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 56 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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158 Comments

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  1. DELISH!! I was worried that the stock would make things come out too watery but I just added parmesan while it was still in the pan and it thickened up nicely. I can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow!5 stars

  2. Made this recipe for the first time tonight! Super easy and incredibly delicious! Comfort food perfect for a cold November night :) Used honey garlic sausage which turned out wonderful!5 stars

  3. My son and I made this tonight. 3 of us loved it, and the 4th was willing to eat a small bowl (he hates squash). In our family, that reaction warrants 5 stars and an addition to the regular dinner rotation. We’re always looking for tasty vegan recipes to serve to my mother in law, so replaced the sausage with a blend of crumbled tofu and tempeh that we spice up and bake in the oven as a ground beef replacement, and it worked great! We kept the butter and parmesan for this first try, but I think we’ll be able to replace the butter with olive oil and a pinch more salt, then hold the parmesan on her portion so we can make it for her next time she visits.5 stars

  4. Oh my gosh! This dish is so delish.
    I did substitute with Gluten Free Gnocchi
    by DELALLO. Still so so good.
    The whole family loved it.
    I will make this again!5 stars

  5. My husband I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious!!!! I cut the butter down to 3 tbsp (instead of 5) but otherwise didn’t need to make any changes! Normally I find recipes don’t have enough seasoning but this one is full of flavor and lacked nothing! This is going into our permanent rotation as it is fairly easy and scrumptious!!! Thanks so much Erin!5 stars

  6. Made this for the first time tonight, and was so glad I did!! My two teens, that don’t get very excited about squash, both really enjoyed it!! Great textures and flavors!! Will definitely make again♥️ I did end up using a little more broth, probably closer to two cups.. 😊5 stars

  7. I’m glad I impulsively brought home a butternut squash, because this recipe blew my expectations away!! I used 3 of the 5 tbsp of butter called for, and ground turkey with some added Italian seasonings (to mimic Italian turkey sausage that I can never find). Fantastic recipe, thank you for another winner, Erin!5 stars

  8. Hello, I used your recipe as a starting point, what I did was take chicken thighs and cook them in the frying pan with onions and garlic and butter and then I added marinated Portabella mushrooms cut up in strips I had marinated the Portabella mushrooms and a vinaigrette and oil delicious I then added the sage from the garden and fried that up until it was cooked proceeded to add the one cup of chicken broth and then then I I used butternut squash gnocchi I found the broth was too much so I added more gnocchi and also had to add cornstarch to thicken the sauce and then proceeded to add spinach and Parmesan cheese it was delicious oh yes I also added plum tomatoes I had chopped up some tomatoes and put them in when I was cooking the mushrooms and onions your recipe is wonderful for a starting point next time I’ll have to try just following a recipe which I don’t do very often but I got to say mine was spectacular thanks for the idea

  9. When you say wait until the end to add fresh sage, you mean after the gnocchi is cooked? Alllll the way at the end? Or just at the end of the squash cooking?

  10. I loved this dish! I halved the recipe. I used ground turkey instead of sausage. I needed to cook the squash a little longer, fortunately I waited to add the gnocchi. I used frozen spinach and gluten free gnocchi. I also added toasted pine nuts after the Parmesan cheese. This will be a new regular in our meal rotation for sure!5 stars

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