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Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles {vegan}

Boooo! Black squiggly things, bright orange cubes of squash, round rustic lentils, and long winding buckwheat noodles—altogether they fire up our tasters with salty and sweet, plus a pleasant savory umami flavor. Does this dish of butternut squash and soba noodles look like Halloween or what?

Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles

The scary part of butternut squash and soba noodles is, according to Robbie, the five dirty pots and pans. So you soil a few pans–believe me, the end result is so totally worth the cleanup.

Here’s the deal, one by one, about those dirty dishes—and what you need to construct these black and orange noodles:

#1. A small pot for those black squiggly salty things, sea vegetables named arame. Cook them with tamari for double umami taste.
#2. Another saucepan for French green lentils or black lentils, your choice, cooked ‘til tender, seasoned with bay leaf, olive oil and salt and pepper.
#3. One big pasta pot of boiling salted water, for the soba noodles. I like my pasta cooker with strainer insert. (Robbie might, but I don’t count the insert as a dirty dish.)
#4. A large skillet or wok. To sauté aromatic onion, garlic and ginger, and steam the butternut squash cubes.
#5. A big pretty bowl for service. Toss all the colors and flavors together and garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

ingredients for Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles

You could whittle it down to 3 dirty vessels. Like this: First cook the arame, set aside–and then cook the lentils in that same pan—saving one dirty dish. Second, take the butternut squash and soba noodles to the table in the same skillet or wok you cooked it in. What’s a dual purpose dish between family and friends? It will be empty in 5 minutes anyway.

Butternut Squash, Soba Noodles, Arame

Does the black squiggly arame look creepy? You have to admit it fits the witches and goblins theme going on here. Harvested from the sea–those curling arame strands, strange to our Western eye, taste sweet and mild. And arame is super nutritious—loaded with iron, calcium and iodine.

If you find someone willing to get his or her hands in sudsy water in exchange for a fun delicious dinner—lucky you. If you’re the dishwasher, it’s not that awful–I just needed a story to go with my cauldron and broom.

Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles for Pinterest

Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles recipe details:

  • I first tested this recipe with black lentils from Whole Foods’ bulk bin. This time, to save a trip to Salt Lake (just for black lentils), I used green lentils—so you have the recipe in time for Halloween. Green lentils are easier to find, and besides, the arame adds plenty of black color.
  • Fresh butternut squash—especially when you know the farmer—is first choice. However—please don’t go telling everyone I said this–to save time, substitute frozen butternut squash.
  • Hijiki, aka hiziki, another sea vegetable, a tad bit thicker, with a more pronounced flavor, may be swapped in for arame.
  • I used organic soba noodles containing both wheat flour and buckwheat flour—most soba noodles are made with both flours. Buckwheat flour is gluten-free and Eden Foods makes a 100% buckwheat pasta for those who avoid gluten.
  • Inspired by and adapted from several different Deborah Madison recipes.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles
Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Put on a costume and pull out the pots and pans! This black on orange meal is perfect for Halloween. You’ll love this combination of vegetables and noodles, for flavor, texture—not to mention the seasonal colors.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 6 servings.
Author: Letty Flatt | Letty's Kitchen
  • ½ cup arame sea vegetable (see note)
  • ½ cup black or French green lentils (see note)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon sea salt , as needed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups diced (3/4-inch) butternut squash (1 medium)
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds , optional
  1. Place the arame in a bowl and add water to cover. Let it soak 5 minutes to soften. Rinse and put in a small saucepan with the first tablespoon of tamari and about ½ cup of water. Cook on medium heat, about 10 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the lentils: Rinse, checking them over for little rocks masquerading as lentils. Put in a pot with water, bay leaf and the ¼ teaspoon of salt. The water should cover the lentils 2 inches. Simmer until tender, 20 minutes or so, until the lentils are tender to the bite—but not too soft. You want them to have some texture. Drain. Season with the first tablespoon of olive oil, some salt, and a generous grind of black pepper.
  3. Chop the green and white parts of the onions—keeping them separate.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a wok or large heavy-bottomed skillet. And the white part of the onion, the garlic, and the ginger. Cook and stir about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the butternut squash and the vegetable stock. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, until the squash is just tender, adding more water if needed.
  6. While the squash is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the soba noodles. Cook as directed on the package, until tender to the bite. Drain. Immediately place in a warm bowl, tossing with the sesame oil and remaining 2 tablespoons of tamari.
  7. Gently toss the noodles with the reserved arame, the lentils and the squash. Season with more ground pepper and tamari, to taste.
  8. Garnish with the chopped green onion and sesame seeds, if using. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes
  • Look for arame at natural food stores, Asian food stores, or online.
  • French green lentils are easier to find, though black lentils add to the spook factor.
  • Soba noodles usually contain wheat flour. If you can't eat gluten, Eden Foods makes a 100% buckwheat pasta.


  • Sarah Klingenstein

    Letty – I love the way you write about food, often evokingy the season and the outdoors even as you are working in a steamy kitchen. Your words paint a lovely food picture. Pulling your hands out of the Deer Valley dough and picking up the pen was a good move! Reply · 26 October, 2014

    • Letty

      thanks Sarah–I need the kudos!!! And coming from you–the best! Reply · 26 October, 2014

  • Anacy

    Increadible Reply · 26 October, 2014

  • I like many frozen vegetables. Especially the ones I froze myself! You can catch peak flavor if you do it well. GREG Reply · 9 November, 2014

  • […] Butternut Squash and Soba Noodles from Letty’s Kitchen. […] Reply · 21 October, 2017

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