butternut squash noodles with chicken & cream sauce (whole30, paleo)

If you would have told me a couple of years ago that I’d be all over butternut squash noodles, I’d have never believed it.

Why?
It would have been too “out there” for me.
Just give me the real stuff!

However, I realized that I had to open my mind and be willing to try things if I wanted to stop feeling controlled by foods. By doing that, my world would open up to fresh new flavors, tastes and experiences. That is part of the fork freedom philosophy—realizing that healthier foods can blow your mind.

overhead view of pasta

Replacing habits is critical to break free from compulsive eating. The new habits will be uncomfortable at first but I promise, you will get to a point where they become second nature.

If you are new to making butternut squash noodles or cashew sauce, don’t worry, I got your back!

how to make butternut squash noodles

First, if you need convenience, butternut squash noodles can be purchased already in spiralized at most grocery stores. With that said, they do hike up the price so I like to make mine at home (and it really doesn’t take long).

It helps to have a spiralizer to make noodles out of butternut squash, zucchini or anything else. If you don’t have one, you can purchase through amazon and they’re fairly inexpensive. They really help if you want to increase your veggie intake and get creative with food!

butternut squash noodles in bowl

If you don’t have a spiralizer, no worries, you can use a regular peeler and peel the butternut squash into strips (which will resemble tagliatelle pasta)! You will get a little bit of an arm workout but who doesn’t want stronger biceps?

It’s critical to season the squash well. I’ve had butternut squash noodles before that I didn’t care for because of how they were cooked and seasoned (or lack there of). Don’t be shy with sea salt and fresh black pepper.

In this recipe, I saute the squash in clarified butter (ghee, butter or olive oil well too).

overhead view of pasta

how to make cream sauce using cashews

I’m currently not eating dairy because I suspect my body doesn’t process it well so I’m doing a little experiment.

The good news is that cashew sauce is a fantastic substitute for a cream sauce. Again, that may not be familiar to you but it’s so easy.

I like to make a batch and keep it in the fridge. Then, any time I need a non-dairy cream, it’s available.

To make cashew cream, simply soak cashews for about an hour to soften them. Add water, cashews, 2 cloves of garlic and sea salt to a high-powered blender or food processor. I use a Ninja. Blend until it’s a smooth consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally. That’s it—easy breezy lemon squeezy!

Now that you have cashew sauce and butternut squash noodles, it’s simple to put everything together in ONE pan.

butternut squash on fork

how to make butternut squash noodles with cream sauce

Start by sautéing onions in clarified butter (sub ghee, butter or olive oil) until they’re translucent. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.

While the chicken is cooking you can make the cream sauce by combining cashew sauce, chicken bone broth (or regular chicken broth), nutritional yeast and seasoning.

If you’re unfamiliar with nutritional yeast, it’s a common vegan cheese substitute and has a nutty, cheesy, and savory flavor. You can pick it up in most grocery stores or on amazon.

Once chicken is cooked (4-5 minutes, depending on how small the pieces), remove the chicken. Add the butternut squash noodles and fresh spinach. The fresh spinach is optional but a great way to get extra nutrients! It’s flavorless so why not?

alfredo prep

Season and cook the butternut squash until it softens, maybe 5 minutes (not too much—I think it works best al dente).

Once squash has reached your desired firmness, add the sauce and chicken. Add more salt or pepper if necessary. Stir until everything is combined and take off heat.

Serve with fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon, grated parmesan cheese or ground black pepper.

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other whole30/paleo recipes you make like

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noodles in dish

butternut squash noodles with chicken & cream sauce (whole30, paleo)

  • Author: Karen
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

You’ll fall in love with this dairy-free cream sauce option! Perfectly seasoned butternut squash noodles sautéed with spinach, chicken and a flavorful cream sauce. Whole30, Paleo friendly. Gluten, grain & dairy free.


Scale

Ingredients

Cashew sauce (cream)

  • 2 cups of raw cashews
  • 1 1/4 cup of hot water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Butternut squash pasta

  • 2 tablespoons of clarified butter*, separated (sub ghee, butter or olive oil)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • 6 cups spiralized butternut squash noodles (from two 1012 inch butternut squashes)
  • handful of spinach or kale (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cashew sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup of chicken bone broth (or regular broth)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. of fresh pureed Italian herbs or 2 tsps. of dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/23/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

For cashew sauce (this can be made ahead of time)

  1. Place raw cashews in a bowl and pour hot water over. Cover and let sit for an hour or more until cashews have softened.
  2. Pour cashews, water, garlic cloves and salt in a high powered blender (I use a ninja) or food processor.
  3. Blend until smooth. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

For the butternut squash pasta

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of clarified butter (butter or olive oil) to a 12-inch heavy bottom sauce pan. Add onions and saute over medium heat until translucent (about 3 minutes). 
  2. Add diced chicken, season with salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes (depending on how big the pieces are). Remove chicken from pan when done and put aside.
  3. While chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Add cashew sauce, chicken broth, nutritional yeast, herbs, red pepper flakes, onion powder, salt & pepper to a bowl. Stir to combine. Put aside.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of clarified butter (butter or olive oil) to the same pan. Add butternut squash and spinach. Saute until noodles have softened (but not mushy).
  5. Once the noodles have reached the desired firmness (about 5-7 minutes) add sauce and chicken. Stir to combine. Season to taste and remove from heat.
  6. Serve immediately with fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon, shaved parmesan or nutritional yeast or ground black pepper.

Notes

  • Clarified butter removes the milk proteins found in butter and leaves only the good fats (yes, fat is good, I swear!). This is a good option if you’re staying away from dairy. It’s very easy to make! For instructions, go here.

Keywords: butternut squash noodles, butternut squash pasta, cashew cream sauce

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