Penne with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Goat Cheese

by Erin

Last week we had our first frost in Memphis. I even remembered to take my basil plant inside so that it wouldn’t die. Then yesterday I had to turn my A/C on for a couple hours because I cooked up a storm and didn’t anticipate the high of 77 degrees that day. Not that I am complaining about it being warm again, but fall here never ceases to confuse me. The temperatures drop from 70/60s to 30/40s without giving you any time to acclimate with moderate temperatures in between.

Penne with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Goat Cheese 1

Regardless of the warm sunny atmosphere, I am powering through and continuing to make fall recipes because I just can’t get enough. It’s funny that I resisted Halloween for so long and now that it has passed I am pumped for the next two holidays, especially since Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays. I guess not dressing up this year kind of put a damper on the excitement. Anyway, feast your eyes upon this delicious butternut squash recipe with a goat cheese sauce, which was my favorite part. So much so that I think I may use twice as much goat cheese in the future.

Penne with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Goat Cheese 2

Two years ago: Baked Apple Cider Doughnut Minis

Three years ago: Asian BBQ Chicken


Serves 6


1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 Tbsp olive oil, for drizzling

Salt and pepper

1 lb. whole wheat penne

4 oz. goat cheese

1 bunch kale, leaves removed from stems and torn into strips

1 packed cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the butternut squash cubes and onion evenly over the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to season. Roast for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, stirring in the kale in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 2 cups of pasta water.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the goat cheese into 1 cup of the pasta water until smooth, adding more water if necessary to make a sauce of your desired consistency. Add the pasta, kale, squash, and onions, and toss until evenly distributed. Stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serves topped with more Parmesan cheese if desired.

Source: Adapted slightly from Joanne Eats Well With Others.


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Janice (@KtchnHealsSoul) November 19, 2013 - 11:00 pm

Fall has been very confusing! So true!

I love the combination of kale & squash. So, so yummy! I definitely hope to make this sometime soon :)

Joanne November 19, 2013 - 7:02 am

The temperature being so weird has definitely put me in a weird fall spirit (or lack thereof?). I’m so glad you liked this pasta, either way, and hope it helped get you in the fall “zone”.

Susan November 18, 2013 - 6:16 pm

This sounds wonderful! And I would definitely go for more goat cheese, both for the flavor and the added protein. Besides that, is there such a thing as too much goat cheese? I think not. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to make this soon.

vanillasugarblog November 18, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Funny how I never think of TN getting frost, but it does.
The weather has been odd, and since I live near the ocean it scares me because as the long term weathermen had predicated the weather will get worse/stronger for those in the midwest and NE.
Hurricanes and blizzards scare me

spiffycookie November 19, 2013 - 8:49 am

Blizzards don’t worry me, but hurricanes and tornadoes (which we get fairly regularly int he spring) do scare me a bit. Hope winter doesn’t get too fierce up there!

Tracey November 18, 2013 - 3:20 pm

Seriously, what is up with the weather? Even here in RI we are in the 30’s one day and 60 the next. More 60’s and less 30’s please :) I bookmarked this on Joanne’s site too, it looks so yummy!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef November 18, 2013 - 12:42 pm

I love this pasta dish. It’s got all my favorites and looks like a hug from my grandmother.

Gloria // Simply Gloria November 18, 2013 - 11:26 am

Isn’t the weather just crazy?! I swear some days I’m changing my clothes all throughout the day just to the drastic weather change from morning til evening. I’m loving this creative pasta dish…very delish!

Zainab @ Blahnik Baker November 18, 2013 - 10:42 am

Oh my!! This looks delicious. I remember saying to myself, I should make it. So glad you have convinced me!


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