Butternut Squash Noodles with Garlic & Lemon turns a seasonal favorite veggie into a healthful “pasta” the whole family will love.

Spiralized butternut squash noodles in a textured bowl with a black fork digging into them.

Remember 2016, when we were spiralizing everything? Or was that just me? I bought a spiralizer and for at least a year, I was making “noodles” out of every vegetable I could (even pickled veggies for grilled pork banh mi).

But since then, the spiralizer has collected dust, and now when a veggie noodle craving strikes, I’ll often just buy a box of butternut squash spaghetti at the grocery store, as it is widely available and so much easier than spiralizing myself.

But, if I’m not making butternut squash soup with goat cheese, and decide I do want to make my own noodles, the large size of a butternut squash makes it ideal to get nice long strands of “spaghetti.”

This makes it an awesome healthful alternative to pasta, although a decadent creamy salmon pasta will always have it’s place in my heart.

Whether you buy it or spiralize it yourself, this butternut squash noodles with garlic and lemon recipe is my favorite, simple way to prepare it.

These noodles are delightful as a main course, but also great alongside Greek chicken meatballs, black bean meatballs or a flat iron steak.

Butternut squash spaghetti in a textured bowl with a black fork digging in.

The garlic lemon butternut squash recipe was wonderful!! Just made it tonight & have sent it on to three people.  Thank you so much for your delightful cooking!

-Gerry Ann
The ingredients needed for butternut squash pasta laid out on a light surface, including squash and squash noodles, butter, herbs, salt, pepper and cheese.

What you’ll need for this garlic and lemon butternut squash noodle recipe:

  • unsalted butter – we’ll be using this to saute the butternut squash noodles. You can also use olive oil!
  • garlic cloves – this adds much of the flavor to this butternut squash spirals recipe.
  • lemon juice – 1 large fresh lemon should yield enough juice to add some brightness to this butternut squash noodle recipe. Buy a few extra lemons so you can make a lemon smoothie, too!
  • spiralized butternut squash – you can spiralize it yourself (more on this below) or buy a package of butternut squash spirals at the grocery store.
  • rosemary – I love the flavor combination of squash and rosemary, but you can also use thyme. Any extra rosemary can be used to make rosemary simple syrup for rosemary cocktails.
  • salt and pepper – always.
  • grated Parmesan cheese – a sprinkle of good quality Parm at the end adds a salty, savory finish to this butternut squash spaghetti. Also great in pasta with capers.
A white spiralizer machine making butternut squash spirals.

How do I spiralize butternut squash?

When looking for a butternut squash to spiralize, you want to find one with a small “bulbous” end (the hollow part with the seeds), as that part won’t spiralize well (so just reserve it for another meal or snack, perhaps where you simply dice it up and roast it for fall crostini).

You also want to find a squash with a long and thick “neck” (the non-bulbous part) – that’s the part that spiralizes well (and why acorn squash is better made into roasted acorn squash slices or stuffed acorn squash).

Peel the neck of the butternut squash and trim the top off. Spiralize the squash using the thickest noodle setting on your spiralizer.

If desired, use scissors or a sharp knife to trim the butternut squash noodles into shorter lengths so they’re easier to eat (otherwise they can get REALLY REALLY long).

A skillet filled with spirals of orange autumn gourd garnished with herbs and cheese.

How to cook butternut squash noodles:

I wanted to keep this butternut squash noodle recipe simple and really let the flavor of the squash shine, so I didn’t add too many ingredients to it.

First, you’re going to heat up some butter in a skillet, and then add a little garlic. Cook that for just a minute, long enough to infuse the butter with good garlic flavor.

Then, you’re going to add the butternut squash spaghetti, along with a sprinkling of fresh rosemary (you can also use dried, just use half the amount) and salt and pepper. Cook that for 5 more minutes or until the noodles are tender.

Finish the butternut squash noodles with fresh lemon juice and Parmesan cheese, and you’re ready to eat!

I also love crumbling a little bacon on top sometimes (see my tutorial on how to bake bacon for the best way to cook it).

A fork twirling butternut squash spaghetti.

Can you boil butternut squash spaghetti instead of sauté?

Definitely! I prefer the stovetop sauté method because it allows me to get more butter and garlic flavor into the butternut squash spaghetti, but if you’d prefer to boil your butternut squash noodles, simply bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Just like with traditional pasta like rigatoni bolognese, make sure you salt the water well before adding your noodles.

Add the squash noodles and cook 2 minutes or until tender. Drain well and serve!

What to have with this recipe:

Just like honey roasted carrots, these butternut squash noodles are an excellent side dish to an entree protein such as my sockeye salmon recipe or almond crusted chicken.

If you’d prefer a creamy sauce for this butternut squash spaghetti instead of the garlic-lemon-butter situation going on below, my Greek yogurt pasta sauce would be perfect with butternut noodles! My lentil ragu is also great on butternut noodles.

If you’d like a salad to go with your “pasta,” I recommend my roasted radicchio wedge salad.

A metal bowl filled with orange gourd pasta garnished with herbs and cheese.

Can I freeze butternut squash spirals?

Yes, you can! The texture won’t be QUITE as good as if the noodles were prepared fresh, but it’s absolutely OK to freeze them. It’s best to spiralize the noodles, and freeze them before cooking them.

Place them in a freezer bag and freeze up to a month. When ready to serve, thaw the noodles and prepare the butternut squash noodle recipe below recipe as written.

More great fall squash recipes:

Autumn squash is such a treat for a few months of the year! Whether it’s a stunning side dish, soup or an appetizer, I find it to be a versatile ingredient in my kitchen.

Spiralized butternut squash noodles in a textured bowl with a black fork digging into them.

Butternut Squash Noodles

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes

Butternut Squash Noodles with Garlic & Lemon turns a seasonal favorite veggie into a healthful "pasta" the whole family will love.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups spiralized butternut squash (made using the "spaghetti" blade) (about 1 medium butternut squash)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add squash, rosemary, salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes or until squash noodles are tender, stirring frequently. Add lemon juice; toss until well combined.
  3. Serve noodles garnished with cheese.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 389mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Note: This recipe was originally published in 2016. The recipe was updated in 2022 to be even better, the photos were reshot, and the post was revised accordingly. The original photos appear below.

Spiralized orange gourd in black bowls on blue background.
Black bowl filled with butternut noodles, topped with a piece of eggplant parmesan.
Collage of images of squash noodles with overlay: BUTTERNUT SQUASH NOODLES with garlic + lemon