I’ve been on an incredible kale and butternut squash kick lately! I just throw them into just about everything I eat.
And so, when I made a batch of slow cooker bone broth last week, it was only natural that I come up with this amazing Kale Ground Beef Butternut Squash One Pot Pasta.
If there was ever a healthy pasta dish, I say this would be it right here! It’s loaded with pieces of creamy butternut squash that practically disintegrate in your mouth on contact as well as a very generous amount of hearty kale leaves, which give a little bit of a chewy contrast to the dish. Then, you get lots of tasty, nourishing bits of ground beef and a satisfactory but modest portion of comforting pasta.
All these lovely fixings are then brought together by the incredible nutrition powerhouse that is known as bone broth.
As for kale, I did talk a lot about it when I recently made this beautiful and crazy good Kale Apple Chicken Salad. I’ll let you go back and read that post, if you want to find out more about kale’s awesome nutritional profile, or learn why you should give your raw kale leaves a nice massage before to serve them…
This time, though, we’re gonna be cooking our kale, so there’s no need to massage it. The cooking process will take care of softening the leaves for us, as well as bring out their jewel-like, incredibly vibrant green color.
Just in case you’re wondering: no, I did not boost the green hue in any of my pictures. That’s completely natural!
I mean seriously, how good does that look, right?
So good, even my favorite miniature human in the whole wide world enjoyed it. While I have to admit that she wasn’t a huge fan of kale (the leaves might still have been a tad too “chewy” for her tiny little teeth) she did eat some of it and totally polished off the rest of her bowl.
I think that, just like her grannie, she has a thing for butternut squash!
For real, this is an exquisite pasta dish — it’s comfort food at its best made good for you! I say you should put it on the menu today! Your family will thank you for it…
Your first step shoud be to melt the ghee (or other cooking fat of your choice) in a saute pan set over medium-high heat.
Once hot, add the ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili pepper flakes and cook, stirring from time to time, until the meat is brown and crispy – about 7 or 8 minutes. Do give that meat ample time to brown and crisp up – that’s the key to getting TONS of flavor out of it.
Then, throw in the chopped onion and continue cooking until slightly softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes
Next, throw in the diced butternut squash and cook it for about a minute, just to coat it well in all the flavors from the pan.
As always, feel free to check out my instructional video if you need help prepping your butternut squash — it can be a daunting and intimidating task at first…
When the squash is well coated, pour in the bone broth and bring it to the boil, then toss in the dry pasta. I used large shells, but feel free to use any kind of short pasta you prefer.
Bring back to the boil, then cover the pan and lower the heat to medium-low;
Simmer until the pasta is al dente and the broth is practically all gone, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in the chopped kale, put that lid back on and allow to rest for 3 to 5 minutes, until the kale is completely wilted and has turned the most beautiful shade of green.
Seriously… it mesmerizes me every single time. That color! It doesn’t even look real.
And when you put it right next to the bright orange of the squash, I think you get a match made in heaven.
Now there’s only one thing left to do, and that is to serve this beauty without delay…
‘Cuz if you don’t, I’ll come and eat it all up while you’re not looking!
- 1 tbsp ghee (store-bought or homemade)
- 500g (1.1lb) lean ground beef (or veal, lamb, pork or turkey)
- ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cups (400g | 14.1oz) butternut squash, cut into 1" cubes
- 3 cup (720ml) warm bone broth (homemade or store-bought)
- 3 cups (255g | 9oz) dry large shells (or other pasta of your choice)
- 2 cups packed (80g | 2.8oz) chopped kale leaves (rib removed)
- Melt the ghee (or other cooking fat of your choice) in a saute pan set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili pepper flakes and cook, stirring from time to time, until the meat is brown and crispy - about 7 or 8 minutes. Do give that meat ample time to brown and crisp up - that’s the key to getting tons of flavor out of it.
- Throw in the chopped onion and continue cooking until slightly softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes, then, add the butternut squash and cook it for about a minute, just to coat it well in all the flavors.
- Pour in pour in the broth and bring to the boil, then toss in the dry pasta, bring back to the boil and lower the heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until the pasta is al dente and broth is practically all gone, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Kill the heat, stir in the chopped kale, cover again and allow to rest for 3 to 5 minutes, until the kale is completely wilted.
- Serve without delay.