Butternut Squash Carbonara with Tempeh and Aged Gouda

A plate of butternut squash topped with fried sage anda grated gouda cheese.
Butternut Squash Carbonara with Tempeh and Aged Gouda 

Recipe by: Chef Lynn Crawford

Servings: 4-6 people

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Pasta carbonara is a classic, but I’ve made the indulgent dish vegetarian, using one of my favourite vegetables - butternut squash - and smoky tempeh in place of bacon. A robust classic Dutch aged Gouda gives that zesty bite that enhances the dish. You can sub in any squash, root vegetable or spiralized vegetables such as zucchini.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 3 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 2 cups low sodium Vegetable Stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only or 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese (or ½ cup heavy/35% cream)
  • 6 ounces (170 g) tempeh, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 sprig fresh sage, leaves only
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 6 cups spiralized butternut squash noodles (about 1¼ pounds/565 g)
  • ½ cup grated aged Gouda or Parmesan cheese


Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chili flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the butternut squash, vegetable stock and thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
Using a handheld blender, purée the squash mixture until smooth. Add the mascarpone and blend again. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
On the stovetop, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh and sage leaves and cook for 1 minute. Remove the sage leaves when crisp and set aside. Add the paprika, soy sauce and ketchup to the tempeh and cook, stirring frequently, until the tempeh is brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the squash noodles, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the squash noodles, add them to the tempeh and gently toss together. Transfer the noodle mixture to a serving platter. Pour the squash sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with the cheese and the crispy sage leaves.
Chef Lynn Crawford poses wearing a chef’s jacket.
Chef Lynn Crawford

Note: You can sub in any squash, root vegetable or spiralized vegetables such as zucchini.

This Recipe is courtesy of KitchenAid.