorite gluten-free pasta brands will work well in this recipe, or even try it with Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash. Check out my post below for all of my favorite gluten-free products and resources!
This Butternut Squash Pasta recipe is totally vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and can be made nut-free by swapping the cashews for Easy Sunflower Seed Cream Sauce! I love recipes that make plant-based, allergen-friendly cooking a breeze. I hope you make it, love it, and tag me on Instagram so I can see your cooking successes. Please also drop a review below! If you like this recipe, sign up for my newsletter to receive a free download with easy, vegan, and gluten-free dinners.
More Vegan & Gluten-Free Pasta Recipes
- Vegan Chickpea Bolognese
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
- Baked Feta Pasta
- Roasted Veggie Tomato Sauce
- Easy Creamy Vegan Pasta Sauce
- Pasta Fresca
- Creamy Butternut Squash "Risotto"
- Vegan No-Boil Pasta Bake
- Caramelized Onion & Apple Pasta with Sage
Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta with Caramelized Onions
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Diet: Vegan
Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta topped with Caramelized Onions is a restaurant-quality dish that's easy enough to make as a weeknight dinner!
- 2 cups diced butternut squash (about half a small butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed)
- 1 teaspoon salt for boiling the butternut squash and pasta
- ¼ cup raw cashews (learn all about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post)
- ½ cup filtered water
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- optional: ¼ cup caramelized onions (plus more for garnish)
- 8 ounces dry pasta (gluten-free if desired)
- Add water and 1 teaspoon salt to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the diced butternut squash to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes until fork tender. Use a strainer to remove and place the cooked butternut squash in a high speed blender. Leave the water to boil the pasta.
- Add cooked butternut squash, cashews, water, maple syrup, salt, pepper and ¼ cup caramelized onions (if using) to a high speed blender and blend on the highest speed until perfectly smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Pour immediately overtop cooked pasta.
- Garnish with more caramelized onions and serve immediately while hot.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. For leftovers, it is best to store sauce separate from pasta. If sauce is already mixed in reheat on the stovetop with ¼ cup water for best results.
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- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stovetop and Blender
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta
I loved this dish! I made the carmelized onions without oil but added water so onions didin't stick and maple syrup to help the carmelizing along. I used millet macaroni by a company called Big Green that was surprisingly good. My husband doen't enjoy my plant-based diet but even he enjoyed this dish. I can't wait to make it again! Thank you Elaine! you have the best ideas using ingredients that are right up my alley!
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much, Jodi! I'm so happy to hear you and your husband enjoyed this one and plan to make again! I love that we speak the same ingredient language 🙂 Best, Elaine
Made this and loved it!! The carmelized onions added a nice flavor kick. Will be a staple recipe in my home. Thank you 😊
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much, Hyacinth! So happy you enjoyed this one too! I love caramelized onions is just about any savory dish 🙂