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A vertical overhead shot of Butternut Squash Penne with Sage and Toasted Walnuts on a white plate

Butternut Squash Penne with Sage and Toasted Walnuts

  • Author: Veronika | thehealthfulideas
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Easy 30-minute penne with roasted butternut squash, sage, thyme, pecorino, and toasted walnuts. The perfect fall/winter pasta recipe! (GF)


  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (divided)
  • Sea salt
  • 4 cups chopped butternut squash 
  • 4-5 strings of thyme
  • 10 sage leaves (plus more for garnish if desired)
  • Sea salt, pepper 
  • 1 Tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup navy beans, (from a can) drained and rinsed (or sub any other white beans)
  • 200g gluten-free penne pasta 
  • ¼ cup pecorino cheese (sub parmesan or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast if vegan) plus more for serving


  1. Start with the walnuts. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Add the walnuts to a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tsp of the avocado oil and sprinkle with some sea salt. Roast for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant and crunchy. Take them out of the oven and set aside until ready to serve.
  2. Bring the temperature of the oven up to 450°F (230°C).
  3. Onto a sheet pan add the butternut squash, 2 tsp avocado oil, 5 strings of thyme, sage leaves, sea salt and pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder and toss to combine and coat well. Roast the squash for 20-25 minutes or until soft. While that’s roasting, cook the onion, and pasta.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of avocado oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and a pinch of sea salt. Cook for 10 minutes, add the chopped sage leaves, thyme leaves, minced garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Slowly pour in the wine and stir with a wooden spoon scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure nothing is sticking. Let that cook for a couple minutes until the wine reduces. Add the beans and toss. Take off heat.
  5. Cook your pasta according to package instructions and reserve ½ cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the beans along with the roasted squash and toss gently. Pour in about ¼ of the cooking water and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the pecorino. Toss, taste, and add more water if needed, cheese, or salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with more pecorino and enjoy!


Make it vegan: substitute the pecorino cheese for 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Keywords: pasta, butternut squash, sage, thyme, pecorino, vegetarian