Easy Butternut Squash Alfredo is a creamy, cheesy pasta dish perfect for a quick and easy dinner. This recipe was created for my client Green Giant, but all opinions are my own.
When I served this pasta for dinner earlier this week, I did something I pretty much never do: I didn’t tell Paige exactly what it was. I called it alfredo, but omitted the butternut squash aspect of the sauce.
While I don’t believe in hiding vegetables, I wanted her to try it and if she knew that the sauce was made with butternut squash, she wouldn’t.
It wasn’t until later — after she polished off a big plate of this and requested it for lunch the next day — that I revealed that it was Butternut Squash Alfredo.
Naturally, she was shocked. Putting on her best annoyed face, she said, “Mommy!” But as I pointed out to her, she wouldn’t have even tried it if I’d been completely upfront about it. Paige hates butternut squash, but sometimes a food we aren’t fond of can be a favorite when prepared in a different way — like with this sauce.
She relucantly agreed that yes, she really did like this a lot.
Everyone has food preferences — I, for instance, have an aversion to white condiments. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their place in the food I eat. For instance, my favorite turkey cutlet recipe uses mayonnaise to create a juicy, cheesy dinner. And what would egg salad be without mayo? So, I want Paige to keep trying foods she’s not fond of because there are times when the flavor adds to a dish in a way that she will like it.
I created this pasta using Green Giant Veggie Blend-Ins, a new line of pureed veggies that are perfect for adding to recipes. That made this veggie-loaded sauce so quick and easy to whip up. Although Jessica Seinfeld of Deceptively Delicious fame endorses them (they work well with her recipes, which work healthful purees into unexpected foods like brownies and mac and cheese), for me, these are a great time saver when I want to make a dish where pureed veggies bring great flavor — like in the case of this Easy Butternut Squash Alfredo. I would love to try the spinach one in a creamy white bean dip too — maybe even with artichokes.
Since I don’t believe in hiding veggies (though, clearly, I am not above being a little deceptive when it matters), I aimed to create a sauce that allows the butternut squash flavor to shine. And that’s what this is. Sweet butternut squash combines with a bechamel sauce, cheese, nutmeg and other seasonings to make a creamy alfredo perfect for winter nights.
As for Will? He was the inspiration for this dish. A few years ago, I picked up a jar of butternut squash alfredo that I served over freshly made and cut fettuccine and he loved it. In fact, he’s been talking about it ever since. So I made this with him in mind — and he loved this version as well. The creamy butternut squash alfredo sauce totally hit the spot. And in the end, sometimes that’s what matters most.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup Green Giant Veggie Blend-Ins Butternut Squash Puree, 2 pouches
- 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 lb fettuccine, prepared
- In a 10-inch sauté pan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and let cook for 2-3 minutes until golden. Slowly add the half and half to the pan, whisking to combine until all has been added. Add the butternut squash puree and whisk to combine. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened – 5-7 minutes.
- Add the Romano cheese, a handful at a time, whisking to combine. Continue until all the cheese has been added.
- Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, tasting as you go. Add additional salt and pepper, as desired.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
If desired, serve with a light sprinkle of romano, sea salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Disclosure: I was compensated for creating this recipe but all opinions are my own.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.