Cast iron skillet of Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Ladies, cancel your dinner plans (I know, I really wanted take out from that new sushi spot in town for you tonight too, BUT—) we’ve got Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash Gnocchi Skillet to make for dinner!

I think I’ve mentioned at least 17 times over the past two weeks to my email subscribers (have you signed up to be on the list? I’d love to have you!) that, despite the insanely high temperatures we’re still rocking here, I’ve fully moved onto all things fall. My mums are in full bloom, Gwen has a little (actual) orange pumpkin that she’s been moving from room to room (waiting for the moment I regret letting that happen…), and I just cannot make eating a cold salad for lunch, dinner, or any meal in between happen at the moment.

Sorry salad, I’m just not that into you.

My soul and taste buds are craving warmth, comfort, and, well, bacon, which this hearty yet vegetable packed gnocchi with cheesy bacon and butternut squash is currently satisfying!

Scoop of Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash Gnocchi Skillet on a wooden plate

What’s Inside

Cubed butternut squash and sliced onions are caramelized in bacon drippings with a drizzle of maple syrup until tender and sweet, then pressed garlic, baby spinach, and crispy gnocchi join the party. Freshly grated gruyere and parmesan cheeses are sprinkled on top then the whole skillet is sent under the broiler until the cheeses are browned and bubbly.

Cheesy, sweet, crispy, and savory – this flavor-packed fall recipe is NUTS! And while the dish feels hearty and decadent on account of the cheese and bacon (I mean, I guess it kind of is!) the addition of butternut squash and spinach rounds out the meal and provide wholesomeness.

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I cannot keep my fork out of this dish when I serve it!

Recipe Tips

  • Gnocchi Box Size: This recipe calls for a 12oz box of gluten free gnocchi. Gnocchi – both GF and regular – are typically sold in both 12oz and 16oz sizes so be sure to use just 12oz in this dish. I like Delallo Gluten Free Gnocchi which I currently buy from either Amazon or Vitacost.
  • Cauliflower Gnocchi: I haven’t tested this recipe with cauliflower gnocchi, but I’m sure it would be delish! The Trader Joe’s variety will cook the same way as I’ve outlined for potato gnocchi below.
  • Butternut Squash Shortcut: I’ll show you how to peel/slice/dice a whole butternut squash below, though I know a lot of grocery stores are selling ready-to-go butternut squash cubes, which is fine! You may need to trim those up to be ~1″ cubes so they quick quickly in this dish. Frozen cubed squash is fine too.
  • Low Carb Spin: If you’d like to make this dish low carb, leave the gnocchi out entirely and serve as a side dish. Still super satisfying and decadent.

Salads: I’ll see ya’ in 6 months. Until then, it’s Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash Gnocchi time!

wooden spoon taking a scoop of Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash Gnocchi out of a skillet

How to Make This Recipe

Step 1: Prep the Butternut Squash

Start by microwaving a small/medium-sized butternut squash which will make it slightly easier to slice and peel. Pierce the bulb end several times with a sharp knife (careful – goal is to keep all 10 fingers!) to allow steam to escape, then microwave for 1-1/2 minutes, turning the squash over halfway through.

a butternut squash that has been pierced with a knife in the bulb end on a cutting board

Slice the top and bottom off the squash then slice the bulb end from the skinnier neck end. Use your knife and follow the shape of the butternut squash to trim off the skin – just like you do when trimming a pineapple.

Slice the neck into rings then dice each ring into cubes that are roughly 3/4″ – 1″ in diameter. Peel the bulb end then slice in half, scoop out the seeds, and then slice and dice. Done!

a trimmed butternut squash on a cutting board

Step 2: Brown the Bacon

Next, add chopped bacon to a large oven proof skillet then turn the heat to medium and brown the bacon. Scoop the bacon onto a paper towel lined plate to drain then set aside, reserving 2 Tablespoons bacon grease in the skillet.

chopped bacon browning in a skillet

Step 3: Caramelize the Onions and Butternut Squash

To the bacon grease add a sliced sweet onion then saute until the slices begin to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the butternut squash cubes plus a drizzle of pure maple syrup, season with homemade seasoned salt and pepper, then saute until the butternut squash and onions are tender and caramelized, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

onions and butternut squash caramelizing in a skillet

Gorgeously caramelized and tender! I add splashes of chicken broth near the end if the squash is taking forever to soften and/or it starts to burn vs caramelize.

onions and butternut squash caramelizing in a skillet

Step 4: Add Garlic and Baby Spinach

Add a couple cloves of minced garlic plus a big pile of chopped baby spinach then saute until the spinach is tender and wilted, another couple of minutes.

onions, spinach, and butternut squash caramelizing in a skillet

Step 5: Make the Crispy Gnocchi

Now, in a large skillet next door heat extra virgin olive oil then add a 12oz box gluten free gnocchi (or regular if you don’t need to eat GF) and saute until the gnocchi are tender and golden brown all over – it will just take a few minutes. Add the crispy gnocchi to the skillet with the butternut squash mixture then stir to combine.

gnocchi crisping in a hot skillet

Step 6: Bury with Cheese then Broil

Last step is to sprinkle freshly grated gruyere cheese and parmesan cheese on top then broil until melted, just a minute or two.

shredded cheese over bacon and butternut squash in a skillet

Woo!!! I’m telling you – the combination of salty bacon, caramelized butternut squash and sweet onions, crispy gnocchi, and cheese is just so mouthwatering. You will go back for scoop after scoop of this hearty fall dinner recipe. I hope you love each bite – enjoy!

Scoop of Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash Gnocchi Skillet on a wooden plate

More Craveable Gnocchi Dishes

Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash Gnocchi Skillet

5
5/5 (6 REVIEWS)

Description

Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash Gnocchi Skillet is a delicious mouthful! This hearty, vegetable-packed dish is full of cozy flavor.

Ingredients

serves 5-6

  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced in half then into thin slices
  • 2 cups, 1” butternut squash cubes
  • seasoned salt and pepper (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup freshly shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • For the Crispy Gnocchi:
    • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 12oz gluten free gnocchi
    • salt

Directions

  1. Add bacon to a large, oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron) then turn the heat to medium and brown. Scoop cooked bacon onto a paper towel lined plate to drain then set aside. Reserve 2 Tablespoon bacon fat in the skillet.
  2. Add onions to the bacon fat in the skillet then saute until they begin to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add butternut squash cubes and maple syrup, season with seasoned salt and pepper, then saute until squash is tender, 15-20 minutes, stirring every so often and adding splashes of chicken broth near the end if the squash is taking a long time to soften and/or is beginning to burn vs caramelize.
  3. Preheat the broiler on high and place oven rack to the top position in the oven.
  4. For the Crispy Gnocchi: While the butternut squash is sauting, heat extra virgin olive oil in a large, 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add gnocchi then arrange into a single layer and saute until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 2-3 minutes. Stir then season with salt and continue to saute until the gnocchi are fork-tender and golden brown all over, 2-3 additional minutes, stirring often. Set aside.
  5. Add garlic to skillet with onions and butternut squash then suate until very fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add baby spinach then saute until wilted and tender, 1-2 minutes. Add crispy gnocchi and browned bacon into the skillet then stir to combine. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over the top then broil until melted, 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

photo collage of Cheesy Bacon Butternut Squash Gnocchi Skillet