Butternut Squash Noodles

Butternut Squash Noodles

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 36 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
424 Calories
27g Fat
48g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 424
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 491mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 18%
Dietary Fiber 15g 52%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 68mg 342%
Calcium 233mg 18%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 1304mg 28%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

First things first, butternut squash noodles don’t taste like spaghetti — but that’s the beauty of them! It’s the perfect way to celebrate a seasonal ingredient in a fun and recognizable way. The noodles have a more toothsome texture than zoodles making them a more sturdy option with a slightly sweet flavor that tastes great on its own, paired with fresh herbs and garlic, or a rich ragu. You can dress up butternut squash noodles as you would pasta for a low-carb, nutritious side or as a stand-alone entrée. Butternut squash noodles are incredibly versatile and can even be enjoyed raw as a crunchy cold noodle salad, in slaw, or with your favorite dressing and salad mix-ins.

So now that we’re all behind butternut squash noodles, how do you make them? There are countless spiralizers on the market from handheld to crank. Handheld spiralizers typically have a smaller circumference and work better with long, lean and tender vegetables like zucchini. Crank spiralizers open up a world of possibilities and usually have multiple blades – this is the best option for hardy or large vegetables like butternut squash. And lastly, if you don’t have a spiralizer, the julienne setting on a mandolin works well – just make sure to follow the proper safety protocols!

No matter how you slice it, homemade butternut squash noodles are a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy the sweet and starchy vegetable, and they’re surprisingly easy to make!

"This Butternut Squash Noodles recipe is fun to make and delicious. Look for butternut squash that have thick or long necks to make the most zoodles possible. I opted for less butter and cheese to let the flavor of the squash shine through." —Diana Andrews

Butternut Squash Noodles/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 butternut squashes, depending on size (neck should be 3 to 5 inches long)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt, more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste

Steps to Make It

Make the Butternut Squash Noodles

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make butternut squash noodles

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Wash the butternut squash. Cut the squash in half crosswise, separating the long neck from the bulbous bottom.

    Two butternut squash cut in half on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Use a vegetable peeler (or sharp knife) to peel the skin from the flesh. Save the bulbous portion for your own use (peel it, chop it, and roast it!).

    Peeled pieces of butternut squash on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Once the squash is peeled, cut the squash neck according to your spiralizer's directions (I use a crank spiralizer, like the Paderno World Cuisine 3-Blade Vegetable Spiralizer).

    Long slices of butternut squash on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Fit your spiralizer with the shredder blade, and follow your spiralizer’s instructions to create spaghetti-like butternut squash strands. You should have about 4 cups, loosely packed.

    Butternut squash noodles in a spiralizer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Place the butternut squash noodles on paper towels or a clean dish towel and top with more towels. Gently press and blot to absorb any excess water. Set noodles aside until ready to cook.

    Butternut squash noodles drying on paper towels

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Cook the Butternut Squash Noodles

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the skillet. When the oil shimmers, add noodles. Reduce heat to medium and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender but not falling apart, have a light golden color, and smell nutty and sweet, 5 to 6 minutes.

    A pan of butternut squash noodles

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Add butter to the skillet with noodles, and toss until butter is melted and just coats the noodles, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

    Butternut squash noodles in a skillet with butter

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add Parmesan cheese to the skillet with noodles and toss until combined. Add water 1 tablespoon a time if needed to loosen the noodles. Season butternut squash noodles with salt and black pepper to taste and serve.

    A pan of butternut squash noodles topped with parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Tips

  • Yield varies depending on size, you might need one larger squash or two smaller. 
  • If you don’t have a spiralizer or mandolin, find ready-to-cook butternut squash noodles in the prepared produce section of your local grocery store. 
  • Look for a straighter butternut squash with a long and lean neck versus curvy or bulbous.
  • To make peeling a breeze, microwave the squash for 30 seconds before cutting and peeling. This creates a little steam between the flesh and skin. 
  • While cooking, watch the noodles closely, they should be tender enough to twirl on a fork but not mushy or falling apart.

Make Ahead

Prep before cooking. Store the raw butternut squash noodles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days before cooking. Or freeze them in an airtight container or resealable storage bag for up to six months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then pat noodles dry before cooking. 

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of stovetop cooking, toss the raw butternut squash noodles on a large baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat the broiler to high. Broil noodles on the upper oven rack until caramelized and fork tender but not mushy, and the squash smells sweet and nutty, carefully tossing the noodles halfway through cooking, 5-8 minutes. (Keep an eye on the noodles, broilers vary!) 
  • Herbed: Add 4 to 6 fresh sage leaves or the leaves from 1 thyme sprig to the olive oil before adding the noodles for a fragrant herby twist.
  • Mac & Cheese: Take your mac and cheese game to the next level! Combine cooked butternut squash noodles with this extra creamy four-cheese sauce and toss until thoroughly coated. 
  • Tex-Mex: For a Tex-Mex twist, toss cooked butternut squash noodles with red enchilada sauce, then top with your favorite cheese (like mozzarella, cheddar-jack cheese, or Oaxaca cheese) and broil until the cheese is golden and bubbly. 
  • Tomato Sauce: For a low-carb spin on an Italian classic, toss cooked butternut squash noodles with a rich tomato sauce with Italian sausage, then top with Parmesan cheese and mangia!
  • Stir Fry: Heat up your wok or a large skillet, add sliced snow peas, broccoli, and cooked butternut squash noodles and toss with a sweet and spicy stir-fry sauce
  • Salad:
  • Serve the noodles raw with a bright and tangy salad dressing and crumbled feta.
  • Toss raw butternut squash noodles with your favorite pesto and leafy greens (like arugula or baby spinach) for a delightful salad. Top with some toasted pine nuts or walnuts for extra crunch!
  • Toss raw butternut squash noodles with this sweet and nutty Japanese sesame dressing, then add your favorite salad mix-ins like shredded cabbage and toasted cashews.
  • Ditch the soba noodles in this cold noodle salad and replace them with raw butternut squash noodles for a sweet and crunchy low-carb lunch or dinner!

How to Store

Store cooked butternut squash noodles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three-five days. Or freeze in a flat layer in an airtight container or resealable storage bag for up to six months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then pat noodles dry before reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop in a skillet.