Labneh and butternut sauce for pasta

August 14, 2011  •  Category:



This is a very easy sauce to make. The contrast between the sweetness of the squash and the onions and the sour taste of labneh or yogurt is (in my mind) pleasant. The texture is rich and creamy, yet the sauce is light (especially if you make the labneh with fat-free Greek yogurt).


  • 1 Butternut squash
  • 1 Large red onion (or two, depending on how many servings)
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 cup of labneh or Greek yogurt, drained (figure on 3 cups of yogurt to obtain 1 cup of labneh)
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of cream (optional)
  • 1 cup of pasta boiling water (after cooking the pasta in it)

Place the butternut in the oven on a cookie sheet (lined with foil), poke it with a knife in a few places and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350F until soft.  Cool the squash, peel it and cut in dice (remove all the fibrous elements).

In the meantime, cut one large red onion in slices and brown in the skillet with a little oil. When the onion is almost caramelized (add a touch of sugar if you like), throw in the diced squash and saute a few minutes (season it with freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper).

At this point, add some labneh (or make some with Greek yogurt, if you are making this sauce ahead of time). Add some pasta cooking water, some cream, and simmer for a few minutes.


To make labneh: Place a sieve over a bowl. Line the sieve or colander (small holes) with paper towels; pour the yogurt over and let it drain overnight.

NOTE: You may end up with too much butternut for the sauce. Serve the rest separately with some butter or oil as a side dish.


15 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

    This looks wonderful, flavorful and healthy. I have butternuts growing in my garden, and in a few weeks, I will be making this yummy sauce!

  2. Tim Vidra says:

    What great timing! We have several butternut squash from the garden. One in particular in the fridge we were talking about doing something with this week. We now have a beautiful recipe! Thanks!


  3. Lyndsey ~ says:

    This looks so good and comforting. I am going to make this one. I like the tang of labneh or yogurt too. Sounds like it all works together!

  4. Susan says:

    Looks amazing! Gotta try this soon!

  5. Jumanah says:

    Such a genious idea! I have never thought to add labneh to pasta sauce- but it sounds delicious!

  6. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:

    I love your pasta. This dish looks beautiful.

  7. Priyanka says:

    The pasta dish looks beautiful, flavorful and healthy….

  8. 5 Star Foodie says:

    A wonderful combination of flavors in this butternut squash and labneh sauce, sounds very tasty with the pasta for sure!

  9. Kristin says:

    Joumana, this looks amazing! I love butternut squash and I love lebneh – so I can’t wait to try them together! I wonder if this would also be good with pumpkin?

  10. Nuts about food says:

    It looks delicious and I totally trust what is good in your mind. ;o)

  11. Eva says:

    Just tried this recipe and it was supertasty! Ended up eating all leftover sauce on its own 🙂 YUM!

  12. Eva says:

    Just cooked this dish again and instead of nutmeg, I added chilli flakes and dried mint…it tasted like my favourite Persian dish kashke bademjan…this got to be my most favourite butternut squash dish!

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