Butternut Squash Pasta with Leeks and Pancetta

gluten free
Butternut Squash Pasta with Leeks and Pancetta

Butternut Squash Pasta with Leeks and Pancetta

As I planned my strategy for Inspiralized for 2018 last week, I decided this: 2018 will be the year of EASY recipes.

Easy as in – minimal ingredients that you can easily find in a typical grocery store and prep time that is always under 30 minutes.

Aside from being easy, I only want to post recipes on my blog that I would actually eat, unless otherwise requested. So why would I post a recipe if I wouldn’t eat it myself? Great question. Let me explain!

Sometimes, I post recipes that are made with ingredients that I don’t like, because I know that other people (like you, the readers) like!

Butternut Squash Pasta with Leeks and Pancetta

Since I love providing recipes that you want to make, I hope you all reach out to me and send me suggestions (via email or through an Instagram DM, Tweet, or Facebook message). Otherwise, all of the recipes on the blog in 2018 will be ones that I would personally make for a meal.

I guess it’s the year of me and you! 🙂

Today’s recipe checks off TWO of those boxes: EASY and something I would make for dinner for Lu and I. If I can make this dish with baby Luca napping, so can you! It takes minimal prop (the toughest part is peeling the butternut squash!) and has so much flavor, thanks to the sweetness in the butternut squash that complements the pancetta (aka Italian bacon!)

Butternut Squash Pasta with Leeks and Pancetta

I’d love to hear what recipes you’d like to see in 2018 – maybe proteins (for example, ‘salmon’) or ingredients (for example, ‘broccoli’).

I’m going to be sharing a couple of more recipes before 2018 starts, so stay tuned to the blog!


Nutritional Information & Recipe

Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 7 points

*These points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers SmartPoints calculator. We are in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers, we are providing this information based on popular demand.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Leeks and Pancetta

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins


  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 leeks sliced
  • 1 large butternut squash about 3 pounds, peeled, Blade D, noodles trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is heated, add the pancetta and cooked until crispy, 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Let the pan cool (with pancetta fat) for 2-3 minutes and then add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the leeks and butternut squash noodles to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until pasta is al dente or softened to your preference, 5-7 minutes. Stir back in the pancetta along with the Parmesan cheese. Divide into bowls and serve.

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Julie says:
I made your risotto version of this the other night, but made it dairy free and mixed in kite hill foods chive cream cheese instead. It was delicious!
Meaghan says:
Wow! That sounds delicious!
Michele says:
We can all use more quick and easy recipes! I think your plan for this coming year is PERFECT. And don't hesitate to bring out some of your old favorites from the archives. You've already given us so much, thank you. This Butternut Squash Pasta with Leeks and Pancetta looks like another flavorful, nourishing dish. I'm looking forward to making it with squash we've stored from our garden last fall.
Meaghan says:
Thank you for your feedback! We really appreciate it.
Michele says:
I had another thought...your followers could be an valuable resource. What about occasionally featuring reader/follower recipes like you did with the Spiralized Vegetable Tian? I see wonderful food posted on Insta and in the FB community, complete with nice pictures so you don't have to re-photograph. It would be nice to give a gift to the recipe creator, like a free Inspiralizer + tote!
liz says:
I love it when I read a blog post from a favorite food blogger (like you) and want to make it that night - and do! About to make this as a side with sole for chanukah dinner. Thank you!
Meaghan says:
That's so awesome! Enjoy!!
FlawLESS says:
what did you sub for the pancetta?
Melissa says:
Easy sounds great to me! Love following your blog and Instagram. I may have missed this, but would love to see your "post-baby" meal plan (what have been your go-to recipes). Looking forward to 2018!
Meaghan says:
Thanks for the feedback, Melissa! We appreciate your support.
Dianne says:
YESSS!! Bring on your 2018 recipes, quick, easy and under 30 min. I didn’t just have a baby but I have 2 retail jobs and I teach yoga so my time is limited and schedule is crazy at times. I can’t wait, thank you!
Meaghan says:
Yay! We're so glad you love the idea!
Kerrie says:
I would love you to post recipes featuring fish, such as salmon, cod, and haddock.
Meaghan says:
We appreciate the feedback, Kerrie!
Helen says:
Your creativity continues to amaze me, and my husband and I benefit from it. I do have one burning question: do you have ideas for using the bulbous end of butternut squash after all the lovely sqoodles have been created from the solid neck of the squash?
Stephanie says:
This looks really good; I will have to try it. I might be tempted to add some red or green pepper along with the leeks. You asked for what we'd like to see. I am interested in adapting a Salt and Pepper Kugel to vegetable noodles. See https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/salt-and-pepper-noodle-kugel/ What vegetable would you recommend? I feel like zucchini would be too watery. Maybe parsnip? What do you think?
Sarah says:
I made this and added kale and topped with an egg for added protein! Didn't have a butternut squash so I used sweet potatoes. Great recipe, thanks!!
Meaghan says:
Thank you for sharing your substitutes with us! That sounds delicious.
Gail H. says:
I love to see more recipes utilizing the new WW Programs zero ingredients: beans, lentils, chicken, turkey, eggs, and Greek nonfat plain yogurt :) But all of your recipes are great!!
Meaghan says:
Thank you for your feedback!
Dianna Johnston says:
Hi Ali, I went though 2 "brand x" spiralizers before I bought the Inspriralizer - which is Fabulous :) I had a glitch with this recipe though - I peeled the squash and used blade D - but the noodles didn't separate - I could see the thin noodle definition, but it came off of the spriralizer in a really thick noodle - what did I do wrong?
Meaghan says:
Hi Dianna! We're sorry to hear this. Please email me - meaghan@inspiralized.com - I'd be happy to troubleshoot with you!
Susan Metzger says:
So did I
Susan Metzger says:
My noodles did not separate. Big swirls stick together? I used blade D ?
Anonymous says:
Anybody out there actually MAKE this recipe?

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serves 4-6

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil⁣
1/2 red onion, diced⁣
2 garlic cloves, minced⁣
2 carrots, diced⁣
1 large celery rib, diced⁣
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed⁣
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary⁣
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme⁣
4 cups vegetable broth (I'm using @bonafideprovisions and it's honestly a game-changer! code INSPIRALIZED for 15% off!)⁣
salt and pepper⁣
1 1/2 pound bag creamer potatoes, halved⁣
1 pound chicken sausage, sliced⁣
12 ounces shredded brussels sprouts⁣
shredded Parmesan cheese (I'm loving @foragerproject's vegan Parmesan shreds)⁣
red pepper flakes to garnish⁣

heat half the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. add the cannellini beans, rosemary, thyme, and stir. add the broth, 2 cups water, and season generously with salt and pepper. bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. use an immersion blender to blend the soup. add the potatoes, bring back to a boil, and reduce heat to a medium-simmer and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.⁣

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once potatoes are done, add the chicken and sprouts to the soup, stir, and serve. top with cheese and red pepper flakes.