Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce

Lasagna takes on a unique twist with butternut squash and a Parmesan spinach sauce. I hope the vegetables won’t turn you off because it’s everything you would expect from a traditional lasagna and more with layers of gooey cheese and carb-laden noodles. Even vegetable haters will like it, if you can convince them to give it a chance.

The butternut squash finds its way into the filling along with a trio of vegetables including onion, roasted red pepper and garlic. There’s also the requisite ricotta cheese, mozzarella, fresh parsley, Italian seasoning and a couple pinches of nutmeg.

The spinach sauce is crazy-easy to make and so moreish you could pour it right into a bowl and eat it straightaway with a spoon. Or a straw.

Running down the short list of ingredients you may not get the impression that the total sum of their parts could be so delicious. All you do is whiz together chicken broth, fresh baby spinach and sour cream in a food processor then stir in Parmesan cheese and a touch of red pepper flakes for an optional albeit subtle kick of heat. That’s it. Use as is. No cooking needed, it will thicken up all on its own as it bakes.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Let’s talk noodles. There’s three different types: fresh, oven-ready and dried. I prefer to use fresh ones. There’s no worries over whether they’re cooked enough like with oven-ready noodles. The dried noodles add extra time to an already time-consuming recipe plus you have to deal with breakage and noodles sticking together. The fresh ones are the easiest to work with and, I think, the best tasting. Plus, they’re time savers because you can use them straight from the package. Look for them in the refrigerated section where the fresh tortellini and ravioli are found.

The squash gives it a subtle sweetness that is well-balanced by all the savory goodness of the gooey cheese and the creamy, spicy spinach sauce that helps brighten everything up.

Truth be known, if this were to replace the traditional lasagna I’ve eaten my entire life, from here on out, I might not miss it at all.

Don’t tell my Mom.

Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Parmesan Spinach Sauce

Butternut squash lasagna with a creamy Parmesan spinach sauce. I hope the vegetables won't turn you off, it's everything you would expect from a traditional lasagna and more with layers of gooey cheese and carb-laden noodles.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and fresh black pepper
butter, for greasing the pan
3 cups firm cooked butternut squash, diced small or lightly mashed
15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/8 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
12 ounces fresh lasagna noodles (or 9-10 ounce oven ready - no cook noodles)
Sauce:
1 can (14 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
3 cups fresh, uncooked baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium skillet or saute pan heat the oil over medium low heat and cook the onion, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning until soft, seasoning well with salt and pepper and stirring often. Allow to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and butter a 9x13 lasagna or casserole pan with deep sides.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce:
  4. Add the broth, spinach, sour cream and red pepper flakes to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth with some flecks of spinach. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. In a medium bowl mix the squash, eggs, ricotta, parsley, nutmeg, the sauteed onion mixture, and a 1/2 cup of the mozzarella together with a couple dashes of salt and pepper.
  6. Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of the sauce then cover with noodles. Spoon half the squash mixture over the noodles and spread out evenly with the back of the spoon. Cover generously with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle with a third of the mozzarella.
  7. Repeat the layering - start with a layer of noodles, the remaining squash mixture, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
  8. To finish top with another layer of noodles, a generous layer of sauce and the remaining mozzarella. You may have a little sauce left, you can simmer that in a small saucepan for five minutes to serve with the lasagna.
  9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 50 - 60 minutes until piping hot in the center. Remove the foil 20-25 minutes into the cooking time so the top can brown. Allow to set for 10 minutes before cutting. Slice into squares and serve with a ladle of sauce if you have any leftover and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/butternut-squash-lasagna-parmesan-spinach-sauce/

Comments

    • Reeni says

      Yes, it’s cooked first Fiona! Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the squash and lay the entire thing down – no need to cut it – on a baking sheet or metal roasting pan. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool until you can easily handle it without being burned. Slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Put it back on the baking sheet and bake until fork tender. Scoop it out and it’s ready to use in the recipe.

      • Jackie Toothman says

        I have made a similar lasagna for years and substitute low fat cottage cheese for the ricotta for a substantial calorie reduction. The flavor is fresher and lighter with the spinach…granted, not so traditional, but still very good. Can’t wait to try it with butternut squash!

      • Donna says

        Real watery before – little after. But it wasn’t too bad when I let it sit! It is really good. I will make it again but I don’t want it that watery. Thanks

  1. Susan says

    Lasagna in the oven now. I also thought the sauce was watery. Hoping it will thicken as it cooks. Perhaps could have used more spinach? Added 3 cups but didn’t really pack it down in the cup.

    • Reeni says

      Hi Susan! Thanks for making the lasagna! The sauce should be watery but will thicken as it cooks and as it sits after cooking!

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