This vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe is easy, hearty, and full of fall flavors! No-boil lasagna noodles and canned butternut squash means easy prep. You can make it the day before then bake it, or cook it up and pop it in the freezer it for a snow day!
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Maybe you think fall means Pumpkin Spice everything, but in my house it means butternut squash everything. Nothing against the Pumpkin Spice, (although, for me, it's not what it used to be) it's just that we could have butternut squash with practically every meal.
Let me think about how to incorporate it into a breakfast dish and get back to you. I'm sure I can do it. Just give me a minute.
The one thing that can be annoying about making recipes with butternut squash is the peeling. It can be awkward and tedious. But fear not, dear friends. I have made things so much easier for you.
What makes this butternut squash lasagna recipe so easy? We are using CANNED butternut squash and OVEN READY lasagna noodles! No boiling saves time and stress!
Canned butternut squash: Yes, I said it! Yes, they make it! I adapted this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, she had us roasting the squash first and then putting it in the food processor. I've made it that way a few times until, lo and behold, I was walking down the aisle in the grocery store and saw canned butternut squash puree. This makes it so easy that you really could make this lasagna on a weeknight.
Oven ready lasagna noodles: Another easy peasy, time-saving trick! No boiling and wrangling with hot noodles.
Sage: Butternut squash and sage go hand in hand. We're using it to flavor the bechamel sauce and frying some to put on top for prettiness and a little aromatic crunch.
Fontina cheese: I LOVE fontina and if you haven't used it before, you're going to love it, too. It melts well and has a slightly nutty quality to it. Use it in combo with mozzarella whenever you can and enjoy!
Whole-milk mozzarella cheese: Don't use the skim mozzarella, please! We need the fat to add to the gooey meltiness. This is lasagna, after all...
Parmesan cheese: You know I want you to use that real parmigiano reggiano from Italy. It's worth the price and makes all the difference! This will go on top and get nice and brown and crispy!
Whole milk, flour, butter: For the bechamel sauce.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish.
Empty the two cans of butternut squash into a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Grate all the cheeses. Combine the mozzarella and fontina, keeping the parmesan separate. (You know I want you to use the real parmigiano reggiano, kids. It's just so much better...)
Using a good chef's knife, finely chop the sage. I love my Global knife. They were Anthony Bourdain's favorite, so what could be better than that?
Now let's make the bechamel sauce. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and mix together for about one minute.
Gradually whisk in the milk so no lumps remain. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens and will coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, whisk in the nutmeg and sage, season with salt and pepper.
Add ¾ cup of the bechamel sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Place three of the no-boil noodles on top of the sauce.
I got this Juliska Berry and Thread baking dish as a wedding present and it's one of my favorites. It's classic but not too conservative.
Spread ⅓ of the butternut squash on top of the noodles. This is easy to do with an offset spatula like this one from OXO.
Top the butternut squash layer with ⅔ cup of the mozzarella/fontina cheese mixture.
Drizzle with ½ cup of bechamel sauce.
Now pay attention, because when Giada wrote out this recipe on the Food Network site, I got confused because she said repeat the whole thing three times, but you don't have enough puree to do that.
So repeat the layers repeat in this way:
- 3 noodles
- next ⅓ butternut squash puree
- ½ cup bechamel
- ⅔ cup mozz/fontina cheese
- 3 noodles
- last ⅓ of butternut squash
- ½ cup bechamel
- ⅔ cup mozz/fontina cheese
- 3 noodles
- remaining bechamel sauce
- Remaining mozz/fontina cheese
It should look like this!
Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes until cheese is melted and liquids are bubbling.
Remove the foil and top with the parmesan cheese. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown on top.
Allow to stand about 15 minutes, garnish with fried sage leaves and serve.
While the lasagna bakes, fry the sage leaves. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add sage leaves one at a time until they curl and are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set on a dry paper towel to drain. Garnish lasagna with sage leaves before serving.
- Can I prepare butternut squash lasagna the day before? You can definitely prepare this butternut squash lasagna one day ahead. Just layer all of the ingredients as instructed, then cover with foil and place in the fridge. Remove from fridge and bake.
- Can you freeze butternut squash lasagna? YES! Allow the cooked lasagna to cool, then cover place in the fridge overnight. Make sure it is covered tightly and place it in the freezer.
- How long can you freeze butternut squash lasagna for? A cooked lasagna will last in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. But who can wait that long?
- How do you reheat frozen butternut squash lasagna? You can place the pre-cooked, frozen lasagna directly into a preheated oven. No need to thaw if you don't want to. It could take up to 90 minutes, depending upon how hefty it is. Check the temperature as you go to be on the safe side.
- NOTE: Because we are using the no-boil lasagna noodles for this recipe, do not freeze it BEFORE you bake it.
- When you make Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onion, Tahini, and Za'atar, you don't even have to peel the squash! So easy!
- This Harissa Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Avocado and Toasted Squash Seeds is a light, fresh twist on a fall salad recipe.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 2 cans butternut squash 15 oz each
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 cups grated whole milk mozzarella cheese
- 1 ½ cups grated fontina cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and cracked black pepper to tasted
- 8 fresh sage leaves to fry for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish and set aside.
- Empty the two cans of butternut squash into a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Grate all the cheeses. Mix together the mozzarella and fontina. Keep the parmesan separate.
- Make the bechamel sauce. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and mix together for about one minute.
- Gradually whisk in the milk so no lumps remain. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens and will coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the nutmeg and sage, season with salt and pepper.
- Add ¾ cup of the milk mixture to the bottom of the baking dish. Place three of the no-boil noodles on top of the sauce. Spread ⅓ of the butternut squash on top of the noodles. Top with ½ cup of the mozz/fontina cheese mixture. Drizzle with ½ cup of the bechamel sauce.
- Repeat the layers in this way using the same measurements: noodles, squash, cheese, bechamel, noodles, squash, cheese, bechamel.
- Add the final three noodles, then top with all remaining bechamel sauce and all remaining mozzarella/fontina mixture.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, until lasagna is bubbling and cheese is melted.
- While the lasagna is baking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Fry sage leaves until they curl slightly and are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Allow to drain on a dry paper towel.
- Remove foil, top with the shredded parmesan cheese and bake for about 15 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand 15 minutes before serving.
- Top with the sage leaves and serve.
- I use my OXO offset spatula to spread out the butternut squash puree. Don't forget that many kitchen tools have multiple uses! This one isn't just for baking!
- For this recipe I baked the lasagna in my Juliska Berry and Thread baking dish. I got it as a wedding present. It's classic but not conservative, and makes a really nice presentation if you're serving guests or taking to a party.