How To Make Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Like most people, I love Italian food and loving Italian food, I love lasagna. However, over the years, I tired of making the same old lasagna recipes so about 7 or so years back, I started sampling some of the vegetable lasagnas and pasta recipes available at some restaurants. I was pleased to discover that I loved them! There is something so delicious about butternut squash and pasta that it has become one of my favorites. Add to that spinach in my book, and you have a winner.

I found these recipes years ago in a Cooking Light magazine and have kept them as my standards for vegetable lasagna. This one is particularly great for any vegetarians out there or if you are having trouble coming up with a pasta meal to serve catering to vegetarians. This recipe freezes like a dream (see below) and I have always gotten rave reviews on it. You can also substitute other squash similar to butternut in texture for a different taste but my favorite will always be butternut.

For yet another butternut squash recipe, try my butternut squash pizza recipe.

Public Domain image
Public Domain image

8 servings

Vegetable filling

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped leek (about 4) – I substitute onion or shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed, peeled butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water (or broth)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach – thawed, drained, squeezed dry (the video has a great idea on how to use fresh spinach)

Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2-1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 cup fat free cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Black pepper to taste

Rest of ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups mozzarella or combination shredded Italian cheeses
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp provolone cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 cooked lasagna noodles
  • Fresh sage or fresh basil if desired

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with vegetable spray.
  3. For filling, heat oil or use vegetable spray in a large nonstick skillet. Heat over medium heat. Add the leek or onions, sage, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add squash, wine, water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes – or until squash is tender. Stir occasionally. Stir in pepper and spinach.
  5. For the sauce, place four in a large saucepan and gradually stir in the milk – whisking until smooth and blended.
  6. Place over medium heat and cook until thick (about 10 minutes – stir constantly to avoid burning.
  7. Remove from heat – stir in the cream cheese, nutmeg, and more pepper to taste – stir with a whisk.
  8. Combine the cheese shreds and provolone cheese, set aside.
  9. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish. Place 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce.
  10. Top with 2 cups of vegetable filling, 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture and 1/2 cup sauce.
  11. Repeat these layers, ending with the last set of noodles.
  12. Spread the remaining sauce over the noodles.
  13. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  14. Uncover – sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese mixture and bake 10 more minutes.
  15. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

If desired, garnish with fresh herbs above.

 

NOTES

This lasagna freezes like a dream – prepare through baking – only use a disposable lasagna pan with a lid. Apply lid after completely cooled. Wrap in freezer paper and secure with freezer tape.

When ready to use, simply thaw during the day in the refrigerator and pop into the oven at 250 or so degrees and heat through. Or cut and microwave individual slices.

It tastes as great from the freezer as freshly made!

Serve with French Bread or Wheat French Bread and a salad for a wonderful Italian feast! And for a light and delicious dessert, try Biscuit Tortoni.

Vegetables Are Good For You!

In short, lasagna isn't just a meat dish any longer and the varieties of vegetable lasagnas are many and varied.  This is one particular one that I have had great success with and that everyone really seems to love - even those folks who are tried and true meat lasagna lovers!  There are many other pastas you can make with squash and spinach and I think you will find the subtle yet almost sweet taste of the butternut squash really makes a wonderful pasta dish.

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Comments 15 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks 2 Patricias--it really is yummy and one of my favorite Italian dishes~


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

This looks like a good way to use butternut squash.

I am adding it to my Recipe Index for HubPages.


RASO profile image

RASO 4 years ago from Slovenia

This is really a great lasagna recipe, me and my wife will try to make something, like you did, this weekend. I hope it will turn out great. I will let you know.

Cheers.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks GMAGoldie - it is fabulous!


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Yummy! I must try this!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Too hilarious -you could always throw a wee bit of Italian sausage or HB in it - then he probably would think it was all meat! Thanks for reading, Holle.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I would like this, but I don't know if Johnny would eat it without some dead animal in it - preferably cow!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks earnest - may I call you that? It is a great vegetarian lasagne so when you are having some of 'those people' over (ha ha - I try and have 1 vegetarian meal per week at least) - it really is a cool thing to serve. I sometimes make it and the chicken/spinach one because they go well together and they make everyone happy! Thanks so much for commenting.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

I must make a lasagne with spinach! I love it in all sorts of dishes, but never thought of lasagne, thank you!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Too funny - hope you enjoy it but it is one of my classic favorites!


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 6 years ago

I couldn't even finish the hub.I had to stop and tell my wife.She can't wait.Thanks so much.


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Wow! Great recipe. I will definitely try this. Thanks


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

It truly is wonderful! Thank you ladies for reading and being so kind as to comment.


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

I would never have thought about putting butternut squash in lasagna. Another one I'll have to try.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Another great recipe and an awesome hub, you write so well, thanks

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