About 5 years ago, I decided to give up meat, cold turkey (I’m super excited about having the chance to use that pun!) It wasn’t a particularly difficult transition for me; I’ve always been more of a Little Foot than a Sharptooth, so I’m usually pretty surprised at the intensity of people’s reactions when I tell them I’m a vegetarian.

You are?!? Wow! That’s awesome!! (I am awesome, but your punctuation actually suggests that you are equating me with a much higher level of awesomeness than you should.)

Oh my gosh, you must be so healthy! (I try to be. But I also hid a box of cereal under my bed for a week so I could eat fistfuls every night before I went to sleep. So you can kind of work that one out in your head for yourself.)

Good for you. I’ve been wanting to try to go meatless, but my husband/kids/dog would hate it so much, I could never pull it off. (Husbands and kids can actually be more accommodating than you think! I can’t speak for dogs. I know our cat literally could not care less.)

While I never turn my nose up at a good ego stroke, I feel like these accolades are pretty misguided. Because I’m not doing anything you couldn’t do! Actually, I’m honestly probably doing a lot less than most of you because most meatless meals do not require thawing, or overnight marinating or protecting your family from harmful salmonella bacteria.

With that said, I’d like to start sharing a few of my favorite meatless recipes with you on Mondays. I think you’ll be surprised at what crowd pleasers they can be! Also, cheese pizza is vegetarian. So there’s always that.

This recipe was adapted from an original recipe on Kitchn. Some changes were made to make it my own (also, because I didn’t have all the correct ingredients from the original recipe…)

Goat cheese skillet gnocchi

What You’ll Need

Non-stick cooking spray
2-3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1-pound package store-bought gnocchi (I prefer whole wheat, if you can find it.)
3 large handfuls of kale or spinach
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Goat cheese skillet gnocchi

What You’ll Do

  • Preheat your oven to 350
  • Wash produce and dice your squash (you can also buy precut squash to make this whole thing go a lot faster)
  • Grease baking sheet and spread squash evenly. Spray squash with cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and easily pierced with a fork.
  • Boil water and cook gnocchi according to box directions, drain
  • Mix gnocchi, cooked squash, goat cheese, kale and 1/8 cup parmesan cheese in a medium sized bowl.
  • Transfer mixture into a large cast iron skillet, or you can use a Dutch oven with the lid removed, and cover with remaining Parmesan cheese (or get crazy and just add a whole bunch!)
  • Bake for 15 minutes.

This meatless Monday dish is easy to prepare and because you've only using your cast iron skillet, it's even easier to clean up!


And voila! This recipe should serve four, but if you find yourself going back for seconds or thirds, you can take solace in the fact that my husband and I polished off the entire skillet by ourselves.

No judgement here.