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Butternut Squash, Chicken Sausage, and Kale Quinoa Skillet

Butternut Squash Chicken Sausage and Kale Quinoa Skillet is a stunning autumn dinner with simple ingredients but BIG flavors!  Butternut Squash Chicken Sausage and Kale Quinoa Skillet

One of my favorite things about food blogging is when I come up with a recipe idea in my head and get to see it come to life in the kitchen.  While I don’t always take the time to sit back and think “hey!  that’s pretty cool that I made that!” I definitely did with this recipe.

This Butternut Squash, Chicken Sausage, and Kale Quinoa Skillet was one of those recipe ideas that I just wasn’t quite sure it was going to work out.  It was either going to be ‘pretty good’ but not blog-worthy, or ‘REALLY FREAKING GOOD.’  Lucky for all of us, it was the latter!

Butternut Squash Chicken Sausage and Kale Quinoa Skillet

The thing about a dish like this is that the flavors are so simple and uncomplicated, but work together perfectly.  From the sweet butternut squash and dried cherries to the smoky chicken sausage and tangy goat cheese – every bite is pure heaven!  Of course I couldn’t help myself and added some kale, too.  I just love the stuff and my garden is still producing it, so I figured why not.  If you prefer spinach, chard, or another type of green, feel free to substitute!

Butternut Squash Chicken Sausage and Kale Quinoa Skillet

I had this Butternut Squash, Chicken Sausage, and Kale Quinoa Skillet for lunch and was completely satisfied by a big bowl.  Quinoa always surprises me because of how filling it is, but I’m sure the sausage and squash didn’t hurt with more protein and fiber, either!  I think it would also be really tasty with a handful of toasted pecans sprinkled on top.

If you’re looking for a delicious autumn dinner, folks – this is it!  I become completely obsessed with squash this time of year and this dish reminded me of why.  It’s just so tasty, good for you, and versatile!  I hope you make this and if you do, be sure to tag me on social media!

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Butternut Squash Chicken Sausage and Kale Quinoa Skillet

Products I used in this recipe:

Butternut Squash, Chicken Sausage, and Kale Quinoa Skillet

Butternut Squash Chicken Sausage and Kale Quinoa Skillet is a stunning autumn dinner with simple ingredients but BIG flavors! 
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash, main dish, chicken sausage, dinner
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 4 large servings
Calories: 713kcal


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 12 ounces chicken sausage links I used apple chicken sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups chopped Tuscan kale about 6 stems
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic about 2 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • additional chopped sage for topping


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Place butternut squash on baking sheet (I lined mine with aluminum foil for easier clean up) and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until squash is soft.
  • Meanwhile, place quinoa and 2 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water.
  • While quinoa and squash are cooking, add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onion and chicken sausage and cook until onion begins to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the kale, garlic and sage and cook until kale is wilted, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Once squash and quinoa have cooked, add them both to the skillet with the sausage and kale, and stir to combine. If your skillet isn't big enough, just add it all to a bowl.
  • Mix together olive oil, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar and drizzle over quinoa mixture, stirring to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to preference.
  • Top with cherries, goat cheese, and garnish with sage.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 713kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1013mg | Potassium: 1260mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 27756IU | Vitamin C: 122mg | Calcium: 282mg | Iron: 6mg
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Butternut Squash, Chicken Sausage, and Kale Quinoa Skillet

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Simple to throw all of these ingredients into a skillet together but synergistically they create an explosion of fall flavor. Absolutely delicious and adding this to my list of favorite home recipes! (:

  2. 5 stars
    This was the perfect warm dish for a winter night. So many different flavors but they all went very well together. I ended up using chicken apple breakfast sausage from Costco and it was amazing! I did use a tri colored quinoa and cooked it in chicken broth for extra flavor. Very delicious, hardy and healthy dinner.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this awhile ago and absolutely loved it. I do want to know if you can make this a day in advanced .

    1. So happy to hear this, Ruthann! I think you could roast the butternut squash and make the quinoa in advance, to cut down on the prep time. You could probably even cook the onion and chicken sausage too, and then add the kale and the rest of ingredients the day you are planning to eat. Hope this helps!

  4. 5 stars
    This is super tasty!! And it’s pretty simple to make! And doesn’t seem like it has very unhealthy ingredients. It’s on the sweeter side which I really enjoy.

  5. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious!!! I used frozen chicken maple breakfast sausages and followed the recipe exactly. I’ll be making this again this fall!

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. Made it no less than 10 times over the last year. Perfect for when you want a fun dinner but don’t want too work too hard for it and pretty easy to substitute if you are missing one or two things.

  7. Looks awesome. I’m going to put it on my meal prep list for next week! Question, the husband doesn’t like quinoa, any thoughts on what I could substitute for the quinoa? Thanks!

    1. I think brown rice, couscous, or barley would all work well! They do have slightly different water ratios, so just follow the instructions on the package you buy for whatever you end up using, and then use it as you would the quinoa in the recipe. Enjoy! 🙂

  8. Made this last night with Trader Joe’s Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage and we loved it! No kale or good cooking greensin the house so we served it over arugula and that worked for us! Plan to make it again.

  9. Made this dish tonight for a healthy change of pace. My Grandson who lives with us has become health conscious. I am not a fan of quinoa, but the other ingredients sounded great. Grandson liked it, but he likes everything! It looked really good, but I had a “texture” problem with the quinoa. Maybe next time I will substitute some orzo pasta instead.