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Butternut Squash & Kale Browned Butter Pasta

Butternut squash & kale browned butter pasta is not just a feast for your eyes, it’s a hearty fall comfort food recipe for your next Meatless Monday!

butternut squash & kale browned butter pasta

Oh yeah, it’s starting to feel like fall! Leaves are on the ground, squash is on sale, and it’s high time to incorporate some of these beautiful autumn colors into our recipes as we eat the rainbow all year round. These hearty and colorful fall vegetables can also help punch up our Meatless Monday dinners, such as in today’s Butternut Squash & Kale Browned Butter Pasta.

Looking for more meatless meals? Browse through the Meatless Monday category to find additional vegetarian dinner ideas.

plate of butternut squash & kale pasta

I was originally inspired to combine kale and butternut squash by The Pioneer Woman (who also has a handy guide in her post on how to cut butternut squash), but decided to change things up from her basic recipe idea — Mainly, with browned butter & sage for fall, and a little onion and garlic to punch up the flavor.

Butternut Squash & Kale Browned Butter Pasta Recipe

butternut squash pasta ingredients

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 of a (3-4 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 tsp dried sage, divided
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
black pepper, to taste
One bunch kale (or about six oz pre-bagged)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
12 oz box bowtie (farfalle) pasta
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
Sea salt, to taste

Directions

Start salted water boiling for pasta. Once it comes to a boil, cook your pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

While the pasta is cooking, peel and cube your squash. If you’re not using pre-bagged kale, strip leaves off the tough stems and tear them into pieces. Chop your garlic and onion.

Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter along with the olive oil in a large skillet for one minute over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for one minute. Stir in garlic, add the cubed squash, and sprinkle it with seasoned salt, 1/2 tsp sage, and black pepper.

Cook squash over medium-high heat for 8-9 minutes, stirring and turning cubes over occasionally, until squash is browned and tender. Remove the cooked squash to a separate large bowl.

Add kale to the same skillet and season it with crushed red pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for about four minutes, or until dark green and tender. Place the cooked kale in the bowl with the squash.

Reduce heat to medium and add 2 Tbsp butter to the same skillet. Melt butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it turns a toasty brown. Stir in 1/2 tsp sage, then stir in the cooked squash and kale, tossing to coat.

mix pasta into squash and kale

Add the cooked pasta and the Parmesan cheese to the pan, then toss gently to combine the pasta & veggies and melt the Parmesan. (Thin out bit by bit with reserved pasta water, if necessary/desired.)

Taste pasta and season with a little sea salt, if desired. Serve topped with additional Parmesan.

Note: If you’re new to chopping up butternut squash, there are no seeds to scoop out in the “neck” end if you start with that side.

Butternut Squash & Kale Pasta: It’s not just a pretty face

pasta with kale and butternut squash

This butternut squash pasta is not just pretty, it’s also pretty sweet — and savory good! The natural sweetness of the softer squash is nicely balanced out by the slight bitterness of the chewy kale, while the slight nuttiness of browned butter plays off the sage and garlic to create the quintessential fall comfort food. Try it on your next Meatless Monday, or next time you are wondering what to do with butternut squash on sale.

Butternut Squash & Kale Browned Butter Pasta, printable recipe

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5 from 4 votes

Butternut Squash & Kale Browned Butter Pasta

This butternut squash pasta is not just pretty, it's also pretty sweet -- and savory good! The natural sweetness of the softer squash is nicely balanced out by the slight bitterness of the chewy kale, while the slight nuttiness of browned butter plays off the sage and garlic to create the quintessential fall comfort food.
Course dinner
Keyword butternut squash, kale, meatless monday, pasta, vegetarian
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic about 2 cloves
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1/2 of a (3-4 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 tsp dried sage divided
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • One bunch kale or about six oz pre-bagged
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper optional
  • 12 oz box bowtie (farfalle) pasta
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • Start salted water boiling for pasta. Once it comes to a boil, cook your pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  • While the pasta is cooking, peel and cube your squash. If you're not using pre-bagged kale, strip leaves off the tough stems and tear them into pieces. Chop your garlic and onion.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter along with the olive oil in a large skillet for one minute over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for one minute.
  • Stir in garlic, add the cubed squash, and sprinkle it with seasoned salt, 1/2 tsp sage, and black pepper.
  • Cook squash over medium-high heat for 8-9 minutes, stirring and turning cubes over occasionally, until squash is browned and tender. Remove the cooked squash to a separate large bowl.
  • Add kale to the same skillet and season it with crushed red pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for about four minutes, or until dark green and tender. Place the cooked kale in the bowl with the squash.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add 2 Tbsp butter to the same skillet. Melt butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it turns a toasty brown. Stir in 1/2 tsp sage, then stir in the cooked squash and kale, tossing to coat.
  • Add the cooked pasta and the Parmesan cheese to the pan, then toss gently to combine the pasta & veggies and melt the Parmesan. (Thin out bit by bit with reserved pasta water, if necessary/desired.)
  • Taste pasta and season with a little sea salt, if desired. Serve topped with additional Parmesan.

Notes

If you're new to chopping up butternut squash, there are no seeds to scoop out in the "neck" end if you start with that side.

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Recipe Rating




Lynne Pavelchak

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

Yummy! But this needs a bean or some kind of protein. I chose cannellini beans and just added them into your recipe. Any bean, any green, any pasta....

https://food52.com/blog/25711-braised-greens-beans-pasta-off-script-with-sohla

Fawn

Tuesday 22nd of October 2019

This is very good! We substituted cauliflower rice and added bacon bits.

The Ultimate List of Butternut Squash Recipes - Drugstore Divas

Friday 12th of July 2019

[…] 24. Butternut Squash & Kale Browned Butter Pasta […]

Lindsey

Tuesday 29th of January 2019

Any way to make this low carb and not use pasta?

rachel

Tuesday 29th of January 2019

You could certainly just make the squash, kale, and browned butter part, omit the pasta, keep the Parmesan, and eat it as a veggie side dish or over something like cauliflower rice. But if you are watching carbs, butternut squash is not super low carb in and of itself so you will need to look at that as well. A cup of raw butternut squash has about 13 net carbs.

Rachel Currie Gettone

Monday 22nd of October 2018

This was amazing! I added pancetta and toasted pine nuts and some Asiago cheese with a touch of heavy cream. Best new recipe in forever and it was certainly the taste of fall!

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