clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Butternut Squash Penne with Chicken + Fried Sage

Butternut Squash Penne with Chicken and Fried Sage

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.6 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Tiffany La Forge
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: pasta


Butternut Squash Penne with Chicken and Fried Sage is the New Comfort Food. This comforting dish is cheesy, seasonal, healthy, and perfect for the fall.


  • 24 ounces of peeled, cubed butternut squash (from about a 2 pound squash)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound of chicken breasts or breast tenders
  • 1 tablespoon sage, cut into thin ribbons (to fry)
  • 1 tablespoon sage, finely minced
  • 1 pound whole grain penne
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts (plus more for serving)
  • Dried thyme, to taste
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • Pinch nutmeg


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Sprinkle each side of your chicken breast or breast tenders with dried thyme, sea salt, and pepper. Cook chicken in a hot, lightly oiled skillet until browned and cooked through on each side, about 4 minutes per side for tenders or 6 minutes per side for breasts. Set chicken aside on a plate to rest.
  3. Heat a deep skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, toss in the sage (cut into thin strips) and fry, carefully turning, until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside.
  4. To the same skillet, add the shallot and garlic to the oil, stirring until softened but not browned. Add in the peeled and cubed butternut squash. Cook the butternut squash for about 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Add in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer the butternut squash mixture about 15 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half and the squash is fork-tender.
  5. Puree the squash and chicken stock mixture until completely smooth. Add your pasta to the salted, boiling water to cook.
  6. Pour the pureed squash back into the pan and stir in the milk, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and the minced sage (not what we just fried). Heat until melted. Slice and add the chicken to the sauce to warm through.
  7. Toss whole grain pasta with the butternut squash sauce and chicken. Fold in the toasted walnuts and season with sea salt and pepper, if needed.
  8. Top each bowl with additional Parmesan cheese, the fried sage, and more chopped walnuts.