Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

This is not your typical lasagna!  It definitely took a little bit of time to prep but it was soooo good!  I feel like I say that with everything I post, but it’s really because I’ll only post recipes that are sooooo good!  Haha, seriously though.

My main reason for making this was because Andrew isn’t being a perfect little boy and eating his fruits and vegetables (*wink* *wink*).  I’m trying to sneak them in any way that I can so why not add veggies to cheesy pasta?!  He actually didn’t care for it much and I had to grab some leftover spaghetti for him, but hubby and I LOVED it!

Let’s jump right in shall we?

Ingredients

Butternut Squash Filling:
2 cups butternut squash puree
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Spinach Filling:
1 cup cooked spinach (8 oz uncooked, so about 1 1/2 bags)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
Other Ingredients:
10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked (I bought the “no boil” noodles which was super convenient)
1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (on top)
Italian seasoning
Paprika
Basil

Instructions

First, let’s cook and puree our butternut squash.

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cut the squash in 2 halves, scrape out the seeds and the fiber out of each half.

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Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with oil.  Place the squash on the baking sheet cut side down.

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Bake for about 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Flip the squash so that cut side faces up – that will speed up the cooling.

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Once squash is cooled, peel it. The skin should come off pretty easily.

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Cube the squash and place in a food processor (or blender), working in batches, if necessary, and process it until very smooth and almost creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

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Now let’s work on the filling’s of the lasagna.

Preheat oven down to 375 F.
Butternut Squash Filling:
Using a food processor, combine 2 cups of butternut squash puree with Ricotta cheese, milk, salt and nutmeg. Mix very well and set aside.

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Spinach Filling:
We have to cook our spinach first, which is really easy.  Sauté all of your spinach in a little olive oil over medium-low heat until wilted.  It will cook down a lot!  This takes about 5 minutes.

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See the difference?!

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Next, combine spinach, Ricotta cheese, mozzarella, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix, taste, and add more salt and pepper, if needed.

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I could eat this by itself…yum!

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Cooking lasagna noodles (if needed):
As I said before, I bought the “no boil” noodles which made things a lot easier for me, and one less dish to wash!

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If you have regular noodles on hand, that works, too.  Directions:  Bring a very large pot of water to boil, and cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Rinse in cold water, drain. Using knife, trim noodles to fit your baking dish (if necessary).
Lasagna assembly:
Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish. Grease the dish lightly with olive oil spray. Spread 1/3 of the butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked lasagna noodles, without overlapping.  Spread half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese.

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Top with more cooked noodles.  Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.  Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.  Spread a generous amount of butternut squash filling (the remaining 1/3) over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and remaining mozzarella cheese. Generously sprinkle the cheese with Italian seasoning, paprika and basil.

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Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Just look at that bubbly deliciousness!

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Serve with garlic bread and you’re set!  This lasagna was pretty filling – compared to the normal red sauce lasagna, so I’m happy that it should last us a little longer than normal…meaning:  less cooking!! 🙂  Enjoy with a nice glass of wine and feel good about eating your vegetables!

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Talk to you soon

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