My deep and unabiding love for roasted butternut squash knows no bounds, and this easy butternut squash recipe showcases just what I love about this versatile ingredient!
This isn’t the fastest recipe in the whole wide world, but it is incredibly simple. Olive oil, salt, and a hot oven will do most of the flavor building here.
And isn’t that what’s great about roasting vegetables? It completely turns their original flavor profile upside down. It brings sweetness to the forefront and just ups the game in terms of flavor.
In fact, if turning on my oven didn’t make my kitchen feel like a sweat lodge in the middle of August, I’d probably be roasting veggies straight up through summer.
Here’s why I love this butternut squash recipe, especially in the winter.
It combines chewy and creamy textures with sweet and nutty flavor profiles. it’s all topped with a delicious dollop of creamy ricotta cheese. Pretty tough to get any yummier than that, amiright?
In fact, due to my butternut squash love, I recently compiled this huge recipe roundup 12 Cooks Reveal Their BEST Butternut Squash Recipes for the Holidays
That post also includes my favorite tip on how you, too, can cut into a butternut squash and not feel like you’re about to cut your arm off in the process.
(Trust me. It’s a butternut squash recipe game changer!)
Don’t forget that roasted kale! (I know, right!?)
Have you had kale this way before? Tossed with olive oil and a bit of salt, roasted in a hot oven (~400*) for about 10-ish minutes, and kale is suddenly NOT the typical hipster food your vegan aunt is always gushing about (though her raw kale ways is pretty delicious too, just saying). It’s so much more.
Roasting totally changes the game when it comes to kale, and if you’ve never been a big kale fan, I really implore you to try it this way. It makes is ‘meatier’, blend-able, and gives it this nutty flavor that is hard to describe. You’ve got to try it for yourself!
Last but certainly not least, top the whole big bowl off with a spoonful of creamy ricotta cheese.
Ricotta is what really ties this dish together, making each and every component work.
(or is that werk? I’m not cool enough to know, I don’t think)
The ricotta becomes a defacto sauce, mixing with the creamy butternut squash and chewy tubes of pasta, with that roasty kale goodness.
This is a dish that winter meals are made of.
This is a dish that you make on a Saturday when you’re busy at home but want something simple and tasty.
This is a dish of just 5 ingredients that make you thank the lord for hot ovens and olive oil. Yes, please, and thank you!
- 1 large butternut squash peeled, deseeded and diced (about 4 cups)
- 2 large bunches of curly kale stems removed and roughly chopped (about 2-3 cups)
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 3 teaspoons sea salt divided
- 12 ounces rigatoni pasta
- 1/2 cup 4 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
Preheat the oven to 450*.
While the oven is preheating, spread the butternut squash evenly between 2 rimmed sheet pans. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Toss with hands to coat.
Place the squash in the oven and roast 35-45 minutes, or until soft and cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
While the squash is roasting, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
On a rimmed sheet pan, spread the kale evenly and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and toss with hands to coat.
When the butternut squash is roasted and removed from the oven, add the kale. Roast for 8-10 minutes or until the edges have begun to crisp and the kale has wilted and softened. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Toss the pasta, roasted butternut squash, and roasted kale together in a large bowl. Taste and season with more salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
Serve hot with dollops of cold ricotta cheese on top