Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

It is quite the orange week around these parts – food-wise, at least. On Monday we had sweet potato salsa, and today we’re making use of my other favorite orange vegetable, butternut squash. Aaaand Friday will bring more squash! I guess I just can’t get enough.

Will I turn orange by the end of the winter? Most likely.

As an aside, orange is actually one of my least favorite colors (except when it comes to food!), but I briefly considered using it in our wedding when we were planning it for October. Mostly because, in addition to loving orange veggies, I apparently love orange flowers. I will say, though, that changing venues and ending up with a September date was quite a relief. Better weather and no need to have any sort of fall theme! I’m one of those girls who has dreamed about her wedding since she was little (ashamed to admit it), and a fall wedding just wasn’t what I’d envisioned. Nix on the orange!

September is quite far away, of course, and in the meantime I will stuff myself with orange foods. Mmmm.

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

This pasta sauce is my version of Dave’s Gourmet butternut squash pasta sauce, which I had for the first time at a friend’s house last week. Yum! I knew as soon as I tasted it that I’d have to recreate it for you guys. And luckily the ingredient list was nice and short, making it easy to replicate at home. Now, I’m not sure it tastes exactly the same, but this version is pretty excellent, if I do say so myself.

What I love about this pasta sauce is the combination of tomato and butternut squash flavors. It tastes like a pasta sauce… yet also like squash. Does that make sense? I hope so, because I really can’t think of anything better to smother a bowl of ziti in.

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

This sauce also has roasted red pepper, garlic, and a couple other veggies for flavor. Don’t be afraid of the amount of garlic! This is pasta sauce, you know… and I’m pretty sure if you’re Italian, you’ll double the garlic anyway :)

Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and you have a hearty, wintery bowl of squashy goodness!

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

5.0 from 2 reviews
Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
Yields: 3 1/2 cups sauce
For the sauce:
  • 3 cups packed roasted butternut squash (from about 1/2 of a large squash)*
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers* (jarred or see below for roasting instructions)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 1 cup water
For serving:
  • pasta
  • parmesan cheese
  1. Melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and celery and saute until onion is translucent. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add tomato paste, sugar, and salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Saute another minute. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of a food processor (or blender) along with squash, roasted red pepper, and lemon. Process, streaming in water as necessary to achieve desired consistency. I like to let mine run for a few minutes for a smoother texture.
  2. Serve atop pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
*To roast the squash: Preheat oven to 425. Cut a large (about 4-lb) butternut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Place cut side-down in a glass baking dish and fill with 1//2 inch of water. Bake until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
*To roast the red peppers: Preheat broiler. Cut pepper in quarters and remove veins and seeds. Place on a baking sheet covered in tin foil with skin facing up. Broil until skin is completely blackened, 6-10 minutes, depending on your broiler. Remove from oven and place pepper in a Ziploc bag. Zip and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Peel off skin and discard. I used about 1/2 of a pepper.


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  1. says

    This sounds great! I’ve always wanted to try a mac and cheese but 86 the cheese and use butternut squash instead. I’ve been told it’s a great alternative (and healthier one!). Congrats again on the engagement and the upcoming nuptials! I always dreamed of having my wedding in October since that’s my favorite month and the month of both REB and my birthdays! However, living in an supremely large college town meant risking having our wedding on a home football game weekend. No thanks. Plus, fun fact! Indian wedding dates are often determined by astrological signs and times of birth of the bride and groom. It’s weird but kinda cool. That’s how end of August became the time for our wedding haha. Good luck in your planning! :)

  2. says

    YUM! LOVE that squatternut bosh…errr…I mean butternut squash! I’ve only made bns sauce once and loved it, so I’ll have to revisit! Orange is one of my least faves too…it looks awful on me, so I just steer clear. But I’ll shmear orange bns sauce all over my food any dern day! :)

  3. says

    I absolutely love using squash to make sauces. I have made a butternut squash mac and cheese in the past which was delicious. I am going to have to give this one a try. I am fairly certain there is really no way that I couldn’t not like it :).

  4. says

    I love Dave’s Gourmet sauce but I’ve never tried the butternut. Now I don’t need to try it. :) I’m sure yours is much more affordable and it sounds perfect in every way.

    Orange isn’t my favorite color either but I could see it fitting nice with a fall wedding. I can’t wait to see what colors you end up choosing!!

  5. ShareBear says

    This recipe sounds great! I’m gonna try it soon. Do you have a rough idea of the quantities for the onion and the lemon juice? Because they come in different sizes and juice content I’m afraid of added too much (or too little!). Thanks!

  6. ShareBear says

    Sounds like a great recipe! Could you give me a rough idea of the quantities for the onion and the lemon? I’m hesitant to add too much (or too little). Thanks!

  7. May says

    just made this last night was very delish thank you I loved the addition of roasted red pepper :) I didn’t add celery coz I didnt have but still was great thanks.

  8. Nancy says

    Just made this and it is wonderful! You are right it tastes like tomatoes and butternut squash! Because I enjoy a little heat I added some crush red pepper when cooking the onions and celery. Like the bowl clean,yummy!

  9. Maha says

    I just came across your recipe this weekend and was very excited to try it. I love Dave’s Gourmet butternut squash pasta sauce and have been hoping to find a recipe similar enough to give it try on my own. I made your recipe for tonight’s dinner and my husband and son LOVED it. My son wants me to make it more often. I really enjoyed it too, but I felt like it was missing just a little robustness. It’s still a definite keeper for sure! Since I was doing a marathon cooking weekend, I opted to pressure cook the squash instead of roast it (maybe that’s why I felt like something was missing?), I used jarred red bell peppers and increased the sugar by about 2 tsp. I also added nearly 1/2 tsp citric acid and this really pumped up the flavor. Thank you so much for posting your recipe!


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