Butternut and cheese penne recipe

(896 ratings)

Make this butternut and cheese penne for a quick mid-week meal for the whole family. It's full of veg and the kids will love it

Butternut and cheese penne
  • Vegetarian
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories580 Kcal29%
Fat28 g40%
Saturated Fat8 g40%

Bright orange squash and creamy cheese make this butternut and cheese penne an appetising and delicious dinner.

Butternut and cheese penne is a pleasingly simple vegetarian dinner option, and it's one of our favourite cheap family meals. The soft, cozy texture of the squash, soaked in the flavour of the vegetable stock, makes the perfect accompaniment to the sharp flavour of the goat's cheese. But the real stars of the dish are the fried sage leaves, which add drama and crunch. So don't be tempted to skip this step. The whole dish only costs £1.45 per portion, making it an affordable family meal. To finish, sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese and serve with a big bowl of salad to follow.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, optional
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 400ml hot vegetable stock
  • 250g penne
  • About 20 sage leaves
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 125g goat’s cheese
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper




  1. Warm the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and chilli flakes, if using, then the squash and stock. Simmer until the squash is tender and the stock almost absorbed — about 15 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the penne in a pan of boiling salted water for 8-10 mins, and fry the sage leaves, a few at a time, in a small pan, in the oil. Drain them on kitchen paper. Drain the pasta and tip into the squash mixture.
  3. Serve the pasta in hot bowls, top with broken cheese pieces, pine nuts, seasoning and the fried sage leaves.

Top tips for making butternut and cheese penne

If your are not a fan of goats cheese, swap it for crumbled feta and stir a spoonful of cream cheese through the hot pasta to add a little extra creaminess. If you can find sage infused olive oil, drizzle some of this over the top for extra flavour.

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.