This Healthy Butternut Squash Lasagna is full of fall flavors, perfect for entertaining and is a real show stopper of a recipe. It is packed with real, whole ingredients like butternut squash, spinach, rosemary, sage, ricotta and parmesan cheese and is loaded with flavor. A fun meal your whole family can enjoy!
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt – divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper – divided
- 2 cloves of garlic – peeled and minced
- 5 ounces fresh spinach – washed
- 1/4 cup butter – unsalted or salted is fine, just use less salt in the white sauce if you use salted butter
- 1/4 cup whole wheat white flour, white all purpose flour or gluten free all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups plant-based milk (I used plain, unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 16 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves – minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary – minced
- 10–12 no-cook lasagna noodles (see notes for variations)
- Cut and roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut the ends off of the squash, peel it, remove the seeds, and slice it into planks that are 1/4 inch thick. You can save the rest of the squash for roasting later. Lay the squash onto a sprayed baking sheet, drizzle the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. For easier clean up, line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Sauté the spinach. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the minced garlic and toss and cook it for 1-2 minuets. Toss in the spinach and cook it for few minutes until wilted. Remove and set the spinach aside.
- Make the creamy filing – Add some butter to a medium-size saucepan heated to medium heat. Once it melts add in the flour (I used whole wheat white flour). Whisk the flour in with the butter for a minute or so, then add in the milk about a 1/2 cup at a time, whisking lightly. Add in the nutmeg and a bay leaf. Simmer on low for 3- 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Make the ricotta filling. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the ricotta with lemon zest, freshly chopped sage, rosemary, parmesan, mozzarella, salt and pepper, and mix.
- Assemble – Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Ladle some of the white cream sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Layer on some of the lasagna noodles then some of the butternut squash. Next layer on some of the sautéed spinach and top that with a layer of the ricotta mixture. Pour some more (half of what is left) of the creamy white sauce all over everything then repeat with one more layer. Finish the final layer with lasagna noodles, the remaining creamy white sauce, the remaining cooked spinach and a good sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
- Bake. Bake the lasagna for 35 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until the top is nice and golden brown and bubbly. Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Choose a squash with a longer neck since you want long “plank” pieces to layer in the lasagna. You can also just cut large slices of squash if you cannot find one with a long neck.
- No boil lasagna noodles, lentil lasagna noodles, or store-bought lasagna sheets all work well in this recipe. You can also use whole wheat lasagna noodles, but those would need to be boiled first. See variations in post for gluten free recommendations.
- Bake the lasagna uncovered, this allows it to get nice and golden brown on top and all around the edges.
- Let the lasagna cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Letting it cool allows the slices to be lifted from the pan easier as well as results in perfectly square pieces of lasagna (see picture above).
- To store this lasagna in the refrigerator, let it cool completely, cut it and transfer it to an airtight container. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Easily reheat in the microwave.
- To freeze, let it cool completely then transfer the lasagna to a freezer-friendly airtight container and keep it in the freezer for up to 30 days. To reheat, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight and reheat portions in the microwave.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Main Dishes
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: butternut squash lasagna recipe, healthy butternut squash recipes, spinach, butternut squash