Butternut Squash Lasagna
If you’ve been following the SOC Kitchen, you know we have a soft spot for butternut squash. It’s as rich in flavor as it is in nutrients and can be used in a variety of cuisines. We think ‘buttnut’ squash is so special we even featured it as the star of the show in our Roasted Butternut Squash Bowl. To get that recipe, click here.
Butternut squash is also an incredibly affordable ingredient. Our local markets carry the golden root vegetable for just $1.79/each. Pick out a nice, large squash and you can yield up to 7 or 8 cups of edible product! You can’t beat that.
Today, we’re combining this squash with another one of our favorite foods (pasta!) to make a delectable, drool-worthy Butternut. Squash. Lasagna.
Nutrition Notes: Creamy, savory, and guiltlessly decadent, this dish is loaded with filling protein, fiber, and immune-boosting vitamins and minerals. In fact, just one serving provides over 120% of your daily recommended vitamin A (immune, eye, and skin health)!
We lightened the caloric load typically found in traditional recipes by swapping out some full fat cheese for lighter varieties and majorly increased the veggie content. We promise you won’t feel like you are missing out on a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. Pinky swear.
While this recipe is slightly more labor intensive than some of our other recipes, we used lots of pictures (yay, pictures!) and tossed in some shortcuts if you don’t have the time and/or energy to make this from scratch. For starters, you simply cannot beat the flavor and color of freshly roasted squash, but please do not feel bad if you opt for canned. You will still end up with a stellar end result. Secondly, if you aren’t up for making a traditional layered lasagna, you can combine all cooked ingredients together to make a butternut pasta ‘bake’. Again, same great ingredients with just a different look. We won’t judge.
OK, back to the recipe. To get started, you’ll roast your squash.
Once your squash is roasted (and slightly cooled), peel it and pop it into a food processor or blender.
When your squash is blended, add ricotta and seasonings to give a smooth consistency and rich flavor.
Set your squash mixture aside. If you’re like us and scavenge for the largest squash you can find, you’ll probably have enough for two lasagna bakes!
Now, it’s time to begin layering! First, spread a healthy layer of the squash mixture onto the bottom of your baking dish…
And add a light sprinkle of cheese.
Next, lay your first layer of noodles down.
Generously cover with spinach…
And another sprinkle of cheese!
Next, add your next layer of noodles.
Repeat this pattern 1 1/2 more times (squash, spinach, squash). On your final top layer, spread a little extra cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then, remove foil and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes to allow your cheese topping to get golden and bubbly.
Now for the hard part: you have to let it SIT and COOL so you don’t burn your mouth and subsequently miss out on the intoxicating flavors of your delicious, creamy, cheesy LASAGNA!……
Ok, waited long enough. Time to dig in.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
- 1 butternut squash (Don't have time to roast your own squash? You can use unsalted, canned squash in its place. You will need roughly 3-4 cups total for this recipe.)
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 tsp garlic powder (or 1 fresh clove), plus extra for sprinkling
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ⅛ tsp ground thyme, plus extra for sprinkling
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- pinch of nutmeg
- milk, as needed (dairy or plant-based)
- 4-6 ounces fresh spinach approx. 3-4 loosely packed cups
- 2-3 cups shredded cheese we use a mix of 1 part lite mozzarella to 2 parts "fully loaded" parmesan/asiago
- whole wheat or brown rice lasagna noodles
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Rinse the exterior of the butternut squash and pat dry. Slice in half lengthwise and then slice each half in half (hamburger) to make 4 similar sized pieces. Lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 55-65 minutes, or until tender. A knife or fork should easily go through.
- Let squash sit until cool enough to touch. Using a knife, carefully remove the skin. Slice the remaining squash into cubes. Place cubes into a blender or food processor and begin blending. Add splashes of milk (dairy or plant-based) as needed to help the squash blend more easily.
- Once squash is smooth, add ricotta cheese, garlic and onion powders, thyme, maple syrup, and salt. Taste and add additional salt or seasonings as needed. Consistency should be smooth and thick, like mashed potatoes.
- Prepare lasagna noodles. Note: For best results, we recommend boiling your noodles before use, no matter if they are traditional or "oven-ready variety". The squash does not offer enough moisture to soften the noodles during baking.
- Spread a nice layer of squash on the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish; sprinkle lightly with cheese. Lay prepared noodles evenly on top, without overlap. Cover noodles with a thick layer of spinach (we promise, it shrinks down to nothing!). Sprinkle with cheese and garlic powder. Lay the next layer of noodles on top of the spinach. Continue this layering twice.
- For your top layer, spread another layer of squash and garnish with cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbly.