Roasted Kale and Butternut Squash Pasta
Roasted Kale and Butternut Squash Pasta

When you roast butternut squash and kale, something magical happens. Creamy, sweet, crunchy and just the right amount of bitterness, toss it with pasta for a hearty weeknight dinner.

In this recipe

  • Tips for dinner in less than an hour
  • Try these swaps and variations
  • Do you have extra veggies?
  • Storage Instructions
  • Cold weather pasta we love

This savory, wintery pasta with sweet chunks of roasted butternut squash and crispy, salty roasted kale was created by serendipity. It’s a dish I’ve been making for many years and that my family uses when the cold weather hits.

Roasted Kale and Butternut Squash Pasta is an easy dish with no sauce, just olive oil, lemon zest, and crumbled goat cheese. It’s simple, magical, and everything you could want in a comforting bowl of pasta: sweet creamy butternut, pleasantly bitter roasted kale, and al dente pasta. Yummy!

In the winter we always had butternut squash and lacinato kale. Both are hardy veggies that keep well for days or even weeks, so we kept them. We loved their rich, savory flavors, perfect for New York’s cold, slushy nights.

Over the years I’ve learned that short pasta like penne, rigatoni, or chiocciole are best. You can poke a few with your fork and still have room for the kale and butternut. Lemon zest adds a bright note. Also a pinch of mild goat’s cheese as the icing on the cake.

Beyond that, you don’t need anything else—I can’t think of a single side dish that would make it better. It is perfect and complete just as it is.

Tips for dinner in less than an hour

The great thing about this recipe is that it is relatively uncomplicated: the vegetables roast while the pasta water boils. Meanwhile, read a book, help the kids with their homework, or just sit back and enjoy a glass of wine.

Before you go, two tips for getting Roasted Kale and Butternut Squash Pasta ready for dinner in under an hour:

  • De-stemming the kale may take a while. But there is a trick to make it easier! I used to cut out the ribs (the hard stalk that runs down the center of the leaf) with the tip of a knife. My husband, the family cook, showed me a much quicker way: Hold the thick end of the rib with one hand and run your other hand along the rib to remove tender leaves in a zip-like motion. Thin sheets can be easily removed. Thicker ones may require two or three attempts.
  • Purchase pre-sliced ​​butternuts, which are often found in plastic tubs at the produce aisle. The squash is usually cut into large chunks, so you may need to cut it in half or quarters.
  • If you’re peeling and slicing the squash yourself, check out this handy guide for a step-by-step guide to making butternut squash.

Try these swaps and variations

While the butternut squash and kale combo is wonderful, there are a variety of equally delicious options:

  • Roasted sweet potatoes would work well here, as would Delicata squash slices. Even a mix of pumpkin and roasted apples would work—just balance the sweetness of the apples with extra cheese.
  • Add diced roasted red onions for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Scatter the toasted pine nuts over the pasta.
  • I’ve always used lacinato kale, the kind with smooth, bumpy leaves sometimes referred to as dino kale, but kale would work too.
  • I often make this dish with a generous dusting of freshly grated parmesan in place of the goat cheese. Its flavor bleeds into the dish a little more subtly, but still adds a nice tangy nuttiness.

Do you have extra veggies?

Roasted Pasta with Kale and Butternut Squash calls for a small squash (under 2 pounds). If you have a larger squash, slice and fry the whole thing. Leftovers are fantastic as a simple side dish, made into hash and served with eggs, or simply tossed into a salad.

Buy extra kale too! Make a raw kale salad with roasted pumpkin the next day. Goat cheese or parmesan would be great too.

Storage Instructions

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. Reheating the pasta in the microwave (if your bowl is big enough and the kale has air to breathe) will crisp up the kale again. Don’t be surprised if you hear it spitting and sizzling.

When you heat the goat cheese, it melts and its flavor changes. So if you know you’re going to be storing the pasta, it’s best to store the goat cheese separately.

Cold weather pasta we love

  • Pasta de Fagioli
  • Simple pasta with winter vegetables
  • Pasta with spinach, artichokes and ricotta
  • Orecchiette pasta with sausage and kale
  • Pasta with Butternut Squash Parmesan Sauce

Pasta with roasted kale and butternut squash

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
35 minutes

total time
55 minutes

4 servings


  • 1 small Butternut Squash (1 1/2 to 2 lb), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 5 tablespoon olive oildivided

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher saltshared, plus more for the pasta water

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepperdivided

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (Above 8th ounces), stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 12 ounces dry penne

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • enjoyment from 1 lemon

  • 1 ounce goat cheesedecay


  1. Prepare oven and pasta water:

    Arrange the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat it to 350°F.

    Fill a large pot with water. Salt generously and heat over high heat. It is used to cook the noodles.

  2. Prepare pumpkin:

    In a large bowl, add the squash, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well until the squash is evenly coated with the oil. Transfer the squash to a large baking sheet and spread out in a single layer so it doesn’t get crowded.

  3. Prepare kale:

    In the same large bowl, add the kale, the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Using tongs, turn the kale until it is evenly coated with oil. Transfer the kale to a separate large baking sheet, spreading as widely as possible. It’s okay if some parts overlap.

    Set the large bowl aside. You don’t need to clean it. You will use it later to toss the noodles.

  4. Fry the vegetables:

    Place the squash on the bottom third rack and the kale on the top rack of the preheated oven.

    Roast the vegetables for 15 minutes. At this point, the kale will shrivel up and collapse quite a bit. Take the kale out of the oven (the pumpkin stays!) and loosen it up a bit with tongs. Place the kale back in the oven and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the kale from the oven.

    Turn the oven temperature up to 425°F. Continue roasting the squash until the largest pieces are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. The bottoms where they touch the baking sheet will begin to brown.

  5. Cook pasta:

    While the vegetables are roasting, cook the penne in a large saucepan of boiling water according to package directions until al dente.

    Drain the noodles in a colander in the sink. Transfer to the large bowl you set aside and add the butter. The butter and remaining oil in the bowl coat the pasta.

  6. Assemble noodles:

    Add the roasted pumpkin and half the lemon zest and mix well with a large spoon. Add the roasted kale and use tongs to gently mix with the noodles. Try not to crumble the crispy kale pieces.

    Sprinkle the goat cheese. Taste and add more lemon zest if you like.

  7. Surcharge:

    Portion the pasta into individual dishes and serve.

nutritional information (per serving)
412 calories
22g Fat
47g carbohydrates
9g protein
Previous articleSteamed Mussels in Tomato Sauce
Next articleMandu Guk (Korean Dumpling Soup)
Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!