Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr 8 min
8 min
1 hr

4 to 6 servings

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (2-pound) butternut or kobucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook's Note)
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan

Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes Cool completely before using.

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    244 Reviews
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    Made this last night, it was very bland. I read some of the other reviewers comments who had substituted things. I used vegetable broth instead of water and I added fontina cheese instead of goat cheese, the hubby isn't a fan of goat cheese. It was overall just tasteless. Even adding a lot of grated parmesan didn't do much. Won't make this again.
    While I found this recipe as-is to be simple to throw together, the overall taste was very bland. Several reviewers commented that they had used herbed goat cheese and chicken broth as substitutes in the recipe; I think those modifications are necessary for those who want bold flavor. I won't make it again.
    So easy and so yummy!
    Delicious creamy comfort food. Added grilled chicken on a few occasions as well as grilled shrimp once. Both are really good additions.
    I used 1/2 pound of penne instead of the whole 1 pound box, and added a chopped sweet potato to the squash and onion. I think next time I will add a clove of garlic. I don't like goat cheese so I substituted gorgonzola dolcelatte and reduced the pasta water to 1/2 cup. Combined everything per the recipe then put it in a casserole dish, topped it with grated parmesan reggiano and a few chunks of gorgonzola. Baked at 350 for 25 minutes.
    This dish is very, very rich. While I enjoyed the taste of the pasta, goat cheese and squash together, my son hated it. And I found that it was too thick after a few minutes. I used the first and second cup of pasta water, and it still ended up getting thick and gummy after sitting for a few minutes. If I ever make this again (my son for sure says no, lol) I would use plain water to thin it, and only use half of the goat cheese. Just too rich and thick.
    Made this tonight and it was quite easy to put together. I used whole wheat pasta instead and instead of veggie spray....I used parchment paper instead. I love all the flavors. They marry so well together! Thanks Giada! I will be making this again!
    I added sun dried tomatoes, broccoli and artichoke hearts to the recipe. Everyone loved it, even my son-in-law who thinks vegetables are evil.
    I just made this and it tastes great. My mom said it needs salt but other than that it tastes awesome. I used the already cut up butternut squash and that cut down on the prep. I also found that it's really important to know your stove. So if your stove cooks really hot like me, then you should probably cut the cook time of the squash down to 35. I put the onions in at 20 minute mark and cooked my walnuts on top of the stove in a skillet. It turned out nice, and I'm proud of myself because I'm NOT A COOKER! Next time I might try adding chicken to it. ^_^
    I just didn't get what everyone raves about. It wasn't terrible but I didn't love it either.
    My family loved this recipe. I didn't modify the ingredients, but I did buy the pre-cut butternut squash to save some time. As some other reviewers did, I roasted the squash for 15 minutes, then added the onions, and with 10 minutes left, I added the walnuts. Next time I'll probably add the onions 5 minutes later, or cut down on the roasting time by 5 minutes all together.
    I also used sage instead of basil...this pasta is phenomenal! Only draw back was the prep time. Peeling and chopping up the squash was quite a task. Maybe it wasn't quite ripe
    I made a few small adjustments and this dish tasted amazing! Perfect for fall!!! Like others have said, start with just the squash in the oven, 15 minutes later add the onions, and when you have 10 minutes left add the walnuts. I used fresh chopped sage instead of basil, celebration sqaush instead of kobucha or butternut, and used gouda and a little half and half in lieu of goat cheese. I also threw in some red pepper flakes for a tiny bit of a kick. If you are looking for a great fall flavor pasta dish, definitely try it!
    It sounded good! I would not bother making again. Too costly for something that was blah.
    Just made this for the first time and it was terrific. I did substitute chopped sage from the garden for the basil and it tasted wonderful. This is company worthy.
    After sitting in the room temperature, it looses the creaminess. Overall was ok!
    This is so good. My kids are fairly adventurous least they will try new things. My son (13) thinks it is amazing and my daughter (19) liked the complexity of flavor, sweet from the roasted squash and tangy from the goat cheese. I will definitely be making this again. I have many sweet pumpkins from my garden this year and will try it with that next time. This recipe is a keeper.
    Making it for the second time right now. So good!
    Will definitely make again. Rich, creamy and packed with flavors, the fresh sweet basil really adds to the dish. I did alter the cheese, I only had 6 oz of goat cheese so I threw in 4 oz of feta, so I did not add additional salt at the end only pepper. I also added glazed walnuts (personal preference I don't like raw regular walnuts). Served with grilled boneless pork chops and a salad. A winter keeper.
    I would rate this a 3 star as is. Even with the goat cheese and basil it was slightly bland. I also added salt and pepper to try to bring out the flavors that do go well together. I will make this again but cut the penne to 1/2 pound which is still plenty for the 8 oz of cheese and 1 cup of basil. I would add in some garlic to the onions and the squash too. The nuts were nice and added a great crunch texture.
    My husband said it was "restaurant quality." I'm not a great cook but I had to agree! It was simple and delicious.
    This is a very "rich," dish so keep the portions small. I added cherry tomatoes to try to cut through the richness of the goat cheese. Prob. wont be making this again.
    This was delicious! Even better than I thought it would taste! The only thing I would note is that I will probably not start cooking the squash & the onions at the same time next time.. as the onions burnt by the time the squash was done.
    This was an easy dish to make and I really like that it wasn't heavy, although it sounds like it might be with all that cheese. I used herbed goat cheese and everyone though it tasted great. I tried it right away while it was still warm and again later at room temperature. Both were very good and I would make this again. 
    I do want to point out that one of the recipe ingredients is wrong...there is no such thing as kombucha squash. It should be kabocha squash. Kombucha is a tea made from kelp.
    This recipe was easy to make but my family did not enjoy it. Maybe it was the goat cheese. In any event, I won't make it again.
    Me and my family hated it and a bad weird way
    Me and my boyfriend loved this one. I substituted the goat cheese with feta cheese and absolutely delicious. Thanks giada
    We absolutely loved it! I used quinoa instead of pasta, and used 4 oz of goat cheese instead of 8. Fantastic flavor in this little dish. I look forward to making it again.
    Saw this on an episode of Giada at Home and just knew it would be good. FINALLY, had the chance to make it and it was INCREDIBLE!! Made a small side salad and my Husband and I were very busy making yummy noises while we were gobbling it up! Made the full recipe and we have enough for another dinner. Another fantastic recipe from Giada!
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    Fall Entertaining Guide