Sausage, squash and spinach gluten free pasta

Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 45 minutes
Serves 6-8 servings     adjust servings

An easy, healthy gluten free pasta dinner with turkey sausage, roasted butternut squash, spinach and Parmesan cheese!


  • 1 (2 lb.) package pre-cut butternut squash (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 (1 lb.) box of Barilla gluten-free penne pasta
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1 lb.) package of hot Italian turkey sausage links, removed from casing
  • 1 (8 oz.) bag baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to pass at table


  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. Mix butternut squash with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Spread the squash out evenly on a baking tray. Roast at 450 for 30 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the Barilla gluten-free pasta according to package directions. You’re going to reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid when it’s done.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds. Add turkey sausage (removed from the casing) and saute until well browned and cooked through, 7-8 minutes, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and stir to mix.
  6. Add the cooked pasta (reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid) to the cooked sausage. Add the spinach, remaining salt and pepper and stir for 1-2 minutes to let the spinach wilt slightly. Turn off heat.
  7. Add the pasta-sausage mixture to a large bowl and add the roasted butternut squash. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon apple cider vinegar, remaining tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the maple syrup. Stir to combine, then stir in Parmesan cheese. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  8. Serve in bowls with extra Parmesan cheese for passing at the table.

Recipe Notes

I buy a 2-pound container of butternut squash that is already pre-cut into 1/4-1/2 inch small pieces. It makes me happy. If you can’t find it, you can buy a medium butternut squash and peel and chop it yourself (be sure to clean out the inner seeds and pulp).
If your pan is full with the sausage and pasta, you can go ahead and transfer everything to a large bowl and add the spinach there. The heat from the sausage and the hot pasta will wilt the spinach.

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