Sausage, butternut squash & kale gnocchi bake


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If you’re a fan of pasta bakes, how about trying a gnocchi bake instead? This one is a little bit of everything – oozy, cheesy and comforting, but also healthy, tasty and easy to make.

Sausage, butternut squash & kale gnocchi bake

This sausage, butternut squash & kale gnocchi bake is tasty comfort food at its best!

What’s so great about it?

  • Anything that’s called a ‘bake’ shouts cheesy, oozy deliciousness to me, and this one doesn’t disappoint.
  • It has relatively few ingredients in it.
  • The flavours are fantastic. Sausage meat always makes for a great hit of taste. The rich tomato sauce contains fennel seeds, garlic, fresh basil and a little splash of balsamic vinegar to add a bit more oomph.
  • The kale and roasted butternut squash makes you feel all smug about eating super healthy and tasty veggies.

How do you make it?

This is a great wholesome and healthy midweek meal. Make it in just a few simple steps:

Step 1

Prepare the vegetables and gnocchi. So roast the butternut squash, and boil the kale and gnocchi.


Step 2

Make the sausage tomato sauce on the stove top. Use yummy herbs like thyme, fennel seeds and basil. Don’t be afraid of the fennel – it goes really well with sausage.

Sausage ragu for a gnocchi bake

Step 3

Stir the vegetables and gnocchi through the sauce, then tip into a baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan over the top and BAKE.

Sausage, butternut squash & kale gnocchi bake
Look how yummy!

How to eat a gnocchi bake!

Now this aint rocket science! After you’ve prepared everything and tossed the sauce through the gnocchi, this is a one pan meal.

You don’t need to prepare any side dishes. Just spoon into dishes and enjoy!

Sausage, butternut squash & kale gnocchi bake

More gnocchi recipes

More easy comfort food



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Sausage, butternut squash & kale gnocchi bake
5 from 1 vote

Sausage, butternut squash & kale gnocchi bake

Store-bought gnocchi with sausage meat, butternut squash, kale and a tomato, fennel & basil sauce stirred through it – dotted with mozzarella and parmesan and baked until bubbling. This makes for a wholesome and healthy one-pot mid-week meal!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • about half a butternut squash, chopped into smallish pieces
  • 3.5 ounces kale, washed & chopped into small pieces (remove any tough stems)
  • one package of potato gnocchi, mine was about 17 ounces – 500 grams
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely sliced
  • 4 good quality pork sausages
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 14 ounces passata
  • a large handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 ball of mozzarella
  • a handful of grated parmesan cheese


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C. Toss the butternut squash with a little olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking tray, cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Then take off the foil and roast for another 10 minutes. Put aside.
  • Boil the kale for about 5 minutes, then tip in the gnocchi as well and cook for a couple of minutes longer. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat up a good drizzle of olive oil in a skillet/frying pan, then fry the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic to the pan, then run a knife down the side of the sausages so that you can squeeze the meat out into the pan. Cook, breaking up the sausage meat into small bits as you go, for 7 or 8 minutes, then add the thyme, fennel seeds & passata and cook for a further few minutes. Finally, stir in the basil.
  • Add the squash, kale and gnocchi to the sausage and tomato mixture, then give it all a good stir before tipping it into a medium-sized baking dish. Tear the mozzarella ball into pieces over the top, sprinkle the parmesan over and bake for about 20 minutes until bubbling.


Loosely adapted from Nov 2014 edition of UK Delicious magazine.


Calories: 408kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 759mg, Potassium: 877mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 3070IU, Vitamin C: 43.6mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 3.8mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Helen Schofield

Don't expect to find anything fussy or complicated here. Just QUICK, EASY & (mostly!) HEALTHY recipes from the Mediterranean and beyond. ENJOY!

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  1. Hello Helen,
    I made this tonight and served it with a spinach salad.
    Good comfort food, and my two ‘safe’ guests and myself really enjoyed the dish. I am not fond of pasta, but really do like gnocchi.
    I did make some adjustments , don’t you just love it, or not, when people do this.?
    The store had regular potato gnocchi and next to it I saw butternut gnocchi, imported from Italy, on sale, so this is what I used.
    I also substituted the cheese for Monterey Jack as this is what I had in my fridge, and wanted to use it up.
    I was happy to find Passata in the store, as it’s not very well known here.
    I followed the rest of the recipe as written. Thanks Helen for another great tasty recipe. And, it will be made again.
    My next cook will be your squash soup.
    I appreciate you posting these recipes, as we are in pumpkin, and root vegetable season here in Canada. Happy Spring
    Blessings Yvonne

    1. Hello Yvonne! I’m so glad you appreciated this recipe! I love that you chose butternut gnocchi. That’s the first thing I tried to make when I first met my now husband and it was a disaster!! Glad you could find passata. I now know it’s hard to get in some places. Really though you could just use a blended can of chopped tomatoes, although that’s extra work! Pasta sauce would work too… Anyway, so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback. Best wishes, Helen

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this and loved it! Really nice. We used veggie sausages as I’m veggie and pumpkin from the garden. Just yummy and nic and easy too 🙂

    1. Hi Rose! Really happy you gave this a go and enjoyed it! Thank you so much for reporting back. I LOVE that you used pumpkin from your garden. One day I will have this too… 😉

  3. Hello Helen — Just wanted to pop in and say I made this last week and it was so yummy! Even better the next day, I think. I used organic Italian chicken sausage and I did not precook the gnocchi at all. The package directions said to cook for 2-5 minutes so by just throwing in there with the other ingredients and baking it, it did beautifully!

    I love the squash addition for health reasons, of course, but also the element of sweet it adds. Seriosly, everyone, this is so easy and a great make-ahead. I made it in the afternoon and baked it that night! Thanks, wonderful and creative, Helen!

    1. Hi, Lori. You have no idea how happy this makes me! Thanks so much for letting me know … and also for the tip to not bother pre-cooking the gnocchi. Makes the whole thing even easier. Actually, I think I might even add a note to the recipe to let readers know they can do this if they like. It’s also a great tip to make it ahead – I love that smug feeling you get at dinner time that dinner’s already sorted when you do this.
      Thanks again for your support, Lori. I’m very happy that I have a happy customer here!

  4. We avoid of neighbors…haha! I grew up on a big farm with no neighbors and I have decided I am not a very neighborly person. I would rather run in my house without any awkward conversation! 🙂 I do love this dish though! Beautiful flavors!

    1. Hahaha … I love your honesty, Annie … just remind me not to live too near to you, though (lol!) So glad you like the dish – anything with sausage in is a hit with me!

  5. We still have kale growing in the garden and I always love the combo of kale and sausage in recipes! Can’t wait to try this yummy recipe!

    1. Oh, I hope you do, Pamela! I don’t always manage to make kale tender enough, but I bet you do! Glad you like this bake!

  6. Haha love the idea of borrowing her dog! I need to try that. This bake looks so incredibly yummy and cheesy indeed!

  7. For the life of me, I do not understand people that you walk right by on an empty road taking a stroll that do not at least nod or say hello! Fears that you will stop them and spark up a long, dull conversation? I don’t know, but just smile at least!

    I have a package of gnocchi in my fridge that I need to do something with and I think I found just what to do with t! Sounds yummy!

    1. I know! It’s crazy, isn’t it? I sometimes smile at them first but usually just get (at best) a slightly surprised and weak smile back. Bizarre, huh?
      So glad you like the gnocchi bake and hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  8. Baked gnocchi is my absolute ultimate comfort food! This looks so delicious

  9. Helen, this looks delicious. It is actually snowing where I live, although it shouldn’t be quite yet….this time of year, bleh and I just need a good, solid comfort casserole. Plus, like you said, nothing complicated here, looks easy to make. And honestly, when it’s cold outside, I don’t mind cooking too much. Although I refuse to get all smug about the addition of kale & squash veggie intake, ha. Love it. Bursting with flavor and who can resist that real mozz on top? We love all our neighbors here, we live near such awesome people, so lucky. Our street is really fun, but not as fun as living in a “flat”!!!

    1. You’re so lucky having good neighbours! I suppose that comes from living something for quite a while though and building up a strong natural rapport. We’ll get there some day when we have our own house!
      Anyway, so glad you like the sound of this bake. I promise you it’s easy peasy to make and I really hope you do try it. 😉