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Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce with Caramelized Leeks + Penne

creamy-butternut-squash-sauce (2)
Butternut squash, a magical part of fall that we all love. Who can resist its deep and mellow flavor? Its richness and creaminess can be transformed into just about anything. You can roast it, you can whip it for a mash, you can grate it for a brunch hash, heck you can even bake it into a sweet treat!

Any way it comes, I love it all. Luckily I get a ton of it through my CSA share with Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op. Here is one of the easiest and most flavorful ways to enjoy it. I introduce to you my dairy-free, totally vegan, Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce with Caramelized Leeks + Penne.
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Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce with Caramelized Leeks + Penne

Serves 6 hungry folks.


  • 3 medium sized leeks
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 small to medium butternut squash, yielding 2 heaping cups of butternut puree
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked in room temperature water with a pinch of sea salt for 2-4 hours
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk {or other preferred milk of choice}
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic granules or 1 clove of garlic, sauteed
  • 1 pound or so of gluten free pasta, I use Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Penne
  • sea salt + coarse ground pepper, to taste

Wash, trim and slice your leeks into thin medallions. Heat your frying pan over a low-medium flame. Add in about 1/4 cup filtered water and throw in your leeks. This method of a water saute allow the leeks to get a jump start on the cooking, without adding in more oil. Simmer the leeks until all of the moisture has evaporated. Then add in the ghee {or other oil} with a generous pinch of sea salt and saute until the leeks become transparent and soft, about 10 minutes. With about 1 minute left add in the vinegar for a touch of acid and simmer.

While your leeks are caramelizing, boil a large pot of water and cook your pasta. Be sure you finish this pasta al dente because no one enjoys overcooked pasta, especially overcooked gluten free rice pasta – which has a tendency to become pretty mushy.

You can either roast your butternut squash or cut, peel and boil it. Either method works and I’ve tried both. I honestly thought I was going to prefer the roasted method, but strangely boiling the squash actually gave the sauce more depth. Either way, you’ll need 2 heaping cups of butternut squash.

In a high speed blender or food processor combine the squash, cashews, almond milk, paprika, garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until rich, smooth and creamy. This should yield the perfect texture and consistency, but feel free to play around with the amount of almond milk, you may want the sauce a little thinner or thicker.

To assemble toss the pasta in the cream sauce and top with a generous spoonful of leeks. Serve warm and devour slowly, trust me you’ll want to fully appreciate each and every bite – it is just that good.


Monday 16th of February 2015

Is there away to make this without the cashews? Is there a replacement for them? I am allergic. Thanks!


Tuesday 17th of February 2015

Hi Jessica - you could try subbing in some organic tofu for those cashews. The flavor and consistency should be the same. Good luck!

Gaby Dalkin

Monday 3rd of November 2014

This looks so comforting and delicious!


Tuesday 26th of November 2013

I made this for my guys and they went bonkers over it! What amazing flavors . . . sweet squash, creamy nuts, salty savory leeks . . . this is a keeper for me. I'm adding this to the Thanksgiving menu . . . thank you!


Tuesday 26th of November 2013

This comment made my whole day, my whole week even maybe!

Comments like this reiterate to me why I do what I do.

THANK YOU for your love + support!


10 Hearty Gluten Free Vegetarian Main Events + this Millet and Sage Stuffed Acorn Squash with Garlicky Greens + Goat Cheese | With Food + Love

Monday 18th of November 2013

[…] Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce with Caramelized Leeks + Brown Rice Penne […]

Things I'm Loving Friday: October 17

Friday 18th of October 2013

[…] Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce with Caramelized Leeks (via With Food and Love) – I just got a couple leeks in my CSA this week and I’m trying to be creative and not just automatically make potato and leek soup…no matter how tasty it is.  This may be the perfect alternative! […]

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