Mustardy Kale and Butternut Squash

Mustardy Kale and Butternut Squash | Cookie Monster Cooking

Let’s chat about a simple side dish today.  This mustardy kale and butternut squash quickly became one of my very favorite sides last fall.  We ate it pretty often for quite a few months, but then forgot about it once all the wonderful summer produce came along.  But it’s time to unforget.  I’ve already made this twice so far in the last month.  It’s quick, it’s simple (did I mention it all cooks in one pot?) and full of good for you veggies.  And now it’s time for you to make it too.

Mustardy Kale and Butternut Squash | Cookie Monster Cooking

This dish makes a great side for dinner or can be eaten alone for lunch.  The mustard makes it a little special (although it’s not super overpowering) and the red pepper flakes give it a little kick.  The chopped walnuts add some crunch and you get some saltiness from the cheese.  A perfect side dish in my book.

Mustardy Kale and Butternut Squash | Cookie Monster Cooking

Plus it’s nice and healthy.  Just what you need when you’ve been eating a few too many apple or pumpkin treats this time of the year.

Mustardy Kale and Butternut Squash
Yield: about 4 servings as a side dish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small (2 pound) butternut squash, seeded and cut into ¾ inch pieces*
  • 10 cups chopped kale**
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. Set a stockpot or dutch-oven over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the butternut squash chunks and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften. Add in the kale, broth, mustard, salt and red pepper flakes and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender.
  2. Turn off the heat and stir in the walnuts and cheese.
If you’re feeling lazy, you can use about 4 cups of the pre-cut chunks of butternut squash that you can find at the grocery store.

*1 medium bunch of kale should give you the 10 cups. Remove the thick stems and then cut/tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.

Adapted from Erin’s Food Files. Originally from Real Simple.


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  1. You have a great blog. Amazing pics and healthy recipes. Very inspiring…keep up the good work!

  2. Oh this looks soooo delicious!!!! I would loveee to scoop it up with some flatbread! Yum!

  3. Such a gorgeously healthy side dish! One for the current Food52 competition…?

  4. Love simple and delicious side dishes like this — need more kale in life :D

  5. Love the combination of kale and butternut squash Ashley! Such a healthy side.

  6. Simple is good! Love all the flavors here: you’re combining all my favorite veggies! This side dish will work with so many main courses, very versatile dish!

  7. So simple – so good! This is just the kind of thing I like to load up on. When your veggies are delicious, life is so much better.

  8. My daughter and I will be eating this as a main dish and my husband can have it as a side. :) I love the sound of all the flavors and textures, Ashley! I will need to substitute something for the walnuts (allergies) but I don’t want to give up the crunch. How about pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds?

  9. Butternut squash and kale are so good for you! I love this autumny side dish.

  10. This kale-butternut squash combo looks fantastic! We’re always getting tons of kale from our CSA, and I needed a few new ideas. This will definitely be something we try. I can’t wait to try pairing it with butternut squash (another of my fall favorites!)

  11. I love meals like this! And now I want a giant bowl for lunch.

  12. Girl, you are rocking some of my all time favorite flavors in here. Butternut squash makes my heart beat (LOVE it) and mustard just makes everything pop with flavor. Hello delicious.

  13. I love butternut squash and love your combo of squash and kale!
    I do love to buy the whole squash though – think I need to invest in a good chainsaw to be able to hack – i mean cut it up well! :)
    Thanks for sharing

  14. Ooh! This would make a wonderful lunch, wouldn’t it? Or a side. I love recipes that can go either way. Thank you for sharing. We all need more kale in our life, don’t we?

  15. Yes! I live on butternut squash in the fall/winter months. But I sometimes run of out of ideas so I’m so glad you posted this! It looks right up my alley! :)

  16. Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily says:

    What a great combination of flavors! I could definitely eat this by itself for dinner.

    • I would definitely eat this for dinner too – it’s my husband who will only consider it enough for a side! haha

  17. I’ve just discovered butternut squash recently and now I think I’m a bit addicted to it haha. This looks like a wonderful recipe to try and I’m definitely loving the walnuts and cheese addition. What a perfect side dish :)

  18. Well I know what I’m making with my picked kale… thank you! :)

  19. This looks like such a perfect, delicious fall side dish! Yum :) I love butternut squash, so glad it’s back in season.

  20. I love the idea of pairing kale with butternut squash Ashley. These look delicious and healthy, not to mention very autumn-like dish. :)

  21. I love kale; I love butternut squash; I’m sold! Ashley this looks like a perfect side fish for any autumn meal, and the kale at the farmers’ market has looked so good the past few weeks; I’ll have to try this for sure!

  22. I SO cannot wait to try this!! I am obsessed with kale right now and I love the idea of seasoning it with mustard :). Plus, you cannot go wrong with squash, especially now that it is on sale!

  23. Ah, a nice way to balance things with all of those delicious apple treats! ;)
    Brandon would love this recipe. He is a mustard and red pepper freak. I, on the other hand, am a little funny about mustard- sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. But it looks pretty awesome in this dish with the kale, parm, and walnuts. Yum!
    I’ll have to pin this for a future dinner!

  24. This is exactly the type of food I want to eat all the time now and try to make time to do. Love the combo and the walnuts are top sound perfect with it. Thanks for the inspiration! I think it’s time for me to get another butternut squash…

  25. I discovered how much I love butternut squash and kale together last fall! I love the sound of the mustard and red pepper flakes…this is a great side dish in my book!

  26. Whole grain mustard makes everything better. Yum!

  27. Mmmm…that dish has such bright and vibrant colors. Amidst all the pumpkin goodies I’ve been making lately, I did make a butternut squash soup last week. Not to brag, but it was pretty much the best ever (and my hubby can vouch for that…lol). Love your blog, by the way!

  28. This looks like such a great fall veggie dish Ashley :) I love kale and butternut squash and love that this combines them both. Simple and healthy – love this perfect side dish!

  29. I could definitely eat this for dinner. I’ve been looking for some healthy vegetarian recipes that are WARM because I am getting way sick of salads since the temperatures have gotten cooler. This one looks so perfect, thank you!! Pinned

  30. Gorgeous dish using the butternut squash! I’ve been seeing loads of them here in Buenos Aires, sadly no kale ;(

  31. Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall veggies. I tend to buy the pre-cut ones at the store because sometimes they’re so hard to cut into. This dish sounds amazing and I could definitely eat it all on its own for lunch!

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