Butternut Squash, Kale And Sausage

How do you get someone to eat something that they don’t like?  Combine that item with food that they DO like.

I think you’re either from the school of “I live for kale” or “I can’t stand the stuff.”  My husband blows that theory by being somewhere in the middle.  He’ll eat it, but he definitely won’t seek it out on purpose.  He does however love butternut squash and sausage (even turkey sausage, like I used here).  Was I being sneaky by throwing some kale into the combo?  Not especially.  Frankly it’s a pretty bright green which makes it hard to hide in anything but other green things.

I wish I could claim that I knew my husband would like this meal.  In fact, I figured that he’d take one bite and I would eat the rest (since I do like kale).  Hey, more for me, right?  But guess what?  He loved it!  I mean to the point where he raved about it for a couple of days and plowed through the leftovers before I even really got any.

06Butternut Squash, Kale, and Sausage

The flavor combo is unreal here.  You’ve got the savory turkey sausage, which is an awesome compliment to the lightly sweetened butternut squash.  You might not think to add cinnamon to a savory dish, but it totally works here.  (Think baked sweet potato with brown sugar, maple syrup, and a touch of cinnamon.)  A tiny bit of it will go a long way and it certainly takes this dish to another level (a yummy one).

Now let’s not forget about our healthy green leafed friend.  While the kale is definitely present here (and tastes delicious with the other components), it’s not a predominant flavor.  That’s not meant to be a bad thing, by the way.  I’m just trying to paint you a picture with words.     🙂

02Butternut Squash, Kale, and Sausage

Speaking of healthy, this is a super duper healthy meal.  Plus, I made it in under 30 minutes.  Oh and it’s gluten-free.  Can you stand it?  I will admit  to one negative aspect about this meal… Peeling and chopping a butternut squash is a pain in the butt.  I’d do it again so I guess it can’t be that bad, but it’s amazing how much work that is, even with a good knife.

If you are not a fan of kale, don’t give up and give this dish a try.  If you like kale, then get ready to have your socks knocked off.

03Butternut Squash, Kale, and Sausage

Butternut Squash, Kale and Sausage Recipe
(About 2 to 4 servings)


  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 turkey sausage links  (I used a Sweet Italian flavor, but any kind will work)
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and set it aside.
  3. Peel and chop 2 cups of butternut squash.  (Simply Recipes has an awesome tutorial on this step if you need assistance and you can also use frozen but you may need to adjust how long you bake it.)
  4. Place the chopped butternut squash on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Pour the olive over the squash and then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon on top.  Mix everything together and make sure all of the squash pieces are coated.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.
  7. Meanwhile, in a skillet, over Medium heat, cook the turkey sausage (I removed the skin, but you can also just cook it and slice it).
  8. Add the chopped kale to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the kale is tender.
  9. Once all of the ingredients are done cooking, gently mix everything together.

Inspired by:  Cooking For Keeps



4 Hats


Here’s another kickin’ kale recipe.

Pasta with Kale Sauce

02Pasta With Kale Sauce


  1. Haha, oh you’re so sneaky 😉 Looks so delicious though. No wonder he loved it!

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe…thanks Josefine. 🙂

  2. Ashley says:

    Oh my. This sounds delicious!! And so my kind of meal! Butternut squash? Check. Kale? Check. And sausage?? Yum!

    1. Tina says:

      I like the way you think. 🙂

  3. This looks delicious! I love the use of kale in this recipe and the butternut squash. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Jodee! 🙂

  4. I love the butternut squash in this recipe!! I am good with kale as well, but I don’t normally jump for joy over it.

    1. Tina says:

      I made this again for dinner last night because I felt like I didn’t get my share when I made it over the weekend. I still can’t believe how good it tastes! This one is definitely going on our dinner rotation. Who knew healthy could taste so good. 🙂

  5. Your first line is on point. I’ve developed a new appreciation for foods I thought I hated once I paired them right. I love butternut squash, this looks awesome!

    1. Tina says:

      I’m so glad you feel the same. 🙂

  6. I am not a kale fan but I’m all for the combing a food I don’t like with one that I do. Nice little mind game! 🙂 Love this!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks! 🙂

  7. What a great idea – add an ingredient that they like to a dish that they don’t! Hahaha! Very clever Tina – well, it worked on me, because I love turkey sausage! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Sweet! 🙂

  8. Yep! Sign me up for the *love kale* & don’t care if it’s in every meal & your right, it’s one of those super colourful greens that you can never disguise. Liking this nifty little recipe too…. looks yummy.

  9. I love sneaking kale into recipes like this, and this one looks so, so good! I agree with the downside though of having to chop through butternut squash (chopping tough things is one of my least favorite kitchen tasks), but with how delicious this meal looks, I’d gladly do it!

  10. Summer says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and thought it would be good but wasn’t expecting greatness. WOW I LOVED it!!! Easy, healthy, and seriously flavorful! Thanks for sharing! (Next time I plan on adding nuts to give a little crunch…this might become a family staple!

    1. Tina says:

      I’m so happy to hear how much you enjoyed this meal! This has become a favorite in our home too. I’m always trying to find healthy ways to add protein to my meals, especially since I’m not always in the mood for meat, so I love the idea of adding nuts. Thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂

  11. Sarah says:

    Delish!! I added onions. I didn’t have cinnamon so I used nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon sticks when roasting. I will absolutely make again. Thank you!!

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! I’m so glad to hear that! 🙂

  12. Lydia says:

    I made this recipe tonight because I had some kale and butternut squash leftover from another recipe and I was SO impressed. The flavors blended together so perfectly. My husband loved it too. Will definitely make again!

    Changes I made: less sugar (like 1/3 as much); used ground turkey instead of turkey Italian sausage (plus added a DIY Italian sausage seasoning). Otherwise the same. Thank you!

    1. Tina says:

      I’m so happy to hear that! And I love how you made this recipe your own! Sounds like a delicious way to make this dish with lower calories, fat & sugar. 🙂

  13. Meghan says:

    Do you slice the sausage prior to cooking or break it up into chunks while cooking?

    1. Tina says:

      I removed the skin prior to cooking and broke it up into chunks as it cooked, but you can also just cook it and slice it.

  14. Alex says:

    Both my husband & I loved this! We used turkey sausage just to make it even healthier. I would definitely make sure you use sausage rather than a ground meat (was my original thought) as the flavouring of the sausage give the whole skillet the savoury flavour. I made some cheesy quinoa cakes to go along with it & we both loved it! Super easy to make also!

  15. Dana says:

    I used chicken and apple sausage for this. Really delicious ! Will definitely make again !

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! Love to hear that!

  16. Lydia says:

    I absolutely love this recipe. I’ve made it many times, and every time I just use a pound of ground turkey plus Italian sausage seasoning.

    Here’s the Italian sausage seasoning recipe I use: https://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/homemade-italian-sausage-seasoning/

    And this time, to avoid turning my oven on, I cooked my butternut squash in my instant pot and followed the rest of the recipe as usual. It was good, but honestly not as good as roasting it.

    1. Tina says:

      That’s awesome! I love tastes of lizzy t blog 🙂
      And what a great idea using the instant pot.

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