I've decided that my girls would be so much happier if we ate dinner at 5 pm. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out how to reliably make that happen, what with day jobs and daycare and such, so I'm trying to make sure that our weeknight dinners are fast, easy, and reliable. Because inevitably cooking dinner also requires navigating the kitchen with a toddler attached to my legs, helping my 5 year old with an art project, and attempting to say hello to my husband. This 5-Ingredient Pasta with Squash and Sausage is exactly the type of family meal that we eat most nights.
While I love my pasta with all sorts of veggies and leafy greens, my girls are much more in the less is more camp. One love peas and the other loves butternut squash, so this covers all of my bases. And it's perfect for this time of year when squash are plentiful at the market—and are available in those handy precut bags all ready to go.
We eat pasta once or twice a week and change up the type often so the kids don't get too stuck on one specific shape. Some nights it's gluten-free (we like Barilla's and the quinoa blend from Trader Joe's) and we mix the shapes. Use whichever option your family likes.
To make this vegetarian, omit the sausage. To make it vegan, skip the cheese at the end. You could top with a sprinkle of nuts or just enjoy as is.
Nutrition-wise, this meal has fiber from the veggies, Vitamin A from the squash, and protein from the sausage. I hope you enjoy it!
5-Ingredient Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sausage
This makes a large portion, which is nice since the leftovers pack up nicely for lunch the next day. You can cut the amount of pasta in half to make a smaller portion. For adults, this is really yummy topped with crushed red pepper.
Makes about 8 servings
- 1 pound pasta
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped (or precut store-bought)
- 12 ounces fully cooked Italian sausage
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1/2 cup Parmesan
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the squash, toss to coat, and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the cover, stir in the sausage and sprinkle with garlic powder and salt.
- Stir in the peas, pasta, and cheese, and serve!
Stir in 5 ounces baby spinach to wilt.
Use shredded rotisserie chicken instead of sausage.
Try edamame instead of peas.
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