This Butternut Squash Sauce is a little unexpected and is so flavorful that it can win over almost any squash hater. Pair it with a salad and you’ve got a quick weeknight meal.
Recipe by former contributor Emily of One Lovely Life
Creating this Butternut Squash Sauce
I’m on a mission to help my family try new vegetables.
It’s a challenge with two toddlers at home, one of whom is a problem feeder who struggles with sensory issues, to the point that we’ve been consulting with several feeding therapists through the last few years.
- Keep mealtimes as low-pressure as you can.
- Present a variety of foods at the table with at least 1-2 things you know your child likes, so you know they’ll eat SOMETHING.
- Encourage them to try bites of the vegetables or new foods you’re experimenting with. If possible, encourage the “one bite” rule, but don’t create a battle scene.
- If no one wants to even try it, you can say “That’s okay, maybe next time” or “All right. There’s plenty of (insert foods they do like) on the table for you to eat.”
I’ve found that mealtimes are so much less stressful when I know that no one will starve (there’s always at least something that everyone likes on the table.
Even if it means having the same fruit or a piece of toast at more meals than I’d choose), that I’m exposing us to new flavors, and that we don’t have to fight about it.
Rather than a battle of wills over the food, we can spend that energy enjoying a meal together (and, let’s be honest, having a battle of wills over all the other things you do when you’ve got an opinionated toddler at home).
Why We Love this Recipe for Butternut Squash Sauce
Pasta is a big win for lots of children, and I’ve found that it’s a great vehicle for trying new flavors. This velvety butternut squash sauce is a delicious example of that.
The flavor of the sausage melts together with the creaminess of the squash, the sweet richness of the caramelized onions, and a bit of brightness from a splash of balsamic vinegar.
I roll the sausage into tiny 1-inch meatballs here before browning. That way, I can serve the little meatballs on the side for my little ones, or pile them on top of the pasta for the grown-ups.
Thanks to a spin in the blender, there aren’t any texture issues to deal with here. The sauce is silky smooth and divine. For my little ones, I serve the pasta on the plate with a little dish of sauce to dip into.
It’s a bit messy, but visually it keeps everything separated and allows them to explore things at their own pace without feeling like the sauce has “contaminated” their other food.
My son (who hates pasta–what!?) eats this sauce with a spoon. So do I!
While it’s great for kids, this is also a great meal for a dinner party. Pasta keeps things simple, and the sauce can be made ahead of time to help streamline the process at crunch time.
Tools Needed to Make this Butternut Squash Sauce
- Vegetable Peeler – to peel the butternut squash.
- Cutting Board and Sharp Knife – to cut the squash into cubes.
- Baking Sheet – to roast the cubed butternut squash.
- Immersion Blender, Food Processor, or High-Speed Blender – to blend the butternut squash and onion mixture.
- Large Skillet – to cook the sausage and the sauce.
- Large Pot of Water – to cook the pasta.
Ingredients in this Simple Butternut Squash Sauce
This butternut sauce is made with simple ingredients. Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to make it:
- Fresh Butternut Squash
- Sage Pork Sausage
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Vegetable Broth or Chicken Stock
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Fresh Sage
For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions to make this easy winter squash sauce recipe, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.
What Type of Pasta Should I Serve with this Sauce?
You can use whatever your favorite pasta shape is. We prefer shaped pasta (like Ziti, Penne, or Farfalle) to noodles, but noodles will also work fine. You can even use this as a butternut squash ravioli sauce!
If you’re gluten-free, serve this Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce with gluten-free pasta.
How to Make this Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce Recipe
First, you’ll roast cubed butternut squash until fork tender.
While the squash roasts, cook the sausage. Then, you’ll cook the onion until caramelized.
After that, add stock to the pan, stir up with the onions and any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Then, blend with the roasted butternut squash until you have a smooth sauce.
After that, add the balsamic vinegar to the pureed butternut squash mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Return the sauce to the pan with the sausage and let simmer. Serve sauce with cooked pasta (cooked al dente according to package instructions).
The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.
Meal Prep Tips for Butternut Squash Sauce
Busy day or like to meal prep earlier in the week for your meals all week long? Here are my tips for this butternut squash sauce recipe:
- purchase fresh, already cubed butternut squash to save time (no peeling/cutting).
- cook the sausage a day or two before and store in the refrigerator.
- prepare the sauce up to 2 days in advance.
Can I Make this a Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce?
Most likely! I haven’t tried it yet, however. If I were to experiment with making this butternut squash sauce creamy, I would try one of these ideas:
- substitute half of the broth for half and half.
- make the recipe is and add a splash of heavy cream and a little parmesan cheese to stir in at the end.
If you try one of these ideas, let me know how it goes in the comments section so I can share your feedback with others!
What to Serve With Butternut Squash Sauce
Want some veggie side dish ideas to round out your meal? These recipes would taste great with this pasta dish:
Italian Mixed Green Salad – A mix of arugula, radicchio and baby kale is tossed with a simple lemon Dijon vinaigrette, crispy prosciutto and, parmesan.
Roasted Broccoli – Roasting broccoli, adds a delicious nutty flavor that when paired with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper is perfect in its simplicity.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts – a fantastic side dish that is full of delicious flavor — caramelized, roasted Brussels sprouts, savory bacon, and tangy balsamic vinegar.
Braised Kale – an easy fall side dish that takes all of 20 minutes to prepare! Apple and walnuts add flavor and texture, while vinegar adds a slight tanginess.
How to Store Leftover Butternut Squash Sauce
Leftovers of this creamy sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
This butternut sauce can also be stored in the freezer – perfect if you like to batch cook and stock your freezer for future meals.
Try this Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce!
Next time you’re looking for savory sauce with fall flavors, give this Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta a try! It’s a great change of pace for pasta night and might just surprise you.
Did you think it was the perfect fall comfort food? Leave a comment below and give it a star rating for others to see what you thought of this delicious pasta sauce.
On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo of this pasta dish!
More Butternut Squash Recipes
Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Stuffing is a fantastic vegetarian and gluten-free stuffing recipe loaded with tons of veggies and flavors.
Roasted butternut squash and garlic are pureed with onion, carrot, broth, and half and half for a silky smooth, creamy, savory Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.
This Roasted Butternut Squash Salad is so full of color! The sweet and salty bites of squash pair well with the juicy pomegranate arils and the bold Roquefort cheese.
This creamy Butternut Squash Risotto features leeks, butternut squash, and mascarpone cheese with a touch of fresh thyme and parmesan cheese.
Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can always head over to check out the recipe index to look for more recipes.
What’s your favorite trick for helping picky eaters try new foods?
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled and diced Butternut Squash
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 16 oz bulk Sage Sausage
- 1 Yellow Onion, diced
- 4 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 - 2 cups Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Sage, minced
- Sea Salt, to taste
- Black Pepper, to taste
- 12-16 ounces of Cooked Pasta
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to coat well.
- Spread the diced butternut squash out onto a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until fork tender and lightly browned. Stir once or twice during the roasting process for more even browning.
- While the squash is roasting, brown the sausage in a large skillet. Cook sausage through and remove to a plate.
- Drain extra fat from the pan, leaving any drippings or browned bits.
- Add onion to the same pan and cook, stirring regularly, over medium-low heat until onion is caramelized and tender. This process will take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.
- Add additional olive oil to the pan as needed if the onion starts to stick.
- Pour 1 cup of broth into the pan and stir to lift up any remaining browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer onion and broth mixture to a blender.
- When the squash is finished roasting, add it to the blender with the onion and vegetable stock mixture.
- Add 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Puree until sauce is very, very smooth.
- Taste and add additional salt, pepper, or balsamic vinegar as desired.
- If the sauce seems too thick, or is having difficulty blending, add additional vegetable stock to the blender until you've reached your desired thickness.
- Add the sauce back to the the skillet. Then, stir the sausage in and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- After that, stir in the fresh sage. Serve the sauce with your favorite pasta. Sauce makes enough to coat 12-16 oz of pasta.
Cooking the Sausage for this Butternut Squash Sauce
You can cook the sausage like ground beef, or you can roll the sausage into small bite sized balls (like sausage meatballs) and cook them until browned on all sides.
Picky Eater Tips for this Butternut Squash Sauce
For little eaters, I serve pasta on a plate with a little cup of this sauce to dip, and the sausage on the side.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 524mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 33gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.