Creamy Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sausage, Thyme, and Sage is the ultimate Autumn comfort food. This one-pan recipe takes only 40 minutes to make! Simple and quick enough to make on a busy weeknight. Creamy and flavorful to become your family's new favorite Fall dinner!
Butternut Squash Gnocchi
What can be better than potato gnocchi smothered in a flavorful creamy sauce that is incredibly easy to make? Let me introduce you to the creamy butternut squash gnocchi made with spicy Italian sausage, fresh sage, and thyme. This incredibly easy recipe comes together in just 40 minutes. It's a delicious Autumn comfort food that will make any cold evening warm and cozy.
Note: the 40 minutes total preparation and cooking time assumes that you have already prepared the butternut squash puree in advance. I recommend that you roast the butternut squash and puree it in advance.
This recipe was inspired by my butternut squash tortellini - another Fall favorite recipe that you might like.
What type of gnocchi to use?
I used potato gnocchi, a Delallo brand, made with 85% potatoes. They work beautifully in this recipe.
Do you need to pre-cook the gnocchi?
You don't need to pre-cook the gnocchi for this recipe. Just add the uncooked gnocchi directly to the sauce (heavy cream + chicken broth). The gnocchi will cook in the same pan with the sauce and the sausage. This saves you one more pan to clean and minimizes the cleanup.
What type of sausage to use with gnocchi?
- Italian sausage. I used 3 links of spicy Italian sausage. You can also use sweet or mild Italian sausage.
- Remove the casings. I removed the casings and sliced the sausage. You don't have to remove the casings and can slice the sausage links with casings on, but I really prefer the texture of the sausage without the casings so I recommend this step!
How to make butternut squash puree
Making butternut squash puree is easy - I have a very detailed tutorial here: how to make butternut squash puree. You will only need 1 cup of it, and it's likely you will have much more than that after roasting and pureeing the butternut squash. So, make sure to prepare it in advance. This will reduce your cooking times drastically.
1) Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
2) Cut the squash in 2 halves, scrape out the seeds and the fiber out of each half.
3) Place the squash on the baking sheet cut side down.
4) Roast the butternut squash in the preheated oven at 375 F for about 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool. Flip the squash so that the cut side faces up to speed up the cooling.
5) Once the butternut squash is cooled, peel it, and scrape out the flesh to a plate.
6) Place and process butternut squash flesh in the food processor (or blender), working in batches, if necessary.
7) Process it until very smooth and almost creamy.
Now, you have the butternut squash puree ready to use in this recipe. You will need only 1 cup of it.
How to make butternut squash gnocchi (the directions)
Cook sliced sausage in a large, high-sided skillet for about 5 minutes.
To the same skillet with sausage, add uncooked potato gnocchi.
Add heavy cream and chicken stock.
Bring to a boil on medium heat and stir everything well. Cover with lid, and allow the gnocchi to cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, while the sauce boils.
Now, add butternut squash puree and minced garlic.
Stir everything well and cook on medium heat until the gnocchi are cooked through and the sauce thickens.
Add fresh sage and fresh thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground coarse black pepper.
How to store and reheat butternut squash gnocchi
Because the sauce is made only with heavy cream, chicken broth, butternut squash puree, and without any cheese, this recipe is incredibly easy to store and reheat. It's also a great dish to make ahead.
- Fridge. Store butternut squash gnocchi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezer. Freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Reheat in the microwave oven. Reheat the refrigerated butternut squash gnocchi in a microwave oven for about 1 minute. Taste and reheat for 30 seconds more, if needed.
- Reheat on the stovetop. You can also reheat this in a large, high-sided skillet on the stovetop on low-medium heat. When using this method, add a small amount of heavy cream, or half-and-half, or milk to thin out the sauce when reheating.
What to serve with butternut squash gnocchi
Because this recipe features a rich and luscious cream sauce, a slice of bread or a simple salad will work the best.
- Bread. Serve this with a slice of warm Italian bread, garlic bread, or olive bread loaf. If you want to venture out and make your own simple loaf - try this easy bread recipe made in a bread machine.
- Simple salad. Serve this pasta with a simple spinach salad with pine nuts and Parmesan or cranberry spinach salad with cashews and goat cheese. Or, pair the pasta with the colorful and easy-to-make arugula salad with apples, cranberries, and pecans.
Delicious butternut squash salads
If you like all things butternut squash, serve this sausage gnocchi with a delicious Autumn salad:
- Fall Salad with Butternut Squash, Arugula, Dried Figs, and Almonds
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, Pomegranate Seeds, and Poppy Seed Honey-Lime Dressing
Other butternut squash main course recipes
If you enjoyed this creamy butternut squash gnocchi with sausage, you might like other Fall-inspired main courses, such as these:
- Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
- Creamy Ground Turkey Pasta with Butternut Squash and Spinach
- Autumn Chicken Dinner with Roasted Vegetables (Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts)
Creamy Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sausage, Thyme, and Sage
- 12 oz Italian sausage casings removed (I used 3 sausage links)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 oz potato gnocchi
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup butternut squash puree
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
- Remove sausage from casings and slice it.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat in a large, high-sided skillet.
- Add sliced sausage and cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes on one side, without turning, to get the sausage slices browned. Flip over to the other side and cook for 2 more minutes.
- To the same skillet with sausage, add uncooked potato gnocchi, heavy cream, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil on medium heat and stir everything well. Cover with lid, and allow the gnocchi to cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, while the sauce boils.
- To the same pan with gnocchi and sausage, add butternut squash puree, and minced garlic. Bring the sauce to a boil on medium heat, reduce to low-medium heat, stir everything well. Cook for about 3 or more minutes. Make sure the gnocchi are cooked through, the garlic is cooked to your liking, and the sauce thickens. Cook longer if you would like a thicker sauce. Remove from heat.
- Stir in half of the fresh sage and half of the fresh thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground coarse black pepper.
- Tip: use your best judgment about the salt. If the sausage is salty enough, you might not need to add any extra salt.
- When serving, top with the remaining half of the fresh sage and the remaining half of the fresh thyme.
- The total cooking time does not include the time required for roasting the butternut squash and making the butternut squash puree. I recommend that you do that in advance.
- Because you will be roasting whole butternut squash, you will have more than you need (1 cup) for this recipe. Refrigerate or freeze the leftover butternut squash puree in an airtight container.
- If using dried thyme, use ½ teaspoon of dried thyme (not powdered) or ¼ teaspoon of powdered dried thyme.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Can the gnocchi be frozen or should they be defrosted?
Dianne, you can use frozen gnocchi - you don't have to defrost them - add them frozen. They might take just a bit longer to cook.
Can I replace the cream with Greek yogurt?
Sandra, I am not sure how Greek yogurt would reheat - I've never tried it. But, if you want to reduce fat content, you can use milk and cornstarch. Or milk and roux.
This was delish! My 2 yr old and 5 yr old also ate it up! I followed your recipe and it was amazing! Next time I plan to swap half and half and add spinach to it!
I'm vegan, so will use vegan sausage, veggie broth and coconut milk.
Debbie, that's a great plan to make this vegan! Thank you for sharing!
Amy, I am so happy everyone enjoyed this dish, including your kids! Half-and-half would work great here (and you can even add more butternut squash puree in this case!) and adding spinach is a great idea too! 🙂
Any thoughts on how frozen Gnocchi would work? Would you add it in or boil it ahead?
Jordan, Don't thaw them. Just throw them frozen into the sauce and cook them in the same manner as the recipe instructs but a bit longer - frozen gnocchi will take a longer time to cook. Enjoy!
Ok, not to be rude, but I did not think this recipe was going to be THAT good. I chose to try it because it looked good enough, easy to make after work, something I could convince my kids was essentially Mac and cheese, and that I could lighten up a little. But OMG this is my new favorite meal. I want to make it again tomorrow. Seriously. I did use half and half instead of cream, and chicken Italian sausage instead of pork sausage, but it still turned out so yummy. I’m so excited to have a new go to recipe!!!
Amanda, your comment made my day and made me smile at the same time (smile at the part where you convinced your kids it's essentially mac and cheese 🙂 ). So glad you enjoyed this recipe and thank you for such a lighthearted and positive comment! Good to know that half and half work well and so did chicken sausage!
Hi Julia, this recipe looks perfect for my festive fall pumpkin carving party that I am planning on hosting later this week! Therefore, I would like to double the recipe so that it serves 8-10 people. Do you think it would cook as well in a large stock pot? Otherwise, what would you recommend? I look forward to your reply!
Karen, I am very sorry for the late response. Yes, you can double this recipe and just use a larger stock pot - it would work great!
The recipe looks DELICIOUS! How do you think this would be using cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s??
Steph, this recipe would be amazing with cauliflower gnocchi! You don't even have to change anything.
Made this tonight for dinner, and it was pure heaven! It was absolutely delicious and quite simple to make!
Melanie, I am very flattered by your comment - glad the recipe was enjoyed! 🙂
I plan on making this tonight but I would like to sear the gnocchi too, do you think that’s okay?
Audrianna, searing the gnocchi would be delicious!
I made this tonight and it was very food! However I roasted garlic in the oven at the same time as the butternut and then blended that into the purée along with red chili flakes/seasonings. So yummy!
Kaci, I love that you blended roasted garlic with the puree - that sounds so good! I am a big fan of garlic (raw and cooked)!
Is the Italian sausage to be smoked or fresh sausage?
Thanks for your help!
Sara, I used UNCOOKED Italian sausage (raw meat) that I had to cook. In this recipe, I used Italian sausage links (raw), removed the casings, sliced the sausage, and cooked it.
Hi! Recipe looks great! Do you think I can substitute canned pumpkin in place of the roasted butternut squash? Just because that’s what I have to use up. Thanks!
Caitlin, yes, you can definitely use canned pumpkin instead of roasted butternut squash - it would be just as delicious! And, I am sorry for the late response.