Butternut Squash Lasagna

I had some extra time today, so I decided to make Butternut Squash Lasagna. Although originally a Cooking Light recipe, I discovered it through Eat Like Me, a Self.com blog that I read regularly. She likes to make a lot of healthy items, so I love to see what she’s whipping up each day! She did not disappoint with this one, as this is a wonderful recipe. It’s so tasty and filling, you wouldn’t even guess that it’s vegetarian. I will warn you however that like most lasagnas, this dish takes a long time to make. I recommend two sets of hands if possible (next time I’ll try to plan for Ben and I to make this one together!).

-Paige

Ease of Preparation: Medium (time consuming)

INGREDIENTS

Smoky Marinara Sauce

Makes 6 cups

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, basil, parsley, and oregano; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in vinegar and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Notes from Paige: I could only find diced fire-roasted tomatoes at the store, so I used these in lieu of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes. The sauce ended up having a chunky texture which we really liked. Just drain some of the juice out of the diced tomatoes before adding to the pot.

INGREDIENTS

Lasagna

Makes 12 servings (i.e. LOTS of leftovers at our house this week!)

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 10 cup fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups diced peeled butternut squash
  • 6 cups Smoky Marinara sauce
  • 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles (Of course if you forget to buy oven-ready noodles like I did, the regular kind work just fine. Just add the extra step of boiling noodles as directed).
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.

Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender.

Coat the bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of one prepared dish. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.

Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.

Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients in remaining pan. Cover each pan with foil.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.

If you would like to freeze: To freeze unbaked lasagna: Prepare through Step 6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked lasagna: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover lasagna with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly.


Notes from Paige: This recipe made me realize that our next kitchen purchase will be a chopper! Dicing butternut squash is hard to say the least. If you do not have a chopper, food processer, etc., make sure you have a very sharp knife. Also, we do not have 8×8 inch dishes, so I used a 9×13 and 6×9 dish and divvied up the ingredients accordingly. If you need to use different sized dishes, I recommend boiling a few more noodles than called for in the recipe. Next time, I will probably use 14-15 noodles.

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