Tender penne pasta tossed with fresh pesto, roasted butternut squash, baby kale, and parmesan cheese. This healthy Pesto Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale is uber easy and full of flavor!
Painting my old wooden board blue was probably a mistake. I have a junkie-esque addiction to aqua and teal. I’m supposed to be mixing up my props and backdrops so my photos aren’t all carbon copies of each other, yet now that this board exists I can’t comply. I glance around my pile-o-props just long enough to keep up appearances, then grab the blue board. Every. Stinking. Time. I must be stopped.
Now I’m sure you’re shaking your head, thinking I’m being utterly dramatic but…
The proof is in the
I should really start seeing other boards… but chances are you’re going to have to physically pry it from my hands and hide it from me to make that happen. In which case I’ll just make another! Hah!
Let’s stick a fork in me [metaphorically, people! put down the fork!] and get on to the recipe. Now THAT deserves to be forked.
Pesto Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale
Tender penne pasta tossed with fresh pesto, roasted butternut squash, baby kale, and parmesan cheese. This dish is uber easy and full of flavor! Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as a scrumptious side!
15 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
- 1 or 1.5 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups dry penne pasta
- 1/4 cup pesto [homemade or store-bought]
- a handful [or more!] of fresh baby kale
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder [optional, but essential for me!]
- any additional salt and pepper, to taste
- parsley to garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Coat squash with olive oil and lay flat on a baking sheet.
- Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30-40 minutes.
- Set a timer, measure out your remaining ingredients, and walk away.
- After about 25 min have passed, boil you pasta, cooking according to package instructions.
- Drain and return the penne to the pot, adding in the kale and pesto while the pasta is still hot. If you added extra veggies or just really love pesto, feel free to add a little extra into the pot! I won't tell! In fact, I'll join you!
- Reduce burner heat to lowest setting and stir to wilt the baby kale.
- Add your squash [which should now be perfectly roasted] and a hearty sprinkling of parmesan cheese and garnish with a little parsley for pizazz.
- Serve straight up or add your favorite pasta night extras for a balanced meal. Enjoy!
When I first served this dish up it was on Valentine’s Day. You should have seen the look on Paul’s face when he saw me take out the kale. I half expected him to start pouting and insist I must not love him because I’m making him eat KALE on Valentine’s Day. I know, I’m the worst.
Side Note: You can easily swap the kale out for spinach, but it won’t KALE ya to try something new…
Gahhh I promise, no more kale puns ever.
I sweetened the deal by pairing the pasta with a freshly baked French baguette, half topped with smashed avocado and sea salt, and the other half trashed up with a boatload of garlic and butter. We also had a small veggie salad because, duh. It was glorious. All the pretty colors of the dish were enough to distract the hubs into happily scarfing down his kale-flecked dinner and liking it too! It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a little pesto and parm, though I’ll also gladly dive into a fresh kale salad without whining like my pansy of a husband.
He’s totally reading this isn’t he? Love you bear!