This Healthy Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sausage is the perfect comforting fall meal. Tender pieces of butternut squash come together with browned hot Italian chicken sausage, spinach, onion and parmesan cheese to take this pasta dish to the next level! The ingredients are simple and clean, so you can feel great about adding this meal to your weekly dinner rotation. The best part about fall is all of the great flavors and ingredients that come into season. You are sure to impress with this healthy and delicious meal!
What you’ll need to make this Healthy Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sausage
- Hot Italian chicken sausage
- Find the brand I used linked here
- I opted to use fully cooked chicken sausage
- Butternut Squash
- A great shortcut is purchasing cubed butternut squash; it’s a great time saver.
- Kosher salt
- Garlic powder
- Chicken broth
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley
Cooking with butternut squash
When it comes to cooking butternut squash, the possibilities are really endless. I always take the easy way out, and buy the pre-cut ones they sell in the produce section. You can always buy a full squash, but I am always looking for shortcuts in the kitchen. Even though I love being in the kitchen, I love a good shortcut that will get me to my end product faster.
One small squash or a 20-oz package of cubed butternut squash will yield about 4 full cups. Keep in mind that for this recipe you’ll only need 2 cups. The squash in this recipe isn’t roasted, however: roasting butternut squash is similar to roasting any other veggie. I use a high temperature oven, olive oil spray, and seasonings of choice. In this recipe I opted to sauté the squash for about 10 minutes until tender.
Roasted butternut squash is the star of my Autumn Harvest Mason Jar Salads and boiled butternut squash is the star of my Healthy Butternut Squash Soup. If you’re looking for another pasta dish be sure to try my Creamy Pasta with Butternut Squash and Prosciutto. When roasted, butternut squash gives you that sweet potato vibe that we all love. It’s a great substitute as a side dish or to bulk up meals when you don’t want to go the potato route.
How to make this Healthy Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sausage
Start by cooking your pasta in salted water. Be sure to follow the directions on how long to cook your specific pasta shape. I used Gemelli pasta which cooks in about 12 minutes. Instead of draining all the water from your pasta, reserve some of the cooking liquid for later to help bring together the dish.
Slice your chicken sausage and add it to your pot with olive oil spray. Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Remember that the chicken sausage we’re using is fully cooked, so it doesn’t need long. Remove from the pot once browned.
Now, add one chopped onion to the pot along with your cubed squash and spices. Sauté for 10 minutes until tender, not mushy. Add spinach and broth to wilt.
Next, you can add the cooked pasta back into the pot. Follow by stirring in the parmesan cheese. If it doesn’t look like it’s coming together well you can opt to add in small amounts of the reserve cooking liquid. Garnish with fresh parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.
Healthy Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sausage
- large pot
- 12 oz chicken sausage, used: hot Italian; fully cooked; sliced
- 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
- 1 onion, medium
- olive oil spray
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- nutmeg, pinch
- 6 oz spinach
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 8 oz pasta, measured uncooked; used: Gemelli shaped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, for garnish
- Start by cooking your pasta in salted water. Be sure to follow the directions on how long to cook your specific pasta shape. I used Gemelli pasta which cooks in about 12 minutes.
- Reserve some of the cooking liquid for later to help bring together the dish.
- Slice your chicken sausage and add it to the pot with olive oil spray.
- Sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove from the pot once browned. If using raw sausage, cook until fully cooked.
- Add one chopped onion to the pot along with the cubed squash and spices. Sauté for 10 minutes until tender, not mushy.
- Add spinach and the broth to wilt the spinach.
- Add the cooked pasta back to the pot.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese. You can add some reserved pasta water (1/4 cup at a time) to help bring the dish together, or omit altogether.
- Garnish with fresh parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
- 11 WW points
Fall is in the air! Try one of my other perfect-for-fall pasta dishes:
- Healthy Pasta e Fagioli
- One Pot Rigatoni in Pink Sauce
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Tortellini Soup with Chicken Sausage and Spinach
Or try this stuffed acorn squash for the ultimate fall meal: