American Diabetes Month Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Pasta Recipe


November is American Diabetes Month. Reduce your risk of developing diabetes, a disease 26 million Americans live with, by getting regular exercise and eating well. Committing to a healthy diet is the best way to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes--the most common form of the disease. Blocking enough or the effective use of insulin, type 2 diabetes results in excess glucose in the body which can cause increased risk of developing infections as well as a number of serious health problems affecting the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

You can prevent or manage diabetes with a diet rich in nutritious foods that make delicious dishes such as this sabroso butternut squash and cauliflower pasta recipe.

Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Pasta Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash (click here for squash-cutting tips)
  • 2 cups chopped greens: cabbage, Swiss chard, or spinach
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 chopped jalapeño pepper



  1. Make your own vegetable broth by boiling any combination of clean chopped vegetables for one hour, then straining out the broth.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add broth, penne pasta, cauliflower, squash, and jalapeño and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
  5. Add leafy greens and rosemary and cook 5 minutes more, until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thickened and reduced.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in salt pepper and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


¡Qué rico! I love the sweet flavor of the butternut squash, and cooking the pasta in broth adds extra sabor to this vegetarian dish.

Not only is this fall pasta dish tasty, it is good for you. Butternut squash is low in fat and high in antioxidants, fiber which keeps you feeling full, and nutrients known as carotenoids which help protect against heart disease. Cauliflower and leafy greens are power foods that can reduce your risk of developing cancer, as I write about in Angelina Jolie Inspired Meatless Monday: 7 Cancer-fighting Foods and Breast Cancer Awareness Month Meatless Monday: 5 Food Choices to Reduce your Risk.

This receta is perfect for the autumn season, when these winter vegetables are fresh at your local farmers' market.

Healthy pasta tip: Avoid cream or cheese-based sauces to cut back on calories and fat and add chopped veggies to any pasta dish to add texture and nutrients.

What you eat has a huge impact on your health. Keep your body strong and reduce your risk of diet-related diseases such as diabetes by choosing healthy foods all year long.

¿Need Meatless Monday inspiration? Click here to read more of my recipes.

The Wise Latina Club's Natalie Wagner FierroA teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.

Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

What is your favorite fall recipe?