This hearty butternut squash pasta is made with a light white wine sauce, tender kale, and chunks of sweet, caramelized roasted butternut squash. It’s easy to make and perfect for everything from special occasions to weeknight dinners!
I can’t even tell you how happy I am to finally have arrived at the beginning of fall. Unfortunately, it is supposed to be 90° here on Wednesday, but after that the forecast tells me the temperatures will drop and I can finally put on a sweater.
I’m so ready. And making this dish is the first thing on my list when it starts to get chilly!
How to Roast Butternut Squash
One thing that makes this recipe particularly cozy is the roasting of the butternut squash. Yes, there are other ways to cook it, but roasting warms up the house and fills it with delicious smells. Plus, the squash gets deliciously caramelized, bringing out its natural sweetness.
To roast your butternut squash, start by dicing it up. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, then use a large chef’s knife and some elbow grease to cut it into 1/2 inch cubes.
Toss your squash with some olive oil, arrange it on a baking sheet, and sprinkle it with salt.
Bake it until it’s soft and just a bit browned around some of the edges.
Try not to eat it all off of the baking sheet — save some for the pasta!
How to Make Butternut Squash Pasta with Kale
When I’m adding veggies to my pasta I like to employ this little hack: boil the pasta water, and add the veggies during the last minute of boiling.
This is just enough time to blanch them, and this is what I’ve done with the kale in this recipe. We’ll be sautéing the kale and pasta in just a minute, but blanching the kale first begins the cooking process, so it ends up tender and not tough or overly chewy.
Next, heat up some olive oil in a skillet and add some onion. Give the onion a few minutes to soften up, then add the garlic. Cook it for just about a minute more.
White wine goes in next. Bring the wine to a simmer and let it cook until it reduces a bit. Stir in a bit of nutmeg, some fresh sage, and then add your pasta and kale. Sauté everything for a minute or two to heat up the pasta and get the kale even more tender.
The roasted butternut squash goes in last. Stir it in gently to avoid squishing!
Season your pasta with some salt and give it a sprinkle of chopped walnuts before serving.
Butternut Squash Pasta FAQ & Tips
- Feel free to substitute other types of winter squash for the butternut in this recipe. Pumpkin, acorn, and delicata would all work well!
- Is there a substitute for the wine? You can leave it out if needed. If the pasta tastes like it’s missing something, try adding a splash (and no more) of vinegar.
- If you do use the wine, check with Barnivore to ensure the brand you select is vegan.
- Can this dish be made gluten-free? Yes! Just use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
- Want to add some protein? I like to serve this dish with Field Roast’s smoked apple sage flavored vegan sausage.
- Looking for some more vegan butternut squash deliciousness? Try my butternut squash risotto, stuffed shells or chimichangas.
Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta with Walnuts & Kale
This hearty butternut squash pasta is made with a light white wine sauce, tender kale, and chunks of sweet, caramelized roasted butternut squash. It's easy to make and perfect for everything from special occasions to weeknight dinners!
- 2 pounds butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 5-6 cups of squash)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus a few dashes, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 10 ounces dried fettuccine pasta (or pasta of choice)
- 1 medium bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 6 cups of kale)
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet (or a couple of small ones) with parchment paper.
Place the squash into a medium bowl and drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Use your hands to rub the olive oil all over the squash.
Distribute the squash in an even layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle it with a few dashes of salt.
Place the squash in the oven and bake it until the pieces are tender and just starting to brown around the edges, about 25 minutes.
While the squash roasts, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Set the timer to cook the pasta to al dente (refer to the package instructions).
When the timer has about 30 seconds left on it, add the kale to the water. Stir in the kale to make sure it all gets submerged.
When the timer goes off, drain the kale and the pasta together into a colander. Return them to the pot and toss with a dash of olive oil to prevent sticking.
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place it over medium-high heat.
Give the oil a minute to heat up, and then add the onion. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes, until it softens up and just begins to brown.
Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.
Stir in the wine. Bring the wine to a boil, lower the heat and allow it to cook at a low simmer until reduced by about half, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the sage and nutmeg, followed by the pasta and kale.
Cook everything for a minute or two, just until heated throughout, then gently stir in the squash.
Remove the skillet from the heat and season the pasta with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Divide onto plates and serve.