Pesto Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

Tender penne pasta tossed with fresh pesto, roasted butternut squash, baby kale, and parmesan cheese… This healthy Pesto Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale is uber easy and full of flavor!

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

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!

Pesto Penne Pasta

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 Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

This tasty pasta dish is easy to throw together for a comforting dinner, perfect for a chilly night!

Tender penne pasta tossed with fresh pesto, roasted butternut squash, baby kale, and parmesan cheese. This healthy dish is uber easy and full of flavor!
5 from 2 votes

Pesto Pasta 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!

Recipe yields 2 main dishes or four small sides.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Pesto Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 471 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons


  • 1-1.5 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 oz dry penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup fresh baby kale
  • 1/3-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • any additional salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley to garnish


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Coat squash with olive oil and lay flat on a baking sheet.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Set a timer, measure out your remaining ingredients, and walk away.
  5. After about 25 min have passed, boil you pasta, cooking according to package instructions.
  6. 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!
  7. Reduce burner heat to lowest setting and stir to wilt the baby kale.
  8. Add your squash [which should now be perfectly roasted] and a hearty sprinkling of parmesan cheese and garnish with a little parsley for pizazz.
  9. Serve straight up or add your favorite pasta night extras for a balanced meal. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Pesto Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale
Amount Per Serving
Calories 471 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 564mg25%
Potassium 558mg16%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 11557IU231%
Vitamin C 55mg67%
Calcium 331mg33%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Pesto Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Recipe

If you get a chance to try this pesto pasta recipe, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

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Recipe Rating



    If using frozen squash and kale do I thaw them before cooking or what?

    • Hi Michelle! I’ve never cooked with frozen kale before, but my guess would be just cook both the squash and kale up like you normally would for a recipe and then add it to your pesto swirled pasta! This recipe here: The 3-Step Technique to Roasting Frozen Vegetables has some great tips on roasting frozen veggies like squash. Hope it helps!

  • Okay stahhhp. This looks too good. And “It won’t KALE you try” makes me literally laugh out loud. Love this dish AND love the teal board. Winning all around. Pinned! 🙂

  • Francesca

    5 stars
    This was very good. I used frozen butternut squash and spinach since I didn’t have kale. Very tasty and super easy to make.

  • I have the exact same color addiction! I found a table at HomeGoods the perfect shade and I love it!!!

    • Jenn

      aqua all the things!!!!!!!!

  • Love myself some Kale and this is looking good to me!

    • Jenn

      Thanks Celeste!!! <3

  • Love a classic pesto pasta.. craving a bowl of this now – it looks so delicious!

  • I’d eat pesto in or on anything, even kale. Tell Paul to suck it up. I kid, and I also need a blue board.

    • Jenn

      He woofed that down, lady! So proud of that man! hehe! Come visit and I’ll make you one of my speshul blue boards

  • Oh photo boards. I don’t even have one and have seen all these tutorials but- I make stick figures look worse than they were before. Artistic talent = none. NONE.

    Now this dish…pesto. pasta. Butternut. Genius. Kale? May need to conveniently forget that. 😀

  • Oh my goodness, I’m in love with this dish!! Butternut squash is my favorite, and I’m trying to get as much of it as possible in my mouth before it disappears from stores! 🙂 Looks absolutely delish!!

  • Ha- we all have those props that we just can’t help but use over and over and over again! If it makes you feel better, I now have a strange urge to roast some butternut squash…:)

  • I personally love the blue board!! I end up using the same napkin or prop over and over too. But I have to like the picture too right!?!? Love the combo of butternut squash and kale – this recipe is going in my must make box!! Pinning for later!

  • This is totally not something I would usually make so naturally I really want to make it now 😉

  • Linda

    5 stars
    Love, love your recipes! However, is there any way you could include the calories and other nutritional information?

    Thanks so much!

    • Jenn

      Thanks Linda! I promised myself I would start calculating them but wanted to wait until the chickpea was a little older and in school since there are a good 800 or so recipe to tally up! Eek! There are a lot of awesome calculators out there you can use; here’s a super popular one — I hope that helps Linda! I’d like to start including them as soon as my little one is a bit older and self sufficient! <3

  • Ohhh I love roasted butternut squash and mixed with kale and pasta is pretty much a winner in my book!

    • Jenn

      Thanks Meg!!!! <3

  • This looks soooo good! Alex and I got a blue apron box once that was a butternut squash pasta with sage and it was so good! This sounds delicious and I can’t resist kale 😉

    • Jenn

      OMG I am a Blue Apron ADDICT since trying it! I hope you guys looooove the recipe! KALE YEAH!

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