So I know I said I was going to ease off the orange veggies for a bit, but then I decided to wanted to make gnocchi with butternut squash, and, well, yeah…

IMG_3699The guy at the butcher counter looked at me like I had two heads when I asked for a quarter pound of ground lamb, but a little goes a long way. This was the perfect blend of fall flavors and came together without too much fuss. The recipe makes enough for 2 servings but can easily be doubled if you’ve got 4 mouths to feed or want more leftovers.


  • 3-4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes (you can also use pre-cubed, like I did)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 lb ground lamb (if you prefer to do a meatless version, try a few tbsp of toasted walnuts)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • a few sage leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 small bunch kale, trimmed and torn into small pieces 
  • ~1.5 c gnocchi (aka 1/2 of a 17.5-oz package potato gnocchi—you can freeze the other 1/2 of the package for future use)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss butternut squash with  1-2 tsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake until squash is soft and begins to brown (~25-40 minutes). Set aside.
  2. Brown ground lamb in a skillet and drain over paper towel until ready to use.
  3. On the stovetop, heat remaining 1-2 tsp olive oil over medium heat and add garlic. Sauté until fragrant (~2 minutes). Add sage leaves. Add kale and red pepper flakes and thyme. Cook until greens have wilted. Add butternut squash to greens and mix well.
  4. Add lamb to squash & greens mixture. Lower heat and stir well to incorporate.
  5. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions.
  6. Toss cooked gnocchi with greens and butternut squash. Add ~1/2 pasta water. Raise heat a stir well for a minute.
  7. Serve hot and topped with grated cheese, if desired.

IMG_3696Do you like gnocchi? What’s your favorite way to enjoy it? In college, I went through a weird phase where I combined gnocchi with canned crab meat, gorgonzola, and steamed broccoli. I have no idea why I thought that tasted good (so many strong flavors competing with each other!), but it was my “fancy” dinner of choice—hah!

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