This easy butternut squash pasta recipe with roasted kale and creamy ricotta is JUST the dish to get you through a cold weather day.
I’ll admit- this butternut squash pasta 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 ingredients? It completely turns their original flavor profile upside down. It brings sweetness or nuttiness 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 pasta 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 “12 Cooks” 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 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.
Suddenly, kale is NOT the typical hipster food your vegan aunt is always gushing about. It’s so much more.
Last but certainly not least, top off this whole big bowl of butternut squash pasta with a spoonful of creamy ricotta cheese.
The ricotta becomes a defacto sauce, mixing with the creamy butternut squash and chewy tubes of pasta, with that roasty kale goodness.
This butternut squash pasta is the dish that winter meal dreams 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!
Butternut Squash Pasta with Kale and Ricotta
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 large bunch curly kale
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 12 ounces rigatoni pasta
- 4 ounces whole milk ricotta
- Peel and dice the butternut squash, and roast according to the instructions in Steps 1-4. Transfer to a resealable bag or container.
- Cut and roast the kale according to the instructions in Steps 5-6. Transfer to a resealable bag or container.
- Store the roasted squash and cooked kale in the fridge for up to 5 days. Do not freeze (it won’t thaw well!)
Prepare From Prepped:
- Thaw the ingredients as necessary.
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package, then drain and set aside.
- While the paste is cooking, reheat the butternut squash and kale either by heating over low heat in a saucepan, or in the microwave.
- Toss the butternut squash and kale with the pasta, then top with ricotta pasta. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Make From Fresh:
- Preheat the oven to 450*.
- While the oven is preheating, peel the squash and slice in half. Scoop out the seeds, and cut the squash into large dice.
- Spread the squash on a large rimmed sheet pan and toss with olive oil and a healthy sprinkle of salt.
- 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, slice away the thick stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves.
- Toss the kale with olive oil and a healthy sprinkle of salt, and spread evenly on a rimmed sheet pan.
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- 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.