Butternut Squash Pizza with Kale Pesto & Goat Cheese

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My husband and I are cursed.  Non-fat cheese cursed, that is.  I like to have nachos on Saturday nights because they are not only one of my favorite foods, but they are also super easy to make and require little prep.  Unfortunately, I works on Saturdays so to me, they are my Fridays.

The last two Saturdays I have desperately texted my husband begging him to pick up the nacho ingredients so that they would be all ready for me as soon as I walked in the door at 5:30 (I’m an old person at heart and I love eating dinner early, and I also tend to get very hangry if I am forced to eat dinner later than 6:30).  Well, two weekends in a row my husband has come home with non-fat cheese to put all over our nachos.

People, non-fat cheese is not cheese and really shouldn’t exist!  It is hard and waxy and doesn’t melt, at all.  I don’t eat diary very often, so when I do decide to splurge and risk a stomach ache, I want it to be worth it.  Each time my husband brought this strange cheese into the house I would ask him how on earth he could accidentally buy non-fat cheese.  I was beginning to think something was wrong with him.

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That is, until the day that I accidentally bought this awful cheese.  I told Eric that I would be making homemade pizza for dinner.  I had big plans of making this awesome butternut squash and kale pesto pizza for you guys, while I was going to make a manly pizza for him that included lots of pepperoni and melted cheese.  I went to the store in the morning and bought all the necessary ingredients for this pizza you see here today, including delicious raw milk cheddar cheese that melted beautifully and tasted great.

I made and photographed the three recipes I had on my schedule for today (it was a lot of work, but totally worth the fact that I will be out of commission and going to the Arizona Cardinals football game next weekend!).  I then ran back to the store to get Eric’s pizza ingredients.  I grabbed the green pepper, marinara sauce, and pepperoni and then, without looking, I grabbed a pack of mozzarella cheese.  As soon as I got home I unpacked all the groceries and immediately realized that I had bought the dreaded non-fat cheese!

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Although Eric once came home crying because he was laughing to hard about a bumper sticker he saw that said, “Pizza is like sex, when it’s good it’s really good and when it is bad, it’s still pretty good” apparently he didn’t take that to heart, because he wasn’t too happy with his non-fat cheese pizza I presented him with.  He takes his pizza eating very seriously!  Fortunately, my butternut squash and kale pesto pizza had perfect melted cheese, was delicious, and well worth any stomach ache I may have tomorrow!  At least one of us enjoyed our pizza tonight, and I must admit that I’m glad it was me :)

 I hope you enjoy this fall themed pizza!


Butternut Squash Pizza with Kale Pesto & Goat Cheese

  • Category: Entree, Gluten Free


  • 1 serving of pizza dough or 1 pre-cooked pizza crust
  • 1/4 a buttnernut squash, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch strips*
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheese
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • Thyme leaves, for garnish, if desired
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, for garnish
  • Balsamic glaze, for drizzling, if desired

Kale Pesto:

  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1½ tablespoons nutritional yeast, or 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Make the kale pesto: Add all of the kale pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, into a food processor and turn on. Drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is going. Process until a pesto sauce is formed. Set aside.
  2. If you are using a already baked pizza crust or if you are using an recipe that requires you to pre-bake your pizza crust before putting the toppings on: pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place butternut squash strips on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until squash is beginning to soften.
  3. If you are using pizza dough and not pre-baking your dough, you can place the raw butternut squash strips onto the pizza and there should be enough baking time for them to roast on top of the pizza while the dough cooks.
  4. Top pizza dough, or pre-cooked pizza dough, with kale pesto sauce and spread out evenly. Then top with shredded cheese, butternut squash strips (pre-roasted if needed) red onion slices, and goat cheese. Bake until crust is cooked though and crispy and the cheese is melted.
  5. Top with fresh thyme leaves and balsamic glaze, if desired.


Peel the butternut squash, but the top off (the part above where the seeds are located) and then cut the top part into 1/8 inch strips. Cut those strips to be about 1/2 inch wide. See photo above for an example of what mine looked like.


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      • Bhumi Kelly says

        The only thing worse than non-fat cheese, is non-dairy cheese. It may look like cheese, but definitely doesn’t have any taste at all…. I had to use this sort of “cheese” once, when I had a vegan cooking gig and I made these beautiful tostados…. you just can’t duplicate that cheesy flavor with anything non-dairy.

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Katie! Kale pesto is my new favorite thing and I could eat goat cheese all day long, unlike non-fat cheese, haha!

  1. says

    “People, non-fat cheese is not cheese and really shouldn’t exist!” –> My thoughts exactly! Non-fat cheese pretty much is the worst! It is so waxy and never melts properly!

    This pizza though – it looks totally delicious! I love that you and your hubby do pizza nights too! I love that we can both put whatever we want on our own pizza’s (meaning mine is full of lots of veggies and his meat lol). Pinned!

    And I need that bumper sticker! Too funny 😀

    • She Likes Food says

      So glad you agree, Ceara! Why do they even sell it?!! Haha, mine is full of veggies and his is full of meat too! We need to get together and have a pizza party one of these days! I need to find that bumpersticker too, although I’m not sure if my husband would actually put it on his car, haha :)

  2. says

    The crispy edges on your pizza are just glorious. I’m ready to chow down on that right now.. Looks so so good! And the kale pesto, I’m intrigued. Have never used such a thing on pizza before but like your husband said…….pizza is still pretty darn good any way you have it I guess.

    And the no-fat cheese. I’m on board! It’s waxy and gross and not a good idea. This pizza looks so filling too so I won’t have to eat the whole thing myself (not that I wouldn’t want too =)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Laura! I made some kale pesto for the first time a while ago because I had some kale about to go bad and I got hooked! I don’t think I’ve ever met a pizza I didn’t like :) Not a good idea at all! I definately did not eat the whole thing myself…… :)

  3. says

    I’ve long been aware (and have known to avoid!) the shredded non-fat cheese. But now, my local grocery store has been putting BLOCKS of fat free cheddar in my “fancy” cheese section, noooo. :I’m almost tricked every time! This looks so tasty, I’m glad you didn’t accidentally ruin it with fat free cheese 😀

    • She Likes Food says

      I’ve always been aware of how horrid it was, but I guess I missed the memo to avoid buying it, haha! I think they are just trying to play a mean trick on everyone and get them to accidentally buy it! I swear they put it right up front with all the normal cheese hoping that busy people will just grab and not even look! Thank goodness I had a yummy cheese backup for my pizza, unfortunately I can’t say the same for my husbands :)

    • She Likes Food says

      It should be in a completely different section of the grocery store, since it isn’t cheese at all! And it would help me avoid the confusion :) Thanks Natalie!

  4. says

    Non-fat cheese is a ridiculous concept! C’mon, people, what do ya think cheese is? It’s like when people reach for processed, sugar-free candy and expect the same results. And I don’t care how healthy cacao nibs are, they don’t resemble beloved chocolate chips in any way except by their complexion. I’m dreadfully sorry for your non-fat cheese curse, Izzy; perhaps a ghost was maddened by their inability to experience your tasty recipes and waited ’til Halloween to attempt to spoil your delicious dishes by putting a cheese spell on you! At least you and your husband are in this together. Perhaps you should try sending sweet lil Cheeto to the store and see if he has any better luck;-)

    • She Likes Food says

      Totally agreed, Dulcie!! I’ve had vegan cheeses that were much better than non-fat cheese! Haha, I don’t think I’ve had cacao nibs before, but I’m guessing nothing that isn’t chocolate tastes as good as actual chocolate! Haha!! I need this cheese ghost to go away asap because I physically can’t take another bite of this horrid non-fat cheese! That is a great idea, although I think that if I sent Cheeto to the store to buy cheese he would come back without any money and a bell full of cheese :)

    • She Likes Food says

      I would rather go without it too, Leah! I totally agree, anything with goat cheese is pretty much my favorite thing :)

  5. says

    This pizza looks delicious, healthy and colorful! Great for fall with the use of butternut squash. I love your pictures! Non fat cheese should be a pain in pizza, I’ve never actually tried it :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you so much, Mira! That is a very good thing that you’ve never tried it because it is horrible, haha!

  6. says

    Eeks I totally agree, if you’re going to have cheese it should be worth it. Just like this pizza. It looks amazing! Love the butternut squash in here with the kale pesto, balsamic and goat cheese. Mmm, I can just imagine how delicious this was!

    • She Likes Food says

      It really was so delicious, Kelly! The perfect way to satisfy my pizza tooth and my taste for fall :) I’m hoping that there will be no more non-fat cheese mishaps in my future, haha!

  7. says

    I really don’t know why they even sell non-fat cheese! I mean, I can’t imagine anyone derives any pleasure from it. Sigh. At least your pizza looks amazing! Between the kale pesto and the butternut, I’m in love.

    • She Likes Food says

      I don’t either!! They are just trying to be mean and trick us! And apparently it isn’t too hard for people in my household to be tricked :) Thanks Joanne!

  8. says

    I agree with you about non-fat cheese! If you want to eat cheese, you might as well eat the real thing! :) This pizza looks so amazing, Izzy! I love pesto spreads on pizza, and topped with squash and goat cheese sound like the ultimate treat. So perfect for a Friday night meal!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Gayle! I agree, why eat something waxy and tasteless when you can eat something creamy and delicious?!! Pizza night is coming up again soon and I think I see this pizza in my near future again!

  9. says

    Hahaha! Non-fat cheese is a BIG no-no in this house too. I mean, why do they even make that stuff?! Nastiness.
    But this pizza?! I think I’d take this over any pepperoni/mozzarella cheese-covered pizza any day. Seriously LOVING that kale pesto and all that goat cheese! Pinned and trying very soon!

    • She Likes Food says

      Who knows, but I think I need to start petitioning them to stop making it or at least put it in an entirely different section! Sometimes it pays off when my husband things something is too healthy to eat because then I get to devour it all myself! Thanks for pinning and I hope you love this pizza :)

    • She Likes Food says

      It really shouldnt!! I’m kind of obsessed with cheese, but my stomach doesn’t take too well to it which really breaks my heart! Thanks so much, Kathy :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, melted cheese is the best way to eat it! I would think it would be impossible for you to eat low fat cheese then because it has no melting capabilities at all! Thanks, Ashley!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Karen! I came home from work early today and ended up eating dinner around 4 tonight, haha! I guess I’m just getting old :)

  10. says

    Non fat cheese IS horrible! I normally won’t even do low fat — I just do less of full fat. Go big or go home right? haha This pizza ended up looking terribly delicious despite the cheese escapades, and these flavors sound delicious!

    • She Likes Food says

      Yeah, no messing around with non-fat or low-fat when it comes to cheese! Thank you, Marcie! It really was delicious!

  11. says

    That kale pesto looks so good and I love how you but the squash in thin strips. I agree about the nonfat cheese. I always grab it by accident to. They should be required to write ‘nonfat’ in huge letters across the package.

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Christin! Why on earth do they put it near the regular cheese?! They must be trying to get rid of it! I agree :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Pesto is the perfect thing to make if you have an over abundance of kale! I made my first batch because I had some kale that was about to go bad and I needed to use it up and I’ve been hooked ever since! Thanks, Jess :)

  12. says

    This looks stunning, I have to recreate it right now or I can’t live on :)
    Btw I totally agree with you, low-fat cheeses are horrible! Especially when you try to melt them, they are like plastic….I also prefer to eat less dairy, but then good ones!

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, thank you so much, Evi! Absolutely horrible!! Yes, they don’t melt at all, they just get even harder than they were to begin with! When you don’t eat much dairy you can never settle for bad cheese :)

    • She Likes Food says

      I used to kind of hate goat cheese, but a few years ago I just fell in love with it and I think it may be my favorite cheese these days! So, I encourage you to give it another try :)

  13. says

    Totally with you on the cheese! I got suckered into buying “light” boursin cheese once, and it tasted like… cheese flavoured water.

    On a brighter note, this pizza looks amazing! What an amazing way to use butternut squash!

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, cheese flavored water, I love it! Some things they just shouldn’t try to take the fat out of! Thank you, Nicole! Squash on pizza is my new favorite thing :)

  14. says

    haha we are such old people too – we eat so early! But man, I get hangryyy as well if I don’t eat by about 6 / 6:30!

    And this pizza – it looks amazinggg. So many good things all in one place! And hi Cheeto! :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, glad I’m not the only old person! I die inside a little when someone invites us over for dinner and tells us to be there at 7:30. That is just a few hours before my bedtime! Thanks Ashley! I had been dreaming about a pizza like this for a while and it was just as good as I had imagined! Cheeto says hi :)

  15. says

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen non-fat cheese, but it sounds like it should be outlawed! This pizza looks so delicious, we used our kale pesto on pizza a month or so back and it was so good! I think it was better on the pizza than on pasta! Love this pizza :)

    • She Likes Food says

      You are so lucky! I don’t think I had ever seen it before until it ended up in my refrigerator and I was so sad! Isn’t kale pesto the best?! Thanks, Denise :)

    • She Likes Food says

      It is the worst!! I had never had pizza with squash on it before, but now that is all I want to eat! Squash pizza with delicious, 100% fat cheese :)

  16. says

    Izzy, what is with that fat-free cheese? My husband does something similar with sugar-free stuff. He just never notices that it’s sugar-free. I get so mad!
    This pizza is phenomenal. I don’t agree with that bumper sticker (about the pizza, not the sex), but it’s a non-issue with this pizza anyway. So fantastic!

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, sometimes it can get so confusing at the grocery store! Poor guys, lol! I’m not sure which is worse, sugar free or fat free! Haha, I’m glad you like this pizza, Mir :)

  17. says

    I forgot to tell you made this for a party and it was a big hit! Butternut squash on pizza initially sounded weird when I heard it, but it’s an awesome combination. We had left over pesto and have been enjoying that in soups and pastas as well. I’ll share this on my FB page. Cheers!

    • She Likes Food says

      Yah! That’s awesome, Joel! I’m so glad it was a big hit!! I’ve been making so much kale pesto lately and putting it on everything too! Say hi to Levi for me! :)


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