Pasta With Butternut Squash and Bacon

Pasta With Butternut Squash and BaconDown side: Polar Vortex Episode 2 (The Revenge of  Polar Vortex) will not go away and this latest storm dumped another FOOT of snow on us. We had a burst pipe, a flooded (frozen) basement and our street looks like a luge track from Sochi.

Up side: Pasta with a creamy, bacony sauce and lots of butternut squash!

Pasta With Butternut Squash and Bacon

Okay, down-side wins but since winter refuses to behave, at least make some yummy, cozy dishes while it’s still frigging freezing out.

I’ve mentioned before how much I adore butternut squash so when I saw Melissa Clark’s recipe for pasta with parsnips, I decided to adapt it.  I’ve made a few changes (other than substituting the main vegetable, obviously). I used shallots instead of leeks because I just like them and always have them on hand. I also added a little bit of garlic and chili flakes.

The result is delicious. A little smoky from the bacon, sweet from the butternut squash. Yum.

Pasta With Butternut Squash and Bacon

 Nerd Tips:
  • This recipe gives you tips on peeling and seeding a butternut squash.
  • Bacon is better for this because it’s smoked but pancetta will work as well.
  • Don’t stir the squash too much or it will turn to mush (I resisted a “squashed” joke here. You’re welcome)
  • Any short-cut pasta will work well here.

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5 from 1 vote

Pasta With Butternut Squash and Bacon

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 1 small butternut squash 3/4 pound, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper as needed
  • 1/2 pound dried campanelle or farfalle pasta
  • 1/4 pound bacon or pancetta diced
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Chili flakes for garnish


  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until squash are golden and tender, about 35 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions until 1 minute before it’s al dente. Drain.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes; use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add shallots. Cook in remaining bacon fat until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and cooked bacon. Simmer mixture until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in pasta, squash and cheese. Simmer until heated through and cheese is melted, then remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper; toss with parsley. Serve sprinkled with chili flakes and plenty of black pepper on top
Tried this recipe?Mention @NerdsWithKnives or tag #nerdswithknives!


13 thoughts on “Pasta With Butternut Squash and Bacon”

  1. I just made this tonight and it was spectacular! I’ve never had butternut squash before but I love it now because of this recipe.

    Since I didn’t have heavy whipping cream, I used a half cup of half & half and half a stick of butter to make the sauce. It thickened up nicely and tasted awesome!

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m definitely going to make this again.

    • Hi Allison,

      So glad the recipe worked out for you! Now you’ll be a butternut squash addict like me. Muah ha ha! (evil laugh).


  2. You had me at winter squash cuz I have a ton of them in the pantry waiting for something to inspire me to eat them which grow well for us, are healthy to eat, but aren’t our favorites. Then you really inspired me when I saw it had bacon (nothing isn’t improved with bacon!), and then I get a great tip from the linked recipe about cleaning out winter squash and pumpkins with a canning lid! Unfortunately though, the actual recipe [yumprint-recipe id=’4′] for this dish seems to have disappeared. Can you fix the link or am I just completely blind? Thanks for the inspiration though!

    • Hi Janet! Sorry about that – a technical hitch with some of our older posts. I’ve fixed it now – let me know how your squash turns out!

    • Hey, I switched pages a few times and came back and the recipe loaded. Don’t know what the issue was. Now I can get busy! Thanks again.

        • It was great! I cut back on the cream and think it might even work with whole milk and olive oil next time for even less saturated fat. I used a small kabocha squash which is fairly dry and sweet. The butternut might be a better pairing, but I don’t have any of those in storage. We had a kale salad on the side and were quite satisfied on a rainy evening. Thank you again. I look forward to exploring more of your blog!

  3. I made this tonight with a handful of fresh sage and it was so delicious! Even the kids liked it. Sharing!

  4. Have made this twice – love it! The first time followed to the t, and it was delicious. Second time swapped the shallots for caramelized onions. Thank you for this yummy inspiration 🙂


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