Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

butternut squash lasagna with mushrooms and spinach

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Rest Time: 15 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Yield: 1 pan
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
360 Calories
13g Fat
46g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 360
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 393mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 24mg 122%
Calcium 362mg 28%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 718mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This butternut squash lasagna is a delicious meat-free, cheesy vegetable lasagna that will please even the most discerning diners. Roasted butternut squash, ricotta, and Parmesan cheese are the building blocks of the sauce mixture, while mushrooms and spinach add texture and flavor. The layers come together with a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. Butternut squash lasagna is the perfect fall meal, and it's a great option for a vegetarian Thanksgiving dish.

A dash of nutmeg in the sauce and some dried Italian seasoning are added to the layers, but feel free to use another herb mixture. Instead of Italian seasoning, add dried rubbed sage, which complements butternut squash nicely, or use a combination of sage, thyme, and chives.

This butternut squash lasagna is satisfying enough to be served as the main star, but we like to marry it with a loaf of garlic bread or green salad. Alternatively, you can serve it in smaller portions as a side dish.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cubed butternut squash (from a 2 1/2 to 3-pound squash)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

  • 1/2 cup milk, or more, as needed

  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 12 to 16 lasagna noodles

  • 8 to 12 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (like portobello, button, or cremini)

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced or grated

  • 10 ounces baby spinach leaves

  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • Fresh basil leaves and Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, then lightly grease with oil or olive oil spray. 

  3. Place the butternut squash cubes on the prepared baking sheet, then toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Spread into an even layer.

  4. Bake the squash until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375 F.

  5. Meanwhile, being a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once the water reaches a boil, generously salt the water.

  6. Transfer the squash to a food processor along with the ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of milk, and the nutmeg. Pulse until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a few more tablespoons of milk. Set aside.

  7. Add the lasagna noodles to the boiling water and cook as directed for al dente noodles. 

  8. While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, then add the garlic. Continue to cook until the mushrooms have released most of their moisture, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

  9. Drain the noodles, then gently lay them out on a lightly oiled baking sheet or tray. Turn to coat in the oil to prevent from sticking.

  10. Butter or oil a 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish. Spread about one-third of the butternut squash mixture in the prepared baking dish, then top with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with a dash of Italian seasoning.

  11. Top the butternut squash/cheese layer with 3 lasagna noodles—or 4 if the baking dish is wide.

  12. Drain any excess moisture from the mushroom and spinach mixture, Spoon half of the veggie mixture over the noodle layer, then top with another 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with another dash of Italian seasoning.

  13. Top the veggie mixture with 3 lasagna noodles.

  14. Repeat steps 11 through 14 until you use the last layer of noodles.

  15. Top the last layer of noodles with the remaining one-third of butternut squash, then top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with another dash of Italian seasoning.

  16. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil, not letting it rest on the cheese layer.

  17. Bake the lasagna, covered, for 35 minutes.

  18. Remove the foil and bake the lasagna until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes longer. 

  19. Let the lasagna cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and basil leaves, if desired.

Tips

Roasting the butternut squash ensures a thick, less watery sauce, while the ricotta cheese gives it richness. If you substitute with steamed or canned butternut squash puréé, you may not need the milk.

Recipe Variations

  • Whole milk ricotta cheese makes a rich sauce, but you may substitute part-skim milk ricotta.
  • For a gluten-free lasagna, swap out the noodles with thinly sliced zucchini. Arrange 1/8-inch thick zucchini slices on a double-thickness of paper towels and sprinkle them lightly with salt; let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Layer them in the baking dish following the recipe instructions for noodles.
  • Swap out the spinach with another green, such as Swiss chard leaves, beet greens, or kale.

How to Store Butternut Squash Lasagna

  • Refrigerate leftover lasagna within 2 hours in a covered container and consume within 3 days.
  • To freeze the lasagna, cut it into individual servings and arrange it on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid then transfer the portions to zip-close freezer bags. Label the bags with the name and date and freeze them for up to 2 months. Defrost frozen butternut squash lasagna in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat, place the lasagna in a baking dish and cover it with foil. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 25 to 35 minutes, until hot.