These butternut squash gnocchi are my kind of comfort food--light but hearty, sweet gnocchi tossed in a quick brown butter sauce topped with herby sage, nutty walnuts, and a generous shaving of Parmesan cheese. This post has been sponsored by Calphalon. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Beyond Sweet and Savory possible.
For me fall is about comfort food. It’s that time of the year when the weather starts to get much cooler and my body craves for soups, roasts, and pasta. Squash is one of my favorite fall ingredients that gets incorporated into many of these comfort food. I’m so excited to partner with Calphalon to share with you the recipe for these delicious butternut squash gnocchi with brown butter sage and walnuts.
How to Make the Squash Puree
If you’ve made gnocchi before, you know it’s a labor of love and requires a bit of patience. For this recipe I started with roasting the butternut squash in the oven for an hour. The flesh becomes tender and caramelized. Once it’s ready, just scoop out the flesh, puree until smooth, then dry it out over the stove to let the puree thickens. Butternut squash has a high water content so reducing moisture is necessary for achieving that light, pillowy texture.
The dough is a simple mixture of butternut squash puree, all purpose flour, Parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, and a touch of nutmeg. The addition of flour makes the gnocchi easier to handle. If you are vegan, leave out the cheese and replace with squash. For gluten-free alternative, use buckwheat flour or potato start. Simply mix everything together with a spoon.
How Long to Refrigerate the Dough
Once the dough comes together, gently knead it and refrigerate it for 4 hours to firm up.
When you’re ready to cook, remove the dough and divide it into quarters. Roll the dough into a rope about ½ inch diameter and crosswise into ¾ inch pieces.
How to Shape Gnocchi
For traditional gnocchi shape, roll each piece on a lightly floured grooved gnocchi board, pressing one cut side of the dough with your thumb to create a grooved oval shape with a gap in the middle. Let the dough roll around your thumb as your press and roll into the board.
If you don’t have a gnocchi board, you can use the tines of a fork to achieve the same effect. If taste is all that matters to you then place the cut gnocchi on a tray floured with semolina flour until ready to cook.
When ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. In the past whenever I had to boil anything on high heat I had to keep a close eye on it. With my Calphalon Classic™ Nonstick 14-Pc. Cookware Set with No Boil-Over Inserts, cooking soup, pho, pasta, and vegetables has gotten a lot of easier. The innovative BPA-free silicone no boil insert recirculates boiling water back into the pot so no messy spills to clean up. Less mess is a win in my book!
I love how the no boil insert allows me to multitask so I don’t have to babysit my pot of boiling water with vegetables, soups, or whatever I’m cooking. The insert also allows for stirring and seasoning through its center opening and is a breeze to clean with just a light wash and rinse.
How Long to Cook Gnocchi
Cook the gnocchi in batches for 3-5 minutes until they float to the top. To see if they’re ready, look for a somewhat springy texture. As the starch in the gnocchi absorbs water, it swells and softens and bounces back if you squeeze it. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside on a plate.
How to Make the Sauce
These butternut squash gnocchi require nothing more than a simple brown butter sauce with cheese. Cook butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Add sage leaves and cook until they’re crisp. Add the gnocchi into the pan and toss them to coat with butter.
These butternut squash gnocchi are my kind of comfort food--light but hearty, sweet gnocchi tossed in a quick brown butter sauce topped with herby sage, nutty walnuts, and a generous shaving of Parmesan cheese. They are a labor of love but so delicious and satisfying. I often make a double batch and freeze the extra for when the craving hits.
For more vegetarian pasta inspiration: honeynut squash ricotta ravioli, skillet pumpkin ricotta lasagna, toasted tomato eggplant pasta.
Butternut squash gnocchi with brown butter sage and walnuts
- 2 pounds butternut squash (1 cup butternut squash puree)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour and extra for rolling
- 1 medium egg
- 1 medium egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup semolina flour for gnocchi pans
Brown butter sauce
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- ¼ cup sage leaves
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra Parmesan cheese for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut squash lengthwise in half; discard seeds. Place squash halves, cut side up, on baking sheet and brush with oil.
- Roast until squash is very tender when pierced with skewer and browned in spots, about 1 hour.
- Let it cool slightly. Scoop flesh from the squash into a food processor and puree until smooth.
- Transfer the puree to a medium nonstick saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until juices evaporate and puree thickens, about 15 minutes. When it’s done the squash’s consistency should resemble loose dough and thick enough to cling to an upended spoon.
- Measure 1 cup (packed) squash puree and let it cool. Reserve the remaining squash for another use.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine squash, flour, Parmesan, egg, egg yolk, nutmeg, and salt and mix with a spoon until the dough comes together. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour by one tablespoonful.
- Turn the dough out onto floured surface; knead gently but briefly just until smooth. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to firm up.
- Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment and sprinkle lightly with semolina flour.
- Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough out on floured surface to about ½-inch-thick rope. Cut rope crosswise into ¾-inch pieces.
- Working with 1 piece at a time, roll gnocchi along a gnocchi board.
- Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and chill at least 1 hour in refrigerator.
- When ready to cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Working in 4 batches, drop gnocchi in the pot and let them cook for 3-5 minutes until they float to the surface or become springy to touch.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a large plate.
- Cook butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat just until golden, stirring often, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add sage and cook for 2 minutes until crips. Add gnocchi and cook until heated through and coated with butter, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer gnocchi to warmed plates. Serve with additional Parmesan, toasted walnuts, and garnish with crispy sage.
- Extra squash puree can be frozen up to a month.
- Uncooked gnocchi can be frozen up to a month.
The gnocchi are delicious. I followed the directions exactly only difference being that I did not have Sage and so I used thyme. Still it was excellent. I found they only needed 2 minutes in boiling water and then they began to float to the top. The only suggestion I offer is that once the dough is rolled but not ready to be cooked then place the cookie tray into refrigerator. The recipe took time but the result was Gourmet cuisine
Hi Mimi! I'm so happy to hear you like them!! Thank you for your suggestions! They can stay in the fridge up for 48 hours if you're not ready to cook them. And you can freeze whatever you didn't cook. If you like gnocchi, you might like a few gnudi recipes that I have coming up as well as a sweet potato gnocchi.
Looks delicious. Can't wait to try it. Quick question, the recipe doesn't mention what to do with the walnuts. Can you please advise?
Hi Terri! You simply toast some walnuts in a pan over medium-low heat, chop them, and top the gnocchi with them. I hope you like the recipe!
It was my first time make gnocchi and turned out light and delicious. Thanks for all the tips!
I haven’t made this yet,but was wondering specifically why semolina flour on the baking pans? Just curious.
Hi Stacy! It's to help prevent the gnocchi from sticking. It's coarser compared to other flour so it won't bind as easily to your formed gnocchi. If you use other flour that's finer in texture, it will bind to your gnocchi and change the consistency of your gnocchi. I hope that helps!
So simple and delicious! I hope you'll post other gnocchi recipes.
I made a big batch of these gnocchi and froze half. They were amazing. I hope you'll share more gnocchi recipes.
So good! Love how light the gnocchi were!
Hands down one of my favorite recipes to make during pumpkin season. I make a big batch and freeze half. They're perfect for a weeknight meal.
Hands down one of my favorite gnocchi recipes! I hope you'll share more.
Being gluten free, if I want something good, I have to make it myself. I used Bob redmills 1 to 1 flour and added about an extra 1/4 of a cup to offset the sticky dough. I didn't have sage, so used thyme. These were absolutely heavenly! I will add it to the recipes I keep in my flour canister. 😊
Hi Kat! I'm so happy to hear you were able to adapt the recipe and make it gluten free! Thank you for the feedback. I will keep it in mind for my next gnocchi recipe.
Came out great. Delicious recipe
Hi Al! I'm so happy to hear it came out delicious!
These are heavenly, even made with bob's redmills one to one gluten free flour. I didn't have sage so I used thyme. I've made 2 batches so far and thinking of making more as a bring with for Thanksgiving. Thank you.
You're welcome! This would be perfect for Thanksgiving. We usually include this or our pumpkin lasagna as a meat free option for our vegetarian friends for Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful holiday Kat!
Hands down one of my favorite recipes! I love this and the ravioli.
Hands down my favorite gnocchi recipe! Can't wait to try the gnudi next time.
My go to gnocchi recipe! I used honeynut squash instead of butternut and it turned out delicious. More gnocchi recipes please!
Mary from Salem
I made the recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF. It was fun to make, a nice recipe, but mine didn’t come out light as many others described. They were heavy with a thick mouth feel. I’m not used to working with dough so I wonder if it was all the extra tablespoons of flour I added while rolling, to balance the stickiness, OR if it was using GF flour. I’d love to try again, if you have any guidance, I’d appreciate it. Thank you!
Hi Mary! I'm sorry it didn't work out as expected. This is what another reader, Kat, who made it gluten free said, "I used Bob Red Mills 1 to 1 flour and added about an extra 1/4 of a cup to offset the sticky dough." Normally I use semolina flour to roll them and it tends not to stick to the gnocchi and doesn't add extra flour. Unfortunately semolina is not gluten free so I can't recommend it. I haven't made a gluten free version of this so I can't comment if the stickiness is due to the GF flour. My only suggestion is to reduce the moist in the squash as much as you could. One thing I found recently is to use honeynut squash instead of butternut squash which has less water. I'm currently working on a gnudi recipe that's gluten free as well as a potato gnocchi. I will message you if I think they have good results.
Mary from Salem
Thanks so much for helping me puzzle through this Vy. I'm going to guess that I simply added too much flour. They weren't terrible but weren't light and flavorful either. I'll try your suggestions and look forward to more recipes, thank you!
Mary I follow a gluten free food blogger named Aran Goyoaga and she has the most amazing gluten free recipes. She's just sent out one for sweet potato gnocchi. See if you can swap out the sweet potato with the squash and if that makes a difference. I'll forward you her email.
Delicious! Nothing to add to it
Hi Elena! So happy you enjoyed it!
Followed exactly, came out great! Great Job, Thanks!
Hi Taylor! So happy to hear the recipe turned out tasty!
Made this a few times already! So good each time. I highly recommending doubling recipe and freezing it for convenience.
Wonderful! I made it with honeynut squash and it was delicious.
Made this for a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Everyone loved it!
So good! More gnocchi recipes please!
So simple but so good! I would love more gnocchi recipes!
Love this recipe! I always double the batch so I can have them whenever.