Between its use of seasonal ingredients and the fact that it comes together in just 20 minutes, this vegan butternut squash pasta recipe is a great one to have in your weeknight meal rotation this fall. Plus, it checks off all the boxes in terms of providing protein, carbs, fat, fiber, and – most importantly – flavor!
Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta Inspiration
One year Tim and I flew down to Jacksonville, FL, his hometown, to spend Thanksgiving with his parents. On Thanksgiving Eve after making cranberry sauce, pumpkin muffins, and other food for the big day (you can get these recipes and more in this Plant-Based Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup), we headed out to dinner at Taverna in San Marco. We all shared some ridiculously good brussels sprouts as well as spicy shrimp and broccolini, but the dish that inspired my vegan butternut squash pasta was the star!
As we often do, Tim and I shared a meal and chose a combo of two of their pasta dishes. We love the toppings that were listed for their ravioli, but I really wanted the fresh fettuccini, and luckily they accommodated our request. It was so good that I had to recreate it once we were home!
Why Choose Chickpea Pasta?
While many may gravitate toward legume pastas since they’re gluten free, we keep them on hand for fullness and satiety reasons. Growing up with Italian grandparents, I certainly love some fresh pasta, but because that’s a bit more challenging to make and not always as filling, we eat bean or lentil pastas on a more regular basis at home. Now with a toddler, it’s also a great way to boost iron and calcium intake since he isn’t the quickest to grab beans and lentils on his own anymore. For this vegan butternut squash pasta recipe, the texture and color of chickpea pasta made the most sense. We typically use Banza for chickpea pastas, and it’s now widely available in typical grocery stores and Target.
Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta Nutrition
On top of the extra protein offered from legume pasta, the addition of veggies and healthy fat makes this dish well balanced to keep you physically and mentally satisfied with the meal. For most of your meals, having a checklist of fiber-rich starch, adequate protein, healthy fat, color, and flavor is important.
This vegan butternut squash pasta gets additional protein from the peas and cashew parm, and even a little from the spinach. Healthy fat is infused via the butter alternative or oil as well as the cashews. In addition to the vitamin A, C, iron, and more that the vegetables provide, you’re also getting additional fiber and phytochemical antioxidants. There are tens of thousands of antioxidants that provide plant foods with their colors, so enjoy as many colors as you can each day for optimal health benefits.
Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta
- 1 Tbsp butter or non-dairy butter spread
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
- ½ medium butternut squash, cut into ¼ inch cubes (about 4 cups; alternatively can use 3 cups frozen butternut squash cubes)
- 1 8 oz package chickpea pasta
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 1 cup peas, from frozen
- 1 cup frozen spinach or kale
- 3 tbsp fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced or finely chopped
- 1 ½ tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- Heat butter over low-medium and add garlic.
- After 1 minute, add butternut squash, stir and cover. Let cook about 15 minutes, stirring every 5.
- While butternut squash is cooking, boil water and cook pasta as indicated on the package instructions.
- While pasta and squash are cooking, pulse raw cashews in a bullet blender or food processor until they reach a grated parmesan texture.
- Next add the peas to the squash once it's been cooking for 10 minutes.
- After the full 15 minutes of the vegetables cooking, add your spinach, pasta, herbs, and stir well.
- If the mixture seems dry, add a few tablespoons of broth or water, and stir well. Add the cashew parmesan to the entire dish, or when serving.