Creamy butternut squash alfredo sauce has all of the cheesy richness you would expect in a good Alfredo with a lighter twist. The butternut squash brings great color and a little bit of a sweet and earthy undertone that makes it extra delicious.
Give traditional fettuccine alfredo and autumnal twist with the addition of butternut squash. Serve it as an entrée or as a side dish for almost any main dish.
After seeing recipes like acorn squash mac and cheese, I am sure you know that we love the combination of squash, pasta and cheese. So seeing butternut squash in a creamy sauce shouldn’t be a huge surprise.
This time of year we always stock up on local winter squash before the farm stands close. So then we are on a mission for to work a little bit into every dish for a few months.
Our favorite alfredo sauce recipe was my birthday request for probably a solid decade. So you know it is sacred around here.
So messing with such a good thing is a hard sell at our table. But we have so much butternut squash, we had to give it a go.
This butternut squash pasta sauce is still every bit as smooth and creamy as you would want it to be. Plus it coats the pasta nicely, it is a fabulous healthier alternative!
Why add butternut squash?
Well first, because we have a ton of it and it tastes good. But also it is a great way to sneak an extra serving of vegetables onto the dinner table.
The squash adds nutrition and body to the sauce while reducing the calories of the all dairy versions. Plus butternut squash adds potassium and fiber to the dish which your blood pressure and digestive system will thank you for.
Plus the sauce is still fast and easy. Just cook the butternut squash with a little bit of butter, cream and water.
Once the squash is fork tender use an immersion blender to blend into into a smooth sauce. Or spoon it into a regular blender, but be careful because the mixture is hot and the steam can build up pressure.
Add the pasta and Parmesan cheese. Use a little pasta water to thin it out if needed.
The starch in the pasta water will help the sauce to really stick to the pasta. It’s like a magic trick that helps sauces.
Substitutions and Additions for Butternut Squash Sauce
Nutmeg is a traditional addition to cream sauces. Of course it goes well with squash as well.
So it is a natural addition to this sauce. However, if you want a more traditional alfredo flavor feel free to leave it out and highlight the garlic instead.
If you are using fresh garlic cloves, cook it in the butter until the garlic is fragrant. Then cook the rest of the recipe as written.
Fresh rosemary would be another fabulous flavor addition. Steep a small sprig while cooking the squash and remove it before blending for a big flavor punch. Or try adding a couple of small sage leaves.
Feel free to use whatever cooked pasta you like. We like whole wheat, but you can easily use gluten free or your personal preference.
Also use any shape. Fettuccine is a classic with alfredo but we also like rotini or penne.
This pasta dish is great on its own. But it is also great with traditional Alfredo additions.
Throw some cooked chicken in to make it a meal. Shrimp would be fabulous as well.
When I made the penne version for the video, I stirred in bits of Italian sausage and that was delicious. The possibilities are endless.
Much like in pumpkin pepper jack macaroni and cheese, bacon would bring a nice smoky addition to this dish as well. Sprinkle some crumbled bacon on top for a next level experience.
More butternut squash recipes
Make delicious roasted butternut squash quickly and easily in your air fryer. This easy recipe is a great way to get a flavorful veggie side on your dinner plate!
Butternut risotto is the perfect fall comfort food. It is fancy enough for a dinner party but is all the creamy, comforting goodness you want it to be.
Brown sugar butternut squash highlights the inherent sweetness of the squash. Butter and brown sugar are sure to make it a hit.
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Butternut Squash Alfredo Sauce
- 1 pound butternut squash cubed (approximately 4 cups)
- 1 pound fettuccine
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt to taste
- Add the squash, heavy cream, butter and ¾ cup of water to a large saucepan, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and let cook until the squash is tender enough to be broken with a fork.
- Add to blender or use an immersion blender to puree until creamy and smooth. Add the nutmeg, garlic, pepper and kosher salt.
- In the meantime, cook the fettuccine in a large pot of salted water to al dente according to the package instructions. Before straining, reserve about ¾ cup of the pasta water.
- Add the strained pasta and parmesan to the pureed squash mixture and stir until well coated. If you need to thin the sauce, add the reserved pasta water a little bit at a time.
- Sprinkle nutmeg and parmesan on pasta before serving if desired.