This one-skillet dish is perfect for an easy and comforting weeknight meal. It is light and cozy all at once. Start by sautéing butternut squash cubes in your skillet until tender. Then, add the sauce which is made creamy from butternut squash puree, pasta water and olive oil. Bold flavor comes from shallot, garlic, sage, maple syrup, chives, parsley, salt and pepper. You can add red pepper flakes or chili-flavored oil for some heat if you would like. I snuck in some extra greens by adding fresh baby arugula which cooks down and is almost undetectable.
You can use any type of pasta such as rotini or penne. Lately I have been loving organic chickpea pasta for added plant-based protein. Once everything comes together I top the entire dish with loads of vegan cheese and bake it off in my oven for about ten minutes until the cheese melts. The combination of savory flavors, fresh herbs, sweet and creamy butternut squash sauce and bubbly, oozy cheese is irresistible.
This pasta dish is vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and nut-free.
If you give this recipe a try, please let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it above, and tag a photo @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your creations!
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
- 1 small butternut squash, small dice (about 4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon for salting the pasta water and 1 teaspoon for seasoning the dish)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- 1 large shallot, peeled and diced
- 6 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried ground sage
- 1 cup butternut squash puree (or substitute my Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree)
- 8 ounces gluten-free pasta of choice (such as chickpea pasta shells, penne or rigotoni)
- 2 ladles pasta water
- 1 large handful baby arugula
- ¼ cup freshly chopped chives (plus more for garnish)
- ¼ cup freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (plus more for garnish)
- 1 batch homemade vegan mozzarella cheese (~ 2 cups)
- Optional garnishes: ground paprika, red pepper flakes, vegan parmesan cheese, fresh chives, fresh parsley, fresh sage leaves, ground black pepper, melted vegan butter or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 teaspoon of salt and the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add olive oil, butternut squash cubes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes then add shallots and garlic and saute another 3 minutes. Next, add maple syrup, sage and butternut squash puree. Stir to combine well.
- When pasta is done cooking, use a pasta ladle strainer to add the pasta directly to the skillet. Add 2 ladles of pasta water, arugula, chives and parsley and toss well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (you may want to add more salt, pepper, garlic, sage or maple syrup). Depending on the type of pasta you are using you may want to moisten it more with another ladle of pasta water.
- Top with homemade vegan mozzarella cheese and place entire pan in the oven for 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove the skillet from your oven and sprinkle with any of the optional garnishes I listed above. Serve immediately while hot.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 22 mins
- Category: Entree
Keywords: Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta