Butternut Squash Lasagna ♥ Recipe
with "Butternut Bechamel" and Roasted Butternut Squash

graphic button small size size 10 Today's Thanksgiving vegetable recipe, the first of 2013: Lasagna made with butternut squash, just three layers to save calories but packed with naturally creamy, naturally sweet butternut squash: roasted and puréed for a gorgeous "Butternut Bechamel" that envelops the lasagna noodles and roasted in cubes to stud the lasagna layers with bursts of flavor and texture. graphic button small size size 10

So hello, November, so glad to see your golden light, knowing that the next few weeks will be extra-busy and how easy it might be to simply fail to notice. I pledge: I shall notice, I shall appreciate, I shall remember.

It's a November tradition here at A Veggie Venture: a focus fascination obsession spotlight on Thanksgiving recipes, a dedication to the many ways – many tradition, some creative, all fabulous – to cook Thanksgiving's favorite vegetables, all collected in a single place, Favorite Recipes for Thanksgiving's Favorite Vegetables. Talk about a reason for celebration! Who needs turkey anyway? (Apparently, we do, this year we'll again cook four turkeys plus two hams. Yikes.)

To kick off November's new Thanksgiving-perfect recipes, here is a vegetarian lasagna recipe made with fall's favorite, the butternut squash. Two things make this lasagna special, a definite show-stopper:

graphic button small size size 10 An oh-so-gorgeous "Butternut Bechamel" – but please, don't be put off by the fancy name, because it's nothing more than a simple white sauce mixed with first roasted and then puréed butternut squash.
graphic button small size size 10 Cubes of roasted butternut squash throughout the lasagna, adding much-welcome texture contrast and bursts of squash flavor.

In fact, honestly, now that I think back, next time I will roast two squashes to make the lasagna even more "squash-y" versus "noodle-y". I would leave everything else the same, the Butternut Bechamel would just be thicker and more squash-y. Turns out, that's actually a very "efficient" choice Weight Watchers points-wise, too, double the squash for only one more point. Sold!

RECIPE for BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNA

Hands-on time: 55 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 1 9x9 pan for 6 generous servings or 9 smaller servings
Double the recipe for a 9x13 baking dish

BUTTERNUT SQUASH
1 large butternut squash, about 2-1/2 pounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

BUTTERNUT BECHAMEL
3 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups whole milk
Puréed roasted squash

FOR THREE LAYERS
Cooking spray
Butternut Bechamel
Uncooked lasagna noodles
Roasted Butternut Cubes
6 ounces Gruyere, grated

BUTTERNUT SQUASH Heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Wash the squash well and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes, How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash and Keep All Ten Fingers. Toss with olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Roast squash for 40 minutes, turning after 25 minutes, until cooked through, soft and golden but not crispy. Pur´e half the roasted squash, set aside the rest.

BUTTERNUT BECHAMEL In a large saucepan, melt butter on medium high, stir in flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir until golden brown, working out any lumps. A tablespoon at a time, stir in milk, stirring all the while, letting each tablespoon become absorbed before adding another. Stir in the puréed squash and bring to a boil, stirring often, and let bubble for two or three minutes just enough to thicken.

ASSEMBLE THREE LAYERS Spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray. For three layers, build the lasagna like this:
graphic button small size size 10 1/4 Butternut Bechamel
graphic button small size size 10 Lasagna noodles
graphic button small size size 10 1/4 Butternut Bechamel
graphic button small size size 10 1/2 Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes
graphic button small size size 10 Lasagna noodles
graphic button small size size 10 1/4 Butternut Bechamel
graphic button small size size 10 1/2 Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes
graphic button small size size 10 Lasagna noodles
graphic button small size size 10 1/4 Butternut Bechamel
graphic button small size size 10 Gruyere

BAKE Reduce heat to 350F. Cover lasagna with buttered foil and bake for an hour. Uncover and put under the broiler for 5 - 10 minutes to brown the top. Cover loosely and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS
METHOD #1: A day or two ahead, roast the squash; make the Butternut Bechamel; grate the cheese. Refrigerate separately. Up to an hour or two before before baking, assemble the lasagna and bake for 90 minutes (the longer time is needed to account for the cold ingredients). Taste-wise, this technique is preferred since the noodles don't "suck up" the Butternut Bechamel as much.
METHOD #2 A day ahead, make and assemble the lasagna, cover and refrigerate. Bake for 90 minutes (the longer time is needed to account for the cold ingredients). With this technique, some of the Butternut Bechamel will get sucked up by the noodles.

LEFTOVER REPORT Very good, easily warmed in the microwave, the Butternut Bechamel does kind of disappear, however.

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
graphic button small size size 10 UNCOOKED LASAGNA NOODLES I know there are special no-cook lasagna noodles but I have zero trouble using regular lasagna noodles used without cooking beforehand.
graphic button small size size 10 LAYERS One good way to limit the calories in lasagna: limit the number of layers, that's why this lasagna has just three. With just three layers, the noodles I used added up to only 150 grams of noodle, that's only 5+ ounces of pasta split six or nine ways, amazing.
graphic button small size size 10 BUTTERNUT SQUASH VOLUME Next time, I'll roast two squashes to double the squash, leaving everything else the same.



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5 comments:

Oh, Alanna, this looks so wonderful! I think the combination of cubes and pureed squash is an excellent one, and the whole idea of butternut squash lasagna appeals. Thanks!

Oh my heavens... this looks unbelievable! Such a pretty way to enjoy squash!

This is wonderful! Loved the Bechamel technique of adding the milk slowly - it really allowed the sauce to thicken properly with out clumping. I may have done something wrong, or my puree may have been too thick, but I had to add 1/2 C + more milk to give the B├ęchamel the right texture. I used two Butternut squashes as you suggested, but made the puree from only half of one. Love your recipes!

Kirsten ~ The “idea” took hold of me and wouldn’t let go!

Ashley ~ Thanks! Pretty and pretty-darn tasty too!

Anonymous ~ Thanks so much, “wonderful” is “wonderful”! Thanks for the tip on the b├ęchamel, that would let you have more “cubes” than sauce, I like that adjustment. PS Slowly adding milk/liquid to the flour-butter mixture is the tried-and-true method for making smooth sauces and gravy. Rush the new additions at your own peril!

Regardless of how simple it is, Butternut Bechamel does sound fancy! LOL Thanks for sharing this wonderful veggie recipe!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna