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Butternut Squash Fettuccine with Garlicky Spinach and Bacon

Creamy and cheesy butternut squash sauce coats fettuccine noodles and garlicky spinach, topped with savory and salty bacon and shaved parmesan cheese. 

Servings 4
Author Emily Weeks, RDN, LD


  • 4 slices bacon
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled and small diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 12 oz fettuccine pasta
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 5oz pkg baby spinach


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet pan. Add a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet, then place the bacon on the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bacon is crispy. Allow to cool for several minutes, then chop the bacon into small pieces. Set aside.

  2. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, onion powder and butternut squash. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and let simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender. 

  3. Once the squash is cooked through, remove the saucepan from heat and allow to cool for several minutes. Add the mixture to a blender and puree. Return the pureed mixture to the saucepan and set on low heat to keep warm. Stir in the parmesan cheese. 

  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the salt and the fettuccine. Cook according to package instructions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.
  5. Add the cooked fettuccine to the saucepan with the squash puree. Toss to combine. Add a splash of the reserved cooking water to help the sauce coat the pasta. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Remain on low heat to keep warm.

  6. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, spinach and 1 clove of minced garlic. Cook until the spinach just begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Stir the cooked spinach into the saucepan with the pasta.

  7. To serve, add pasta to a bowl and top with shaved parmesan and chopped bacon.