Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli is full of warm flavors, has a silky, creamy texture, and is an instant crowd-pleaser! No time for fresh pasta dough? Make the rich brown butter poppy seed sauce for store-bought ravioli, too – it’s rich with a wonderfully unique texture thanks to those little poppy seeds.
Not just because of the roasted butternut squash, but luxurious roasted garlic, fresh thyme, and nutmeg, but then the brown butter sauce and crispy sage take this fresh pasta to the next level. Oh, and those poppy seeds — that’s right, they’re not just for muffins anymore.
The poppy seeds add a textural component that’s out of this world. They add just the right amount of pop and bite to each ravioli. So there you have it, a unique fall-inspired pasta that you have got to make! Let’s get to it!
Butternut Squash Ravioli Ingredients
Give me a reason to make homemade pasta dough and I’ll take it, but the butternut squash filling is actually what makes this ravioli so irresistible. That and the brown butter sauce, of course. You’ll only need a handful of ingredients for this recipe, too!
As always, find the complete ingredients and recipe below.
- Roasted Butternut Squash: nothing says fall quite like roasted veggies. Not sure how to prep it? Check out my guide on how to cut butternut squash. It has a naturally creamy texture that’s perfect in the ravioli filling.
- Roasted Garlic: we’re roasting a few cloves of garlic instead of the entire bulb, but nonetheless they pack a whole lot of warm, creamy, sweetness to the filling.
- Parmesan Cheese*: just a little for a little salty cheesy-ness. The perfect pairing with the other flavors.
- Fresh Thyme: my favorite fall herb! You can use dried, just be sure to halve the amount because dried is more intense in flavor than fresh.
- Nutmeg: just a pinch goes a long way. It’s one of my favorite secret additions to add to ravioli filling for a little j’ne sais quoi.
- Butter: I recommend unsalted so that you can adjust the salt to your taste, but the butter is gonna brown up into a light, slightly sweet, savory sauce.
- Poppy Seeds: as discussed, the wonderful texture addition to the sauce.
- Fresh Sage: you know what is a perfect companion to all of these fall flavors?! Sage! These leaves crisp up in a little butter for more texture – and flavor.
- Fresh Homemade Pasta: you’ll need eggs, flour, and semolina flour for the dough.
Pasta Dough For Ravioli
When it comes to making homemade ravioli from scratch, the dough is simply a basic egg and semolina flour pasta dough recipe. My pasta dough recipe is on the heartier side, which makes it perfect for turning into ravioli!
Be sure to check out my guide to homemade pasta dough for an in-depth look at each pasta-making step. For now, we’ll go through the steps you’ll follow to get the dough, and then head straight into making ravioli with it!
Start with a blend of semolina and all-purpose flour. This combination results in a firm, yet melt-in-your-mouth textured pasta. Oh, and I like to add some fresh ground black pepper to the dough for a little bite and texture, too. Of course, if you’re not so into that, you can easily leave it out.
Next, whisk in the eggs, olive oil, and water. It works best to make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then use a fork to whisk the egg and liquids into the dry ingredients, working your way around the inside as it all comes together. Using both the eggs and oil creates a dough that is flexible enough to withstand making ravioli.
Once a shaggy dough has formed, begin to knead it together. Using your hands, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes until it is smooth and tacky, but does not aggressively stick to your hands. If it is sticking too much, you can add a little more flour as needed, but be careful to not add too much. This is the “art” of pasta making, and you’ll get a better feel for it the more pasta you make.
Once the pasta has been kneaded and the desired texture is reached, let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes to allow it to hydrate and the gluten to relax. You can make the dough a day ahead and store it in the fridge or make it earlier in the day, too, and let it rest until you’re ready to make the ravioli.
Do I have to Make Pasta From Scratch?
I highly recommend making your own homemade pasta dough, however, you can often find fresh pasta sheets, rolled specifically for ravioli, in your grocery store.
Depending on your location, they may be harder to find at general grocery stores, however, Whole Foods is a great option. Look in the refrigerated or specialty sections to find them. You can also use refrigerated wonton wrappers in a pinch, too.
Prepare the Filling
First, roast the butternut squash and garlic cloves in the oven. All you need to do is drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. They will caramelize and soften; the caramelization is going to contribute LOADS of flavor to the veggies.
Roasting the squash takes a little longer than the pasta dough needs to rest, so get it in the oven and move on to making the pasta dough once it’s in the oven.
Once it’s done in the oven, it’s time to combine the filling. This is easy to do using either an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor to puree the filling ingredients.
Once it’s smooth, be sure to taste test and adjust the salt levels as needed. And don’t eat it all with a spoon…remember, you’re making ravioli!
Now, it’s time to fill the ravioli!
How to Make Butternut Squash Ravioli
I’m going to share with you my favorite, and in my opinion, the simplest, way to make the ravioli pockets.
You can purchase a more elaborate ravioli mold as I used in this corn ravioli recipe, but it’s totally not necessary. I’ve been making ravioli equipment-free with this fold-over technique to make ravioli for years and years, and it never fails me.
The pockets come out looking more rustic and clearly homemade, too, which I love.
Roll Out Pasta Sheets
Step one: roll out a section (I use about 1/4 of the dough) of the fresh pasta dough into one long thin sheet – as evenly rectangular as possible.
Use your pasta machine for the best results, but a rolling pin will work too if you want to make this recipe completely by hand and equipment-free.
Start to roll out the dough by forming the section into a small rectangle using your hands, thin enough that you can begin to thread it through the pasta roller (photos 1-3). You’ll start with your pasta roller on the largest (widest) setting. This doesn’t have to be perfect, you just want to start encouraging the pasta to roll into a rectangular shape (photo 4).
Roll out the pasta dough on that widest setting, then fold it into a rectangular shape again, as needed, and roll again. Each time you roll out the rectangle, it will expand depending on how it was placed in the roller. Making the section into a uniform rectangle (as much as possible) will help you later on (photos 5-8).
Once you’ve gone through the largest setting a couple of times and have a solid ‘rectangle type base’, thread the dough through each smaller setting, one by one until you’ve reached the desired thickness.
I like to end with the second-to-last thinnest setting, however, if you’re really brave, you can go as thin as possible. Keep in mind if you do use the thinnest setting, the sheet will be more delicate to work with.
Stopping at the second to last smallest setting makes it a little easier to work with less risk of tearing. I also find the slightly thicker ravioli gives me more pasta bite, which I love. Again, use your preference!
Fill the Ravioli Pockets
Step two: Once the dough is fully rolled out in a long rectangle, place dollops of the filling spaced about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart on one half of the dough.
You want to place it on one side because we will be folding it up to create the ravioli pockets. I like using a small cookie scoop to place the filling so I have an equal amount for each pocket.
Step three: once you have the filling spaced on the entire length of your pasta sheet, fold the other half of the dough on top of the filling.
It helps to dip your finger in water and run it around the pasta edges before folding. This can help the dough stick to itself if it seems a little dry.
Step four: gently press around each filling to create the beginning of each pocket.
As you press the pasta around the filling, the edges will stick together. You want to be gentle, yet firm, to ensure that it begins to stick together.
Once the pockets are cut apart, again press the edges down as needed, or use a fork to make sure they are fully pressed together if you’re concerned they won’t stick together.
Now that you have each pocket formed, gently lift them from your counter and place them on a semolina flour-lined plate or baking sheet until ready to cook. Continue the steps with the remaining sheets of pasta dough before you get to cooking!
At this point, I recommend starting a pot of salted water as you prepare the ravioli pockets so it can come to a boil and be ready to cook them when you are finished forming the pockets.
Easy Brown Butter Poppy Seed Sauce
It all starts with browning butter. It’s a simple process that involves warming butter until the milk solids are toasted. The result is a luxurious, sweet, savory sauce, all made without cream!
It’s important to watch the butter carefully and keep the temperature on the lower side so that it doesn’t in fact burn. But yes, those brown specs are supposed to be there!
Then, add the poppy seeds and remove the mixture from the heat. Add the sage leaves that will crisp up in the hot butter mixture as the ravioli cooks.
Cook the Ravioli
Once the large stockpot of salted water has come to a boil, gently add the ravioli to the pot in batches. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Ravioli should have room to swim around a little bit.
Depending on the size of the ravioli, they’ll cook for 2-4 minutes. The ravioli will float when they’re ready to be removed, and you can always taste test to get the perfect timing for al dente ravioli. Remember, the ravioli will finish cooking in their sauce and no one wants soggy ravioli.
Once they’re ready, remove the pockets using a spider-like strainer with a handle to easily remove them without the risk of burning yourself. If needed, a slotted spoon will do, too.
Then transfer the ravioli pockets directly into the brown butter sauce. It’s ok if a little water transfers over, too, because pasta water helps the sauce adhere to the pasta!
Then, it’s time to enjoy!
What to Serve with Butternut Squash Ravioli
This ravioli is comforting and cozy and perfect as a meal on its own. I also completely get “wanting a vegetable” or, you know, more sides to serve. That being said, here are a few of my favorites!
- A light green salad for a starter or side. I love Caesar salad, but an autumn-inspired salad would be very on theme.
- Roasted broccolini or Brussels sprouts (frozen, sauteed, or in a salad) are both delicious green veggie options.
- A hearty, crusty slice of bread (more carbs are always a good idea).
- Green Beans Almondine or Sauteed Beans and Mushrooms
Storage & Freezing Tips
Homemade ravioli is best if prepared the day it’s made, however, I totally get wanting to have a stash waiting for you when the craving for homemade pasta strikes. When that happens, there’s no going back.
If you are making the ravioli the same day you prepared them, store them in the fridge on the flour-coated baking sheet until ready to boil. Prepare the sauce at that time, too – it’s best to make it fresh.
To freeze the ravioli pockets, place the sheet pan in the freezer for several hours until the pockets are frozen, then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag (I love my Stasher bags!) and store them in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to use them, simply boil them from frozen until they’re floating and serve as you would with sauce.
If you have leftover cooked ravioli in the sauce, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in a skillet on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Poppy Seed Sauce
- #60 Cookie Scoop or smaller
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into about 1-inch dice
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 batch homemade pasta dough*
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese*, shredded
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon poppy seeds
- 8-10 sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Place butternut squash and garlic cloves (out of their paper husks) in an even layer across a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 35-40 minutes until squash is tender.
- Meanwhile, mix the pasta dough and set aside to rest for 30 minutes while the squash roasts. Please see the full post on how to make homemade pasta dough for further details and ingredients.
- Make the Filling: Once the squash is ready, combine it with the garlic, parmesan cheese, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree until smooth. Be sure to taste test for salt levels and adjust as needed. Set aside.
- Rolling out the dough: Take approximately 1/4 of the fresh dough ball (either cut it into sections or tear off a portion). Using your hands form it into a rectangle shape, just thick enough that it will fit into the largest setting on your pasta machine (use a pasta machine for best results, but a rolling pin will work, too). Roll it out on the largest setting, adjusting and folding into a rectangular shape again as needed. Each time you roll it out, it will expand how it was placed in, so making it a uniform rectangle as much as possible will help you later on.
- Once you’ve gone through the largest setting and have a solid ‘rectangle type base’, thread the dough through each smaller setting, one by one until you’ve reached your desired thickness. I like to go with the second to last thinnest setting, however, if you’re really brave you can go as thin as possible. Place the rolled-out sheet on the countertop dusted with semolina flour to prevent sticking.
- Fill Ravioli: On one half of the rolled-out dough section, place approximately 1 to 1.5 tsp dollops of the filling spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart. You want to place it on one half because we will be folding the dough up to create the ravioli pockets. I find that a small cookie scoop to place the filling gives the perfect equal amount for each pocket.
- With the filling spaced on the entire length of your pasta sheet, fold over the other half of the dough on top of the filling. You may want to use your finger dipped in water and run it around the pasta edges before folding, to help the dough stick, if it seems a little dry.
- Gently press around each filling to create the beginning of each pocket. Use a pizza cutter or pasta wheel to cut between each pocket. Press the edges down as needed, or use a fork to make sure they are fully pressed together). Place the pockets on your prepared baking sheet and continue forming ravioli with the remaining pasta sheets.
- Ravioli Sauce: In a large skillet melt butter over low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until brown specs form, stirring occasionally. Skim foam as desired. Add the poppy seeds and remove from heat. Add sage leaves and stir to coat; they will crisp as they sit.
- Boil Ravioli: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and add the ravioli pockets in batches. Be sure to not overcrowd the pan. The ravioli pockets will take approximately 2-4 minutes to cook to al dente, depending on the size of the ravioli. One indicator they're done is when they float. Remove them from the pasta water and place them directly into the sauce. Toss to coat and enjoy immediately!
- You can also use wonton wrappers to make the ravioli pockets.
- *Look for cheese specifically labeled vegetarian, if needed.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.