It’s time for a serious self-esteem, kitchen-confidence, OMG I AM SUCH A GOOD COOK boost! One Skillet Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Italian Sausage.

Butternut squash gnocchi with Italian sausage in a pot

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It’s an easy recipe that cooks in one pan, but the moment you take a bite, you will want to hire yourself to be head chef in an Italian restaurant.

I’ve become more confident in the kitchen over the years and feel like I more or less know what to expect when I approach a recipe.

Every now and then, however, a recipe will catch me off guard in a very very good way.

This Italian sausage butternut squash gnocchi is one of those recipes.

I mean, I didn’t think it was going to be bad by any means.

Butternut squash (my fave fall veg), Italian sausage (all things good), and gnocchi (pure comfort food) are all involved.

Add some butter and a handful of Parmesan cheese, and you have a dinner dream team.

I was not, however, expecting this simple sausage and vegetable gnocchi to blow me away like it did.

I took a bite and had to pause to ask myself if I had really made it.

I suppose we are all allowed to blow ourselves away in the kitchen every now and then, but my goal has always been for other people to feel that way about a recipe.

This Italian sausage and butternut squash gnocchi made me feel that way about myself.

It was a cool sensation, and I can’t wait for you to try this recipe and experience it too!

One pan butternut squash gnocchi on a plate

5 Star Review

“Your description is spot on, I tasted this after making it and was blown away! It is so easy, so unique and everyone in the house loved it. This dish is truly gourmet!”

— Sarah —

How to Make Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Culinary rock star feelings aside, this is a delicious meal that is so easy to make, it almost feels like cheating.

  • The entire recipe cooks in one skillet, including the gnocchi.
  • Since it’s packed with both lean protein and veggies, it works as an all-in-one meal, no extra sides required (just like with this Cauliflower Pasta and Sweet Potato Pasta).
  • It tastes like fall comfort on a plate and had me convinced for a moment that I was back in Italy.

The Ingredients

  • Gnocchi. Delightful, pillowy-soft potato gnocchi is a true crowd-pleaser. It pairs perfectly with the Italian sausage and butternut squash.
  • Italian Turkey Sausage. For a boost of protein and even more comforting flavor, this recipe also includes Italian sausage. I use chicken or turkey sausage 99% of the time. It’s leaner than pork sausage but still delivers on flavor. Pinky promise, you won’t notice the swap.
  • Butternut Squash. Sweet, flavorful, and nutritious. Butternut squash is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Spinach. For an extra boost of nutrition. Spinach is rich in fiber and vitamins.
  • Butter. Since this recipe obtains its soul-satisfying flavor from only a few ingredients, make sure you use a good-quality butter. It makes a world of difference!
  • Sage. For quintessential fall flavor.
  • Nutmeg. Adds an irressitable warmth and coziness to the dish. Plus, it tastes fantastic with the butternut squash!
  • Parmesan. The perfect finishing touch!

The Directions

  1. Brown the sausage and remove to a plate.
  2. Sauté the squash and onion with the garlic, sage, and spices.
  3. Add the chicken broth and gnocchi. Stir in the sausage and spinach. Top with Parmesan. DIG IN!

Dietary Note

  • To Make Vegan. If you need this to be a vegan butternut squash gnocchi recipe, you can swap the butter for vegan butter, vegetable broth for the chicken broth, omit the Italian sausage, and use a vegan Parmesan substitute.
  • To Make Gluten Free. For gluten-free butternut squash gnocchi, select a gluten-free gnocchi option. Note that you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Potato pasta, ground meat, and veggies in a pot

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover gnocchi in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of extra chicken broth or water to keep it from drying out.
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

Brown the sausage up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate it in an airtight storage container.

What to Serve with Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Italian sausage butternut squash gnocchi in a Dutch oven

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I am so excited for you to try this butternut squash gnocchi recipe! If you do give it a go, please let me know how it turned out in the comments section below.

Hearing from you makes my day even more than a second helping of this gnocchi did (and you know how strongly I feel about it by now?).

A large pot with butternut squash gnocchi

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gnocchi?

Gnocchi is a soft, pillowy, Italian-style dumpling that’s made from potatoes. It’s typically eaten like pasta with a sauce.

For this recipe, I recommend using premade, shelf-stable gnocchi, which you can find near the pasta in your grocery store.

Can I Use a Different Type of Italian Sausage?

I prefer to use Italian turkey or chicken sausage because they have less fat. However, you can certainly use Italian pork sausage if you prefer.

Can I Use Pre-Cut Butternut Squash Cubes?

Yes, you can cut a butternut squash yourself or use pre-cut butternut squash cubes. Depending upon the size they are cut, you may need to adjust the saute time accordingly.

A large pot with butternut squash gnocchi

One Skillet Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Italian Sausage

5 from 44 votes
One Skillet Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Italian Sausage and Spinach. Healthy, EASY recipe that cooks in just one pan! Pure comfort and so simple to make!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 pound ground sweet Italian turkey sausage removed from casings if needed
  • 1 small butternut squash about 1 1/4 pounds, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups cubes total; if you have a little extra, use a very large skillet and add it all if you really love squash, or reserve the extra for another time)
  • 1 small yellow onion diced, about 1 cup
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound potato gnocchi*
  • 5 cups loosely packed baby spinach about 5 ounces or 5 generous handfuls
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan optional—we loved it both with and without
  • Pinch red pepper flakes optional

Instructions
 

  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a very large skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium high. Once the butter is melted, add the sausage. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until it is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate.
  • Reduce the skillet heat to medium. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Once melted, add the squash and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, rubbed sage (if using fresh sage, wait to add it until the end), and nutmeg. Continue cooking until the garlic is softened and fragrant, about 1 additional minute.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and gnocchi to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium high. Stir to coat the gnocchi, then cover the pan. Cook, covered, until the gnocchi is just tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the sausage. Stir in the spinach a few handfuls at a time, allowing it to wilt. If you’d like a looser sauce, add a bit more chicken broth. Sprinkle with Parmesan and season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy hot.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate gnocchi in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of extra chicken broth or water to keep it from drying out.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 
  • *You can find packaged gnocchi near the pasta in your grocery store.
  • Nutritional info is calculated as 1 of 5, or about 1 1/2 heaping cups

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 396kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 18gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 67mgPotassium: 666mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 11442IUVitamin C: 50mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 11mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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128 Comments

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  1. Made this tonight. It really is delicious and you’re not kidding about how the combination is even better than you’d think it would be with these ingredients. I’m a butternut squash fan anyway, but the combo is yummy! Thank you for dinner and for several lunches and dinners!5 stars

  2. I decided this year that butternut squash is one of my favorite fall foods. (How did I miss cookinking with it for so many years?) This is one of the best recipes I have tried with it! I highly recommend, but I will say it took me longer to cook it than the recipe said. But that is usually the case – I guess I am a slow chef. ?5 stars

  3. Had a similar list of ingredients but a little more of each ingredient (1.9 lbs Sweet Italian sausage links which, after browning outside initially, I sliced into medallions to brown inside), more cubed butternut squash (2 full cups plus more – the dog enjoyed some, as well), increased the amount of onion (1 & 1/2), garlic (5 cloves, minced) and a handful of rubbed sage, 2 cups of veggie broth (still stayed with one pound of gnocchi: though, I was tempted…) – then watched this recipe transform into magic.

    I’m going to revisit this recipe time and time again, then try turning it vegetarian and then vegan.5 stars

  4. I loved this recipe! It’s a new family favorite. I used 5 cups chopped butternut squash. I also cut the butter down to 2 tablespoons total since I was using venison/pork sausage, which has more fat than Turkey sausage.5 stars

  5. I made butternut squash gnocchi and have it frozen. If I wanted to incorporate it into this recipe, do you recommend I cook it first and then proceed with the rest of the recipe or just cook it as written? Thank you, very excited for this.

    1. Hi Takieta! I haven’t tested the recipe with frozen gnocchi, so I can’t say for certain. If you do decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it comes out!

  6. My family is vegan and gluten-free, so I used gf gnocchi and Beyond Meat Hot Italian Sausages. Fantastic and very tasty, especially with a glass of red ?5 stars

  7. Just made this for our Sunday night dinner. Wow! I agree with the comments that say this is restaurant worthy. The flavors are wonderful, and with veg prep done earlier in the day, it came together so easily. Thanks Erin for a great recipe!5 stars

  8. What type of gnocchi did you use for this? I see an asterisk but could not find a corresponding note. The recipe sounds great, but I don’t want to use frozen gnocchi if that will not work.5 stars

  9. I used hot Italian turkey sausage. My daughter who is college age literally licked the bowl. Delish ? Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  10. this was very good!
    I had some sausage in the freezer that I had bought at BJs prepackaged
    Unable to remove casing so just chopped into bite size pieces.
    My husband loved it and asked if I can make again! He’s not usually a fan of butter nut squash but I snuck it in this one.
    Reheats well5 stars

  11. I’ve made this twice and both time it’s been easy and amazing! I had cauliflower gnocchi instead of regular. I don’t boil it though. Sauté on the side to crisp it up and then add it at the end. So good!5 stars

  12. This is just SO good. My husband and all my kids love it. We double the recipe so we all get our fill and have leftovers. Outstanding!5 stars

  13. Your description is spot on, I tasted this after making it and was blown away! It is so easy, so unique and everyone in the house loved it. I appreciate how your recipes encourage me to step out of my comfort zone without being too intimidating. This dish is truly gourmet!5 stars

  14. Lovely recipe! With so few ingredients I opted for a high quality chicken Parmesan sausage and it was amazing. Nice comforting meal thank you!5 stars

  15. Hi Erin, I absolutely love this dish. My in-laws are coming to visit and my MIL has a low-carb diet. I was thinking to make soup and salad on the side so MIL could decide how much of the main dish (this recipe) she wants to eat but have the option to fill up more on low-carb sides. Do you have a suggestion of what soup might pair well with this recipe?

    1. Hi Keiko! You could definitely try something like instant pot tomato soup (https://www.wellplated.com/instant-pot-tomato-soup/) or roasted carrot soup (https://www.wellplated.com/roasted-carrot-soup/) I also have a ton of soups on the site if you’d like to check them out! https://www.wellplated.com/category/recipes-by-type/soupsstews/

  16. Absolutely delish! I’m vegan so I subbed vegan sausage and added sliced mushrooms. I also had cauliflower gnocchi in the freezer so I used that, and it turned out yummy. Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

  17. I just made this recipe this afternoon as I am going to take it to work with me, so I will let you know how it is. I didnt read recipe fully and just added parmesan cheese in with everything and also added dried cranberries…… post to follow after eaten!

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