One-Skillet Baked Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

VeganGluten-FreeNut-FreeSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyVegetarianDairy Free

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 InstagramTwitter or Facebook so I can see your creations!

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One-Skillet Baked Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 22 mins
  • Total Time: 32 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1/4 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)
  • 1/4 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 or choice (such as chickpea pasta shells, penne or rigotoni)
  • 2 ladles pasta water
  • 1 large handful baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped chives (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 package of Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds* (about 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Top with Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds 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.


*Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds are vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and nut-free.

  • Category: Entree

This post is sponsored by Daiya.  All opinions are my own.  

This recipe is inspired by both Life is but a Dish and The Dizzy Cook.

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  1. Deb

    I made this last night using what I had on hand- elbow mac for the penne, sweet onion for the shallot, sweet potato for the puree, julienne collards for the arugula, and half of the cheese. It was delicious. My teen and non-vegan hubby both went back for seconds. I usually try a recipe 2-3 times before it goes in to the collection, but this one is for sure a keeper!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Deb! I love hearing all your subs – I’m always substituting recipes with what I have on hand. I’m glad you made it work! And I’m so happy to hear it was a hit with your fam and going into your official recipe collection! I’m honored! 🙂

  2. Ronnie

    I found your recipe a while ago and have made a variation of it a few times. Made it with Einkorn pasta and spinach instead of arugula. I keep forgetting to hold onto the pasta water, but it still comes out great. Also, I keep the garlic cloves whole and it flavors the dish nicely. fresh sage and maple syrup make this the perfect comfort food dinner. Will check out some of your other recipes. Thank you!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Ronnie! I love to hear about the variations and I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  3. Patricia

    Tried this pin and it was positively delish. Was a hit with the family.

    • Elaine Gordon

      Aw, yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed it! Thank you, Patricia!


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