This vegan roasted butternut squash fettuccine alfredo is creamy, satisfying, and packed with feel-good ingredients. A simple, garlicky vegan cauliflower-cashew alfredo sauce is tossed with heaps of warm fettuccine. The pasta is then topped with roasted butternut squash and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan.
Clearly, I've got pasta on my mind these days. Or at least I did when I was writing and testing January's recipes back in November.
Honestly though, it's a rare week in my life when a pasta craving doesn't strike at least once, especially during the winter months.
However, given that it's January and people are often looking for healthful, extra-nourishing meals this time of year, this vegan fettuccine alfredo is designed to be both comforting and nutrient-dense.
The vegan alfredo sauce is a simplified and adjusted version of the sauce from this lemon-pepper pasta. Boiled cauliflower and raw cashews still serve as the base, only the amount of nutritional yeast is upped to create a richer parmesan flavor, the amount of cashews are increased just a pinch to create a creamier sauce, and the lemon juice is dropped in favor of a more subtle tang from a splash of apple cider vinegar.
Also, filtered water is used in place of plant-based milk. This is because filtered water guarantees a more reliable and consistent flavor from one home to the next. Unfortunately, some brands of plant-based milk add "natural flavors" to even the unsweetened "plain" versions of their milk, and I've found that those particular types of plant-based milk can introduce an undesirable sweetness into dishes like this one and mess with the overall flavor.
Even with water, this sauce turns out so rich and creamy that you won't notice the absence of plant-based milk. I mean, look...
To make this vegan roasted butternut squash fettuccine alfredo, you'll start by roasting a butternut squash.
A small to medium butternut squash is plenty for this recipe, but feel free to use a large one if you'd like extra.
Peel, seed, and cube the butternut squash and add it to a lined baking pan with a drizzle of olive oil.
Toss to coat and roast the squash for 25 minutes, or until it's soft and tender but not yet mushy. You want it to be soft and silky but not so soft that it mushes into the pasta.
As the squash roasts, you'll cook 12 ounces of fettuccine or other ribbon-like pasta.
Then, you'll get to work on the sauce.
To make this simple cauliflower-cashew alfredo sauce, you'll start by boiling about 2 cups of fresh cauliflower florets.
Once the florets are fork-tender, add them to a blender along with filtered water, raw cashews, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Blend on high for two minutes, or until you have a super smooth and creamy sauce.
Then, add about six cloves of minced garlic to a large sauté pan with a bit of olive oil. Sauté the garlic for just a minute or two, or until it softens and mellows. Then, stir in the cauliflower-cashew sauce and simmer for just a minute, or until the sauce begins to thicken.
Next, add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat. If you'd like, you can thin the sauce with a bit of reserved pasta water.
Taste and generously season with sea salt and black pepper.
Divide the pasta amongst roomy bowls and top with the roasted butternut squash and a generous sprinkle of vegan parmesan.
Then, twirl, savor, and repeat.
This vegan fettuccine alfredo is rich, creamy, and satisfying yet nourishing at the same time. Thanks to the cauliflower and butternut squash, this decadent pasta packs a punch of vitamin c, vitamin k, vitamin a, folate, fiber, b6, and manganese.
Have your creamy Italian pasta and feel good, too!
Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into small (½-inch) cubes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Sea salt as needed
- 12 ounces fettuccine or linguine pasta
- 2 cups small (1-inch) fresh cauliflower florets
- 1 cup filtered water
- ⅓ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least two hours (unless using a high-speed blender)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 recipe Vegan Parmesan Cheese (optional but recommended)
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Spread the squash into an even layer in the lined pan, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and toss to coat. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender (but not mushy) and beginning to caramelize, tossing at the halfway point.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon sea salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions (you want the pasta to have a nice al dente bite to it). Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 7 minutes, or until very fork-tender. Strain off the water.
- Add the boiled cauliflower florets, filtered water, cashews, nutritional yeast, vinegar, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and black pepper to a blender (do not use a food processor). Blend on high for 2 minutes, or until completely smooth and creamy. Set within reach of the stove.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the garlic in a large sauté pan over low heat. Cook for 2 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.
- Stir in the cauliflower sauce, and simmer for 1 minute, or until warmed through.
- Turn off the heat, add the pasta to the pan, and toss to coat. If a slightly thinner sauce is desired, add a bit of the reserved cooking water, one small splash at a time, as needed to thin. (Note: If you add cooking water, you'll need to increase the seasoning to accommodate.)
- Taste and generously season with more sea salt and black pepper, if desired.
- Divide the pasta between bowls and top with the roasted butternut squash and parmesan (if using). Serve immediately.
This looks so yummy! :) Can't wait to try it out!
Lella Lowe says
The sauce for this dish was delicious and super simple! I was inspired to try it to use some leftover roasted beets and sweet potatoes, thus I skipped the butternut squash, but I'm sure that would have been amazing as well. A great winter meal. Thanks for sharing your creation.
So glad you enjoyed it, Lella! Great to know it works well with roasted beets and sweet potatoes, too. Thanks for taking time out of your day to come back and share your thoughts and adjustments—means so much.
The recipe was published just when I had some leftover roasted hokkaido pumpkin in the fridge and had bought a cauliflower the day before. Thus, it became today's lunch (and will be tomorrow's dinner) and I really enjoyed it! It's super easy and fast to prepare and veggie-packed - lovely comfort food on a nasty rainy day. :-)
I've added a handful of leftover chopped roasted hazelnuts to the pasta for extra crunchiness and a little ground flax/maca mix, as I didn't have nutritional yeast at hand. I think I'll also sprinkle some chopped parsley on it the next time.
Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Sarah | Well and Full says
Wow this looks insanely creamy and dreamy!! I love that you used both cauliflower and cashews to get that creamy texture :)
Sylvia VanDyke says
I made this for dinner tonight..... it was absolutely delicious.....will make again for sure....
Taylor Filaroski says
I made this for dinner last night, and my meat-eating boyfriend and best friend loved it! The sauce was super simple to make but delicious and oh so satisfying! I had leftover sweet potato that I used instead of squash and it worked perfectly, though I'd like to try it exactly as written next time. Thanks!
Happy to hear you all enjoyed it, Taylor! Thanks for taking time out of your day to come back and share your thoughts and adjustments—means a lot to me and is helpful for others, too.
I made this recipe tonight and it was perfect comfort food, easy to prepare and so delicious. Thank you for sharing.
So glad you enjoyed it, Eva! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your thoughts and rating—means so much.
Quick question! I bought pre-cut butternut squash cubes (I'm lazy, I know) - do you happen to have an estimate for how many cups are in 1 medium butternut squash?
Thank you, this looks delicious!
Hi, Samantha! Probably 3–4ish cups, but I'd just eyeball it and roast as much as you'd like. Or heck, roast it all and save any leftovers for another dish or to enjoy on its own. Hope you enjoy the recipe! xo
Thank you Ashley! Made it tonight - DELICIOUS! My omnivore husband loved it too :)
So glad you both enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know!
My husband and I made this the other night and it was amazing! We had some leftover butternut squash we were trying to finish and I found this recipe and decided to try it. Well, we polished off our pasta and my 2 year old had double helpings! Definitely a winning recipe! Thank you for posting!
This came out so beautifully! I served it with sautéed mini portabello mushrooms instead of the squash, since that's what I had on hand, and it was delicious! It reminded me so much of my favourite (non vegan) fettuccini alfredo at a restaurant I used to go to. I want to try thinning the sauce and using it for a creamy pasta salad!!
Thank you for such a delicious, healthy, and nutritious recipe!
Lorene Holdaway says
I made this for my faimly. It is beyond delicous! My entire family went nuts for this dish. Even the non-vegan members of my family. I only made one change. I do not eat flour of any kind, so I made Spaghetti Squash instead of Past. We Loved It. It is our new comfort food and an instant classic. Thanks for sharing this.
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Lorene! Thanks for taking time out of your day to come back and share your rating and feedback. Means a lot to me and is helpful for others making the dish, too. Happy cooking! :)