Butternut Squash and Kale is a healthy and delicious side dish the entire family will love! The combination of kale and squash come together seamlessly and are brought to life with some chili powder and garlic powder!  

I’m pretty sure it’s obvious that butternut squash is my favorite squash … Butternut Squash Pasta, Butternut Squash Ravioli, Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash, Butternut Squash Mushroom Pasta, and Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo with Maple Glazed Bacon are pretty much evident of that. If there’s a way to use butternut squash, I’m in!

Butternut Squash and Kale on a white plate.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Nutrient dense recipe. This butternut squash and kale recipe is a healthy side dish that is packed with nutrients. Kale itself is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Just 1 cup of kale is just 33 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 2.5 grams of fiber! If you are looking to incorporate more kale into your diet, this butternut squash kale dish is the perfect place to start!
  • Easy side dish. Once you get past the peeling of the butternut squash (which is honestly the only thing that takes longer than a few minutes in this recipe), this recipe comes together super quick! It’s the perfect fall side dish for any meal. 
  • Delicious flavor. I’m a big fan of butternut squash, and add the kale and some delicious spices and you have this deeply flavorful and healthy dish that everyone will love! 

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients used to make a butternut squash and kale dish, on a white textured background.
  • Butternut Squash: You want to dice the butternut squash fairly small (about 1/2 inch cubes) so they don’t take as long to cook.
  • Kale: Wash the kale, remove the kale stems, and chop the leaves. 
  • Olive Oil: The butternut squash and kale will be cooked in the olive oil which will provide a delicious flavor to the dish as well.
  • Chili Powder: Adding a bit of chili powder to the dish brings a nice depth of flavor.
  • Garlic Powder: The garlic powder pairs nicely with the chili powder and provides a delicious savory spice.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cook the butternut squash. Add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the butternut squash pieces. Season with the garlic powder, chili powder, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for 6-10 minutes or until the squash is slightly tender when pierced with a fork.
Cubed, cooked butternut squash in a white skillet.
  1. Prepare the kale. While the butternut squash is cooking, prepare the kale. Add the chopped kale, a little olive oil and 1/2 tsp kosher salt to a large bowl. Using your hands, massage the kale for about 1 minute. This will help break down some of those tough fibers.
A glass bowl filled with curly kale.
  1. Add the kale. Add the kale to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly wilted. Serve the kale butternut squash warm! 
Butternut Squash and Kale in a skillet with a wooden spoon scooping up some of the dish.

Recipe Tips

While I love serving this sauteed butternut squash and kale as is, you can use it for the inside of a quesadilla, add to a panini, serve with some French bread, add to pasta, or use in a risotto! 

The best way to prepare the kale is wash it, take the stems off, cut the leaves and then toss the leaves with olive oil and some salt and massage the leaves with your hands. This will provide a much more delicate texture in the kale. 

My husband isn’t a big fan of kale, but when I prep it like mentioned above ^ he really loves it! 

Be sure to remove the seeds and pulp inside the butternut squash and peel the skin off when preparing it. I use a regular vegetable peeler to get the skin off. 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

You can technically freeze the leftovers in a ziplock bag if you’d like, but I doubt you will have any left! 

Recipe FAQs

How do you cut butternut squash?

I like to cut the stem off on top then cut the skinnier top off. Cut through the butternut squash to reveal the seeds. Scoop the seeds and pulp out. Then cut the squash into slices and then the slices in to sticks. Finally, cut the sticks into cubes. This method was introduced to my by the Pioneer Woman! She has awesome pictures to show each step if you have questions.  

Can you cook kale?

Yes you can! Kale is delicious raw or cooked! 

How do you prepare kale?

Wash it, remove the stalky stems and chop the leaves. Then drizzle the leaves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the leaves to help break down the harsh fibers. 

Overhead photo of Butternut Squash and Kale in a skillet on a white background.

Recipes Using Kale

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A close up photo of cubed Butternut Squash and Kale.
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5 from 6 votes

Butternut Squash and Kale

Butternut squash is so yummy! Pair it with kale and you have a delicious (and healthy) meal or side dish!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 4 cups butternut squash - diced about 1/2-1 inch
  • 1 bundle kale - stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt - divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the butternut squash. Season the squash with chili powder, garlic powder, ½ tsp kosher salt, and pepper. Cook for 6-10 minutes or until the squash is somewhat tender when pierced with a fork. 
  • In a large bowl combine the chopped kale, olive oil, and ½ tsp kosher salt. Using your hands, massage the kale for 1 minute. 
  • Add the kale to the butternut squash. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the kale has wilted slightly. Taste, and season as you’d like. Serve warm!


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 


Calories: 89kcal (4%)Carbohydrates: 11g (4%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 5g (8%)Saturated Fat: 2g (10%)Cholesterol: 10mg (3%)Sodium: 397mg (17%)Potassium: 335mg (10%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 2g (2%)Vitamin A: 10155IU (203%)Vitamin C: 19.8mg (24%)Calcium: 45mg (5%)Iron: 0.7mg (4%)
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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