I love squash: Bacon Butternut Squash Alfredo

The recipe I am going to share with you today is one I would never have willingly indulged in as a child. I mean, it has all kinds of icky things in it like squash, onion, cashew cream. But this butternut squash Alfredo sauce is also one that my mom may have been able to pull one over on me with. One thing I loved as a kid was pasta, but I was limited on what I would allow to top my pasta. My preference was butter and cheese but then I discovered Alfredo sauce and my life changed. This butternut version is everything I love about the original with the added sweetness and nuttiness of butternut squash. It’s creamy, dreamy deliciousness and the best part, it’s not so bad for the waistline. Instead of loads of butter and cream, this sauce is a combination of butternut squash, cashew cream, spices and a touch of goat cheese for added creaminess.

Creamy bacon butternut squash Alfredo sauce over quinoa pasta | www.pickytoplenty.com

The creaminess of Alfredo sauce without all the cream and butter.

Squash was one of those foods I never gave a chance as a child. I wasn’t a big fan of orange foods and it smelled to much of pumpkin, which was for carving scary faces into and not eating. Who knew squash was actually dAelicious? It’s sweet, slightly nutty and so versatile. To think of all the years I missed out of slathering this sauce on some noodles and topping with crisp, applewood-smoked bacon. Yum!

Making sauces out of vegetables was how I first began “tricking” myself into eating them. A food processor is a picky eater’s best friend in the kitchen and mine has had a lot of playtime.

Another key to tricking a picky eater is to add bacon. Especially when it’s smoky, applewood bacon cooked to crispy perfection. The presence of bacon alone is enough to convince me to try something even if I am predisposed to thinking it is terrible (except with peas, no amount of bacon is going to convince me that those little green balls are tasty), even if it is just to eat the bacon and leave the veg.

Bacon makes everything better. Bacon Butternut Alfredo over Quinoa Pasta | www.pickytoplenty.com

Bacon makes everything better.

This recipe is inspired by one on Joyful Healthy Eats. Once I saw the dreamy photos of this creamy creation I had to try it out for myself. But of course, I can’t just try someone else’s recipe. That would be absurd. I had to put my own spin on it.

Instead of using milk, I used cashew cream to create this creamy butternut squash Alfredo sauce that is so good you could eat if off the spoon. I also switched up the spices and added some creamy, herbed goat cheese just before pouring it over just-cooked quinoa spaghetti.

When I told the hubby what was for dinner, he kind of made that face. The one where I know he is unsure of eating something but does so to keep me from having a meltdown. He wasn’t impressed by the idea, but the outcome definitely won him over (as did the pizza I made with leftover sauce). It’s safe to say, this butternut squash Alfredo sauce will be making a comeback in my kitchen soon. Until then, I will savour every last drop of the leftover sauce.

Making sauce out of vegetables is one of the easiest ways to trick a picky eater.

Making sauce out of vegetables is one of the easiest ways to trick a picky eater.

This dish comes together in less than 30 minutes and is super easy, yet super impressive. It is perfect on a weeknight or for dinner with company. This recipe made a lot more sauce then I needed for two bowls of pasta which enabled me to make probably the best pizza I have ever made (come back soon for the recipe).

Without further ado…

Bacon Butternut Squash Alfredo over Quinoa Spaghetti

Crispy bacon tops this creamy dish of butternut squash Alfredo

Crispy bacon tops this creamy dish of butternut squash Alfredo

inspired by Joyful Healthy Eats

  • 5 slices applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 C diced onion (I used a mix of red and yellow from my garden)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 C butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 1 C cashew cream (I used Silk brand)
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp herbed goat cheese
  • cooked quinoa pasta (or pasta of your choice)

Cook bacon in bottom of pot until crispy. Remove and drain all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat. Add onion and sauté until soft and just starting to caramelize. Add garlic and cook another minute. Sprinkle spices on onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add sqaush and saute a little longer, coating the squash with spices. Add stock and cook until squash is fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Pour stock and vegetables into food processor and puree until smooth, adding the cashew cream and goat cheese as you go. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over cooked noodles and top with crispy bacon.

Dig in to this creamy bacon butternut squash alfredo

Dig in to this creamy bacon butternut squash alfredo

 

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