Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Gnocchi with butternut squash and kale is one of the most delicious dishes I’ve made lately. It’s a quick recipe that will leave you swooning.


Last Friday night, Jim said those magical words to me. “This is better than a restaurant.” Now, it’s true the guy doesn’t get out much but I’ll take that review with the sincerity and enthusiasm he gave it.

Two dishes got him (and me) swooning. This one—potato gnocchi with butternut squash and kale—and flounder piccata, a simple recipe from Simply Recipes that I will share one day too because it’s just too good not to. My blog is like my cookbook so if I make something delicious, remember to take a photo and have time to write about it, I can reference it from wherever I am. I also save my files to Dropbox so I can find them there too but the blog is more interesting.

I started with a recipe from the Food Network and added bacon. Okay, let’s stop there for a moment. I don’t just add bacon to everything, but if a main ingredient, like squash and kale, would be enhanced by a little pork flavor, and they would be, I add bacon, or pancetta, ham, sausage, whatever’s in my frig or freezer.

Do you freeze bacon? When I see a good sale, I buy a few packages, roll two slices up together, wrap them and put them in a freezer bag. I save money and nearly always have bacon on hand. I keep pancetta and an assortment of chicken or turkey sausage in the freezer too. I just discovered that Trader Joe’s has chicken andouille—score!

Back to the recipe. I added bacon, onion (rarely cook without it) and cinnamon (works well with squash) to the original recipe. If you have a red bell pepper hanging around, that would add a dash of color and sweet flavor. I had one but didn’t think of it until it was too late.

I’m telling you, this is sooooo good. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers.

Gnocchi with Winter Squash & Kale | Grabbing the Gusto

Gnocchi with Winter Squash & Kale | Grabbing the Gusto

Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Kale

You’ll need a large oven-safe skillet with a lid.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium butternut squash (about 2 cups), peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped into 1” ribbons—about 8 cups, but use whatever you have, a few cups either way won’t make much of a difference.
  • 17-1/2 ounce package potato gnocchi
  • 1/4 cup + 1/ 2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil over medium-low heat in a large pan. Add bacon and onion and cook for a few minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and let it melt. Add the squash and cinnamon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is slightly soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, sage, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic starts to golden, about 2 more minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Add the chicken broth to the pan. When it starts to simmer, stir in the kale and cook until it slightly wilts, about 2 minutes. Add the gnocchi, stirring to coat. Cover and cook until the gnocchi are just tender, about 5 minutes. <I was worried that there wasn’t enough broth to cook the gnocchi but they end up steaming, so it’s okay.>

Uncover and stir in 1/4 cup parmesan and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan. Transfer to the broiler and cook until the cheese is golden, about 2 minutes.

If you have leftovers, add a little more chicken broth before refrigerating so it’s not too dry after reheating.

Inspired by Gnocchi with Squash and Kale, Food Network

Gnocchi w Butternut Squash & Kale | Grabbing the Gusto

Leftover Gnocchi w Butternut Squash & Kale | Grabbing the Gusto

3 thoughts on “Gnocchi with Butternut Squash and Kale

  1. This looks like an easy to veganise recipe 🙂 Never thought of combing squash and kale! Thank you! 🙂

    1. deirdrereid says:

      Ooh, you’re in for a treat — winter squash and greens go really well together. I had a southwestern flavor skillet the other night with sweet potato and spinach, sort of the same flavor combo. This would be an easy veggie recipe. The original didn’t call for bacon and you could use vegetable broth or water instead of chicken. Enjoy!

      1. 🙂 Yummy! Shopping I will go! 🙂

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