Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope you’re excited for something new and interesting to eat today, because this is it! This recipe was created long ago on one of those days when I looked around the fridge and saw a bunch of stuff that didn’t make sense together, but needed to be used. Specifically, butternut squash, mushrooms, and spinach. How do you use all of those things together? Make lasagna, of course. I was skeptical at first, but it turned out to be great! It’s also unlike any other lasagna I’ve ever had. This time, I had the same ingredients in the fridge that needed to be used up, so I decided to make it again. Plus, my dad was coming over for dinner, and he loves vegetables, so it made sense.
The downside of this recipe is the time it takes to assemble and bake (45 minutes each). I understand it isn’t quick or easy, but if you’re a household of 2 (like us), it should leave you with leftovers for tomorrow night, plus maybe a lunch for one of you. Not too bad. Otherwise, it’s kind of a home run: lots of veggies, low-fat milk and cheese (well, kind of), and a great taste. I made things easier for myself by using Barilla No Boil Lasagne noodles (as the name indicates, you do not need to boil these ahead of time), and by buying a pre-peeled and chopped butternut squash (that literally saves me 15 minutes at least!). You can double the recipe to make a full tray of lasagna, if you want. All you need is a salad on the side. Try it when you have a little free time.
Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagna
Prep time: 45 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Whisk in the milk, and add the garlic, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of nutmeg. Cook on medium-low heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened (about 10-12 minutes). This is now called a bechamel sauce. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese. The mixture should coat the back of a wooden spoon. When done, turn the heat to low to keep warm.
|Coat the spoon with the sauce, then run your finger across it. The sauce should stay put, like it is here in this picture. That’s how you know it’s done.|
After about 10 minutes, test the pieces with a fork to see if they’re done (they’re done when a fork easily pierces the squash, and you should be able to flatten a piece of squash easily with the fork). Drain the water off and turn off the heat. Using a fork, mash the squash until it is a “pureed” consistency like the picture below. Salt to taste.
(Note: all of these steps could be done earlier in the day and then set aside in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble).
Place the lasagne noodles down on the bottom to cover the bottom of the pan as best you can (I used 2).
Spread 1/2 of the butternut squash mixture on top.
Then dollop about 1/3 of the ricotta cheese on top of the squash.
Spread about 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese on top.
Layer more of the lasagne noodles and place 1 ladle full of sauce on top.
Pour the mushrooms on top, being sure not to use the liquid that may have drained off of the mushrooms.
Spread the spinach on top.
Dollop 1/3 of the ricotta cheese and 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese on top.
Add another layer of noodles and 1 ladle of bechamel.
Spread the remainder of the butternut squash on top, and dollop 1/3 of the ricotta cheese on top.
Then add one more layer of lasagne noodles. Pour the remainder of the bechamel sauce on top, and finally top with the remainder of mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for another 15 minutes until the top begins to brown.
I cut this into 8 pieces and served with a nice arugula salad (my fave). The top layer kind of slid off, but it still tasted great!
Change it up!:
- Use the pre-peeled and cut butternut squash like I did, or use frozen squash
- Use frozen (thawed and drained) spinach
- Use full fat milk/cheese (unhealthy, but delicious)
- Use button mushrooms or another kind of mushroom
- Make a big pan of lasagna by doubling the recipe
- Use regular lasagne noodles, but make sure you pre-cook them according to the package directions
- Change up the sauce: once, I added about a quarter cup of pesto to the finished béchamel, and it and it was really good. Warning: it becomes a weird light green color. But, if you don’t mind, I don’t mind.