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Creamy, dairy free butternut squash pasta with bacon, walnuts, and chives, in a shallow speckled ceramic bowl on a light cream background, next to a striped napkin and scattered walnuts.

Dairy Free Butternut Squash Pasta

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


If you love a cozy dairy free pasta recipe than this butternut squash pasta is for you! Made without heavy cream, swapping in ultra creamy cashew cream instead. It is easy to make, healthy, and a total crowd pleaser. Easily made vegan by leaving out the bacon and using olive oil instead! 


  • 4 strips bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (or 2 tablespoons olive oil if not using bacon)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 generous cups diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • 12 ounces of your favorite gluten free pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (see notes for toasting instructions)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To garnish


  1. Cook bacon. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until desired crispness is reached. Remove from the skillet and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Cook aromatics and squash. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the skillet (if not using bacon, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan). Add diced onion, garlic, and butternut squash and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until squash and onions are starting to caramelize – about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Sauté spices. Add garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, dried sage, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper and continue to sauté for another 1-2 minutes, until spices are aromatic.
  4. Add broth and cashews and bring to a slow simmer. Cover the skillet and allow to simmer until broth is reduced slightly, squash is fall-apart tender, and cashews are pale and plump – about 10 minutes.
  5. Cook pasta. While butternut squash is simmering, cook pasta according to package instructions, undercooking by about 1 minute since it will continue to cook a bit with the sauce. Drain and set aside.
  6. Blend the sauce. Transfer butternut squash mixture to a high-speed blender and puree until smooth, with no pieces of cashew remaining.
  7. Assemble the pasta. Add pasta to the large skillet along with blended sauce, 1/2 cup walnuts, and half of the bacon over medium low heat. Toss pasta with sauce until heated through and noodles are evenly coated. Thin sauce with extra broth if needed for desired texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve and enjoy! Top pasta with extra chopped walnuts, bacon, chives, and dairy free parmesan as desired. Serve hot and enjoy!


To toast walnuts: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread walnuts out in a single layer on baking sheet and roast for 6-8 minutes, until a shade or two darker and smelling toasty. They can be chopped before or after roasting, but will toast faster if they are chopped beforehand. 

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Healthy

Keywords: pasta, butternut squash, fall, autumn, winter, bacon, walnuts, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, healthy, noodles