Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara


I have this problem where I want to eat bacon with everything, and so I compromise by adding it with something healthy like so. This Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara is the perfect fall meal and it will likely become a staple meal for you this time of year. It’s deliciously creamy (and no it doesn’t need eggs, it still has a wonderfully creamy texture that reminds me of classic pasta carbonara without them), it’s rich and hearty, it has the perfect balance and blend of flavors (bacon + butternut squash + sage were made for each other, think lightly sweet, perfectly salty and kissed with herbs) and it’s a meal your whole family will enjoy, even my kids gave this a big thumbs up!

Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara | Cooking Classy

The only tedious thing about this recipe to me is peeling, seeding and chopping up the squash into small cubes…it takes foreeeeever. Okay like 10 – 15 minutes, but 10 – 15 minutes can be precious these days so maybe I’ll have to try it out with the pre-cut stuff from the store to make it a quicker meal and see how it goes. Really though this pasta is so good it is most definitely worth the chopping required so don’t hesitate to try it! It is absolutely delicious and it’s the perfect comforting fall dish. And if you want to add extra bacon I won’t judge, I may or may not have added a little extra myself :).

Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara | Cooking ClassyButternut Squash Carbonara | Cooking Classy Butternut Squash Carbonara | Cooking Classy Butternut Squash Carbonara | Cooking Classy


Butternut Squash Pasta Carbonara

4.75 from 4 votes

Yield: About 5 servings


  • 6 slices (6 oz) bacon, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 small yellow onion , chopped (1 heaping cup)
  • 1 (1 3/4 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or half and half for a lighter option)
  • 14 oz dry linguine
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese , plus more for serving


  1. Cook bacon in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (reducing heat slightly if needed) until browned and crisp, add sage and toss to coat in drippings. Remove bacon and sage from skillet while leaving 2 Tbsp rendered bacon fat in skillet, transfer bacon and sage to a plate lined with paper towels, set aside.
  2. Add onions to drippings in skillet and saute over medium-high heat 2 minutes, then add squash, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally 7 minutes (onions should be beginning to brown lightly). Add in garlic and cook, tossing occasionally, 2 minutes longer. Pour in chicken broth, sprinkle in nutmeg and bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer until broth has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook linguine to al dente in a large pot of salted water according to directions on package (ideally time it so pasta finishes cooking nearly the same time as the sauce is finished in the next step below). Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  4. Let simmered squash mixture cool for a few minutes then transfer mixture to a blender (reserve skillet) and add cream to blender (with hot liquids your blender should be no more than half full so if you have a smaller blender work in two batches), cover with lid then remove lids center insert. While holding a folded kitchen towel over lid blend mixture until smooth.
  5. In reserved skillet combined drained pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water. Cook over medium heat, tossing and adding in more pasta water to thin as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Toss in 1/3 cup parmesan, season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate and serve pasta topped with parmesan, bacon, sage and more pepper.
  6. Recipe source: adapted slightly from Bon Appetit


  • Jennifer Berkey: That’s creamy look!! Can’t resist the lure of it, sure will try it on my own! September 13, 2016 at 12:33am Reply

  • Bryn: We have frozen butternut squash in the freezer section of our store. Soooo much better than the precut. September 13, 2016 at 4:29am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’ll have to check and see if I can find that. Thanks for the tip! September 13, 2016 at 10:58am Reply

    • Autumn: That’s a GREAT idea–I hate peeling and cutting up squash, it kills my hands (arthritis). I’ll bet a can of pumpkin would work too. September 13, 2016 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Tori//Gringalicious: YES, just yes! This is everything I could ever ask for in a pasta and then some! September 13, 2016 at 6:41am Reply

  • Stephanie @ Velez Delights: Looks delicious! :) September 14, 2016 at 6:10am Reply

  • Rachel {Six Clever Sisters}: Oh yum!! This is very similar to a dish that my husband and I get at an Italian restaurant here in Greece – and we love it, so this is going on my menu for next week! September 14, 2016 at 1:59pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Rachel! September 14, 2016 at 2:45pm Reply

  • Alus: It looks delicious ! To make a soup I don’t peel butternut squash September 16, 2016 at 4:01am Reply

  • Kathy Pimmel: Made this tonight. It is delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. September 25, 2016 at 6:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed it Kathy! Thanks for your comment! September 26, 2016 at 11:27am Reply

  • Bharat Ratna: This looks HEAVENLY. Such a beautiful photo, too! Wow!! Gorgeous!! :) Sharing!! October 2, 2016 at 2:01am Reply

  • Jennifer: I made this tonight and it was SO GOOD! I had to use spaghetti noodles instead of linguine because I have boxes upon boxes of spaghetti, from gleaning. When my son looked at his plate he said “there’s too much cheese in this mom, but I’ll ignore that because there’s bacon on top.” Mom win for a perfectly hidden veggie! Thank you for the recipe! Every recipe I’ve cooked from your blog always turns out fantastic. :) October 2, 2016 at 8:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Jennifer! October 3, 2016 at 10:06am Reply

  • Teri: Hi, can this sauce be made in advance? October 13, 2016 at 4:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tried but I think that would be fine since it’s mostly squash based. October 13, 2016 at 5:13pm Reply

  • Jen: I found this to be very bland. It was a ton of work and came out tasting like a glorified mac & cheese. Sorry, but this wasn’t a hit in my house and I’ve had many successss with Pinterest recipes. October 14, 2016 at 4:52am Reply

  • Beverly: I made this tonite, followed the recipe exactly and it was Way, way too thick and had a paste-like texture. Not sure what went wrong. I am open to try again and just adjust purée/liquid ratio. November 10, 2016 at 7:15pm Reply

    • Michelle: Because I had to make it differently for a vegan, I added less cream and more veggie broth or if you used chicken broth or stock…I added fluids to thin it out.. January 15, 2017 at 11:15pm Reply

  • Michelle: I made this tonight for dinner for a veggie hater and a vegan and then me, who loves it all! For the vegan, I cooked the squash and onion, etc and made sauce separately and added just a dab of cream. No bacon. For the veggie hater, I had the bacon and also added chicken to the majority recipe and both tasted great! January 15, 2017 at 11:14pm Reply

  • Ute: This was so good. I used my butternut squash puree from my field goods delivery company. Added also marsala wine and added half and half and the bacon without blending it. My family love it. Had regular spaghetti and homemade garlic bread with it. Super good!!!! January 20, 2017 at 5:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family loved it! Thanks for reporting back. January 25, 2017 at 10:32am Reply

  • Kimberly: Yummmmmmmmm! With a few edits I made this dish Weight Watchers friendly and it was just what the doctor ordered! Thank you so much for this sweet and salty dish of amazingness. February 16, 2017 at 6:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great! I’m glad you loved it Kimberley! February 27, 2017 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Yvonne: Why are you talking about pealing and chopping and dicing the butternut squash when the pictures clearly show that it has been spiralized? am I missing something? March 23, 2017 at 2:45am Reply

    • Anna: I think you’re seeing the linguine.. September 20, 2017 at 4:29pm Reply

  • Brittni S.: Yummy!! Made this tonight. I added mushrooms, bell peppers and chicken (husband is a meat lover :)) so delicious! I think next time I will finish it off with a sprinkling of goat cheese. Thanks for the recipe! July 21, 2017 at 7:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great suggestions – Glad you loved it! July 26, 2017 at 2:30pm Reply

  • Katie: LOVED this recipe. Made it last night for dinner, but used zoodles (spiralized zucchini) instead of pasta to make it gluten free friendly, and topped it with a little goat cheese instead of the extra Parmesan. Sooo good. My non gluten free roommate didn’t even miss the pasta, it went well together. August 14, 2017 at 10:13am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sounds great!! August 15, 2017 at 12:22pm Reply

    • Theresa Lamson: I just spireled the butternut sausage, first time doing this, and would like to use it for my pasta..should I sauté the butternut squash in a pan first or should I put in into a dish and bake it’s?????? January 28, 2018 at 8:39am Reply

  • Jenny: Hands down an amazingly delicious and comforting food! My whole family loved it. I used canned squash to save time and would definitely make more bacon next time. September 27, 2017 at 7:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Bring on the bacon! So glad you loved the pasta carbonara Jenny! September 28, 2017 at 10:55am Reply

  • Margie: I made this on Tuesday and everyone in my family loved it! My 7 year old daughter kept taking huge bites like can I fit this all in my mouth and my husband who doesn’t like butternut squash had two big bowls of it. Thank you for another great recipe! October 27, 2017 at 7:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family liked it Margie! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review, I appreciate it! October 27, 2017 at 10:27am Reply

  • Kelly: This looks fantastic!!! Any dairy-free substitutes you might suggest instead of using cream? November 6, 2017 at 7:28pm Reply

  • Marilyn: To avoid all the difficult chopping, I baked the squash, then scoop it out and proceed as directed. Instead of transferring to a blender, I used an immersion blender in the pan the squash, onions are cooking. January 11, 2018 at 5:26pm Reply

  • Melissa Legard: I made this for dinner today. I find this recipe too fattening so I used bacon bits since I don’t buy bacon and used light cream instead. I love meals with squash in it. It was good. June 14, 2018 at 4:51pm Reply

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