Butternut Squash Lasagna

Want a real show-stopper? Make this Butternut Squash Lasagna! Layers of squash, noodles, cheese sauce, and spinach. It's easy to make ahead (or freeze!) and will satisfy a large crowd.

  • Prep time: 1 hour
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Ingredients

For the squash:

  • 2 butternut squash (about 2 pounds each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

For the béchamel (white sauce):

  • 5 cups milk (whole milk or 2 percent)
  • 6 whole sage leaves
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

For the noodles and filling:

  • 16 dry lasagna noodles (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups (1 pound) whole milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup grated fontina
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper

For assembling the lasagna:

  • 5 ounces (5 packed cups) fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup grated fontina

Method

1 Prep the squash: Peel the squashes with a vegetable peeler. Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. (See How to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash)

2 Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Lay the slices on the baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until tender.

3 Steep the milk for the béchamel: In a microwave-safe measuring cup with a spout, heat the milk and sage leaves for 4 to 5 minutes in the microwave, or until it bubbles at the edges but does not boil. (Alternatively, heat in a saucepan on top of the stove.) Turn off the heat once it bubbles a little bit on the stovetop. Leave the sage leaves to steep in the milk for 20 minutes.

4 While the milk steeps, cook the lasagna noodles: Bring a large (6-quart) pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, about 8 minutes.

Hold the pot over the sink and pour off the hot water. Fill the pot of noodles with cold water, running the water until the water in the pot is cool.

Cover the noodles with cold water to stop the noodles from cooking and to remove some of the starch.

Lift each noodle out of the pot one by one and set it on a kitchen towel. Don’t worry if the noodles stick together a bit, or if one of them tears slightly. They will be covered with other ingredients and no one will be the wiser.

5 Make the béchamel: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter for the bechamel. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is uniformly bubbly. Do not let the flour brown.

Take the pan off the heat. Leaving the sage leaves in the milk for now, gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk into the butter and flour, whisking until smooth. Gradually whisk in the remaining milk until smooth and return the pan to medium heat.

Bring the sauce to a low boil, whisking slowly but constantly. Adjust the heat to a simmer, and whisking constantly, cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer, or until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove the pan from the heat and remove and discard the sage leaves. Stir in the Parmesan, salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you like.

Butternut Squash Vegetable Lasagna make the bechamel

6 Make the lasagna filling: In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, fontina, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna make the filling

7 Assemble the lasagna: Decrease the oven temperature to 375ºF.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of béchamel in a thin layer over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Spread 4 noodles lengthwise over the sauce and cover them with 1/4 of the remaining béchamel. Spread 1/3 of the spinach leaves on top. Top with 1/3 of the squash slices. Use heaping tablespoons to dollop 1/3 of the filling on top of the squash.

Repeat the layers 2 more times for a total of 3 layers in the same order: noodles, béchamel, spinach, squash and filling, finishing with a fourth layer of noodles topped with the remaining béchamel. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and fontina.

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8 Bake the lasagna: Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

9 Cool and serve: Let the lasagna rest and settle for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing into serving pieces. Leftovers keep, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 4 days.

Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe bake until golden brown and bubbly