Butternut Squash Lasagna
Creamy, with fontina béchamel, warming and pure comfort food, this Butternut Squash Lasagna is a delicious addition to your holiday table and will warm you up on the coldest nights. This recipe is vegetarian + egg free. See blog post above for prep ahead tips. This recipe yields six hearty servings or nine smaller servings. UPDATE NOTE (11/20): I been making this recipe using dry Bionaturae lasagna noodles (both whole wheat and plain - these are not no-cook noodles), layering them in the lasagna without cooking them first. I cooked the lasagna for 40 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes (when using cooked noodles) and the results were perfect! I offer both methods in the recipe. Bionaturae is the only brand I've used in this recipe with and without cooking the noodles first.
Servings 6 Servings
- Cooking Spray for baker
- 2 1/2 lb (1.1kg) Butternut Squash about one medium butternut (you'll need about 2 C mashed / 390g)
- 2 Tbs + 2 tsp Olive Oil divided
- 1 tsp Sea Salt divided
- 1 1/2 Tbs Sage dried
- 1 head of Garlic medium, top sliced to expose garlic
- 1 (325g) Purple or Yellow Onion large, sliced in half, then sliced thin in half moons.
- 2 Tbs Water
- 1 (9oz / 255g) Bunch of Kale Red Russian or curly green, stems removed and chopped into 1" pieces (see note on spinach)
- 4 C (880g) Whole Milk divided
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 4 Springs of Thyme or an herb bundle of thyme, rosemary and/or sage
- 4 Tbs All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 tsp Pepper ground
- 3/4 tsp Nutmeg ground
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 6 Dry Lasagna Noodles whole wheat or regular (I use 3"x7.5" / 7.6cm x 19cm Bionaturae noodles so they fit the pan easily)
- 7 oz (200g) Fontina Cheese grated, divided
- Parmesan Cheese
- Chopped Parsley or Thyme
Prep the Veggies:
Split and deseed the butternut squash. Drizzle 1 Tbs oil on the flesh and spread it around on the surface. Sprinkle flesh with 1/2 tsp sea salt and all the sage. Turn the flesh face down to roast. Wrap the garlic sprinkled with 2 tsp oil in foil and place on the same pan as the butternut squash. Roast garlic for 30-40 minutes and butternut squash for 40 - 55 minutes or until the garlic is soft and butternut gives under gentle pressure. If roasting two smaller butternut squashes, they'll roast faster than one large one. Keep an eye on them and start checking around 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool until both can be safely handled. Scrape flesh of butternut squash from the skin and discard skin. Squeeze the garlic out of it's papery skin. Discard the skin. Using a potato masher, mash the garlic and butternut squash together (I do this right on the roasting pan). A few chunks are ok. Set aside.
While the squash is roasting, slice the onions. Add 1 tsp of oil to a dutch oven or large saute pan (non stick is helpful here), heat until oil shimmers then add the onions with 1/4 tsp salt. Caramelize the onions for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, on low heat. Lid the onions about 10 minutes in, stirring occassionally. The'll probably start sticking, so add a splash of water to loosen, several times if needed.. The onions should be browned and soft. Spoon into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In the same dutch oven or saute' pan, add the chopped kale with 2 Tbs water on medium heat. Cover and steam for 3 minutes, opening at 2 minutes, stirring, and recovering. The kale should be slightly wilted. Drain any excess water and add to bowl with caramelized onions and stir to incorporate the ingredients.
Prep the Noodles:
UPDATE 11/20: I been making this recipe recently using dry Bionaturae lasagna noodles (both whole wheat and plain), layering them in the lasagna without cooking them first and making sure they're covered in sauce. I cooked the lasagna for 10 minutes longer covered (for a total of 40 minutes) as opposed to the original 30 minutes covered. We love the results!ORTo Cook the Noodles: In a large stock pot bring water to a boil to prepare lasagna pasta. Cook according to package directions. Drain and lay noodles flat and separated onto a dry work surface. It's ok if they cool.
Make the Béchamel:
Wipe out the dutch oven or saute' pan and add 3 1/2 C of milk, bay leaf, and thyme (or herb bundle). Bring to a simmer, just until the milk begins to bubble around the edges of the pan, then remove from heat. Allow the herbs steep in the milk for 10 minutes. Remove the herbs and bayleaf and discard. To the reserved 1/2 C of milk, whisk in the all purpose flour. Add the milk/flour mixture into the steeped milk and whisk over medium high heat, whisking until blended. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low to low and gently simmer for about 5 minutes, until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1/4 tsp of salt, pepper, nutmeg and red pepper flakes. Stir in 3/4 C of the grated fontina. Set aside.
In the prepared 8x8 baking dish spread a scant 1 C milk/cheese mixture in the bottom. Layer in two lasagna noodles (without overlapping the noodles). On top of the noodles, spread 1/2 the butternut squash mixture, then 1/2 the kale/onion mixture. Spread a scant 1 C of milk/cheese mixture on top of the kale, then add two more lasagna noodles. Spread the remaining squash on the noodles, then top with the remaining kale and a scant 1 C of the milk mixture. Finish the lasagna off with the last two lasagna noodles and the remaining milk/cheese mixture.Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
To cover: tent a sheet of foil taking care not to touch the surface of the lasagna with the foil. Bake at 425F, covered, for 30 minutes if baking with cooked noodles. If baking with dry noodles, bake for 40 minutes, covered, testing the noodles using a knife inserted in the center that yields to gentle pressure. Bake 5-10 more if needed. I have a bit of overspill when baking this recipe, so I simply place a parchment lined sheet pan on the rack below the lasagna to catch any spillage. Remove the foil and broil for 2-4 minutes or until cheese on top is lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with parmesan and parsley.
Storage and Reheating:
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze for up to two weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently reheat individual slices, covered in a 350F oven. MAKE AHEAD NOTE: I made this lasagna a day before I intended to serve it. I covered it with foil and stored it in the fridge once completely cooled. The following evening, I baked it covered in a 350F oven for about 50-60 minutes. The noodles were a bit softer than when shared right after baking fresh, but the results were satisfying.
PREP AHEAD: This lasagna is labor intensive, but a little prep ahead can cut down on the time necessary to pull this recipe together the day you plan to share it.
To Sub Spinach for Kale: look for a 10 oz package or frozen spinach. Thaw it and squeeze out the water. Use it as indicated for the kale in the recipe (no need to steam or blanch).
- Roast the butternut squash and garlic up to two days ahead.
- Caramelize the onions and steam the kale up to two days ahead.
- When ready to assemble, whip up the béchamel sauce, assemble the lasagna and bake.
Serving: 6Slices | Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 733mg | Potassium: 980mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 20721IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 483mg | Iron: 3mg