Baked Butternut Squash with Kale & Walnut Pesto

Beautifully baked butternut squash topped with a homemade pesto that is nutty and zingy, making it a delicious treat for the whole family.

baked-butternut-squash-with-kale-pesto 1

I absolutely love butternut squash, in-fact I think I could eat it every day; it’s got such a wholesome sweetness but keeps its firm texture in the oven, making it a great roasting vegetable.

Some of my favourite ways to use it are in my roasted squash recipe that is topped with chickpeas and a delicious tahini dressing, or to blend chunks of it into soups, shave or slice over salads, or bake into a deliciously spicy stew.

This is my latest butternut squash creation; it’s super simple. All you have to do is rub a little oil and salt in, bake it in the oven, and then fill it with a fragrant and nutty kale pesto before finishing with some extra toasted walnuts.

I also like to add dukkha, pomegranate seeds, pea shoots, or coriander on top (or a combination of them all!)

The pesto used in this dish is incredible. I use walnuts instead of pine nuts for a more earthy flavour which works perfectly with the richness of the kale. Did you know… the word pesto actually just means ‘to be pounded’ and isn’t the name of the green pesto you are used to seeing, buying and eating, you can actually make a whole variety of different variations by mixing and matching different seeds and nuts with herbs and spices. I love to add spinach with walnuts or rocket with almonds. The added secret ingredient for my pesto is nutritional yeast, which adds a delicious cheesy flavour every time – so if your pesto isn’t quite hitting the mark, try adding a spoon or two!

Love Niki xxx

baked-butternut-squash-with-kale-pesto 1 a

Baked Butternut Squash with Kale & Walnut Pesto

Beautifully baked butternut squash topped with a homemade pesto that is nutty and zingy, making it a delicious treat for the whole family.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
2 servings
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 large butternut squash quartered length ways or 2 small squash cut in half (seeds removed)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper

For the pesto

  • 4 cups kale remove the tough stalks
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • Handful basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 5 tbsp water

Additional toppings

  • Toasted walnuts
  • Dukkha
  • Pomegranate seeds


  • Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 5/375F.
  • Place the squash on a baking tray, rub with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, until tender inside and caramelised on the outside.
  • When cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.

To make the pesto

  • Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  • Scoop the pesto into the hollow part of the squash and finish with your toppings.
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