When you think of comfort food, what do you think of? For me, it's roasted vegetables, fresh baked bread, or a giant bowl of cereal. Any of those things can brighten my day and give me a little pick me up.
For most people, however, I'd guess it's foods like bread, pasta, or chocolate. There's something magical about carbs that just, well, make people happy.
We all joke that carbs aren't good for us, but they actually are! (If that peaks your interest, click here to learn more.)
So, I did a very good thing...
I combined one of my favorite comfort foods (roasted vegetables) with one of the most popular comfort foods (pasta) to create the ultimate comfort food that doubles as an easy and delicious weeknight dinner: Butternut Squash Carbonara!
Now, I will admit that this recipe wasn't completely my idea. I saw Half Baked Harvest publish a butternut squash carbonara recipe last fall and even though I had no idea what a "carbonara" was, it looked so good.
So good, in fact, that I wanted to create my version that was a little bit easier and healthier.
Because this recipe moves so quickly, I recommend having everything prepped and ready as much as possible. This means:
Once all of that is finished, you can start making your delicious butternut squash carbonara! It's quite easy. Here's how to do it:
Traditionally, carbonara sauce is made from raw eggs, Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, heavy cream, and black pepper. My recipe for butternut squash carbonara is lighter and healthier with a simple mix of eggs, parmesan, pureed butternut squash, and black pepper.
No! Mixing in cheese, reserved pasta water, and the butternut squash puree takes away any egg flavor and the result is an ultra silky, creamy sauce. It's heaven!
Toss the pasta constantly and thoroughly. No stopping! I will literally mix the noodles in the egg sauce for a good 5 minutes by hand.
If you start to notice scrambling, make sure you're really getting all the sauce from the bottom of the mixing bowl - that's where the scrambled eggs are probably coming from. You can also add more pasta water.
Traditionally, carbonara is made with spaghetti or linguine noodles with pancetta, but you can use any noodles you like. I chose to use turkey bacon instead of pancetta to keep this lighter and more affordable.
To add more protein, you could serve a grilled chicken breast seasoned with the same herbs and spices on the side.
A hearty side salad like this one would also be a great option!
For best results, use glass tupperware like these and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, sprinkle a tablespoon of water over your pasta and reheat in the microwave. Stir in the excess liquid to rehydrate the pasta and enjoy!
Prepare the pasta (not the Brussels sprouts or bacon) according to directions, let cool to room temperature, then freeze in a ziploc bag for up to three months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat with some water or milk on the stove until warm. Prepare the Brussels sprouts and bacon the same day and serve according to directions.
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I can't wait for you to dive into a cozy plate of this Butternut Squash Carbonara! It's so easy to make, so delicious, and it's a great weeknight dinner or unique Thanksgiving dish.
Be sure to leave a star rating and review below if you try the recipe so other readers know how you liked it! You can also tag me on Instagram. I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen!
This Butternut Squash Carbonara is ready in 30 minutes for the easiest weeknight dinner. The sauce is thick and creamy from eggs, parmesan cheese, and pureed butternut squash, and the pasta is topped with crispy bacon and roasted Brussels sprouts.
*This is how much I needed, but I would reserve another 1/2 cup (1 1/2 cups total) in case you need more to blend the squash or toss the sauce.
Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1/6 of the prepared pasta, Brussels sprouts, and bacon.
Calories: 413 / Fat: 7.6g / Saturated Fat: 3.5g / Sodium: 266mg / Carbohydrates: 63.8g / Fiber: 7.9g / Sugar: 6.7g / Protein: 23.2g
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