I first made butternut squash pasta sauce over 20 years ago! Back in the day, I wanted an alternative to the cheese pasta sauce that I’d grown up with as a little girl. If you have ever eaten a good cheese sauce you’ll know it is slightly addictive haha.

I went vegan back in the day when there were few good recipes. There were also hardly any options available in the supermarkets. So I made a whole bunch of delicious stuff up with plants like butternut squash!

Can I use any squash for this recipe?

You can swap the butternut squash for any winter squash. Winter squashes are dense, starchy and creamy when blended, which is perfect for this pasta sauce recipe.

Please note that it wouldn’t work well with summer squashes such as zucchini, because they are too watery. 

Roast butternut squash and cashew pasta sauce - vegan recipe

What makes this butternut squash pasta sauce work?

This pasta sauce is very effective. Butternut squash is naturally creamy. We owe this to the starches in this very useful plant food. Once you roast your squash, it becomes very easy to puree, creating an instant sauce. 

creamy roast butternut squash pasta sauce - vegan, healthy by Anastasia, Kind Earth

Using cashews to make the butternut squash pasta sauce extra creamy

I have added cashew nuts into the blend for a couple of important reasons.

  1. Firstly, when blended and boiled, cashews act as a thickening agent (magic right there ay!).
  2. Secondly, cashews make the sauce extra-creamy, which is what we want in a sauce.
  3. And finally, the cashews slightly mimic (I said ‘slightly’ so let’s not get carried away haha) the dense creaminess of cheese. 

creamy roast butternut squash pasta sauce - vegan, healthy

Can I batch-make and freeze any extra?

Yes, absolutely you can. This butternut squash pasta sauce freezes nicely without the pasta. Do not freeze your pasta, just freeze the sauce. 

Simply freeze into the size portions that are ideal for you.

If you live alone then that might mean several small portions. If you have a family, then you might freeze the whole lot into one big container.

When you take the sauce out of the freezer to defrost, the ingredients might initially separate slightly. The sauce might look more starchy than creamy. This is normal, just reheat thoroughly, and stir well.

It will return to a nice thick creamy sauce again in no time. 

Is this butternut squash pasta sauce gluten-free?

The pasta sauce is 100% gluten-free yes.

If you want to make the whole meal gluten-free then use rice pasta or any alternative good gluten-free pasta.

If you are using gluten-free pasta, then be sure to get a good one as they are not all created equally. Some (especially corn-based ones) fall apart easily, and others hold together better. 

Roast butternut squash and cashew pasta sauce - vegan recipe

Vegan butternut squash pasta sauce (cashew version)

Yield: 2 to 4 portions
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A delicious vegan butternut squash, cashew pasta sauce recipe. Healthy and freezes well, ideal for batch making.


  • 250g roast butternut squash (½ a small/medium one)
  • 75g cashew nuts
  • 350ml water (add more if preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Large twist black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic


  • 250g gluten-free or regular pasta


  1. Roast your squash ahead of time. The weight in the ingredient list is the roasted weight AFTER cooking and is approximate. Your squash will lose weight during the cooking period. Half a medium-sized butternut should do the trick. Please note you don't need to get the quantity exactly right with the squash. You can use significantly more if you want to and it works with less. If you use more just add a little extra salt, pepper and paprika to the mix.
  2. If you want to be resourceful, then roast your squash if you have the oven on the night before 🙂 You can peel and cube it. The other way (lazy way haha) is to slice it in half, take out the seeds and bake it as it is. See my full, easy guide on roasting squash from scratch HERE.

Blend the sauce

  1. Put all of the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy smooth. This should take between 30 seconds and a minute, depending on your blender.
  2. If you only have a hand blender then soak your cashew nuts for at least an hour ahead of time to soften them.
  3. Once blended, put in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir a few times. You will probably need a lid as the sauce tends to 'spit' out of the pan when it gets hot.
  4. Add in any extras at this stage after blending (see notes below for ideas).
  5. Add more water to thin at any stage if you feel it needs it.
  6. In the meantime, cook any pasta or spaghetti, mix it in when the sauce is cooked and enjoy immediately!


If you want extras in your sauce then quick additions include...

  • Frozen garden peas, sweet corn or baby spinach. They will cook almost instantly as the sauce comes to a boil.
  • Sauteed mushrooms, eggplant (aubergine), onion, leeks can be cooked in a few minutes and make a nice addition to the sauce.
  • Any steamed veg. Leftover roast veg.
  • Chickpeas or beans.

Did you make this recipe?

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