Gnocchi with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

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So I know I said I was going to ease off the orange veggies for a bit, but then I decided to wanted to make gnocchi with butternut squash, and, well, yeah…

IMG_3699The guy at the butcher counter looked at me like I had two heads when I asked for a quarter pound of ground lamb, but a little goes a long way. This was the perfect blend of fall flavors and came together without too much fuss. The recipe makes enough for 2 servings but can easily be doubled if you’ve got 4 mouths to feed or want more leftovers.


  • 3-4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes (you can also use pre-cubed, like I did)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 lb ground lamb (if you prefer to do a meatless version, try a few tbsp of toasted walnuts)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a few sage leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 small bunch kale, trimmed and torn into small pieces 
  • ~1.5 c gnocchi (aka 1/2 of a 17.5-oz package potato gnocchi—you can freeze the other 1/2 of the package for future use)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss butternut squash with  1-2 tsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake until squash is soft and begins to brown (~25-40 minutes). Set aside.
  2. Brown ground lamb in a skillet and drain over paper towel until ready to use.
  3. On the stovetop, heat remaining 1-2 tsp olive oil over medium heat and add garlic. Sauté until fragrant (~2 minutes). Add sage leaves. Add kale and red pepper flakes and thyme. Cook until greens have wilted. Add butternut squash to greens and mix well.
  4. Add lamb to squash & greens mixture. Lower heat and stir well to incorporate.
  5. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions.
  6. Toss cooked gnocchi with greens and butternut squash. Add ~1/2 pasta water. Raise heat a stir well for a minute.
  7. Serve hot and topped with grated cheese, if desired.

IMG_3696Do you like gnocchi? What’s your favorite way to enjoy it? In college, I went through a weird phase where I combined gnocchi with canned crab meat, gorgonzola, and steamed broccoli. I have no idea why I thought that tasted good (so many strong flavors competing with each other!), but it was my “fancy” dinner of choice—hah!

4 thoughts on “Gnocchi with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

    Alex said:
    October 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    I love this idea! I usually pair my gnocchi with red sauce but I think the addition of the vegetables might help it from feeling so heavy.

      Jess responded:
      October 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      The vegetables definitely keep it from feeling like you need to lie down after eating this!

    Gnocchi with Brussels and Bacon | Keeping It Real Food said:
    December 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    […] Here’s another of favorite non-vegetarian gnocchi dish… […]

    […] went well at least was a dinner party with a couple of my best girls. We enjoyed salad and this gnocchi and roasted butternut squash dish except with spicy chicken sausage (see above) instead of lamb. One of my lady friends also made a […]

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