Pesto Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

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!

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!

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…

Blue Food Photography Board

The proof is in the pudding photo.

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

 Pesto Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

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

Pesto Penne Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

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Pesto Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

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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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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!

Courses Main

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!

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!

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Comments

Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

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!

Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files

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

    Jenn

    Thanks Meg!!!! <3

Linda

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 http://www.caloriecount.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php?ns=1 — 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

Rachel

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

Sam @ PancakeWarriors

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!

Chrissy

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…:)

Anna @ Sunny Side Ups

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!!

Arman @ thebigmansworld

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. 😀

Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

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

Thalia @ butter and brioche

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

Celeste @The Whole Serving

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

    Jenn

    Thanks Celeste!!! <3

pam (Sidewalk Shoes)

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!!!!!!!!

Francesca

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

Melissa @ Bits of Umami

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! 🙂

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