Comfort food at its finest… this elegant lasagna dish is made with roasted butternut squash tucked in between layers of wide al dente pasta noodles, all topped with rosemary ricotta and parmesan cheese, then baked to golden perfection. It’s the perfect combo of subtly sweet and savory, and will leave you begging for more.
A friend of ours made this dish for us about ten years ago and it was so delicious that we asked her for the recipe while still savoring dinner! She emailed it to us right away and there it sat in our recipe “to-do” pile for the next ten years. Part of the reason, is that my husband really doesn’t like squash very much, nor does he like lasagna, so we had to sneak it in while he was out of town. Last week, he happened to be out of town while we were pondering what to make for dinner and it was then that we remembered this yummy recipe. The timing was perfect, and after all of these years of dreaming about this amazing lasagna, here it is! It is absolutely as flavorful and delicious as we remembered. The flavors are gorgeous and perfect for this time of year.
We’ve made a few changes to the recipe, one of which is adding roasted onions, and the other is to replace a cup of heavy cream with a blend of ricotta and plain nonfat Greek yogurt. This change makes the dish a wee bit healthier! We also loved the way it turned out with these changes.
The key ingredient in this recipe is the roasted butternut squash, and to make it easier, we like to use pre-cubed squash if we can find it at the store. Then, all you have to do is toss it with the onions in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and put it in the oven. Peeling and removing the seeds from butternut squash isn’t too difficult, but this saves a lot of time. Another time-saving feature of the recipe is the use of “oven-ready” lasagna — the kind you don’t have to precook before layering them into the lasagna casserole. That is a game changer. Have you ever cooked your lasagna noodles, only to have them fold over, stick to each other, tear, and just become a big mess? No problem with that in this recipe! We hope you love this dish as much as we do!
Butternut Squash Lasagna
- 1 9×13 casserole dish
- 12 2 1/2-inch x 9 1/2-inch oven ready lasagna noodles
- 3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-sized pieces about 9-10 cups
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 4 cups milk
- 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced or 2 tsp. dried rosemary
- 4 tbsp. butter or 2 oz.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan, divided
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 5 sprigs rosemary for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Spread the cubed butternut squash and chopped onion out on the baking sheet and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until squash is soft and turning golden-brown. Flip with a spatula half way through the baking time. When roasted, remove from oven and set aside. (You can do this step a day or two ahead of time, and refrigerate in an air-tight container.)Reduce oven temp to 375°.
- Meanwhile, bring the milk and rosemary to a simmer in a small sauce pan and keep warm. Do not boil.
- In a larger saucepan, melt the butter with the garlic. Whisk in the flour and cook the roux, stirring for a few minutes over low heat. (This step lets the flour take on a nutty flavor and also helps to create a smooth texture once you start adding the liquid.)
- Slowly whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture, stirring to eliminate any lumps. Continue to simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened. This will take about 7-10 minutes. Stir in the roasted squash and onions and stir well. Set aside.
- To assemble the lasagna, spoon about 1 1/2 cups of the butternut squash sauce in the bottom of the pan. Spread out. Lay three lasagna sheets lengthwise on top of the sauce. Use enough of a fourth piece to fill in the opening on the end. Spread half of the remaining sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan. Repeat the process: noodles, sauce, Parmesan. Then finish with a layer of noodles on top.
- Mix ricotta and yogurt together in a bowl. Spread the ricotta-yogurt mixture evenly over the top of the noodles and cover generously with Parmesan cheese
- Cover tightly with foil, (tent foil if needed so it doesn’t touch the top layer) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the top layer is bubbly and golden-brown. Remove from oven and allow lasagna to set up for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Garnish each piece with a sprig of rosemary.