If you like carbonara, but don’t love all the calories, this Butternut Squash Noodle Carbonara is for you! Crisp butternut squash noodles coated in a silky, cheesy, carbonara sauce and tossed with pancetta and fresh sage, this dish is easy, comforting, healthy and perfect for fall!Hi friends! How was everyone’s weekend? For those of you who had to endure Hurricane Matthew, I hope you stayed safe and no major damage was done to your home!
Boy and I were more worried about my family in Orlando, FL than we were about ourselves, here in N to the C. But, as it turns out we should have been a liiiiiiittle more concerned for ourselves. Oops? You live, you learn right.
Next hurricane I am going to be that crazy neighbor who stock piles supplies.
You see, my mother never even lost power during the hurricane, she actually told me they were cooking up a pretty gourmet feast. And Boy and I were without power for about 5 hours. Plus our entire town ended up losing power, so there wasn’t anywhere to turn.
Can I just tell you, I have a brand new appreciation for electricity? I’ve been without power before, but I don’t remember it being SO boring.
And I also don’t remember being so hangry! All I wanted to do was eat something. Our fridge was empty, but our pantry is stocked with staples, however that doesn’t help when all those staples require you COOK them.
Needless to say, I wasn’t the happiest of campers for a good portion of the day.
Anyways, I’ll stop ranting now and start talking about what you guys actually come here for – the food.
SO, if you guys read my last post, you might remember me mentioning vegetable noodles that disintegrated like a magic trick gone wrong. Well folks, these are them!
I made this dish 3 times JUST to get the butternut squash noodles right. I’m going to let you all in on a secret – DO NOT boil butternut squash noodles!!
Take it from me who has to learn EVERYTHING the hard way, it does NOT work. Even if you boil them for just ONE minute, when you remove the “noodles” from the water they break up into a million pieces and resemble rice more than pasta.
Commit this to memory – Boiling water is a terrible, horrible, no good cooking method for butternut squash noodles.
Do yourself a solid and just say no to boiling butternut squash noodles, my friends.
So how DID I cook them you ask? I baked ‘em. High five to the oven. ✋
Butternut Squash Noodle Carbonara
This dish was worth EVERY single trial and error, you guys! If you like pasta carbonara, but you also like fitting in your skinny jeans, this health-ified version is for YOU.
Naturally sweet and savory, crisp butternut squash noodles coated and glistening in a silky, cheesy, rich carbonara sauce, tossed with salty, crispy pancetta and earthy, herbaceous sage.
This dish is healthy, easy AND comforting.
Fall noms for your face, y’all!
Twirl. Chomp. Chew. Repeat.
What does carbonara mean?
Carbonara, pronounced karbo-na-ra, is a rich Italian pasta dish made with eggs, cheese, pancetta and fresh ground pepper. The dish was created in the mid 20th centery in Rome.
While spaghetti is the usual pasta found in pasta carbonara, fettuccine, linguine, bucatini or rigatoni can also be used.
The actual word, carbonara, is derived from carbonara, the Italian word for ‘charcoal burner’.
To cut carbohydrates and make carbonara an healthier dish, packed with nutrients, butternut squash noodles are substituted for the traditional pasta in this squash carbonara.
When to add eggs to carbonara?
To make carbonara, raw eggs are added to hot pasta at the end of cooking. The eggs can be added one of two ways – directly to the skillet, off of the heat (turn the burner off and physically move the skillet off the burner) to prevent the eggs from curdling, or the pasta can be transferred to a heated serving dish or bowl and the eggs can be added then. If adding the eggs to pasta in a bowl, you need to make sure the pasta is still hot, as the gentle heat from the pasta combined with the raw eggs is what forms the creamy, smooth carbonara sauce.
Why did my carbonara curdle? Why is my carbonara sauce lumpy?
If you add the eggs to the skillet with the pasta while the skillet is still on the heat, you will more than likely curdle the eggs. Likewise, if you transfer the pasta to a bowl that is heated too hot and add the eggs, they will curdle.
Carbonara can be tricky, as you need gentle heat. The skillet or bowl needs to be hot enough to thicken the eggs, but not so hot that you scramble the eggs. If the heat in your skillet or bowl is above 145 degrees F, your eggs will scramble and you will end up with a lumpy sauce.
Also, make sure you use room temperature eggs, as cold eggs can also cause your sauce to be lumpy.
And, one last tip to velvety carbonara, make sure you are evenly distributing the eggs while pouring and tossing the pasta continually.
How long will carbonara last in the fridge?
Leftover pasta carbonara should be safely stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored carbonara should keep for 3 days.
Notes, Tips & Tricks for Butternut Squash Noodle Carbonara recipe:
- In case you skipped through the beginning of this post – DO NOT try to boil the butternut squash noodles, they will break apart into a million pieces. The recipe below calls for baking your “noodles” until crisp or “al dente”. Do not over bake them or they will turn mushy.
- To make the squash easy to peel I like to microwave mine. Simply use a fork to pierce shallow holes all around the squash and microwave it for 45 seconds to 2 minutes. Let it cool and then proceed to peel it. Microwaving it softens the skin and makes it a cinch to peel!
- To spiralize the squash, cut the bulbous end and the tip off of the squash. You just want to work with the long cylindrical part. Cut the long cylinder in half and then spiralize both halves.
- You can spiralize the squash in advance. The ‘noodles’ will keep, covered (or stored in a Ziploc) in the fridge for 3 days.
Get on this Butternut Squash Noodle Carbonara. With only 30 minutes start to finish, there are no excuses. 😉
Until Thursday friends, cheers – to skinny eats.
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How to make homemade Butternut Squash Noodle Carbonara at home 👇
Butternut Squash Noodle Carbonara with Pancetta & Sage
- 1 medium Butternut Squash – peeled & spiralized* (1 pound of noodles)
- 2 TBS Extra-Virgin Olive Oil , divided
- 4 ounces Pancetta – diced (can substitute bacon)
- 1 TBS Fresh Sage – finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- ½ Yellow Onion – finely chopped (about ¾ Cup)
- 2 Whole Large Eggs plus 2 yolks
- 1/3 Cup Parmesan , packed – freshly grated (about 1 ounce)
- 1/3 Cup Pecorino Romano , packed – freshly grated (about 1 ounce), plus more for garnish
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Vegetable Stock or Chicken Stock (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- For the carbonara sauce: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, parmesan and pecorino. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the sage and stir to combine. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta and sage to a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add the onion to the skillet and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add back in the pancetta and sage.
- Meanwhile, bake the noodles: Toss the butternut squash noodles with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until ‘al dente’, tossing noodles halfway through cooking.
- Transfer pasta to skillet with onion and pancetta. Toss to combine and remove from heat.
- Slowly pour the egg mixture over the noodles, stirring constantly. Mix until the eggs have formed a smooth, creamy sauce. Add in stock, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed for creaminess. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately garnished with additional pecorino and sage if desired. Enjoy!
*To spiralize the squash, cut the bulbous end and the tip off of the squash. You just want to work with the long cylindrical part. Cut the long cylinder in half and then spiralize both halves.
*You can spiralize the squash in advance. The ‘noodles’ will keep, covered (or stored in a Ziploc) in the fridge for 3 days.
Cassie Sabens says
Me and my husband loved this recipe! We used chicken bacon instead of pancetta and it came out great. I bet it is better with pancetta. Thanks for sharing!
Cheyanne Bany says
I’m thrilled you and your husband loved this recipe! Chicken bacon is a great substitution if you are looking to cut some more calories! I’m going to have to try that!! Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know how it went! Cheers! 🙂
Used prepackaged butternut squash noodles and they came out mushy. Will try fresh next time. Otherwise, dish is tasty !
Cheyanne Bany says
I’m sorry to hear it came out mushy! I haven’t tried prepackaged squash noodles, but I have tried prepackaged sweet potato noodles in a few dishes before and they turned out to be a mushy disaster. I always recommend using fresh veggie noodles, because the prepackaged variety are just not as good. I hope you try this with fresh noodles and have more success!! But, I’m happy to hear this was tasty aside from the prepackaged noodle disaster! Thank you so much for stopping back by and commenting! Cheers!! 🙂
Sabrina Zaragoza says
The color is amazing!!!! And It seems not very difficult to follow. Definitely will make one at home.
allie @ Through Her Looking Glass says
Hey girl – these are beautiful twirly noodles in this dish. Bake not boil. Bake not boil. Bake not boil. Say that three times in a hurry! But now I’ll def. remember this method for butternut squash noodles. Bonus: I also still have fresh sage in my garden herb pot. Gorgeous dish my friend, I’m glad you did not suffer damage with Matthew. Thankfully all our friends and family up and down the east coast are safe. Hope you are having a better week this week, the power is ON and you are cooking up a storm! (No hurricanes please!) XO
[email protected] says
Next time – go to Elliots! haha They told us they have a generator so they can keep cooking when no one else has power!! 🙂 Things you learn when you are there super often due to a lack of a kitchen! But seriously. This dish!! Why have I never had butternut noodles before? They sound sooo good!
Cathy | whatshouldimakefor.com says
losing power is the worst! and with nothing to eat…the worst worst! i’m in love with this dish and these noodles. great tip on never boiling them! it’s painful, but very memorable when we learn the hard way right? carbonara is so good and love that you lightened it up. yum!!
Ashley - The Recipe Rebel says
I myself am a big fan of electricity! We’ve been without before, but thankfully we have a wood burning fireplace so we roasted up some hot dogs and had a super romantic candlelit hot dog dinner. Lol! The kids enjoyed it! I am seriously craving some carbonara now. Breakfast?!?
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
I am so so glad your ok – I know losing electricity is the pits (especially when all your food needs to be cooked – but gosh, so glad your home and yall are safe! I have a friend who just moved to Florida – she and her hubs just got a wonderful deal on a house right on the beach in a pretty remote area and I was so so scared for her – turned out while trees fell all around their home, they and their home was safe!
Ok – now moving away from the heavy talk – Cheyanne, you did such a wonderful job with these butternut squash noodles, I thought you were going to say you sauteed them, so fascinated by your solution to disintegrating squooshles! Brilliant, my friend! Oooh and combining the baked Butternut squooshles pancetta, sage and that carbonara sauce sound like the prefect fall dish!
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
I know how does it feel to live 5 hours without power. I have faced the same situation in June this year, but not because of the hurricane. It was the power cut due to thunderstorms, but I can tell it was really something which I don’t want to happen again. Glad to know that your family is safe. These sweet potatoes and squash noodles look beyond yum, Cheyanne. And I am so much in love with all the ingredients you have used here. Just so much yumminess going on here. 🙂
Stephanie | The Foodie and The Fix says
So glad to hear that you and your whole fam made it through the hurricane in one piece! Ya know, I’ve always loved a black out, though I most definitely would have a different outlook on that if I needed to be fed. Mama needs to eat! LOVING this healthy version on carbonara, Cheyanne! Those bright noodles are so pretty and I love the addition of the sage here, fall perfection!
Izzy @ She Likes Food says
I’m glad you and your family are all ok! No power is not fun, but glad that is all that happened! I’ve been wanting to make butternut squash noodles for a while now and these ones are beautiful! I bet this tastes amazing!
[email protected] says
haha I grew up having power cut everyday, even 24-48 hours during summers..but 4-5 hours everyday was must. Joys of growing up in a developing country..lol..now when I go back home, power cut irritates me because obviously I have got used to the no power cut thing in the US. but back then, it was a part of daily routine! Love butternut squash everything right now, this sounds so good!
Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says
We are on the same page with butternut squash pasta, girlfriend! I love how with yours you made the squash into the pasta! And pancetta on top? How could a girl resist?? Yum!
Oh Chey!!! I did had to endure the Hurricane but had nothing but a lot of rain!! So sorry to hear you were without power for 5 hours!! the longest 5 hours ever!! I think. This butternut squash carbonara looks amazing and love the few calories!! well done my friend!! I am glad everything is ok now!!
I love carbonara but I don’t love the calories. I can’t even enjoy it because I know it will take hours at the gym to workout one serving. I’m a huge fan of butternut squash so I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m happy to hear you and your parents safely survived Hurricane Mathew.
karrie @ Tasty Ever After says
I was always the crazy neighbor who bought a ton of food and then lost electricity for 2 weeks whenever a hurricane struck in FL. Then everyone comes over and eats my food so it doesn’t go bad but then I don’t have any food left. hahahaha! Damn hurricanes always messing things up.
I’d make a big ol’ batch of this carbonara if a storm was coming and eat it cold if I lost electricity. I LUV carbonara and will be trying this soon. Thanks for tip on not boiling the butternut squash noodles too 😉
Lauren Gaskill says
OH EM GEE, I’m running to the kitchen to make this ASAP! Love your microwave peeling trick, m’dear! I’m all about shortcuts lately. Lol. Pinning! HUGS!
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says
Happy that you are doing well, Cheyanne!! Sometimes I don’t mind if the power goes ’cause it’s excuse to kinda relax and unplug, but I definitely wouldn’t want it to be gone for too long….been there and it’s not fun! Ok, these noodles! What? They look so good and baking them? Such a good idea! And the microwave peeling trick? Brilliant!! I did not know that so thank you! This looks so creamy and dreamy and I would want to eat the entire recipe myself. Pinned and can’t wait to try reallllly soon 🙂 Have a wonderful week, my friend! xo
Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health says
OMG thank you thank you – for the peeling squash trick. And thank you thank you – for baking noodles trick. You kick ass Cheyanne :* Noodle carbonara looks AMAZING! I want to faceplant right into that bowl.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says
I am glad you are safe, despite losing power!
Isn’t butternut squash and sage just one of the best combinations. It just screams autumn and I am all about autumn at the moment. This is some delicious looking comfort food.
[email protected] says
So happy you and the family are safe! And wow do these noodles look divine! I have to say, I love that they’re baked. Such a cozy way to prepare them! Butternut squash is one of my faves! Happy that our CSA is loading us up! Have a great week, lovely!! xoxo
WOW!Butternut squash noodles looks so delicious and such a lovely color. thank you so much for sharing.
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
Lovely dish and great tips on making butternut squash noodles! Glad you made it through the storm ok, despite the power outage. I hear you there. I absolutely hate being without power, so we bought a generator here, so I never have to be without it 🙂
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings says
Glad to here you guys are all okay! These butternut squash noodles look so good. I can’t believe I haven’t tried them yet as much as I like butternut squash.
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
Glad you survived the storm….and remember to follow the boy scout motto….always be prepared! The color of this butternut squash noodle dish is spectacular! It looks just like what you need after a huge storm! 🙂 Stay safe!
People always say they wouldn’t want to live in CA because of earthquakes, but hurricanes scare me so much more! I’m sorry you lost power so long — that really is the pits! Can I just say that this is one of the prettiest and most appetizing veggie noodle recipes I’ve ever seen? I love everything about it, and you’re a food styling pro — this is so gorgeous! This is going on my meal plan son!
Demeter | Beaming Baker says
I’m so glad that you, Boy and your fam in Florida are totally fine, Chey! <3 You can be that crazy neighbor, or come over to my place! 😉 I have plenty of nuts and coconut oil to go around. Lolol. Wait a minute, that's not gonna cover you? Darn it! Anyway, you bring over the savory dishes–including this amazing butternut squash noodle beauty and I'll supply the sweets? 🙂 After all, besties stick together! Dang… can't believe you were hangry AND bored. Worst combo ever. Definitely makes for a crabby patty. Lol. Awesome job baking these guys! I knew that you could crack these! Once again, such a beautiful plate. Love this, Chey! So glad you're safe. xoxo
Stacey @ the sugar coated cottage says
I’m so glad to hear you weathered the storm! And a couple trials with these noodles, practice makes perfect !! This dish is lovely, comforting and I’m loving that it’s healthy! Take care.
Whenever the power is out for that long I always end up walking into EVERY room and trying to turn the light on.
I’ve never tried butternut squash noodles before. Man do these look good. I can almost smell the sage!
Matt @ RoughEats says
I’m always looking for ways to use my spiralizer. Carbonara is always a winner in our house, and I think I might need to try this recipe as a swap!
Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss says
I would like to swan dive into a bowl of this goodness, please and thank you! I haven’t experimented with butternut squash as noodles, but I have learned that zucchini noodles are best sauteed and not boiled as well. I am a carbonara FIEND and could gobble this up so, so fast. Keep the yumminess coming, girl!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks says
Girl, you sure are creative with your vegetable noodles! I’m glad you figured out the butternut no-boil situation because these look so pretty and colorful! Glad your power came back on too! We just got a bunch of rain and wind here, so spent the day in a bar drinking beer and watching college football! 🙂 Pinned! XO
Kevin | Keviniscooking says
So glad to read you survived and HM didn’t devastate you guys too much out there. We have had the occasional power outage before and it’s debilitating. And no WiFi? It just ends up showing me how dependent on that stuff I am. Luckily Dave is a General Contractor and has a back up generator and we had neighbors asking to get hooked up too!
I saw carbonara and that was it. This sounds so good! I know what you mean about boiling the butternut squash noodles. Did it recently for a client and ended up doing a quick sauté of them instead. What a mess and disappointment – and work in peeling another!
BTW, LOVE those utensils. 🙂
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I hate when we lose power Chey! At least that was all that happened though! Glad your family stayed safe! I love anything carbonara, so I know I will love this dish. It’s always been one of my go-to indulgent dishes, as well as Tom’s! Can’t wait to try your recipe. Hope your week is off to a great start! XO
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen says
No power = no fun, Cheyanne – we’ve had rolling blackouts over the last couple of years in LA and it sucks. Glad you’re okay otherwise – and your family in Florida too. As for this dish – it looks fantastic – love how warm and comforting it is but also healthy. I need to go get myself a spiralizer!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
Glad you stayed safe, despite loosing power! That stinks, but at least it wasn’t worse. And being hangry is the WORST! Luckily you had this gorgeous dish to keep you company. I’ve never made butternut squash noodles before, so I need to try this! Especially with that pancetta. Such a gorgeous meal, Cheyanne! And yay for it being lower in calories, too! Pinned! Hope your week is off to a great start!
Vivian | stayaliveandcooking says
Yes, I love carbonara and I wish there was a way to eat alllllll the food without gaining weight! I hate going to the gym, but how else do I get to eat whatever I crave? This recipe sounds delicious once again!
Oh and yes, I can imagine how frustrating it must be to be without power. I once had a problem with ONLY my stove and I already went nuts, let alone not having ANYTHING to do!
Kathryn @ Family Food on the Table says
Oh no, 5 hours without power? I’d be antsy, bored — and hungry! — too. Glad all is back to being well now! And glad you did the hard leg work so I don’t even need to try boiling those noodles 😉 But I can’t wait to make them! I don’t use my spiralizer nearly enough and I plan for that to change this fall, starting with all the sweet potatoes and squash noodles I can manage. And this recipe sounds amazing with the pancetta and sage and that rich creamy sauce. YUM girl!
[email protected]'s Recipes says
Butternut squash tastes so GOOD, doesn’t it? Sadly..our stores don’t carry them any more..and by the end of October, you won’t see any pumpkin either. Need to store up a few for the winter! This veggie crbonra looks super duper delicious and beautiful!
Amazing pictures, they make me want to dig in! A great idea for using spaghetti squash, I have been meaning to try this already, so it’s good to know about not boiling the squash. 🙂