Butternut Squash Carbonara

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butternut squash carbonara recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

For creamier, tastier spaghetti carbonara, you need just one secret ingredient. Nope, it’s not butter or cream. It’s butternut squash. One bite and we were officially converts. Best of all, it’s packed with hidden veggies. (Don’t tell the kids.) 


1 medium butternut squash, cut in half with seeds removed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup whole milk

2 egg yolks

12 ounces bucatini, spaghetti or linguine

4 ounces pancetta (or bacon), diced

1 garlic clove, minced

⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh chives, as needed for garnish

Shaved Parmesan, as needed for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash halves on it, skin side down.

2. Drizzle the squash halves with the olive oil and then transfer to the oven. Roast until the squash is very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and then scoop the flesh of the squash out of the skin and into a large bowl.

3. Mash the squash with a fork or a potato masher until smooth. Stir in the milk and egg yolks. Set aside.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta.

5. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and it’s very crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

6. Reduce the heat to low and then add the pasta to the pan; toss until combined. Add the squash mixture, tossing well to coat the pasta with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and add the grated Parmesan, tossing until combined.

7. Divide the pasta among four bowls and garnish each generously with black pepper, chives and shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
  • 649 calories

  • 26g fat

  • 83g carbs

  • 22g protein

  • 9g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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