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

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!

This recipe is sponsored by Land O’Lakes

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 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 it and experience it too!

Easy, healthy Butternut Squash Gnocchi with sausage and spinach.

About This Simple, Splendid One Skillet Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Italian Sausage Recipe

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).

This easy gnocchi is Friday dreams meets Monday reality. It tastes like fall comfort on a plate and had me convinced for a moment that I was back in Italy.

Because this easy Butternut Squash Gnocchi obtains its soul-satisfying flavor from only a few ingredients, make sure you pick good ones. At the top of my list when I’m thinking about ingredient integrity: butter.

One-pan Italian Sausage Butternut Squash Gnocchi is a delicious, filling meal!

Land O’Lakes has been in my refrigerator since I was a little girl, and it’s still the brand I choose to purchase. I love that Land O’Lakes works with family farmers (I had the pleasure to meet several of them out in California earlier this year), and also…I just ♥ buttah. I want to make sure the butter I buy tastes great, is worthy of the indulgence, and is a good value. Land O’Lakes doesn’t let me down.

For this recipe, I used Land O Lakes® Unsalted Butter, which also happens to be my go-to when I’m testing baking recipes on my site. It’s my standard.

Italian Sausage Butternut Squash Gnocchi is a healthy, all-in-one family meal.

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 (this Italian Sausage Rice Casserole, this recipe for sheet pan Italian Sausage and Peppers, this recipe for Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers, and this Skillet Lasagna with Italian Sausage are three favorites). It’s leaner than pork sausage but still delivers on flavor. Pinky promise, you won’t notice the swap.

Other key ingredients include a pinch of sage and nutmeg to complement the butternut squash and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese because it feels like the right thing to do.

How to Store and Reheat This Gnocchi

  • To Store. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3 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.

Easy Italian Sausage and Butternut Squash Gnocchi. Full of vegetables and lean protein!

I am so excited for you to try this Italian Sausage 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?).

More Butternut Squash Dinner Recipes

A large pot with butternut squash gnocchi

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Italian Sausage

5 from 32 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  Land O Lakes® 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 Land O Lakes® Unsalted 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

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of extra chicken broth or water to keep it from drying out.
  • 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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98 Comments

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  1. This is what I will be making this weekend! I already have the butternut squash just waiting for inspiration…now i have it. What a great Fall recipe. Will let you know how it turns out. Thanks.

      1. When I made this, the squash didn’t keep its form and it became like a purée sauce almost. Is this supposed to happen?

        1. Hi Julia! Some of the squash pieces will become soft during cooking, which I think adds a delicious element to the dish. I hope you enjoyed the recipe!

  2. Erin, this was amazing! I just made this tonight and couldn’t stop myself from seconds as well! Followed the directions exactly and everything turned out perfectly. I love your recipes, I’ve been following along for about a year and have made more than I can count! 5 stars

  3. I made this last night and it was to die for.  I used the cauliflower gnocchi from TJs and it was so good.  My husband even loved the squash and he’s usually not a fan.  The perfect cold weather meal that I will be making until I can’t find the butternut squash anymore.  Thank you!5 stars

  4. Made this for dinner tonight and everybody loved it! My mom says it’s a keeper recipe. Used kale and pork sausage as substitutes and still tasted delicious5 stars

  5. This was so yummy! I lightened it up by using chicken sausage, light butter and cauliflower gnocchi and it was still amazing! Fall comfort food at its best! 5 stars

  6. Made this over the weekend, it is SO wonderfully delicious. I cooked the butternut squash down a little more than the recipe called for, which resulted in some of the smaller pieces ‘melting’ into the sauce and spreading that butternut squash goodness all through every bite. This is such a great fall dish, it looks, smells and tastes like autumn!

  7. Erin!
    This was amazing. I realized too late that I didn’t have sage, so I used some poultry seasoning from my cabinet. It was still scrumptious. Would absolutely make it again!5 stars

    1. Maggie, I’m so happy to hear this was a hit! Thank you so much for giving it a try and taking the time to report back.

  8. Love, love, love this recipe!! It was not only absolutely delicious but so much fun/easy to make! I used the precut zigzag butternut squash from Trader Joe’s! And what’s not to love about a one pot wonder #lessmess !!5 stars

  9. I have an obsession with butternut squash, and googling new butternut squash recipes brought me to your blog. I already made your Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Butternut Squash and Cranberries (amazing) and this was another great recipe. Sweet Italian turkey sausage was pretty expensive at my grocery store, so I just bought lean ground turkey and seasoned it with Italian seasoning, salt, and fennel when cooking and it turned out great. Thanks so much!5 stars

    1. Beth, I’m so glad to hear this recipe was a hit too! Way to be resourceful about making your own Italian sausage too.

    1. Hi Peggy, the current amount of butter is how I tested the recipe and what I can vouch for. You can certainly experimenting with cutting it back or using another cooking fat (like olive oil) of your choice. If you do experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes.

  10. This recipe is on my meal plan for next week, I have some Trader Joe’s frozen sweet potato gnocchi, think that will work? Or do I need the fresh stuff?
    Thanks!!
    Love this food blog!!

    1. Hi Sarah, I haven’t tested the recipe with that product, 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!

  11. Can’t wait to try this. I make something similar after Thanksgiving when we have leftover stuffing. The main ingredient are turkey or chicken sausage, butternut squash, any leftover greens (spinach, kale, etc), onion, baked in oven with the stuffing on top towards the end of baking.Obviously, some of the above ingredients are cooked or sauteed first. But the gnocchi variation sounds good too.

  12. I stumbled upon this recipe looking for butternut squash recipes. This  was so delicious, only change was I used kale instead of spinach. I made it for guests and it was a huge success—can’t wait to make it again. Thanks!!!5 stars

  13. Just made this tonight as is and my husband and I thought it was great! Love the combination of sweet squash and spicy sausage (we used hot italians). It seemed way more naughty than it actually is. Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Jenna! It serves 4-6, depending upon how hungry everyone is and what else you are serving. (the total yield is 8 1/2 cups – I calced the nutrition as 1 of 5 or about 1 1/2 cups). I hope you love it!

  14. This recipe is amazing! I made it for dinner tonight and it was the perfect fall weather meal. It was like my husband and I were dining at a 5 star restaurant. The combination of ingredients is brilliant, and the recipe is simple to follow. Thank you for providing such specific, easy steps to follow. 5 stars

  15. My husband and I made this yesterday and it is phenomenal! Such a delicious combination of ingredients. It is also really filling and a great use of squash. Next time we will probably use a Tbsp or so less of butter, but otherwise, this recipe is just perfect! We did try adding a bit of parmesan but found it superfluous to the overall flavor. The sausage and butter bring enough salt and fat that we found it totally complete without the cheese. This will definitely be a new go-to Fall recipe for us!5 stars

  16. I made this tonight and it was SO good! It was my first time trying gnocchi ! The flavors of the sausage and the spices make the dish! Will definitely make this comforting dish again! 5 stars

  17. Hi Erin,
    It’s -20 here in Ottawa today and over 8 inches of snow has come down in our neighbourhood since this morning. It’s been a brutally cold Canadian weekend and so this is going to be our dinner this evening. We’ve made it a few times and all 3 of my children and my husband enjoy it. I love the one dish clean up and healthy ingredients!
    Thank you for the variety of healthy recipes you post that require a minimum of “gear” and culinary techniques! I’ve been subscribing and following you since I tried your General Tso’s Chickpeas recipe over a year ago (which was also a big hit)! We’ve tried so many of your recipes, and even got an Instant Pot to give some of those ideas a try -current faves include Golden Instand Pot Chicken and Rice, and Instant Pot Lentil Curry.
    Your ideas are always getting us to try a new ingredient or pairing, but are never too hard to find or crazy spicy -I’m definitely a much better cook who now enjoys my time in the kitchen thanks to you!5 stars

    1. Lisa, thank you so much for this wonderful comment—it truly makes my day to hear you’re making my recipes! I’m glad you enjoyed this one too. Stay warm up there!

  18. Do you cook the butternut squash in batches? I used a 12 inch skillet, but it was impossible to brown the squash, and I actually had to cover the pan and add liquid to get it to cook. Do you use an even larger pan? Very tasty dish!

    1. Hi Jess! I believe my pan is 13 or 14 inches and has high sides, so it can hold a larger amount. I can definitely see this being a squeeze in a short-sided 12 inch. Also, it’s easy to pick up a larger squash without realizing it, so that would crowd the pan too. You could also make this in a dutch oven or braiser if that gives you more space! I’m glad you enjoyed the dish.

      1. Would this recipe freeze at all? Looking for a good recipe to make in a larger batch and then freeze in individual portions for late work nights where I need a quick dinner! 

        1. Hi Lindsay! I haven’t tried freezing it myself, but I’m afraid the gnocchi may become mushy once thawed and reheated. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  19. This was a fantastic dish. Great combination of flavours and easy to make. I left out the turkey to make it a vegetarian dish and it was just as good. I love finding these meal blogging sites and so far most of the meals I’ve tried here have been awesome which tells me that Erin’s style of cooking and the spices/flavours she uses matches up great with my taste buds. Looking for my next meal now…5 stars

  20. Only 3 bites in but needed to write this review. Great recipe!! I will be making this again in the future. The perfect fall dish!5 stars

  21. I made this yesterday, but didn’t add the gnocchi, I had 2 helpings for dinner and wanted a 3rd. Lol
    Thank you for another Great Recipe. 

  22. Gave this one a go last night. Another two thumbs up for Erin from this guy! This is my kinda dish since it didn’t take a ton of ingredients or prep. I love your 1 pan recipes! The (fresh) sage and squash make a really unique taste. I kinda wonder what this would have been like with the dry kind of sage since I’m lazy and cheap. I never made anything with butternut squash before, so I wasn’t sure how to prep the squash or how heavy a squash would equate to 1.25 lbs cubed squash. I ended up buying a 2 lb squash and that yielded 1.5 lbs after chopping it up.5 stars

  23. I made this tonight, it was outstanding! I used the 2 cups of broth as I used 4-1/2 cups squash. I did not have spinach so I added left over fresh green beans from yesterday’s dinner. The flavors were so good. My husband must have told me 1/2 a dozen times how much he liked it. Thank you!5 stars

  24. ERIN!!! Oh my wow this dinner was amazing. Thank you for such a delicious, easy recipe! I added brussel sprouts along with the squash and it was just delicious!!!5 stars

    1. YAY! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe, Jessica! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  25. I have not tried this delicious looking recipe, because you have no sodium content listed . I have noticed that happening with other recipe websites and I consider it an insult to my intelligence
    and that of every other person who makes a point of using all available info of the food they eat.many of us are sensitive to many different things and as we age these tend to become more troublesome to our health. i assume the NA content is so high it would affect my health . if you can remedy the situation I’d love to try the recipe.

    1. Hi BJ, sodium content can vary so much based on the brands of ingredients used. I recommend using an online calculator like MyFitnessPal, which you can customize based on the ingredients you have to get a more accurate number. I apologize for any inconvenience, and I hope this helps!

  26. This was SO DELICIOUS!! My husband loved it too. Am saving this recipe. I used pork sausage which was delicious but very greasy. I will try it with Turkey sausage as in your recipe next time. I’m looking forward to trying out your other recipes.5 stars

  27. This is one of my all-time favourite recipes and one that I pull out especially when I have company and am feeling like a warm and cozy meal. It introduced me to Erin’s recipes and I haven’t looked back. Her instructions are so easy to follow, and you seriously will impress with this. I cook the sweet potatoes a few extra minutes cause I like them mushy. LOVE THIS!!!!5 stars

  28. I’m excited to give this a try – it sounds amazing – but do you have any thoughts on how I might need to adjust if i’m using freshly made gnocchi rather than dried?

    1. Hi Cindy! I haven’t tested the recipe with homemade 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!

      1. Will do – it’s on the menu for next week, even though it does sound like a fall recipe :) Another question though – how much would you say a pound of cooked gnocchi is? I’ve never used the dried version so I don’t know how to compare. I suppose it doesn’t really matter as long as it looks like a reasonable amount to go with the squash and spinach…

        1. Hi Cindy! Unfortunately, it’s hard to say how much a pound would be, because size can vary. You could eyeball the portion, as you mentioned, or weigh your homemade gnocchi to be safe. Since this recipe was developed for dried gnocchi, the homemade version may not absorb the broth in the same way. You could experiment by cooking the gnocchi separately and stirring it in at the very end (again, I haven’t tried this myself). I hope this helps!

          1. The fresh gnocchi definitely did not work but the rest of it was so good that we’ll definitely make it again. (The gnocchi came out as gummy little dumplings)

            Might try making the gnocchi separately and serving the rest of the stuff on top of the gnocchi – or just skipping it altogether and serving it with farro or quinoa instead – or just on its’ own! (or maybe throw in some garbanzos if I have a few just laying around and call them faux gnocci)

            Regardless – this is delicious and very, very easy to do!

          2. Thank you for taking the time to report back, Cindy! I hope you enjoy it even more next time!

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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