Butternut Squash, Sage, & Goat Cheese Lasagna

Butternut Squash, Sage, & Goat Cheese Lasagna

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Philadelphia suburbia has had a mild fall so far this year, but boy, did the temperatures drop this past week. Frost-tipped blades of grass and the bitter bite of a cold morning have greeted me each day when I first let the pups outside. They usually take their time with their “business” in the mornings, but lately, they’ve quickly come back to the door, hoping to return to the warmth of the kitchen.

Butternut Squash, Sage, & Goat Cheese Lasagna

Speaking of that. I will use any excuse to turn on the oven in the winter time. I’m not the only one, right? I’m always looking for reasons to use the oven when it’s chilly – not only for the heat it kicks off (duh), but also because my soul craves the comfort food that it is bound to produce. Breads, muffins, cookies, casseroles, and baked pasta dishes top my list. Food that feels like a hug. Comfort in a dish. Ya know, the foods that makes your thighs hate you.

Butternut Squash, Sage, & Goat Cheese Lasagna

This is one of my all-time favorite lasagna recipes. It’s vegetarian – unintentionally so – you just don’t miss the meat. At all. As far as lasagna recipes go, this one is on the lighter side. Yes, there is plenty of cheese, but you can always swap out full-fat cheese for lower fat varieties (especially the ricotta and the mozzarella). I don’t really miss the fat in dishes like this. It still comes out super creamy and rich…thanks in part to the butternut squash puree.

Butternut Squash, Sage, & Goat Cheese Lasagna

 

I realize that I’ve posted several recipes centered around these flavors. I can’t help it. It’s just that time of year, guys. Hopefully I’m not boring you! This lasagna is worth the redundancy.

Butternut Squash, Sage, & Goat Cheese Lasagna

Roasted, sweet butternut squash. Warm and spicy sage. Boatloads of cheese. How can you go wrong? Trust me on this one. It will warm you from the inside out.

If they were big on the lasagna circuit, Louie and Frankie would most definitely agree.

IMG_0151

 

Butternut Squash, Sage, & Goat Cheese Lasagna                           (makes 6-8 servings)


 

For the Butternut Squash Puree:

1 large onion, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

For the Cheese Layer:

8 oz crumbled goat cheese

1 (15-oz) container ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)

1 (10-oz) package of frozen spinach, defrosted, and squeezed dry

½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated

½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Fresh sage, chopped (I used about 2-3 tablespoons, which leads to a strong sage flavor. If you aren’t a huge sage fan, start with 1 tablespoon and adjust as necessary)

 

For Assembly:

Marinara sauce (when making dishes with a lot of prep, I use store bought. Feel free to make your own)

No-boil lasagna noodles (I use these. They make my life so much easier)

4 cups low-moisture mozzarella cheese, freshly grated (I used part-skim)

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Sage leaves

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In large bowl, toss onions, garlic cloves, and squash with oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Spread out in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and onions are browned, stirring halfway through. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly and then puree the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

2. Meanwhile, mix together the goat cheese, ricotta cheese, defrosted spinach, parmesan cheese, pecorino cheese, and chopped fresh sage. Grate in a little nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Butter a 9 x 13-in baking dish and pour a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom. Layer the ingredients in the following order: noodles, squash puree, ricotta cheese mixture, a drizzle of marinara, grated cheeses, and finally noodles. Repeat the layering until the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the final layer of noodles. Add the last of the grated cheeses over the top and place whole sage leaves on top of the cheese.

4. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes for easier serving.

Butternut Squash, Sage, & Goat Cheese Lasagna

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Comments

  1. says

    I made this for a friend who was laid up for a few days, so she could have a quick meal to heat for her family. She is watching calories so I used fat-free ricotta, mozzarella, and goat cheese, and then swapped kale for spinach because I had kale already in the freezer. The whole-fat parm and romano made up for the other light cheeses and they never missed the fat and calories. Her kids love veggies and are good eaters and they all ate this up. Next time I will make it for me!

  2. Caitlyn says

    Your dogs look exactly like mine! This is so funny! We had a black and white jack Russell terrier and a German shepherd/dachshund mix. This cracks me up!

    • says

      How fun! Ours are both rescue dogs so we’re not 100% sure what they are. The brown one is a mix of about 10 things, I’m convinced! The black/white one is part corgi, part Aussie cattle dog. They’re the best!

    • says

      Hi Kelly. Sage is a strong flavor, so I think it really can be added to taste. I use roughly 2-3 tablespoons of chopped sage for the cheese part, and I LOVE the flavor of sage. If you are unsure, start with 1 tablespoon and maybe add more to taste? Hope it works out for you!

  3. says

    This looks absolutely delicious! I just wanted to let you know that I have a food photo submission site (Simply Creative Recipes) and I am linking to this post if you don’t mind. You are welcome to submit your photos to my my site if you’d like!

  4. Pamela says

    Yep, I know what I’m cooking for Thanksgiving. My daughter and I only eat seafood and I didn’t want that but I didn’t want to make a bunch of stuff either so this will be perfect for us.

  5. Sharon says

    A wonderful recipe – a new favorite I expect to make many more times! The only thing I tweaked was to use fresh spinach instead of frozen. I spun it dry in my salad spinner and added a generous layer of leaves on top of each cheese mixture layer.

  6. Kelsey says

    Hi! I made this recently for a “Lasagna Throwdown” where unique entries were encouraged. And guess what? It won! (My neighborhood holiday parties are the best parties.)

    I swapped out the frozen spinach for some fresh sautéed kale.

    I also went back and forth on swapping out the red sauce for a bechamel– anyone else out there considering the same thing let me know how it turns out. I was afraid that the tangy tomato sauce might overpower the butternut squash and goat cheese flavors. If you’re also on the fence, just know it turns out great as is!

  7. chery says

    Can I just tell you the most amazing way to roast a whole butternut squash for almost anything using butternut squash? (BNS soup, lasagna, puree, risotto…) Take a whole BN squash, put on baking sheet, roast at 400 degrees til soft, maybe 90 min. Slice in half (easy peasy), scoop out seeds, scoop out flesh. DONE! No cutting in half, scraping skin off, cubeing til your fingers bleed. Just roast whole, slice in half, scoop out seeds, scoop out flesh, and use as directed. If you need cubes cook a little less; peel, slice in half, remove seeds and cut into cubes! You are welcome!

  8. Bridget says

    I love the idea of this recipe and made it for dinner tonight, but I have to say, I’m frustrated with the instructions! There’s no mention of when to use the sage, so mine went in the oven without it (grr, hurrying as usual) and there really aren’t clear instructions on how to layer – what is the final layer made up of? Noodles with sauce and final dose of cheese? Or squash and cheese mixtures topped with sauce and cheese? I ended up having to flip over my noodles with the last layer and fake a topping. It’s helpful to be precise :)

    Thanks for the recipe, looking forward to eating in 10 mins!

    • says

      Hi Bridget, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry you had some difficulty understanding the recipe instructions. I’ve adjusted the recipe accordingly. I hope you enjoyed it anyway!

      • Bridget says

        YES! It was delicious and got rave reviews from my boyfriend, too! I was just a little confused during the assembly process.

        Thanks :)

      • Bridget says

        Oh! And I fried up some of the chopped sage in butter (yum) and sprinkled it on top when I took off the foil, turned out great!

  9. Katrina Johnson says

    Hello Molly. This sounds wonderful, and is full of some of my favorite ingredients – I plan to make it this weekend. But what type of “goat cheese” are you using? You said “crumbled goat cheese” – typically feta is the type that crumbles, but you didn’t say feta. So, are you using chevre goat cheese? Or is it feta?
    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Katrina. I used chevre goat cheese. Goat cheese can vary greatly in moisture. I usually go for a creamy one and kind of “crumble” it with my fingers. That said, I’m sure feta would work in a pinch.

  10. Mariann says

    I made this dish as a option for my vegetarian Nephew on Christmas Eve
    This was the first dish gone! My family wanted to ” try” it and that’s all it took!
    We LOVED IT

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