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Brown Butter Gnocchi with Butternut Squash: The Epitome of Fall Dining

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Butternut Squash: The Epitome of Fall Dining

By Jane Maynard

Autumn is my favorite time of year, and not just because of the cooling weather and turning leaves. Suddenly food becomes more cozy and rich, more homey and comforting. Apples, pumpkin, and squash are in abundance, along with wonderful spices that have been left on the shelf over the summer.

Butternut squash is by far my favorite vegetable, no matter what time of year it is, but especially during fall. It tastes like butter to me and I can’t get enough of the stuff! Now that fall is here I really wanted to try something new with my favorite veggie, something that really highlighted the flavors of fall.

I once had a butternut squash dish at a restaurant in San Francisco that was simply prepared in brown butter. The squash was divine and one I will never forget. As I was thinking of creative ways to use squash, that dish came to mind and it seemed like the perfect springboard for gnocchi. Gnocchi just goes with the richness of brown butter and squash. Throw in a few quintessential autumn spices and you have the perfect fall dish.

This gnocchi would make for a delicious side dish or a full vegetarian meal. The best part is you only need one skillet to cook the entire thing! It really is quick and easy to prepare — you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes! Bonus: your house will smell like heaven after making this dish!

In case you’re wondering, my kids enjoyed this gnocchi recipe as much as we did. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, 4-year-old Owen wouldn’t touch the squash, but that’s just because he has no idea what he’s missing!

One-Skillet Brown Butter Gnocchi with Butternut Squash

Makes: 2 servings for dinner, 4 as a side dish

Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 16-ounce package frozen gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 packed cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped


  1. Prep squash and set aside, making sure squash pieces are cut uniform in size to 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. In a deep 12-inch skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Let butter cook for about 5 minutes until it is browned. Butter will bubble and foam, then bubbles will subside at about the same time that the butter is browned. Stir regularly during the cooking process to avoid scorching.
  3. Once butter is browned, add squash, cover pan, and cook for 7 minutes, stirring once or twice during the cook time.
  4. While squash is cooking, slice the shallots. After squash has cooked for 7 minutes, add the frozen gnocchi, shallots, thyme, sage, pepper, and salt. Push the garlic clove through a garlic press and add to the pan. Stir well, cover, and cook for 7 more minutes, stirring a few times during the cook time.
  5. While everything is cooking, roughly chop the spinach and set aside.
  6. During the last minute of the cook time, remove the lid and add the fresh spinach, cooking and stirring until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute.
  7. Serve immediately. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese if desired.