Cheesy pumpkin (or butternut squash) pasta

Quick & easy, cheesy autumn pasta! Use pumpkin or butternut squash to make a delicious vegetarian family dinner. They’ll be queuing up for seconds.

A few weeks ago, for Halloween, I found myself called upon to carve a pumpkin lantern for the first time in my life. And when a small person makes such a demand, resistance is futile.

We bought a small pumpkin on the market, scooped out the seeds, and then set about scraping out as much of the pumpkin flesh as possible, before starting to carve the face. I actually got a decent bowlful of pumpkin flesh – more than I thought I would – and cooked it up into a cheesy pasta dish for that night’s tea. And thought no more about it.

cheesy pumpkin pasta.

Repeat performance

However, a while later, Kipper asked if we could carve another pumpkin. I said no, Halloween had been and gone, and in any case the pumpkins had largely disappeared from the shops. She looked downcast. We talked about it some more. It transpired that what she really wanted was another bowlful of the lovely cheesy pumpkin pasta! And in her pre-schooler logic way, the route to this was by making another pumpkin lantern…

Squash substitution

We didn’t get a pumpkin, but I did have a small butternut squash from our organic box, so I promised to make the pasta dish again with that. She seemed satisfied with the compromise.

In the event, this wasn’t exactly the same (even allowing for the pumpkin/butternut squash substitution). The first version had leeks in it, I think, but we didn’t have any second time around. However, it was sufficiently cheesy, orange and delicious to pass muster with my smallest, and fiercest, critic, who ate a big plateful.

If you make this, you can substitute leeks for the onions to recreate the original pumpkin pasta, but I’m not sure I didn’t prefer the onion-butternut-squash version anyway. DH scoffed both versions down. It’s pretty yummy either way.

Serves 2 adults and a voracious small person. Call it three.

Quick & easy, cheesy autumn pasta! Use pumpkin or butternut squash to make a delicious vegetarian family dinner. They'll be queuing up for seconds.

cheesy pumpkin (or butternut squash) pasta

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Cheesy pumpkin (or butternut squash) pasta

Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Keyword butternut squash, cheese, pasta, pumpkin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 510kcal
Author Helen


  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash (approx. 550g or 19oz.)
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 50 g cream cheese (approx. ¼ cup)
  • 3-4 tbsp cream or milk
  • 35 g grated cheddar cheese (approx. ⅓ cup)
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 350-400 g cooked pasta


  • Peel the onion and dice finely.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened.
  • Meanwhile peel the pumpkin or squash and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into small cubes. Add to the pan with the rosemary, stir well, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin/squash is tender.
  • Add the cream cheese and cream/milk and stir well to combine. Keep warm over a low heat.
  • When ready to serve, turn off the heat and stir in the cheddar and nutmeg. Mix with the cooked pasta and serve at once.


Approx per serving: 510 calories, 22g fat, 17g protein, 66g carbs

If you like butternut squash, why not try butternut squash and mushroom cobbler, simple roasted squash and red lentil soup, or baked barley risotto with butternut squash.

I’m entering this delicious recipe into several foodie challenges this month. Family Foodies, hosted by Louisa at Eat Your Veg and Vanesther at Bangers and Mash, Simple & In Season, hosted by Katie at Feeding Boys and Ren at, and Shop Local, over at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
Finally, since the pumpkin in the original pasta dish was a by-product of lantern making, this recipe surely qualifies for the No Waste Food Challenge, hosted this month by Slice of Me, and organised by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.


PS If you’re looking for seasonal gift inspiration for your foodie friends and family, check out my gift guide (or take a look in the shop).



  1. Pingback:Cheesy Pasta Bake With Sweet Potato - From Plate to Pen

  2. I’ve just tried out this recipe and I’m sat here eating as I type! It is gorgeous! So rich and herby and a perfect warming dish for winter. Thank you for posting this!

  3. This looks utterly scrumptious! And actually reminds of a similar dish I used to make regularly a couple of years ago, and had totally forgotten!. Thanks so much for linking up to Family Foodies Vegetarian event.

  4. I’m just about to embark on a veggie diet and this recipe looks divine. Cannot wait to try it out!

    • Thanks! I hope you’ll find lots more veggie inspiration here. There’s no meat, and only a little fish. These days I seem to be cooking veggie (& vegan) more and more.

  5. What a nice plate of pasta! Great use of pumpkin.

    • Thanks Simona 🙂
      I think I’ll have to wait till next Halloween to make it with pumpkin again. Just as well it works with squash, too.

  6. Mmm another proper comfort food pasta recipe packed full of veg! Thanks for linking up with Shop Local and the No Waste Food Challenge 🙂

  7. Proper comfort food – and perfect for a chilly bonfire night! Thanks so much for sharing with Tea Time Treats 🙂
    Janie x

  8. Lordy be that is the ultimate comfort food on a plate! I adore pumpkin but haven’t tried it with pasta yet for some weird reason… I shall be rectifying that immediately 😉 Thanks so much for joining us for this month’s round of Simple and in Season.

  9. Ooh looks all yummy and golden, cheese and pasta is always a win !

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