Add this classic sage brown butter sauce for butternut squash ravioli to storebought or homemade ravioli for an extra cozy fall dinner. The browned butter has a smooth, creamy texture that just melts right overtop the sweet butternut ravioli. And the crispy sage leaves add texture, color, and dimension.
Why You'll Love This Butternut Squash Sauce Recipe
Quick & easy recipe: Making a restaurant-worthy pasta dish doesn't have to be a time-consuming endeavor. Have a delicious dinner on the table in minutes.
Perfect for fall: The sweet and savory flavor of the ravioli filling and golden brown color of the sage sauce make this dish so cozy. It's a great recipe for this time of year.
Crowd pleaser: Everyone in the family will love this sweet and savory meal. It's also a great recipe to serve to guests. If you really want to make things fun, invite everyone to make a homemade butternut squash ravioli recipe first. Nothing beats fresh pasta!
Grab These Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients for this squash ravioli sauce. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find in the grocery store. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Butternut squash ravioli: While nothing beats fresh pasta, if you don't have the time or tools to make homemade butternut squash ravioli, you can find some delicious options in the frozen aisle.
- Unsalted butter: Use unsalted butter and add salt to the sauce as desired.
- Sage leaves: Fresh sage leaves have strong aromas and flavors that make great additions to the dish.
- Heavy cream: You can substitute with cashew cream for a dairy-free option.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: add to taste.
- Grated pecorino: or parmesan or ricotta cheese to serve.
What Kind of Butternut Squash Ravioli to Use
- Store-bought ravioli: purchase fresh ravioli or frozen butternut squash ravioli from your local grocery store. Trader Joe's makes a delicious butternut squash ravioli if you live near one!
- Homemade ravioli: This homemade ravioli recipe is easy to use if you have a pasta machine, pasta cutter, or ravioli stamp.
- Wonton ravioli: skip the homemade pasta dough and use wonton wrappers and butternut squash filling to make wonton ravioli.
How to Make Butternut Squash Ravioli Sauce
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This sauce for butternut squash ravioli is really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time.
Cook the pasta: Drop the ravioli into a large pot of water and cook it according to the package directions. Drain the pasta when it’s al dente, but do not rinse it under water.
Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a medium or large saute pan over medium heat. Stir frequently until it starts to bubble. Continue to cook and stir for another 1-2 minutes, until the bubbles go away and it begins to froth. Then add the sage leaves and allow them to fry in the butter. As the froth subsides and brown bits form at the bottom of the pan, the butter should start to smell nutty.
Finish the sauce: Immediately remove the butter from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried sage to a paper towel. Place the brown butter back over medium-low heat and whisk or stir in the cream. Simmer for 1-2 minutes then stir in the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Toss & serve: Add the cooked ravioli to the sage brown butter sauce and toss to coat. Serve with more grated parmesan cheese and crispy sage.
Butternut squash pairs well with sweet and savory dishes. We love it with savory flavors like sage and ricotta, but also love it with cinnamon, maple syrup, and nutmeg.
If you're looking for a substitute for sage in a brown butter sauce, several herbs and spices can provide a similar aromatic and flavorful profile. Thyme, rosemary, marjoram, and oregano all make good substitutes.
Expert Recipe Tips
- The first time I tested this recipe I added more cream and parmesan and it was too thick and heavy (like an Alfredo sauce). This variation of the recipe is light and buttery and just barely coats the pasta, like olive oil.
- I also tested this by adding the sage right at the beginning of browning the butter and it overcooked. Adding it towards the ends crisps it and adds sage flavor to the butter without overcooking it.
- To make it creamier, add ¼ cup more heavy cream and simmer to reduce it for 2-3 minutes after you add it in.
- Keep a very close eye on the brown butter and remove it from the heat when the milk solids start to turn golden brown.
What to Serve It With
A lighter side like this Thanksgiving salad featuring butternut squash, cranberries, kale, and goat cheese is a great option to complement the fall flavors, but not leave you too full.
Freezing and Storing Tips
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, separate from your leftover ravioli. Store it in the freezer for up to 3 months and thaw it when you're ready to serve and eat.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Delicious Pasta Recipes
- Creamy penne arrabbiata
- One pot creamy cajun shrimp pasta
- Homemade cauliflower gnocchi (whole30)
- Lemon garlic chicken asparagus pasta
Butternut Squash Ravioli Sauce
- 8-10 ounces butternut squash ravioli
- ½ cup (1 stick; 113g) unsalted butter cubed
- 15 fresh sage leaves
- 2 Tablespoons (29ml) heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Grated pecorino or parmesan cheese for serving
- Large pot for boiling ravioli
- Large skillet
- Boil the ravioli according to the package directions. Drain the pasta when it’s al dente, but do not rinse it under water.
- Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until it starts to bubble. Continue to cook and stir for another 1-2 minutes, until the bubbles go away and it begins to froth. Add the sage leaves when it’s frothy and allow them to fry in the butter. You’ll start to see the froth subside and brown bits will form at the bottom of the pan. The butter should start to smell nutty. Immediately remove the butter from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried sage to a paper towel. This should take 4-5 minutes in total.
- Place the brown butter back over medium-low heat and whisk or stir in the cream. Simmer for 1-2 minutes then stir in the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Add the cooked ravioli to the sage brown butter sauce and toss to coat. Serve with more grated parmesan cheese and crispy sage.