Dank Dinner Green Goddess

Butternut Squash, Kale, & Pesto Pasta (Vegan)

1st May 2015


I rarely eat pasta, to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, I love a carb, but I try not to make a habit of eating pasta too often because let’s get real, it’s mostly empty calories. So when I do make a pasta dish, I aim for as high a veggie-to-pasta ratio as possible.


I feel like butternut squash and kale are besties. I picture them in cartoon form holding hands from time to time (is that weird?). I have kale in my fridge 98% of the time, and butternut squash can sit in the pantry for weeks, so this really is one of those “I have no food” kinda meals.


And I know, it’s spring, but these winter-abundant veggies are two of my absolute favorites, and they are so hearty and filling that they make a perfect star for a vegan dinner. Not to mention, they are packed with nutrients and won’t leave you feeling poopy.

Nom away.

Prep Time | Cook Time | Total Time

10 mins   |     30 mins     |   40 mins

Makes 4 servings



  • 1 whole butternut squash or ~4 cups chopped
  • 3 cups whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
  • 3 stalks kale, torn into pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ~¼ cup Basil pesto (store-bought or homemade)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Hemp seeds, to top


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Begin by peeling the butternut squash and cut in half lengthwise to reveal core. Scoop out seeds and pulp and throw out. Chop squash into ½-inch cubes and toss with 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and enough olive oil to coat. Place in oven on middle rack for ~25 mins, tossing with a spatula midway through cooking.

Meanwhile, boil water with a pinch of salt and cook pasta to package instructions. Before draining, reserve ¼ cup pasta water.

Sautée kale in a pan with a little bit of olive oil and remaining cloves of garlic until wilted.

When pasta is ready, drain and return to pot. Add pesto and a tablespoon or two of reserved pasta water. The starchy water helps the pesto to be more evenly distributed. When pasta is coated, quickly toss with veggies and serve.

I garnished mine with hemp seeds. So yummy!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Janet 2nd May 2015 at 2:06 pm

    I love butternut squash and Kale separately. together they are probably wonderful. I will try this.
    Have you tried to make Kale chips. they are expensive to buy .

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