Fall, Main Dishes, recipes, vegetarian

Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe With Vegan Ground Meat

Let me introduce you to the perhaps creamiest pasta sauce in the world. This delicious butternut squash pasta recipe is incomparably creamy and flavorful thanks to the roasted butternut squash and tomato sauce. Additionally, fresh tomatoes and Mediterranean herbs give this bolognese a typical Italian flair. And vegan ground meat provides the necessary proteins. Therefore, this vegetarian pasta has everything a healthy dish requires and it tastes delicious. So, let me show you how to make it…

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butternut squash pasta recipe with vegan minced meat and Italian herbs
vegetarian Bolognese sauce with butternut squash, tomatoes and Italian herbs

Eating More Veggies

Let’s be honest! We all have those days where we do not eat enough veggies. Whether it’s because we’re on the road all day, because we’ve been out to eat, don’t feel like cooking or don’t have time, or just because we fancy a delicious dish that isn’t as rich in vitamins.

And honestly, that’s okay sometimes. If we keep our diet nutrient-dense and balanced most days, those days don’t matter either.

Nevertheless, I would like to talk a bit more about eating healthy and maintaining a healthy diet on this blog in the future. And most importantly, I want to give you some very specific tips on how to eat healthier on a day-to-day basis without much effort and certainly without sacrifice. And I thought this recipe would be perfect to introduce you to those JBR plans ahead of time. Because one of my favorite concepts is implemented by this butternut squash pasta recipe.

Healthy And Well-Balanced Pasta Dishes

Pasta recipes are perfect to introduce yourself, your kids our your significant other to including more vegetables in your diet. I mean, we all love to have a plate of pasta served with a delicious sauce. At least for me, it’s all you need to make me happy. And if there is pasta and a yummy sauce, I bet most of use don’t care that much about the rest of the dish.

Therefore, my tip is that you try to sneak one to three different types of vegetables into one of your favorite pasta dishes. And if you need some inspiration for that, just check out my pasta category or my free pasta eBook. Because every single one of the recipes, tries to implement this trick.

And moreover, this creamy butternut squash pasta recipe proves that this little trick works perfectly for famous classic Italian pasta dishes, too. Instead of a plain tomato sauce this recipe comes with a creamy sauce made form roasted butternut squash as well as from fresh and strained tomatoes. Not only does this add more veggies to our plate, in a form we don’t even notice, but it also makes us feel more satiated. So, without further ado let’s dive right into this creamy butternut squash pasta recipe!

Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe

The key to this creamy butternut squash pasta recipe is that we first roast the squash in the oven. Thereby it develops its delicious buttery-nutty flavor and becomes nicely soft. This way we can blend him with the strained tomatoes to create an incomparably creamy sauce.

For two servings of this butternut squash pasta recipe, you will need …

  • 400 grams or 14 oz of butternut squash
  • two teaspoons of olive oil
  • one large shallot and one clove of garlic
  • 180 grams or 6.5 oz of vegan/vegetarian ground meat
  • 140 grams or 5 oz of whole wheat pasta (e.g. penne or rigatoni)
  • 200 grams or 7 oz of cherry tomatoes
  • one tablespoon of tomato paste
  • one and a half tablespoon of fat reduced cream cheese (or a vegan alternative)
  • salt, pepper
  • half a teaspoon each of dried thyme and dried rosemary, one teaspoon of oregano
  • optional to serve fresh arugula, parmesan or pecorino cheese
Ingredients for a vegetarian butternut squash pasta recipe
Ingredients for this butternut squash pasta recipe

Vegetarian Bolognese With Butternut Squash

Before we dive into this butternut squash pasta recipe, I like to mention that you can choose whether you use a Hokkaido pumpkin or a butternut squash for this pasta. Certainly, the recipe works just as well with a Hokkaido pumpkin. However, the difference is in the nutritional values. While butternut squash is only around 20 calories per 100 grams, Hokkaido is up to 70 calories. If you add this to the entire dish, which has already pasta as a source of carbohydrates, it will make some difference in the end. So, if you want to save some calories, you should go for the butternut squash here.

In addition, you should take a look at the nutritional value table when buying a vegan ground meat substitute since there are big differences between the individual products. So, make sure you pay some attention to that and maybe buy on that is more on the lower calorie side.

Here’s how to make the vegetarian butternut squash pasta!

First step for this butternut squash pasta recipe is preparing the squash. And you actually just need half of a medium to small squash for this. So, cut of the skin and scrape out the seeds. Cut the flesh into small 1 to 2 cm cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Add a teaspoon of oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper and combine them with the squash. Place the squash in the preheated oven at 400°F or 200°C for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can already take care of the chopping work for this butternut squash pasta recipe. Peel the shallot and the garlic and cut both into fine cubes. Also wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. Ten to five minutes before the pumpkin is ready, boil a pot of water for the pasta and add a teaspoon of oil to a frying pan. Fry the onion and garlic cubes with a pinch of salt over medium-high heat until translucent. Then add the ground beef and fry over medium heat for four to five minutes until crispy. Next, reduce the heat a bit, add the tomatoes and stir regularly. As soon as the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions.

Creamy Squash Pasta Sauce

Once the squash is nice and soft, you can take it out of the oven and let it cool for a minute or two. Then put the cubes in a blender or food processor along with the strained tomatoes and 100 ml of water and puree until smooth. Of course, you can also use an emergency blender for this. Then add the sauce to the minced meat and stir it in well. If it is too thick, you can add some pasta water, water, or a bit more of the strained tomatoes. Now add the cream cheese and herbs to the sauce, season generously with salt and pepper and stir well. 

Now you can add the pasta to the sauce, stir well and spread everything on two plates. If you like, you can serve it with some fresh arugula. The nutty flavor goes perfectly with this butternut squash pasta recipe. You can also sprinkle it with some freshly grated parmesan or pecorino.

Thick and creamy butternut squash pasta sauce with vegetarian ground meat and tomatoes
creamy Bolognese sauce with butternut squash and vegan ground meat

Any further questions about this recipe?

Which kind of squash goes best with this recipe?

By itself, you can use both butternut squash and Hokkaido squash. However, since the Hokkaido has more carbohydrates and we already have plenty of them through the pasta, I prefer to use butternut squash in this case.

How do I prepare a butternut squash?

Even cooked or baked, the skin of the butternut squash is not particularly enjoyable. Therefore, it is best to peel the butternut squash. Halve it first and remove the seeds with a spoon. Then, depending on the size, you can cut it in half again, stand it upright and carefully cut off the peel with a sharp knife.

Can I make this butternut squash pasta recipe with regular ground beef?

Of course. Ground beef works just as well in here. To keep the calories in check, I would go for a 95% lean ground beef.

Is this butternut squash pasta recipe vegan?

Since I still use cream cheese for the sauce, the recipe is not completely vegan. However, feel free to swap out the cream cheese for a vegan alternative, add some oat cream, or just skip it entirely. That is the only little detail which must be changed in order to get a vegan pasta recipe.

I hope you like the recipe and give it a try. If so, I would appreciate your feedback and a review on the recipe. And of course, I would love to see a photo of your creation. So, feel free to send me one via mail, Instagram or tag me on your Instagram Story (@julesbalancedrecipes) if you share over there.

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,

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butternut squash pasta recipe

Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe

Julia Schmitt
Thisvegetarian Bolognese Pasta is served with a super creamy sauce made withroasted butternut squash and tomatoes. Dried Italian herbs and vegan groundmeat provide flavor and protein to this healthy pasta dish.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine international
Servings 2 servings
Calories 520 kcal


  • oven
  • food processor
  • pot
  • big, coated pan


  • 400 g butternut squash 14 oz
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 180 g vegan ground meat 6.5 oz
  • 140 g whole grain pasta 5 oz (e.g. penne or rigatoni)
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes 7 oz
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 tbsp fat reduced cream cheese (for vegan alternatives see above)
  • salt, pepper
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

optional to serve

  • fresh arugula, Parmesan or Pecorino cheese


Roasted Butternut Squash

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut butternut squash in half, scrape out seeds, cut off peel and cut flesh into one to two centimeter cubes. Mix with a teaspoon of oil and salt, spread on baking sheet and roast at 400°F (200°C) for 20 minutes.

Butternut Squash Pasta

  • Meanwhile, peel and finely dice shallot and garlic, wash and halve tomatoes.
  • About 10 minutes before pumpkin is ready, bring pot of water to boil and cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet, sauté onions and garlic with a pinch of salt until translucent. Add ground beef and sauté over medium-high heat for four to five minutes. Reduce heat to a low setting and add tomatoes.
  • Remove squash from oven and allow to cool briefly. Puree squash together with strained tomatoes and 100 ml water in a blender, food processor or with an emergency blender to a thick sauce. Add tomato paste to the minced meat, stir well, add sauce and cream cheese and stir well again. Add herbs, salt and pepper and fold in cooked pasta. Divide between two plates and serve with arugula or grated cheese if desired.


nutritional values per serving (approx. 1/2 of the entire dish):
  • calories: 520 kcal
  • fat: 9 g
  • carbohydrates: 69 g
  • protein: 31 g


Calories: 520kcal
Keyword Pasta, pumpkin, squash, vegetarian
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