6 Dinner Dishes Combining Squash and Pasta
Pasta and squash are a match made in heaven. You can either combine the two to create rich and creamy dinner dishes, or with the help of a vegetable peeler or spiralizer, you can transform your squash into noodles. Whether you’d like to prepare a mixture of squash and spaghetti, pair pasta shells with acorn squash, or serve yellow squash noodles for supper, these six pasta recipes are guaranteed to please your palate. Which will you try first?
1. Pesto Squash Noodles and Spaghetti with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Cookie and Kate combines squash noodles and whole-wheat spaghetti, creating a full-flavored dinner dish that won’t disappoint. To prepare your noodles, follow Good Housekeeping’s instructions on how to julienne vegetables. The recipe yields 2 to 4 servings.
- 2 cups packed fresh arugula and/or basil, tough stems removed
- ½ cup sliced shelled pecans
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium zucchini, julienned
- 1 medium yellow squash, julienned
- ⅓ pound whole-grain spaghetti or linguine
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or ¾ pound small tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Dash red pepper flakes
- Dash salt
Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cut off the tough ends of the squash and remove any discolored skin with a paring knife. Use a julienne peeler to slice the squash lengthwise, one side at a time. Stop once you get to the seeded part, then turn the squash to work on the next side. Toast the pecans in a large skillet over medium heat while stirring frequently, until they’re nice and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the pecans to a bowl to cool. To make the pesto, in a food processor, combine the arugula/basil, cooled pecans, Parmesan, garlic, and salt. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining, reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot. To cook the tomatoes, slice about 5 of the tomatoes into thin rounds and reserve them for later. In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil and red pepper flakes. Once the oil is shimmering, add the whole cherry tomatoes and a dash of salt. Let the tomatoes cook, stirring occasionally, until they are blistered in spots and starting to pop, about 3 minutes.
Continue to cook, lightly crushing the tomatoes with the back of a big spoon or silicone spatula, until they are beginning to break down, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sliced tomatoes. To assemble the pasta, combine the pasta and squash noodles in a serving bowl. Add most of the pesto and a couple tablespoons pasta water. Toss to combine, adding more pesto or pasta water until the noodles are sufficiently coated in pesto. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, if desired. Divide the noodles into individual bowls and top with cherry tomatoes.
2. Spaghetti Squash with Marinara
Sometimes, the simplest dishes truly are the tastiest. Such is the case for Food Network’s Spaghetti Squash with Marinara, which only requires four ingredients and can be made in an hour. Not only does this dish taste delicious, but it also contains an abundance of nutrients. Livestrong notes that spaghetti squash contains vitamins A, B-6, C, and K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, manganese, and pantothenic acid.
- 2 whole spaghetti squash
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Gray salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups prepared (jarred) marinara sauce
Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Split the squashes in half and scrape out seeds. Line an oven tray with aluminum foil. Season the spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place flesh side down and roast for 30 to 40 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile heat the marinara sauce in a large sauté pan. When squash is cool enough to handle, using a large kitchen spoon scrape the strands of squash from the inside of the skin. Toss the spaghetti squash in the pan with the hot marinara for just long enough to get hot. Serve and enjoy.
3. Yellow Squash Noodles with Tomato Basil Sauce
Yellow squash noodles are topped with a light and zesty pasta sauce, which is made with roma and sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and garlic. A spiralizer makes the noodles a breeze to prepare, but squash ribbons can also be created using a vegetable peeler. Healthy Nibbles & Bits’ recipe yields 2 to 3 servings.
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 medium roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 large yellow squash
- ⅔ cup yellow plum tomatoes
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- Pinch of sea salt
Directions: Heat 1½ tablespoons of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the garlic and tomatoes cut side down. Let the tomatoes cook for 3 minutes before turning them over. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes and then turn off the heat. In a food processor or blender, mix the sautéed tomatoes, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and salt until smooth. Cut off both ends of each of the yellow squash. Spiralize the squash with Blade C, and chop the noodles several times so that they are easier to eat.
Be sure to slice the part of the squash that is not spiralized and mix them with the noodles. If you are adding fennel to this dish, heat a tablespoon of oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the fennel and sauté them for about 4 to 5 minutes or until they turn translucent. Season with some fresh dill and salt. In a large bowl, mix the noodles and sauce together. Serve with the fennel and plum tomatoes.
4. Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta
Pasta is covered in cheese and topped with baked squash and bacon in Cooking Light’s recipe. Mini penne works perfect in this dish, but you can also use elbow macaroni, shell pasta, or orecchiette. It yields five servings. We suggest pairing your pasta with Epicurious’ Bite-Size Garlic Bread with Fresh Herbs, which was adapted from Trois Mec.
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
- Cooking spray
- 6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 8 ounces uncooked mini penne
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
- ¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
- ⅓ cup (1½ ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine ¼ teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1½ teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside.
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well. Combine flour and ½ teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11-by-7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
5. Butternut Squash Noodles with Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts and Caramelized Onions
Inspiralized’s Butternut Squash Noodles with Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts and Caramelized Onions is filled with warm and savory flavors. While you’re enjoying this recipe’s velvety textures and aromatic ingredients, you’ll also be getting a hearty dose of health benefits. Whole Living explains that butternut squash is filled with fiber, potassium, vitamin B-6, folate, and carotenoids, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. No spiralizer? No problem. Oh She Glows suggests a julienne peeler instead. Izy Hossack of Top With Cinnamon makes it even simpler by using “the humble box grater to create those luscious strands of goodness.”
- ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1 cup of Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, (or spiralized, or box-grated)
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the butternut squash noodles out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Line another baking tray with parchment paper and place the walnuts. Bake the butternut squash noodles alongside the walnuts, baking the walnuts for just 5 minutes and baking the noodles for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, tossing halfway through. While the butternut squash is baking, shred the Brussels sprouts. Chop the bottoms off and peel off the outer leaves, if tough and discolored. Slice them in half and then slice thinly lengthwise. Set aside.
Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil is shimmering, add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and onion, and lower heat to medium-low and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and mainly wilted, about 3 minutes. Add in the Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook the Brussels sprouts, still on medium-low heat, uncovering occasionally to stir, or until lightly browned and cooked, about 3 to 5 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and add the parmesan and then fold in the walnuts, stir, and pour into a large mixing bowl along with the butternut squash noodles. Toss to combine and serve.
6. Roasted Acorn Squash Pasta with Kale and Almonds
Martha Stewart presents a nutritious pasta dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights. The preparation is simple: Roast your squash, boil your pasta and kale, combine, and you’ve got a nutritious and delicious dinner to serve your family. The recipe yields 4 servings.
- 1 acorn squash (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch wedges, then crosswise into ½-inch slices
- 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper
- ¾ pound medium pasta shells
- 1 bunch curly kale, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together squash, garlic, and 1 tablespoon oil and arrange in a single layer; season with salt and pepper. Bake until squash is soft and lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove garlic from skins and toss with squash.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 1 minute less than package instructions. Add kale and cook 1 minute. Reserve ½ cup pasta water, then drain. Return pasta and kale to pot, add squash mixture and remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, adding enough pasta water to create a light sauce that coats pasta. Serve topped with almonds.