Parsnip Noodles with Leftover Christmas Ham and Butternut Squash-Sage Sauce

gluten freemeat & poultrypaleo
Parsnip Noodles with Leftover Christmas Ham and Butternut Squash-Parmesan Sage Sauce

 Parsnip Noodles with Leftover Christmas Ham and Butternut Squash-Parmesan Sage Sauce

Christmas at my grandparents’ house growing up meant lots of fish. Seven fishes, to be exact.

However, sometimes, there would also be a lonesome ham. Or, my mother would prepare a ham for leftovers (since fish leftovers just aren’t a thing.)

For those of you who don’t do fish on Christmas and do ham instead (or if you’re like my crazy ma and you make a whole ham just for leftovers), today’s recipe is for you: use those leftovers!

 Parsnip Noodles with Leftover Christmas Ham and Butternut Squash-Parmesan Sage Sauce

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas but you like ham (or pancetta), this dish will soon become a permanent installation into your weekday dinner rotation: it’s that good.

I don’t know if it’s the slightly sweet nuttiness of the parsnips that are cooked in the sweety and savory meat OR the robust flavors in the chicken broth simmered butternut squash sauce, but the flavors in this recipe work… real well.

 Parsnip Noodles with Leftover Christmas Ham and Butternut Squash-Parmesan Sage Sauce

I love the crumbling of the fried sage on top (which sets the pace for the entire recipe since the butternut squash is cooked in the sage-infused oil.) It gives the dish a pretty deep green sprinkling of color and it adds so much flavor. Plus, well, who doesn’t love sage? Especially in the wintertime!

The sauce is effortless – just simmer butternut squash cubes with some pressed garlic, red pepper flakes and shallots in chicken broth and then puree into a blender and voila: a healthy, clean-eating friendly sauce that’s really versatile (it’ll work on anything!)

 Parsnip Noodles with Leftover Christmas Ham and Butternut Squash-Parmesan Sage Sauce

The trickiest part of this recipe is finding large parsnips (it can be tough!) However, if you can’t find large ones, just spiralize more of the smaller parsnips.

I used pancetta in this recipe, which is the “Italian bacon,” but you can use regular ‘ole ham also. Pancetta’s a bit sweeter, but the flavors will all work famously together – whether it’s that leftover Christmas ham, pancetta or just, ham.

 Parsnip Noodles with Leftover Christmas Ham and Butternut Squash-Parmesan Sage Sauce

And if you don’t celebrate Christmas and just want to make this recipe, I don’t blame you – I’m definitely going to be eating it past Christmastime!

What are you cooking on Christmas (if you celebrate)?

Nutritional Information & Recipe


Parsnip Noodles with Leftover Christmas Ham and Butternut Squash-Sage Sauce

Yields 3

15 minPrep Time

40 minCook Time

55 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1.5 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (less than ¼ teaspoon)
  • freshly ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 large parsnips (or 4-5 small ones)
  • 3/4 cup cubed leftover Christmas ham (or cubed pancetta)


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil heats, add the sage and cook until crispy. Set the sage aside on a paper-towel lined plate.
  2. Immediately add in the butternut squash, shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until onion is translucent. Pour in the broth and raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is softened, 15-20 minutes.
  3. While the squash cooks, peel and spiralize the parsnips. Set aside.
  4. Once the squash mixture is softened and easily pierced with a fork, transfer to a high-speed blender. Wipe down the pot and set aside. Blend the squash mixture until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your preference. If the mixture is too thick, add in vegetable broth.
  5. If not using leftover Christmas ham: Set the pot down over medium heat and once heated, add in the ham or pancetta and cook for 5 minutes or until cooked through and starting to brown on edges. Then, add in the parsnip noodles, cover and toss to cook for 5 more minutes or until al dente. Then, add in the squash sauce and toss altogether to warm sauce. Crumble the sage on top and serve immediately.
  6. If using leftover Christmas ham: Set the pot down over medium heat and once heated, add in the ham, squash sauce and parsnip noodles, toss and cook for 5-7 minutes or until noodles al dente. Crumble the fried sage on top and serve immediately.

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gringalicioustori says:
Fish leftovers should definitely become a thing in my opinion but until then I'm glad to know I can make this yummy pasta! Love leftover recipes!
Thelma Rittmann says:
I was really happy to see you put in a recipe using leftover ham. We had our Christmas get-together last Sunday and now I have lots of leftover ham. I made ham and bean soup and still have lots of ham leftover. Thanks for this new recipe. I try almost all your recipes and really like them--makes me look forward to cooking.
love this! this is the first year i wont have our traditional seven fish with my family on Christmas Eve...instead i'll be at my boyfriend's but I think there will be fish components...Thanks for including this yummy looking dish! have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas! xx
What a great way to put leftover ham to use and OMG fried SAGE?? Can't wait to try it!
Maria says:
This sounds fantastic and we are making it as I am typing this note. Your ingredient list states "shallots", but the instructions refer to garlic. Which is correct? Hope that it is the shallots because that is what we are using. Also, which blade? Hope it is the smallest one, because that is what we are using. Keep the great recipes coming!
Anonymous says:
oops; I meant to say.. did you mean shallots versus the onion in the instructions?
It's shallots! And yes, Blade C- you can check out my "how to spiralize" page for info!
Rachel says:
I made this last night and I'm not sure if it's because I a) must not like parsnips [never had them before] and/or b) omitted the meat [vegetarian] but it tasted very, very off-- kind of bitter I suppose? Was I supposed to peel the parsnips? Cook them more?
Ashley Brooke says:
Made this tonight and absolutely loved it. Wish I had caught it before I tossed the leftover Christmas ham! But I used cubed ham and it was very delicious. So filling and flavorful for almost no calories. I like the bitter bite of parsnips combined with the smooth squash and sage.

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okay okay, I promise I'll be explaining soon why I'm feverishly testing all of these recipes and not (yet!) sharing the recipes. 😇 but I just had to share this photo because these little Carrot Dogs in Blankets 🥕 came out so well , my picky dad (he's a great man but has a very judgy/picky palate), ate one and said, "tastes like a hot dog!" 🌭 👏🏼⁣

would you try them?! 👇🏼⁣

#carrotdogs #carrothotdogs #toddlerfood #funfood #pigsinablanket #veganfood #vegetarianfood #partyfood

I have nothing prolific to say today (I’ve just been madly testing recipes for this project I’ll be announcing soon) except that today was the first day in my life that I actually enjoyed sliced tomatoes on a sandwich. 🍅 🍞⁣

I’m not a fan of raw tomatoes, except in something subtle like a pico de gallo or if they’re a tiny part of a meal, like a garnish. but today, I made this chickpea tuna salad melt with tomatoes and spinach and LOVED it. 👍🏼⁣

it got me thinking… I can’t be the only one. do you like raw tomatoes? 🤔

luca made a friend today! 👦🏼 🚴‍♂️⁣

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I have so many thoughts on this. will this change his personality and social skills forever? will he be socially awkward? will he lose out on so many developmental milestones? will this affect his emotional awareness? the list goes on. I know it's only a year or so, but that's over 1/3 of his entire life!⁣

and now that we're in Florida, we just keep to ourselves at my parents' house and don't see any other kids. it's so nice to be together as a family, and I know so many families can't be together right now, so I'm so grateful for that. the other day, Luca saw a 7-year-old boy on a bike in my parents' neighborhood and he asked us if he could be his friend. I almost broke down in tears.⁣

so by chance, we were out on his bike this afternoon and sure enough, we saw the little boy again, riding his bike, with his mother. in that moment, I knew I had to make a move - so I called out to the mother and asked her, "I know this is going to sound weird, but my son would love to hang out with your son! I'd love to get your number so they can ride bikes together sometime!" I was so nervous, haha! ⁣

and just like that, Luca made a friend! they immediately started riding their bikes together (it was so cute I couldn't handle it!!!) and Roma even came a little bit later and literally slipped her hand into the little boy's hand, it was like she was starving for that connection. it was so adorable, and I'm so happy for Luca to have someone to safely play outside with and so I can shed some of this mama worry.⁣

as for these chocolate donuts, search the blog, they’re an oldie but a goodie! 🍩🍫