image of butternut squash alfredo pasta garnished with fresh basil
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5 from 8 votes

Butternut Squash Alfredo

A flavorful, lightened up version of the classic Alfredo sauce, this Butternut Squash Alfredo Pasta Sauce is smooth and rich. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash alfredo, butternut squash pasta recipe, vegetarian pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 463kcal
Author: Kate


  • 1 small butternut squash (1.5 lb)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • Salt and pepper , to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lb uncooked pasta (such as rigatoni)
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind, I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup half and half (or substitute milk for a lower-calorie option)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves , chopped

Optional toppings, if baking:

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 400F. 
    Boil a large pot of salted water for cooking the pasta.
  • While the oven is preheating and pasta water is boiling: Peel the butternut squash and cut it into 1.5-2 inch cubes. Place in a large baking dish. Add 2 garlic cloves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir, and make sure the butternut squash is in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast at 400F for 15-20 minutes, or until the butternut squash can be pierced easily with a fork.
  • While the butternut squash is roasting: Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions (about 12-13 minutes for rigatoni - this may vary depending on your brand of pasta). Drain the pasta, but reserve 2 cups of cooking water and strain it into a heat-proof container! You'll need it for the sauce. Return the pasta to the cooking pot and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Make the butternut squash sauce: Add the roasted butternut squash to a blender. Add the roasted garlic. Add 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 cup half and half. Process until smooth.
  • Finish the pasta:  Add the cooked pasta back to the pot. Turn the heat on low, add the pureed butternut squash sauce to the cooked pasta, and stir. Add the fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese and stir. Add up to 2 cups of reserved cooking liquid (1/4 cup at a time) to thin out the sauce, if necessary. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce is heated through. Serve immediately, garnishing with extra basil and Parmesan cheese. Or follow the next optional step.
  • Optional: Turn the oven on to broil. Add the finished pasta from step 5 to a 2.5 quart casserole pan. Top with a mixture of 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Broil for 2-4 minutes, or until the cheese melted and starts turning golden brown. Carefully remove from the broiler and serve immediately. 



The nutritional information calculated in this recipe does not include any added salt or the 1 cup of cheese for the optional broiling step. 


Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 75mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 0.2mg