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Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Kale and Sage Brown Butter Sauce

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Toasted gnocchi, butternut squash, kale and walnuts are all tossed together in the yummiest sage brown butter sauce. It’s total fall comfort food…and surprisingly easy to make.

Gnocchi with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and Sage Brown Butter Sauce

I sincerely hope that you’re in the mood for some fall comfort food, because today’s new gnocchi recipe is full of so many cozy seasonal faves!

We’re talking lots of colorful roasted butternut squash (or you are welcome to sub in sweet potatoes in a pinch), soft and tender kale, crispy fried sage leaves, toasted walnuts, and a hearty helping of pillowy gnocchi. Everything is then tossed together in a heavenly brown butter sauce, then served up in warm bowls with lots and lots of freshly-grated Parmesan. And the result?! As my friend said, this one basically tastes like one big fall hug in a bowl. ♡  The perfect dish to warm us all up this season.

As you may notice, I made this batch with my favorite homemade ricotta gnocchi. But if you would like to save yourself some time, feel free to just cook up a package of store-bought gnocchi (or gluten-free gnocchi) instead. If you would like to add in some extra protein, this dish would also be delicious with some zesty sausage or chicken added in too. And as always, I’ve included more suggestions below for other ingredient swaps or substitutions that you can adjust to your liking.

However you make it, though, I’m pretty positive that you’re going to fall in love with this gnocchi. So turn on some music, light an autumn candle, maybe pour yourself a nice glass of cabernet…and let’s make dinner together.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Autumn Gnocchi Ingredients:

To make this toasted gnocchi recipe, you will need…

  • Gnocchi: I made a batch of my favorite homemade ricotta gnocchi. But to save time, feel free to just cook up a 1-pound box of store-bought gnocchi (you could also choose to use gluten-free gnocchi) if you’d like.
  • Roasted butternut squash: Diced, tossed with oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and roasted until tender.
  • Butter: One stick of butter, which we will cook until it’s browned and extra-delicious.
  • Fresh sage: Which we will fry in the butter until it’s nice and crispy.
  • Garlic: Either minced or very thinly sliced.
  • Walnuts: Or your desired kind of nuts. (Or you can skip the nuts entirely, if you prefer.)
  • Parmesan: Some for the sauce, plus lots for garnish.
  • Kale: Roughly-chopped, with the tough stems removed.

Full ingredient amounts included in the recipe below.

Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Kale, Parmesan and Sage Brown Butter Sauce

How To Make This Gnocchi Recipe:

To make this toasted gnocchi with roasted butternut squash and sage brown butter sauce recipe, simply…

  1. Roast the butternut squash. Dice the squash, toss with oil, season with S&P, and roast until tender.
  2. Cook the gnocchi. Meanwhile, cook the ricotta gnocchi according to recipe instructions. (Or cook the store-bought gnocchi according to package instructions.)  Drain and set aside.
  3. Prep the sage brown butter sauce. We’ll brown the butter on the stovetop, adding in the sage to let it flavor the sauce and cook up until it’s nice and crispy, then stirring the garlic in at the very end so that it does not burn.
  4. Put everything together. Once the butter has browned, we will add in the gnocchi and let it cook on each side for 2-ish minutes, until it’s golden and toasted. Then we’ll toss all of the remaining ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve. Then dish it up nice and warm, garnished with lots and lots of Parmesan. (I insist.) ;)

Autumn Gnocchi with Kale, Butternut Squash, and Brown Butter Sauce

Possible Recipe Variations:

There are so many different options for customizing this recipe. For example, feel free to…

  • Add lemon: Feel free to add in a generous squeeze of lemon to brighten up the sauce.
  • Add some heat: I also love adding in a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to give the sauce a subtle kick.
  • Use sweet potato: Sweet potato would also work well in place of butternut squash if you’d like.
  • Use different greens: Feel free to sub in baby spinach or any other hearty greens in place of the kale.
  • Use pasta: You are also welcome to cook up a pound of pasta (any shape) in place of the gnocchi.
  • Use a different kind of nuts: Pepitas, pecans, pistachios, sliced almonds, or any other favorite nuts could work in place of the walnuts. (Or you are welcome to also skip the nuts entirely.)
  • Use different herbs: Fresh rosemary would also be delicious in place of (or in addition to) the fresh sage.
  • Make it creamy. Feel free to add in a splash of cream to make the sauce extra-creamy.
  • Make it gluten-free.  Be sure that you use gluten-free gnocchi or pasta.

Toasted Gnocchi with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale, Parmesan, Walnuts and Sage Brown Butter Sauce

More Cozy Dinner Recipes:

Craving more comfort food? Here are a few of my favorite cozy dinner recipes…

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Toasted Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 16 reviews
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


Toasted gnocchi, butternut squash, kale and walnuts are all tossed together in the yummiest sage brown butter sauce.  It’s all surprisingly easy to make, and total autumn comfort food.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups diced butternut squash
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 batch ricotta gnocchi (or a 1-pound package of store-bought gnocchi, cooked according to package instructions)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 20 large fresh sage leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or very thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls chopped fresh kale leaves, tough stems removed
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • lots of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Roast the butternut squash.  Heat oven to 425°F.  Place the diced squash on a large baking sheet, drizzle evenly with oil, then toss until combined.  Arrange the squash in an even layer on the baking sheet, season with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper.  Then roast for 30 minutes, or until the squash is completely tender inside.  (Cooking time will entirely depend on the size of your squash, so keep a close eye on it.)
  2. Cook the gnocchi.  Meanwhile, prepare and cook the ricotta gnocchi according to recipe instructions.  (Or cook the store-bought gnocchi according to package instructions.)  Drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare the sage brown butter sauce.  Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Once the butter has nearly melted, add in the sage leaves.  Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, until the butter has turned a light golden color and the sage leaves are crispy.  (Keep a very close eye on the butter so that it does not burn!)  Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
  4. Put everything together.  Then immediately add the cooked gnocchi to the brown butter sauce, and toss until it is evenly coated.  Let the gnocchi rest and continue to cook for about 2 minutes, or until the gnocchi is golden and toasty on the bottom side.  Then give it a flip, and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side until golden.  Stir in the kale, walnuts, roasted butternut squash, and toss to combine.
  5. Serve.  Remove from heat, taste, and season with extra salt and pepper if needed.  Then serve warm, garnished with lots and lots of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.


Storage instructions: Leftover gnocchi can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

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20 comments on “Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Kale and Sage Brown Butter Sauce”

  1. Oh my yum! This looks amazing!


  2. I love your easy ricotta gnocchi recipe. I wonder if a bit of that roasted mashed squash could be added to the dough itself to make butternut gnocchi.

  3. Is it just me or is gnocchi making a comeback? These little pillows of heavenly goodness are SO versatile yet SO underrated in my opinion. Would love to see more recipes including them in the future!! Can’t wait to try this!!

  4. This is absolutely delicious!!! My entire family including a little picky eater loved it.

  5. Delicious recipe!! My family loved it!! Thanks a lot

  6. I’ve already made this for my family twice and it is such a huge hit with all of us! Thank you!

  7. This was an incredibly tasty meal! I didn’t have kale, but I added fresh roasted chopped Hatch green chilis, sunflower seeds and a handful of shredded chicken. Thank you for a great recipe!

  8. I made this last night, including the ricotta gnocchi and it’s absolutely going in my go-to recipe list! The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and the pictures really helped figure out what kind of texture I was looking for on the gnocchi.
    Everything came together start-to-finish, including preheating the oven and peeling veg within an hour!
    Thanks for another great recipe that is so easy to adapt in future versions!

  9. Oh wow, such a winner! Made this tonight for dinner and my partner and I loved it!
    I don’t do a lot of pasta so I served mine with only half the pasta plus half sautéed zuchinni. I did not make the gnocchi but used store bought tortellini. We also added some sautéed crumbled mild Italian sausage.

    Considering ours had meat, I didn’t add the toasted walnuts, but I think later in the week when I make this vegetarian style I will likely add the toasted walnuts for texture and protein :-D

    This is maybe the fifth recipe I’ve tried from your blog and each one of them have been so good. (In fact, just had the last of your aguadito recipe for lunch today!). So I have to say that your blog is one I’ll be checking in on on the regular. Very consistent and I look forward to trying more. thanks Ali!,

  10. This was delicious and so easy! Lots of flavour and different textures! Will definitely make again!

  11. This was lovely! I used less butter-about half- and I toasted the walnuts, but kept everything else pretty much the same. Oh, I added one diced vegetarian apple sage sausage at the end, and sautéed it for about a minute. Definitely do keep an eye on the squash as it bakes; mine was done after about 15 minutes. I’m probably going to make this without the gnocchi as a side dish for Thanksgiving, as per my mother’s request. Add plenty of freshly ground pepper, if you’d like that!

  12. So. Freakin’. Good. Husband said it’s one of his favorite dinners I’ve made in a long time. I believe his words were, “It’s just BURSTING WITH FLAVOR!” Definitely a make-again meal. Thank you!

  13. If my gnocchi package directions say to boil them, should I boil then pan fry them or just do the pan fry? Thanks so much!

  14. Delicious! Are used one percent milk instead of the cream to save some calories and it still came out delicious

  15. This was fantastic! Thanks for sharing! Made exactly as called for except I added 4 oz of chopped pancetta that I crisped up and added at the end. Delicious!

  16. This was a very delicious meal. I tossed some leftover bacon crumbles in it from another dinner, used Kombucha squash roasted up, used dry rubbed sage. I sauted up walnuts in a bit of butter and a few drops of maple syrup. It was cooked in a 12inch cast iron pan. My 11 year old daughter liked it and asked for seconds. I had it cold for breakfast on the run the next morning, and then heated up for 2 lunches after. I think it actually is better the next day as the flavors marry. I highly recommend this recipe, and do switch ingredients out as required or whim.

  17. I’ve made this twice, it’s on my list as an all time fav now. I love that it’s GF

  18. My husband and I love this recipe. I used store bought gnocchi but next time I will be making your homemade ricotta gnocchi.

  19. Oh my gosh. This is outstanding. Made it with premade gnocchi and it was delicious. Thank you for such a great weeknight meal!

  20. This has become one of my go-to recipes over the last few years. I’ve added it to our family cookbook. I leave out the nuts and add Italian sausage. Sometimes I use spinach instead of kale. It’s always so good.