Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna
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Creamy roasted butternut squash lasagna with spinach. This vegetarian lasagna recipe is one of our favorites, made with ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Lasagna is one of our favorite comfort foods. With layers of sauce, noodles and cheese, it’s hard to resist! In this roasted butternut squash lasagna the traditional tomato and meat sauce is replaced with a layer of creamy mashed butternut squash. It is so good!
If you are looking for a meatless main dish to serve for your holiday meal, this vegetarian lasagna recipe is it. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Sunday night dinner.
The base for this lasagna is roasted butternut squash, which is mashed and combined with milk and ricotta cheese until it’s ultra creamy. I’ve added some fresh thyme, shallots and garlic to the butternut mixture for lots of cozy fall flavors. If you love roasted butternut squash, be sure to also try my easy roasted butternut squash recipe!
Most of the dinner recipes that I share here are easy meals that you can make on a weeknight. This butternut squash lasagna recipe isn’t a quick weeknight dinner, as it does take some time to prepare. It’s not difficult to make, but there are a few steps involved so it is better suited for a weekend or a special occasion meal. You can also make your lasagna ahead of time to save time later on.
This butternut squash lasagna works well for a make ahead meal. There are a few options for how to make lasagna ahead of time:
- You can assemble the lasagna and refrigerate it before baking for up to one day.
- Or, you can freeze the unbaked lasagna for up to 3 months, then thaw and bake. Be sure to wrap it tightly before freezing to prevent freezer burn.
- To save time making your lasagna, you can chop your butternut squash up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerate it in a sealed container until you are ready to roast the squash.
You might be wondering if you can make this lasagna with no boil noodles. I haven’t tried no boil noodles in this recipe, and I recommend using regular lasagna noodles that you boil. Since this lasagna doesn’t have a saucy tomato sauce, there isn’t a lot of extra liquid for no bake noodles to absorb. If you decide to give no boil noodles a try in this recipe, let me know how it turns out!
I like to use whole wheat noodles for a healthy lasagna. If you want a gluten free lasagna you can use gluten free lasagna noodles.
How to make roasted butternut squash lasagna
These are the steps to making butternut squash and spinach lasagna:
- Roast the butternut squash cubes. Add chopped shallot, garlic and thyme to the pan halfway through the bake time.
- Boil the lasagna noodles.
- Mash the butternut squash mixture. Stir in ricotta cheese and milk until the filling is creamy.
- In another bowl, stir together more ricotta, milk, an egg, shredded mozzarella cheese and chopped spinach.
- Layer the lasagna as directed in the recipe, in a 13×9-inch baking dish or other large baking dish.
- Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Uncover and bake for 10-15 more minutes, until the cheese on top is melty and begins to brown and the filling is hot.
Instead of using a food processor to puree the cooked butternut squash, I mash it by hand with a potato masher in a large bowl. It only takes a minute and saves me the step of washing the food processor. If you want your squash to be really smooth, you can use a food processor.
For a quick and easy butternut squash lasagna recipe, there are a few shortcuts that you can take:
- You can buy chopped butternut squash so that you don’t have to peel and chop your own.
- Or, you can use canned butternut squash puree (or even use pumpkin puree!) instead of roasting your own squash.
- You may use pre-shredded mozzarella cheese.
- You may substitute 1 teaspoon of dried thyme for the fresh thyme. I do love the flavor that the fresh thyme adds to this lasagna, though!
Tips for making butternut squash lasagna:
- Don’t like spinach? Leave it out!
- To save time, you can peel and chop your squash up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate in an airtight container. Or, buy already chopped squash from the store.
- You can either mash your roasted squash by hand with a potato masher or fork, or puree it in a food processor.
- Be sure to use vegetarian cheeses if you need your lasagna to be vegetarian as sometimes Parmesan is not vegetarian.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
- 1 large butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces (6-8 cups)*
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 1 medium shallot chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup milk divided
- 15 ounces part skim ricotta cheese about 2 cups, divided
- 1 large egg
- 10 ounces shredded part skim mozzarella cheese 2 ½ cups, divided
- 3 ounces chopped spinach 3 cups
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the chopped butternut squash on the baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes. Add the chopped shallot, garlic and thyme to the pan and toss to combine. Continue roasting for 15 more minutes, or until the squash is very soft.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Place the butternut squash mixture in a bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. It does not need to be completely smooth. Add ½ cup ricotta cheese and ½ cup milk and stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ricotta cheese, remaining ½ cup milk, egg, and 1 ¾ cups of the mozzarella (reserve the remaining ¾ cup mozzarella for the top of the lasagna). Stir in the chopped spinach.
- Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Spread ½ cup of the spinach and cheese sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Lay 3 lasagna noodles in the dish. Spread 1/3 of the butternut squash mixture over the noodles, followed by ½ of the remaining spinach and cheese mixture.
- Repeat a second layer with noodles, half of the remaining butternut mixture and the rest of the spinach and cheese mixture.
- For the top layer, use the last 3 noodles and top with the remaining butternut mixture. Sprinkle on the reserved ¾ cup mozzarella cheese and the grated Parmesan.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until lasagna is hot and cheese on top is browned. Sprinkle on additional pepper and fresh thyme, if desired, and serve.
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