Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

This cheesy butternut squash pasta sauce makes a great alternative to macaroni and cheese. It’s dairy free, super flavorful and doesn’t even require a pot. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

creamy, butternut squash pasta sauce on elbow macaroni in a white bowl

Cheesy butternut squash pasta sauce

This whole mac and cheese conundrum has got my wheels spinning and I just can’t seem to get it quite right. I know that I could use vegan cheeses and make something pretty good, but I really do try to stick with more natural options when I can. So when I saw riced butternut squash at the grocery store, I thought it would be a great way to make a super simple, cheesy butternut squash pasta sauce.

I’ve had quite a bit of success with similar sauces. I used butternut squash for pasta before, and I’ve made pumpkin pasta with Italian sausage and spinach and sweet potato to make a creamy sauce. My goal was to make a cheesy-tasting pasta sauce that was super simple and relatively healthy, and I think I achieved that. And, you don’t even need to dirty a pot to make the sauce, so it can’t get much better than that.

More dairy free pasta recipes: dairy free alfredo sauce / pasta carbonara / blt pasta salad / penne bolognese

a large cup with the ingredients of butternut squash pasta sauce, coconut milk being poured into it

How do you make butternut squash pasta sauce?

Cook the butternut squash. riced butternut squashI used a frozen package of for my pasta sauce. I popped it into the microwave for 6 minutes (per the package instructions), and transferred the cooked squash to a blender jar. If you don’t have this option, you can roast your butternut squash in the oven for about 45 minutes at 400˚F (or until it’s nice and tender).

Blend with the remaining ingredients. After transferring your cooked squash to a blender, you need to blend them until smooth. I used my immersion blender, and the cup that came with it, but you could also use a regular blender. Blend until smooth, and add to pasta just before serving.

creamy, butternut squash pasta sauce on cooked elbow macaroni in a skillet.

Tips for making butternut squash pasta sauce

  • Be sure to really blend your sauce well to make sure you aren’t getting any lumps.
  • If you want super creamy pasta, hold off on tossing your pasta with the sauce until you’re ready to serve. Dairy free sauces tend to get absorbed more quickly into the pasta, meaning they’re going to dry out faster than traditional mac and cheese.
  • Want to bake your pasta? Add a little extra broth or coconut milk to the sauce. Toss the pasta, and top it with seasoned breadcrumbs. Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes at 350˚F. Just make sure your breadcrumbs are dairy free.

Butternut squash pasta sauce on elbow macaroni in a white bowl, optimized for Pinterest with text

Substitutions and alternatives

  • Since this butternut squash pasta sauce is already gluten free, you can easily swap your pasta to make the whole dish celiac friendly. You’ll also need to make sure the broth you use is gluten free.
  • If you can’t use coconut milk, you can easily swap cashew cream, or even dairy-based cream (if it’s safe for you).
  • I have used chicken broth in my recipe, but you can easily use vegetable broth to make this completely vegan. I just had chicken broth on hand.

creamy, butternut squash pasta sauce on elbow macaroni in a white bowl

Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: about 3 cups 1x


Butternut squash pasta sauce | This easy, vegan recipe uses coconut milk and  a creamy, dairy free sauce that’s a healthy alternative to macaroni and cheese. #butternutsquash #dairyfree



  • 1 10-ounce package frozen riced butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons – 1/4 cup chicken broth


  1. Cook the riced butternut squash according to package directions.* Transfer to a blender.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until completely smooth.
  3. Add to pasta just before serving.


If you can’t find frozen butternut squash, roast 10 ounces of cubed butternut squash in a 400˚F oven for about 45 minutes (or until soft).


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  • Reply
    March 24, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Amazing!!!! It is soooooo good! When you’re craving cheesy mac and cheese, this is the perfect dairy free substitute

  • Reply
    Brittany Baisley
    June 24, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    How Much Pasta should i cook? Would one recipe be enough for 2 adults and 1 toddler?

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      June 24, 2019 at 8:08 pm

      The recipe should make enough for a full pound of macaroni!

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