Pasta with Butternut Squash Bacon and Brown Butter
Pasta with Butternut Squash Bacon and Brown Butter

Butternut squash, bacon and browned butter are made for each other. Pasta brings it all together and the sage adds an earthy element. Make this for dinner tonight – or when the company is coming!

Cool weather means winter squashes. And in my house, winter squash mostly means butternut.

Recipes like this are so versatile! You can serve them in many different contexts – weeknight meals or fancy dinner parties – and that’s why they’re more likely to show up around my house repeatedly. (Coincidentally they pass the muster on my boys too. I suspect the bacon has something to do with it…)

Maximum flavor from a few simple ingredients

Roasting the squash brings out the sweetness and gives us a flavor base to work with. The salty bacon plays off the pumpkin.

The browning of the butter is the basis of what becomes a sauce for the pasta. It develops a nutty flavor as it browns, and the sage gives the butter an earthy, herbal note. This is a classic flavor combination, and with good reason.

If you don’t buy one of those packs of pre-sliced ​​squash at the grocery store, you’re going to have to peel and slice this baby. I find it easier to manage if I cut off the stem end and bottom to make it easier to stand straight. Then simply peel it all around with your normal vegetable peeler.

Then I usually cut the squash right where the straight and curved parts meet. Then I slice the long, straight portion of the squash lengthwise and then into smaller strips and then dice it from there. The base of the squash, the curved part you cut off, can also be cut lengthwise, sliced ​​into strips, and then cut into curvy cubes.

  • Take a look at our full step-by-step guide: How to Peel and Slice a Butternut Squash.

How to make brown butter

Browning butter isn’t difficult, and its benefits extend far beyond this dish. You simply heat the butter in a saucepan, noticing how it looks and smells, and remove it from the heat once it begins to brown but not burn.

It will start to foam and the solids will separate. You’ll know it’s done because it smells nutty.

  • Take a look at our full step-by-step guide: How to Make Brown Butter.

More fall favorite pasta dishes!

  • Stuffed mussels with sausage, spinach and ricotta
  • Chili mac and cheese
  • Cauliflower Pasta Casserole
  • Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce
  • Cheesy tortellini casserole

Pasta with butternut squash, bacon and brown butter

preparation time
15 minutes

cooking time
30 minutes

total time
45 minutes

up to 6 servings


  • 1 pound butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon Morton’s Kosher Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound pasta, such as penne, rigatoni, or other short pasta

  • 8 ounces bacon (7 to 8 slices depending on how thick they are cut)

  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces/8 tablespoons)

  • 4 to 5 sage leaves

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Roast Pumpkin:

    Preheat oven to 425°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and toss to coat.

    Roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway through, until evenly browned. When done, the squash will be tender and some of the edges will be browned.

  2. Cook pasta:

    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente or according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.

  3. Fry bacon:

    In a large, deep skillet (I used cast iron), add the bacon to a cold skillet and sear over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

  4. Boil shallots:

    Place the pan back on the stove but with the heat off. Drain all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.

    Add the shallots and cook in the remaining heat of the pan; this will prevent the shallots from burning. If they don’t seem to be cooking fast enough, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook them for just a few minutes, until they start to soften and become flavorful. Place the cooked shallots in a large bowl.

  5. Combine Bacon, Shallots, Squash, and Pasta:

    After the bacon has cooled, use kitchen scissors (or a chef’s knife) to cut the bacon into small pieces and toss it with the shallots in a large bowl—or you can use the stock pot you cooked the pasta in (I make gladly if that’s the case). just me and the boys).

    Add the pasta and toss to combine. When the squash comes out of the oven, add the squash to this bowl and gently toss together.

  6. Fry butter:

    In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Stir it constantly and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. (Here’s a complete guide to browning butter.) It’ll start to crackle, foam, and smell nutty. The color deepens to a caramel/amber hue.

    Around the time the butter stops foaming — or at least stops — and the butter is beginning to brown slightly, add the sage leaves.

    Remove the pot from the heat as soon as the sage leaves begin to curl. Add the butter and sage leaves to the bowl with the remaining ingredients.

  7. Mix all ingredients and serve:

    Mix everything gently with a wooden spoon. Taste and add salt and/or pepper if needed. Serve immediately with freshly grated cheese on top.

    If you’re feeling particularly decadent, add a knob of unsalted butter or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil when you toss it, or some of the reserved bacon grease.

    Leftovers keep for 2 to 3 days and are easy to reheat. I like to add some olive oil or water to the pot when reheating it over low heat. (I try to avoid putting leftover pasta in the microwave because it just makes it gummy.)

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!