Gluten-free Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta with Butternut Squash

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This gluten-free pasta with pumpkin seed pesto, roasted butternut squash and chicken sausage is fall in a bowl. Fresh, hearty, and so flavorful!

A bowl of Gluten-Free Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta with Butternut Squash and pumpkin seeds with a box of gluten-free pasta and butternut squash in the background.

I’ve come to realize something. I’m a bowl girl, not a plate girl. Meaning, I like to eat everything in bowls. Soups (obviously), stir fry, salads, pasta.. the list goes on. While I feel like pasta is normally one of those foods that can go either way – bowl or plate – there is just something so comforting about tucking into a bowl of hearty pasta.

This gluten free pumpkin seed pesto pasta with butternut squash using Barilla gluten free penne is definitely a bowl pasta. Cozy, warm, homey. A recipe for crisp nights and warm blankets. Is there anything better? An overhead view of a bowl of pasta with pesto, sausage, butternut squash, and pumpkin seeds with a box of Barilla gluten-free penne next to it.

I love this gluten free pumpkin seed pesto pasta with butternut squash for so many reasons. One is that it’s gluten free and dairy-free. There is no cheese necessary for this pasta! The pesto sauce has so much flavor on its own, you don’t need to use cheese or cream at all.

By using Barilla gluten free penne, made with non-GMO corn and rice, this recipe can be completely gluten free! Barilla gluten free penne has a taste and texture similar to “regular” pasta.

The pasta holds up extremely well to the pesto, butternut squash and chicken sausage and I just love how the pesto gets caught in the little ridges of the penne.

A bowl of pasta with sausage, butternut squash and pepitas in it with a fork and a bowl of pesto next to it.

The flavors in this gluten free pumpkin seed pesto pasta with butternut squash just scream fall to me. I love changing up the flavors in my pesto, and this kale and pumpkin seed version is one of my favorites.

Kale is super versatile and an ingredient I typically always have on hand. It’s also a lot more economical than some other herbs, like basil, which is why I like to use it. Roasted pumpkin seeds are a great substitute for the normal pine nuts you find in pesto.

They provide such a great flavor in pesto and a perfect garnish, too! Butternut squash and chicken sausage are the other main components of this pasta recipe. We used pre-cooked chicken sausage that we just browned in a pan to warm it up and give it a little texture.

The butternut squash cooks rather quickly when cut into 1/2 inch cubes, so you can have dinner on the table in no time!

By using Barilla gluten free penne and just a few other fresh ingredients, you can make this delicious gluten free and dairy-free meal in under 30 minutes.

I purchased my Barilla gluten free penne at Jewel-Osco and saw they also have some other gluten free pastas, like spaghetti, which would also work wonderfully in this recipe if you want a little twirl action!

More Gluten-Free Pasta Recipes

Gluten-free Pasta with Pumpkin Seed Pesto and Butternut Squash

This gluten-free pasta with pumpkin seed pesto, roasted butternut squash and chicken sausage is fall in a bowl. Fresh, hearty, and so flavorful!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 689kcal
Author: Megan


For the Pesto:

  • 3 cups kale (roughly chopped (About 6 ounces))
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup oil (olive oil or avocado oil)

For the Squash and Sausage:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 links pre-cooked chicken sausage (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  • 3 cups butternut squash (cubed)
  • pinch of salt

For the Pasta:

  • 6 quarts water
  • pinch of salt
  • 12 oz Barilla Gluten-Free Penne


  • Combine pumpkin seeds and kale in food processor. Add garlic and salt.
  • Process until kale and seeds are finely chopped.
  • Stream in the oil until you reach your desired consistency. Set aside.
  • Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken sausage to the pan and brown for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Now add the butternut squash to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and can be pierced with a fork. Add the chicken sausage back to the pan with 3-4 minutes to go to warm it up.
  • While the chicken sausage and squash are cooking, make the pasta. Bring water for the pasta to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Add in pasta and cook for 10 minutes for al dente. Drain water.
  • Toss the pasta in the pesto sauce and stir in the butternut squash and chicken sausage.
  • Top with a few pumpkin seed pepitas for garnish.


Calories: 689kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 548mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 10940IU | Vitamin C: 56.4mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 3.5mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @ADashofMegnut or tag #adashofmegnut!

A bowl of gluten-free pasta topped with pesto sauce, sausage, butternut squash, and pepitas.

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