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Food for Thought

Creamy Butternut Squash & Kale Pasta Bake

2013-10-29 19.14.00

Cold weather has arrived and Thanksgiving is near, which means we’re headed full speed into holiday season! I don’t know about you, but I have been sieving through recipe blogs and magazines for holiday recipe inspiration. (Let’s be real, I do this all year round.) But no matter how busy I am, there’s something about the warming smell of fall produce and flavors that lures me back into the kitchen.

My mind has been swirling (and my appetite pining) for really good recipes for soups and pastas using seasonal produce like apples, squash and dark leafy greens. Well, I caught this recipe for Rachael Ray’s Baked Pumpkin and Cream Pasta on the Food Network one morning and a day or two later I found myself on a mission.

Now, personally, creamy and sodium-laden dishes aren’t my bag, so I modified Rachael Ray’s recipe to fit my taste (and into my jeans). Here’s my healthy take on a creamy squashy pasta bake. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did.

Butternut Squash & Kale Pasta Bake

2013-10-29 18.35.06

Total Time: 90-120 minutes

Servings: 6 (or more if served as a side dish)


  • 20 oz pre-cut butternut squash
  • 1 (13.25 oz) box whole grain penne
  • 2 cups kale, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • ½ small onion, sliced thin
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk, original flavor
  • ½ cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ coarse ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss butternut squash in 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (just enough to coat), ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ teaspoon nutmeg. Place in a large baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, turning over the squash pieces once.
  2. Cook the entire box of whole grain penne. Drain (leaving a small amount of water in the pot with the pasta to keep it starchy) and set aside.
  3. In a large pan, sauté onions in a teaspoon of olive oil over low-medium heat. Cook until tender. Add kale. Continue to cook until kale is tender and onions are translucent. Remove from heat and add to the pasta.
  4. Remove squash from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Place in a blender with almond milk, cayenne pepper and ground black pepper and puree.
  5. Add the puree to the pasta, kale and onions. Mix well. Pour everything into a lightly greased 7” x 11” baking sheet. Top with parmesan cheese and return to the oven at 400°F. Bake for 40 minutes.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 322 Calories, 6 g Fat (1.5 g Sat), 7 mg Cholesterol, 175 mg Sodium, 63 g Carbohydrate, 10.5 g Fiber, 10 g Protein



2 thoughts on “Creamy Butternut Squash & Kale Pasta Bake

  1. I made a bunch of this: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/curried_butternut_squash_bisque.html this week and had TONS of leftovers. Long google story short: I found your recipe. Definitely plan to make it again!! Thank you!

    Posted by Erich Olsen | January 8, 2014, 11:29 pm
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