Quick Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage – Yummy Toddler Food

butternut-squash-pasta-in-white-bowl-and-teal-bowls

With an easy cooking method that takes less than 20 minutes, this Butternut Squash Pasta is a healthy and yummy family dinner. There are a few variations so you can customize it for your family according to preferences and any allergies you may have!

butternut-squash-pasta-in-white-bowl-and-teal-bowls

Pasta with Butternut Squash

I love my pasta with all sorts of veggies, leafy greens, and sauce, but my girls are much more in the less-is-more camp. One loves broccoli and the other loves butternut squash, so this dish covers all my bases. And it’s perfect for when squash are plentiful at the market—or when you see those handy precut bags all ready to go.

This recipe is quick and easy because inevitably cooking dinner also requires navigating the kitchen with a toddler attached to my legs, helping my 5-year-old with an art project, and attempting to say hello to my husband. This pasta recipe is exactly the type of family meal we eat most nights.

You can add broccoli florets or peas. You can also make this vegetarian if you’d prefer to skip the sausage. See the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for lots of options.

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe you’ll need the following ingredients.

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  • Pasta: I like to use shell pasta in this recipe, but other shapes like rotini, penne, or another pasta of a similar size also work.
  • Olive oil: I use extra-virgin olive oil to sauté the vegetables. You can also use butter if you prefer.
  • Butternut squash: You can use either precut from the store or a whole butternut squash that you chop up.
  • Fully cooked mild Italian sausage: Or you could use bulk raw sausage if you prefer.
  • Broccoli florets or frozen peas: You can add either of these, optionally.
  • Parmesan cheese: For serving.

TIP: You can top the pasta with additional Parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper, and even crushed red pepper if you like spice.

how-to-make-butternut-squash-pasta-step-by-step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process involved in making this easy recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.

  1. Cut the squash and sausage to similar-sized pieces.
  2. Cook the squash and sausage in a medium skillet.
  3. Meanwhile cook the pasta. Add the broccoli or peas for the last few minutes of cooking. Reserve some of the cooking water and drain.
  4. Stir the pasta and veggies into the squash mixture. Add the reserved water and Parmesan. Serve warm.

TIP: The pasta cooking water and cheese coats the pasta really nicely!

What’s the best sausage to use in this recipe?

I like to use fully cooked mild Italian sausage links simply because it saves you the step of having to cook it. It’s easy to cut into rounds with kitchen scissors or a knife, and it’s widely available at grocery stores. You could use bulk sausage and cook it through before stirring in the pasta.

Vegetarian Butternut Squash Pasta

To make this vegetarian, omit the sausage and add a can of white beans or chickpeas. (Drain and rinse the beans for the best flavor.). To make it vegan, skip the cheese at the end. You could top with a sprinkle of nuts or just enjoy as is.

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How to Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the fridge and warm to serve.

Best Tips for Success

  • Cut the sausage rounds in half to make them easier for toddlers to eat.
  • Use any type of pasta your family prefers.
  • You can use fresh or frozen broccoli florets.
  • To make this vegetarian, trade in a drained and rinsed can of white beans or chickpeas.
  • Find tips on how to cut a butternut squash, or use a bag of precut squash from the produce section of your supermarket.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons butter after draining in Step 3 to add more richness and flavor if desired.

Related Recipes


I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe so please share any questions or comments below.

butternut-squash-pasta-in-white-bowl-and-teal-bowls
  • Warm the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and sausage and toss to coat.

  • Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring at least once, or until the squash is soft when poked with a fork.

  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. If using broccoli, add it to the pot for the last 3 minutes of cooking. If using peas, add them for the last minute of cooking. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.

  • Stir the pasta and vegetables into the squash and sausage. Add the cooking water and the Parmesan and stir to create a creamy pasta dish.

  • Serve warm with additional salt and pepper, as desired, and additional Parmesan cheese.

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the fridge and warm to serve.
  • Cut the sausage rounds in half to make them easier for toddlers to eat.
  • Use any type of pasta your family prefers.
  • You can use fresh or frozen broccoli florets.
  • To make this vegetarian, trade in a drained and rinsed can of white beans or chickpeas.
  • Find tips on how to cut a butternut squash here, or use a bag of precut squash from the produce section of your supermarket.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons butter after draining in Step 3 to add more richness and flavor if desired.

Calories: 465kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 421mg, Potassium: 644mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 10161IU, Vitamin C: 41mg, Calcium: 145mg, Iron: 2mg

This post was first published in September 2020.


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