This vegetarian butternut squash lasagna is made with a roasted squash béchamel sauce, kale, ricotta, and mozzarella for a decadent fall meal.
Do you measure time passing by which foods are in season?
I do, and each fall I'm not convinced fall is really here until the winter squash appear in the grocery store.
Winter squash, not the pumpkin spice latte, is the real sign that fall is here. I won't lie, though: I'm always excited for a PSL.
This fall, I loaded up my cart at Trader Joe's with winter squash and started dreaming about fall comfort food.
And of course, we've been happily devouring butternut squash. It's so good!
Last week, we enjoyed this butternut squash beer cheese soup in front of a campfire. It was fabulous.
If you're looking for a really decadent squash dish, try making this butternut squash lasagna.
This lasagna isn't difficult, but it does have quite a few steps and takes about two hours start-to-finish. I recommend reading this post all the way through before starting.
Can I Make this Lasagna Gluten-Free?
There are two gluten sources in this recipe: flour in the sauce and the lasagna noodles.
Can I Use Pre-Cut Butternut Squash?
You sure can!
If you have trouble cutting winter squash, this might also be a good time to recruit a family member to help in the kitchen.
How to Peel + Dice Butternut Squash
Start by using a vegetable peeler on the squash to remove the peel.
Next, use a large, sharp chef's knife to remove the top and bottom of the squash and cut it in half.
Scoop out the seeds and dice the squash.
Roast the Squash + Onion
Next, cut an onion into wedges.
Toss both the cubed squash and the onion with olive oil, salt, paprika, red chili flakes and freshly grated nutmeg.
Arrange the veggies on a baking sheet and bake until the squash is tender.
After cooking, add the squash, onion and milk to a blender.
Blend until it's creamy.
Butternut Squash Béchamel
Béchamel is a classic French sauce made with butter, flour and milk.
For this lasagna recipe, we're adding the blended milk and squash mixture instead of plain milk. It's pretty delicious.
To make the sauce, start by melting butter. Next, whisk in flour, and continue whisking until the flour is absorbed.
Add the blended squash and onion and continue cooking for another two minutes.
Set the butternut squash sauce aside off-heat.
Make the Kale + Ricotta Mixture
I typically prepare this kale and ricotta mixture while the squash is roasting.
Add a little water to a large pan, and then bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
Add the kale, cover the pan, and cook for about two minutes until the kale wilts.
Remove the kale from the liquid and add it to a bowl with ricotta cheese, mozzarella, dried thyme, garlic powder and a little salt.
Stir it all together.
Make the Butternut Squash Lasagna
Start by adding butternut squash sauce to the bottom of a lasagna pan or casserole dish.
Top the sauce with lasagna noodles.
Add half the ricotta mixture and more sauce.
Spread it out to cover the noodles.
Top this layer with more noodles.
Repeat with another identical layer using the rest of the ricotta, more sauce, and more noodles.
Use the rest of the sauce to top the final layer of noodles.
Add more cheese.
Baking the Butternut Squash Lasagna
This lasagna takes just under an hour to cook, so plan accordingly.
When it's ready, the noodles will be tender and the cheese will be golden.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
- 9"x13" lasagna pan or 10"x10" casserole dish
Butternut Squash Béchamel Sauce:
- 2 ½ pounds butternut squash, diced into ½″ cubes See Recipe Notes
- 1 onion, peeled + cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour Use gluten-free AP flour if needed
Ricotta Kale Mixture:
- 4 ounces kale, destemmed + roughly chopped
- ¼ cup water
- 15 ounces ricotta
- 2 cups freshly shredded mozzarella, divided
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 10 ounces box oven-ready (no boil) lasagna noodles Use gluten-free noodles if needed
Butternut Squash Béchamel Sauce:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.Toss squash and onions with oil, salt, paprika, chili flakes and nutmeg. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast 20-25 minutes or until tender. After cooking, add half the vegetables and the milk to a blender basin. Blend until creamy. Add the remaining veggies and blend again.
- Add butter to a large pan and melt over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it is completely absorbed by the butter.
- Add the puréed squash to the pan with the butter. Cook over medium heat for about two minutes, stirring often, and then remove from heat and set aside.
Ricotta Kale Mixture:
- For simplicity, this section is listed after the butternut squash sauce. However, if desired, it can be completed while the squash cooks.Add ¼ cup water to a large pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.Add the kale and cover the pan. Steam the kale for about two minutes, or until wilted. Remove kale from the liquid and set aside.
- Mix together the kale, ricotta, 1-½ cups mozzarella, thyme, garlic powder, and salt. Set aside.
Assemble the Lasagna:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.Add one cup of the butternut squash sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 lasagna pan or a 10x10 casserole dish. Use a rubber spatula to spread the sauce evenly across the pan.
- Top the sauce with one layer of lasagna noodles.
- Top the noodles with half the ricotta mixture and one cup of butternut squash sauce. Use the spatula to spread it out evenly.
- Top the sauce with another layer of noodles.Repeat with another identical layer using the remaining ricotta mixture, one more cup of sauce, and another layer of noodles.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the noodles, making sure to completely cover all the noodles with sauce.Sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup of shredded mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake covered 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until the noodles are tender and the cheese is golden.Rest 15 minutes before serving.