This brown butter butternut squash pasta is the ultimate comfort food, and a super simple recipe for a busy weeknight dinner. A brown butter sauce is made without tomato or cream and has a wonderful nutty flavour when cooked with the butternut squash and lots of herbs.
Brown butter is one of my go-to sauces and flavourings. If you love it too, then you may like to see my brown butter zucchini pasta and brown butter and sage chicken. Both simple and very tasty weeknight dinner ideas!
⭐ Why this pasta is so good
Pasta is such a go-to for a busy weeknight dinner, and this recipe feels quite indulgent and fun. I think you will love it because:
- All the comfort food: this has real comfort food vibes with the combination of the squash, brown butter and pasta.
- Versatile: add a source of protein as well if you like.
- Easy to make: brown butter and sage is a very simple sauce and makes this a tomato-free pasta for those who can't or prefer not to have tomatoes.
All the ingredients and their quantities are set out in the recipe card below.
The main ingredients of this butternut squash pasta are:
- Butternut squash: the main vegetable of the dish. Cut into small pieces for ease of cooking and use.
- Spaghetti pasta: you can use other forms of pasta, but spaghetti works well for this recipe.
- Butter, garlic and onion: to make the brown butter sauce.
- Thyme and sage: the fragrant herbs of the dish.
🔪 Step by step instructions
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Make the brown butter sauce, adding onion, garlic and thyme for flavour. Add the cubed butternut squash to the pan. Stir well and cook on a low-medium heat so the butter is slightly bubbling. Cook until the squash has softened, then add the sage and cook for a few more minutes.
Combine the pasta with the brown butter and sage sauce, plate up and enjoy!
💭 Recipe tips and notes
- Go slow with the brown butter sauce. Heat the butter gently, on a low heat. It will slowly brown and give off a deliciously nutty aroma.
- Dice the squash into fairly small pieces so they soak up the sauce and combine well with the pasta.
- Adjust the amount of sage to taste preference.
🍝 More tasty pasta recipes
There's no such thing as too many pasta nights in a week in my book! Enjoy my ricotta and roasted red pepper pasta or my herbed tahini pasta, as well as these recent recipes:
I'm always in the kitchen, so come join me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to be the first to hear of new recipes! And please do leave a star rating ⭐ if you tried the recipe!
Brown Butter Butternut Squash Pasta
- 1 cup butternut squash cut into 1 cm cubes
- 4 oz spaghetti pasta or pasta of your choice
- 3 tablespoon butter
- ½ white onion finely diced
- 1 garlic clove finely diced, optional
- 3 sage leaves finely diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely diced.
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste, optional
- Cook your spaghetti according to packet instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking melt the butter in a skillet at a gentle heat. When it begins to foam and bubble, add the onion, garlic and thyme. Reduce the heat slightly and stir well. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the onion has softened.
- Add the cubed butternut squash to the skillet. Stir well and cook on a low-medium heat so the butter is slightly bubbling. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the squash has softened. Add the sage and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the butternut squash mixture. Stir well to combine.
- Plate up the pasta, season with salt and pepper if using, and sprinkle over the parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Go slowly with the brown butter, keeping to a gentle heat.
- Dice the butternut squash into fairly small pieces so they soak up the sauce and cook through.
- Adjust the amount of sage to taste preference.
- If you don't have fresh sage leaves, then dried sage works well too. I would recommend using a bit less as it is more pungent dried. So around half to full tsp, depending upon your preference.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
Swiss Interest Group Histamine IntoleranceAll ingredients in this recipe for brown butter and sage butternut squash pasta score 0 on the SIGHI list with the exception of:
- wheat (for the pasta), which scores 1 and has a ? as a liberator.
- black pepper, which scores 2.
- garlic, which scores 1.
Have you ever made this without butter? I react poorly to it but I’m not sure if this would turn out as well with something like olive oil.
Hi Tara, you can only really use butter to make this sauce, as it changes in consistency and becomes nutty and flavourful. Olive oil won't have the same taste or consistency and could just be quite greasy.
This recipe is absolutely delicious and very easy to make. There is so much flavor. I made mine with zucchini. I will be making this recipe on repeat.
So glad you like it! I'll have to try it with zucchini, sounds like a lovely combination.
Sheryl Chan says
This looks so warm and nourishing, and I love buttery 😀
Definitely a good fall dish I think!
Katie Clark says
One of my favorite sides that my grandmother made is brown butter potatoes. She'd cut them up into bite-size squares , boil them, and then add teh brown butter , salt and pepper. So good. I wonder how non-dairy butter would work if trying to "brown it". I will give it a try.
Oh that does sound good! I'll have to give it a try. Not sure about non-dairy butter to be honest, but let me know how it works out if you try.
Shruti Chopra says
I had no idea that the butter I always brown (by mistake each time) is actually a thing! Now I can do it deliberately and make this! 😀
Haha! That made me laugh Shruti. Yes, it's a thing! It tastes so good doesn't it 🙂
Carrie Kellenberger says
Terrific recipe and you said the magic words for me - no tomato! I don't like them, but I also find that they cause issues, just like eggplant. This looks really yummy, Claire.
So many people with chronic illness seem to have issues with tomatoes, or at least they have said to me. It's a tomato-free zone here!