Butternut Cream Farfalle with Black Beans and Pumpkin Seeds

Craving a meal that’s creamy, hearty, and crunchy all at the same time? This is the dish for you. Earthy butternut squash is simmered with savory spices and puréed into a velvety sauce that’s made even richer with a dollop of almond butter. Nutrient-dense black beans add substance, while roasted pumpkin seeds serve as a crunchy garnish that makes every bite the perfect combination of textures and flavors. Sprinkle the finished dish with paprika (or cayenne, if you prefer a little more spice), and dig into this delectable and healthy plant-based pasta.

Tip: The sauce for this comforting dish can also be made with cubes of fresh winter squash; simply double the cooking time.

By Mary Margaret Chappell,


  • 2 10-oz. bags frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 oz. dry whole wheat farfalle or bow tie pasta
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained (1½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • Smoked paprika (optional)


  • In a medium saucepan combine the first six ingredients (through oregano) with 1½ cups water. Cover and bring to boiling. Cook about 10 minutes or until squash is very tender.
  • Cook farfalle according to package directions for al dente, adding beans the last 1 minute of cooking.
  • Meanwhile, transfer squash mixture and almond butter to a food processor. Process to a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Drain pasta and beans; return to pot. Add sauce, stirring to coat. If desired, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and paprika.

Comments (7)

(5 from 9 votes)

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And if you don't live in a country where you can buy frozen squash?

Megan Edwards

Hi Mary, You can use 20 oz. of fresh squash. However it may take a little longer to cook since you are starting from the raw ingredient. Let us know how it turns out!

Vivian Illingworth-Cramer

I read the previous reviews so came prepared to try this recipe with some added seasonings! I added 2 teaspoons of Thai inspired red curry powder. I also added chopped fresh tomatoes to the blended sauce. Also adding double the minced garlic is a big YES!


Made this a couple of times and perfected it! Double all of the seasonings and taste and adjust. Add pasta water to make the sauce creamier. Our favorite way to eat this is to use steamed green beans and baked tofu instead of black beans and pumpkin seeds. Makes the perfect fall meal that my family requests every week!

Catherine Shanks

Agree with the other reviewers. This was just okay. Flavor bland, and next time I think it could use some additional veggies and less pasta in the bowl to brighten it up. Hubby was not a fan of the black beans, but I didn't mind them. Next time, I plan on adding some halved cherry tomatoes and maybe some green pepper to the bowl (not the blender). The sauce might have a little more pop with lemon or apple cider vinegar. Considering making this again as a trial, but not a favorite as-is.


I liked this and would make it again. But I used twice as much garlic as the recipe called for. Don’t skip the sprinkling of smoked paprika at the end, I thought it really gave it more flavour.

Lorrie D

I made this for dinner tonight and while it was easy to prepare, I was disappointed in the final dish. I found it a little bland and the consistency of the sauce was not as creamy as I would have liked, became more "gluey" as the dish cooled. I did add some almond milk to thin it some but the texture still seemed "off" to me. I do have some leftovers, so when I reheat them for lunch tomorrow, I may add more curry and oregano to make it less bland also add a little more almond milk to thin out the sauce. Not sure if I would make this again though.

About the Author

Headshot of Mary Margaret Chappell

About the Author

Mary Margaret Chappell

When Mary Margaret Chappell first started out in the plant-based food world as a writer, editor, and recipe developer, she was a bacon-loving former pastry chef who didn’t think she could ever cook without butter. Fourteen years, four cookbooks, dozens of cooking classes, and hundreds of recipes later, her favorite thing in the world is sharing the tips, techniques, and recipes that show just how easy and delicious whole-food, plant-based cooking can be. The former food editor of Vegetarian Times magazine has done away with her dependency on butter and is honing her skills at baking with natural sweeteners. Chappell lives in France, where plant-based eating can often be a challenge, but the fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes available are simply amazing. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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