Healthier Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

This butternut squash lasagna tastes so creamy and indulgent, you’d never guess it was lightened up with butternut squash and a Greek yogurt ‘bechamel’ sauce.

This butternut squash lasagna recipe makes me feel nostalgic.

Not back to the 90’s-nostalgic, but one-year-ago-nostalgic.

Almost one year ago {plus a few weeks}, Kai was born.  You know the saying “the days are long but the years are short?”  Well, I finally get it…I seriously can’t believe that he is almost a year old.

But.  There have also been some seriously loooong days, especially early on.  Lucky for us, my mom stayed with us and helped out so much with the laundry and cooking meals.  She was paid in baby snuggles 😉

One night, a few days after Kai was born, I requested Two Peas and Their Pod’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese for dinner. I was a starving hungry new mom craving comfort food {nothing gets your appetite going like having a baby, seriously!}, and completely intrigued by this whole butternut squash-cheese-pasta thing.

And.  It was amazing.  So amazingly creamy and cheesy, but with the hidden butternut squash, slightly lighter than a normal Mac and Cheese.  Totally satisfied my comfort food cravings.

And butternut squash officially moved to the top of my fall 2014 experimentation list.

Healthier Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

Healthier Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

I’m not going to lie: there has been a lot of butternut squash in our house these past two weeks…we’ve had butternut squash lasagna, butternut mac and cheese, butternut enchiladas.  And I’m pretty sure that Ben sees me climb out of the car with another butternut squash, he’s going to lock the door on me.

Luckily, I finally settled on this recipe.  It is basically lasagna, but let’s call it ‘casual lasagna’, because: there’s no fancy sauce, I used pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, and I broke up the lasagna noodles and placed them wherever they’d fit.  Basically: let’s make this as easy as possible without sacrificing any flavor!

I also tried to lighten this butternut squash lasagna up as much as possible: there is the butternut, and also I subbed a bechamel sauce for a combination of milk and Greek yogurt.  But you will notice: there is no shortage of cheese.  Sorry.  Flavor > healthy in my book of priorities.

Healthier Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

Healthier Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

This butternut squash lasagna was my favorite of all the different variations, mostly because of the texture: the butternut/ricotta mixture is creamy, the noodles ended up with that perfect soft texture, you got a hint of the sage and nutmeg, and the amount of chicken was just perfect.  It is creamy and delicious, total comfort food.

I also found this to be the easiest version of all: no bechamel sauce that you have to babysit.  No cook noodles means you don’t need to boil your noodles.  Assembling and preparing all of the components took around 30 minutes, assembling the lasagna was another 10, and then it’s in the oven!  Not bad for a lasagna in my book!

One tip I’ve picked up the past few weeks: soak your no-bake lasagna noodles in warm water while you are assembling the rest of your ingredients.  That way, you won’t get that awful, crunchy top noodle that you basically have to discard.

So there you have it.   The perfect comfort food for fall…which is officially in full swing here in Canada!

Butternut Squash for the win!

Healthier Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This lasagna tastes so creamy and indulgent, you'd never guess it was lightened up with butternut squash and a Greek yogurt 'bechamel' sauce.
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Butternut/Ricotta Mixture:
  • 500 g butternut squash, peeled, scooped, and cut into 0.5-1 inch cubes (4 cups)
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Greek Yogurt Sauce:
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg {fresh if possible}
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped sage
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Assembly:
  • 9 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1½ cups of rotisserie chicken meat, diced into small pieces
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Butternut/Ricotta Mixture:
  1. Fill a large pot with approximately one litre of water and bring to a boil.
  2. While water is heating, peel, scoop out, and dice your butternut squash into 0.5-1 inch cubes. Place in the boiling water and simmer for 10 or so minutes until butternut is quite tender.
  3. Drain water off and run butternut under cold water for a few minutes until cooled slightly.
  4. Place in a large bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the butternut puree with the ricotta.
Lasagna Noodles:
  1. While prepping the rest of lasagna components, soak noodles in warm water.
Greek Yogurt Sauce:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, milk, nutmeg, and sage leaves.
Assembly:
  1. In a 9x9 inch baking pan, scoop about ½ a cup of the Greek yogurt sauce into the bottom of the pan. Arrange lasagna noodles {you will need to break them into pieces in order to cover the whole pan}.Spread half of the butternut-ricotta mixture over noodles, smoothing with a spatula. Sprinkle with half of the chicken, and top with another ½ cup of the sauce. Scatter ½ cup of shredded mozzarella.
  2. Assemble the next layer of noodles, butternut/ricotta, chicken, sauce and mozza as above.
  3. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles, pouring any remaining sauce over top. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella.
  4. Spray aluminum foil with oil, cover, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and return to the oven for another 10 or so minutes, until cheese is brown and bubbly.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 or so minutes before serving.
Notes
If you'd prefer, you can roast the butternut squash for 25 minutes at 375°F.

The sauce will be very watery, however as the lasagna cooks, the noodles absorb the extra liquid.

Products used in this recipe:

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