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/

Smoked Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

Cheddar Apple Butternut Squash Soup

A creamy butternut squash and smoky cheddar cheese soup that’s been kissed by the natural sweetness of apples. The trio form a perfect balance of savory, salty, smoky and sweet.

Are you thinking this is the perfect fall soup? It totally is. One that can hold it’s own right through winter. Plus it’s a cinch to make starting with sauteing onion and garlic then simmering it all together with the squash in chicken broth.

Once the squash is tender you puree it with apples until smooth and velvety, mix in the smoked cheddar and, if you like, depending on your mood, to give it a touch of richness, a little half & half. Totally optional.

This is for the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash hosted by Joanne of Eats Well With Others and Heather of Girlichef. If you made a recipe using squash this week feel free to link up below.

Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

Smoked Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Smoked Cheddar Butternut Squash Soup

A creamy butternut squash and smoky cheddar cheese soup that's been kissed by the natural sweetness of apples. The trio form a perfect balance of savory, salty, smoky and sweet.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
6 cups cubed squash (from about a 2 pound squash)
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 apples, diced (I used Gala)
1 heaping cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
1/3 cup half & half or heavy cream, optional
chopped chives or green onion, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, a few pinches of salt and pepper and cook 6 - 7 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the butternut squash and broth. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 25 - 30 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Stir in the apples. Puree the soup with a stick blender or in batches in the blender holding the top down with a kitchen towel so it won't blow off from the steam.
  4. Return the soup to the saucepan over low heat and stir in the cheese and half & half. Bring back up to heat.
  5. Serve garnished with a sprinkling of cheese and chives.

Notes:

Adapted from Food and Wine

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

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/smoked-cheddar-butternut-squash-soup/

Slow-Cooker Meatballs with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Slow Cooker Meatballs

I’m blogging for a good cause today! It’s World Diabetes Awareness Day so I made you a diabetic-friendly meal! It’s low-carb and also gluten free.

Tender, flavorful meatballs are slow-cooked in tomato sauce and served with roasted spaghetti squash. I replaced the bread crumbs in the meatballs with Parmesan cheese and swapped out the high-carb spaghetti for spaghetti squash. A one-cup serving of spaghetti has about 43 grams of carbs while 1 cup of spaghetti squash has only 10. Win-win.

If you never had spaghetti squash before then you’re in for a treat. Uncooked it looks like any other winter squash but once cooked a magical transformation takes place. Pull a fork through it and you will suddenly find yourself with a pile of stringy noodles. Nature’s answer to spaghetti.

You can also mix the spaghetti squash with real spaghetti – do a mix of half and half to cut down on the carbs.

Slow Cooker Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

Slow-Cooker Meatballs with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Slow-Cooker Meatballs with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Tender, flavorful meatballs are slow-cooked in tomato sauce and served with roasted spaghetti squash.

Ingredients:

Sauce:
2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 can (3 ounces) tomato paste
2 cans (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed between fingertips
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more), optional
pinch of sugar
Meatballs:
1 + 1/2 pounds ground beef/pork/veal mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
for serving:
2 medium spaghetti squash

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion, pepper and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes until soft and tender, stirring often.
  2. Mix the tomato paste into the onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add it to the crock-pot with the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, a pinch of sugar plus 1 teaspoon salt and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl using a fork or your hands combine the ground meat, eggs, Parmesan, onion, garlic, parsley and a dash of salt and pepper together. Scoop up 2 tablespoons of the meat and pack it into a ball. Repeat until all the meat is used. Carefully drop them into the crock-pot.
  4. Cook on high 4 - 5 hours or low 6 - 8 hours. Taste and season the sauce as needed during the last hour.
  5. Meanwhile roast the spaghetti squash (you can roast it whole!) until tender on 400 degrees F about 45 minutes depending on their size. Let them cool off until you can handle them comfortably. Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp and seeds with a grapefruit spoon. Pull a fork through the squash to make the noodles.
  6. If your spaghetti squash seems especially watery you can drain it for a few minutes in a colander.
  7. Mix the spaghetti squash with enough sauce to generously coat and sere with the meatballs and Parmesan cheese.

Notes:

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

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/slow-cooker-meatballs-with-spaghetti-squash/

You can learn more about diabetes over at my friend Swathi’s blog Zesty South Indian Kitchen, who asked me to join her today in bringing Diabetes Awareness Through Food. You can also visit the American Diabetes Association.

Diabetes 
 

Southwestern Roasted Butternut Squash

Southwestern Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted butternut squash cubes coated in southwestern-inspired spices like chile powder, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. The spicy kick is delicious with the natural sweetness of the squash and roasting them turns them into little flavor explosions. Utterly addicting flavor explosions.

If this recipe looks familiar it’s because I copied it from my southwestern roasted potatoes. I couldn’t help myself. I loved them so much I wanted to recreate them again with my favorite winter squash.

An uncooked, butternut squash is one of the hardest things to peel and cut. I have an easy fix for that. Did you know you can roast the squash whole? Well, I’m here to tell you it’s possible. For this recipe I don’t roast it until it’s fully cooked – about 25 minutes will soften the skin making it easy to peel. The flesh will still be firm but tender enough to cut into cubes without having a knock-out, drag-out fight with it.

Southwestern Butternut Squash

The cubes are tossed in olive oil then coated with the spices and seasoned with salt and pepper. Since they’re already halfway cooked they don’t take long at all – check them often by piercing them with a fork – you don’t want them to overcook because they will turn into mush.

This kicks off the “12 weeks of Winter Squash”! I’ll be sharing at least one squash recipe a week with you for the next three months. Hope you’re a squash lover like me. . . If not maybe by the end I can turn you into one. Thanks to Joanne of Eats Well With Others and Heather of Girlichef for putting this cool group together!

Roasted Butternut Squash

Southwestern Roasted Butternut Squash

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

Southwestern Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted butternut squash cubes coated in southwestern-inspired spices like chile powder, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. The spicy kick is delicious with the natural sweetness of the squash and roasting them turns them into little flavor explosions.

Ingredients:

1 (approximately 2 - 3 pound) butternut squash (5 - 6 cups cubed)
2 - 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
coarse salt and fresh black pepper

Instructions:

  1. 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 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool until you can easily handle it without being burned.
  2. Cut the squash in half, peel it and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
  3. Grease a large cookie sheet (not the thick aluminum type) with 1 - 2 tablespoons oil. Lay the squash out on the cookie sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Massage the oil gently into the squash with your hands.
  4. In a small bowl mix together the chile powder, paprika, cumin and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle over the squash and massage into the squash with your hands. Spread them out in one layer. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast 25 - 35 minutes until fork tender - don't overcook or they will get mushy.

Notes:

Adapted from Southwestern Roasted Potatoes

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

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/southwestern-roasted-butternut-squash/

Lemon Sunshine Zucchini Cake

Lemon Zucchini Bundt Cake

Sweet and buttery lemon sunshine bundt cake bursting with lemon and zucchini! Lemon pucker fills every bite and you can see the green zucchini flecks throughout the cake, assuring it will be moist and dense yet light and tender all at the same time…. 

Read More »

Zucchini Boats with Parmesan Spinach Rice

Spinach rice with Parmesan cheese, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes stuffed inside zucchini boats. Zucchini boats made by slicing squash lengthwise and scooping out the seeds to make a canoe. Puts a whole new spin on eating your vegetables. … 

Read More »