This easy vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe is made with healthy veggies like zucchini and spinach, creamy roasted butternut squash, and gooey melted cheese. One of my most popular recipes, this is one lasagna recipe you’ll want to make again and again!
Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna
This Butternut Squash Lasagna may very well go down as my all-time favorite recipe. It’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s loaded with awesome flavor, and it’s completely vegetarian.
Made with beautiful layers of butternut squash, creamy ricotta cheese, spinach, regular noodles, zucchini noodles, and loads of gooey melted cheese, the whole family loves this incredible lasagna. It’s a delicious make-ahead recipe for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and all your upcoming holiday dinner parties (leftovers make for an easy weeknight dinner, too).
The recipe itself isn’t hard to make, but it’s quite lengthy, so I highly recommend doubling the recipe so that you’ll have leftovers to freeze for later.
You may also enjoy, All About Butternut Squash: How to Pick, Peel, and Prepare
Butternut Squash Lasagna Ingredients and Variations
- Butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Ricotta cheese
- Fresh garlic
- Frozen spinach
- Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil (or sage)
- No-boil lasagna noodles
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt and Black pepper
There are many ways you can modify this recipe to make it your own. Here are some ideas to get you started,
- Kale instead of spinach -just make sure to remove the woody stems and use only the leaves.
- If you’re a meat lover, add some cooked mild Italian sausage or ground turkey to this vegetarian lasagna. You could even top it with some prosciutto or bacon.
- Mix up the cheese. Have you ever heard of 5 cheese pizza? Yea, you can do that here too.
- Incorporate other vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, or peas.
- Serve it with a side of your favorite marinara or spaghetti sauce. You could even add sauce between the layers. I can’t say for sure if everyone would love this combination, but it’s my own personal favorite.
- Skip pasta noodles altogether and use only zucchini noodles.
- Add some chunks of roasted butternut squash for a more textured squash lasagna.
Cooking Tips and Tricks
- You’ll see in the recipe card that you may use either roasted butternut squash OR canned butternut squash. Truth be told, I have made this butternut squash lasagna both ways and each method tastes wonderful. Anytime you use roasted anything (compared to jarred or steamed) it will have more flavor, and in the case of butternut squash, roasted squash will taste a little richer. If you have the extra time, roast it. If you don’t, then used canned butternut squash (or pumpkin). My guess is that most people won’t notice the difference.
- This delicious lasagna simply oozes with cheese. After all, it’s lasagna and most lasagnas come with loads of cheese. Don’t skimp on the cheese. If you’re really worried, use half full-fat ricotta and half fat-free ricotta. But honestly, simply enjoy it for what it is because it is so good.
- A ton of spinach does not go a long way. Whether you decide to use fresh spinach and steam it yourself, or purchase frozen spinach and thaw it before use, whatever amount you have probably isn’t that much. In this case, allow your eyes to be bigger than your stomach.
- Also…remove every last drop of excess water from the steamed/thawed spinach. Soggy lasagna is just not very good.
- Cover the butternut squash lasagna in a foil tent for the first half of baking to avoid burning and drying out the top part of the lasagna.
- On the flip side, set your oven to broil for 5 minutes before removing from the oven to get a perfectly golden, bubbly top.
- To make this butternut squash lasagna gluten-free, swap out regular lasagna noodles for rice noodles.
- Speaking of noodles, I highly suggest no-boil lasagna noodle sheets. It’s one less moving part in the kitchen that you’ll have to worry about.
How to Cook Butternut Squash for Lasagna
There are several different ways to cook butternut squash for this butternut squash lasagna including roasting (whole or in cubes) or steaming in the Instant Pot (again, whole or in cubes).
Generally speaking, however, when it comes to soups, stews, and lasagnas, I like to roast my butternut squash. Mostly because roasting contributes extra flavor, whereas steaming does not.
You can roast a butternut squash halved, skin on, seeds removed and brushed with olive oil, OR, you may peel, scoop, chop, and bake.
I like both methods.
In this particular butternut squash recipe, I chose to chop my squash into small cubes before roasting.
How to Roast Cubed Butternut Squash
- Set oven to 375 degrees F.
- Wash and dry your squash, then use a large, sturdy knife to the cut ends off from each side of your squash.
- Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to slice the skin from the butternut squash by holding one end of the squash with one hand and slicing with the vegetable peeler in the other.
- After the squash has been peeled, cut in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits from each half and discard seeds (or save for roasting).
- Flip each half over so that it is cut-side-down and cut the squash into slices. Depending on the size needed for the recipe being prepared, cut the slices into small half-inch to one-inch cubes
- Transfer butternut squash to a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for approximately 25 to 35 minutes or until tender and starting to turn golden brown and caramelize around the edges.
Learn more about roasting butternut squash: How to Roast Butternut Squash
Layering Your Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
Watch the video (above) or read below about how to assemble this fabulous roasted butternut squash lasagna:
First, prepare your baking dish. So, I usually use a large, deep casserole dish (12.38″L x 9.25″W x 2″H) but the one shown in the images is slightly larger. Use the biggest one you’ve got, or split it between two smaller baking dishes. Once you have your backing pan situation sorted, give it a good spray with your go-to non-stick cooking spray.
Layer one – Spread about 1/3 of the butternut squash puree on the bottom of your baking dish. Follow with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese and cover with a single, non-overlapping layer of no-boil lasagna noodles (approximately 5 lasagna sheets). Gently spread half the spinach ricotta mixture over the noodles and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Top with a layer of thinly sliced zucchini.
Second layer – You’re basically repeating what you did in your first layer. Spread 1/3 of the butternut squash mixture over the sliced zucchini layer. Sprinkle with a light layer of mozzarella cheese and top with a single, non-overlapping layer of no-boil lasagna noodles Spread the second half of the spinach ricotta mixture on top of the lasagna noodles. Top with mozzarella cheese and top with a layer of sliced zucchini.
Final layer – Spread the remaining 1/3 of the butternut squash filling over the zucchini and sprinkle with about 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle fresh basil leaves on top of the cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I freeze this butternut squash lasagna with zucchini and spinach?
Making this butternut squash lasagna, as with most lasagna recipes, is a process. You’ll probably have a messy kitchen and probably feel pretty tired by the end of it. BUT, it’s 100% worth it.
Fortunately, this recipe freezes easily and reheats beautifully so I highly recommend doubling the recipe and making two.
How to freeze leftover lasagna?
- If you plan to make an extra pan of lasagna just for freezing, freeze before baking. Simply assemble the layers, top with cheese, and cover with foil or a tight-fitting lid if available. Transfer to the freezer for up to 4-6 months. To reheat, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or bake from frozen, adding additional time (approximately 15-30 minutes).
- If you plan to freeze after baking, allow your lasagna to cool completely before covering with plastic wrap (removing as much air as possible), following by aluminum foil or an air-tight lid. Transfer to the freezer for up to 4-6 months. To reheat, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or bake from frozen, adding additional time (approximately 15-30 minutes).
Is this butternut squash lasagna recipe healthy?
This was my husband’s first question when I made this butternut squash lasagna for the first time more than 5 years ago. Typically, I serve healthy or healthy-ish meals, so he was probably trying to mentally prepare himself for my “healthified” lasagna creation.
Originally I wasn’t sure how to answer his question, but then, after making this recipe many times since, I have concluded that it is neither healthy nor unhealthy.
In other words, I can’t answer this question. Only you can.
For my body, this lasagna recipe provides loads of protein and vegetables, which makes it an absolute keeper. Unlike traditional meat-filled lasagnas, this one is filled with additional cheese and vegetables, and instead of all the noodles, I halved the pasta and replaced them with zucchini noodles.
If, however, you are sensitive to dairy or simply trying to remove dairy from your diet, then it’s probably best to avoid this dish.
Should I pre-boil regular lasagna noodles (not the non-cook kind)?
If you can’t find the no-cook lasagna noodle sheets, you will need to boil noodles to al dente. Try to avoid overcooking, however, as they will continue to cook as the lasagna bakes.
How to Serve Butternut Squash Lasagna
Personally, I like to just eat a big plate of this awesome lasagna. Sometimes I’ll top it with a little homemade marinara sauce, and serve it with a fresh green salad. If you’re entertaining, try adding one or two of the following:
If you try cooking this Butternut Squash Lasagna, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
More Butternut Squash Recipes,
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Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe
Butternut Squash Filling
Spinach Ricotta Filling
- 48 ounce frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed of all extra water)
- 1.5 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 zucchini (sliced into 1/8" thick noodles)
- 10+ sheets no-boil lasagna noodles (or lasagna noodle of choice)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for the top)
- Fresh basil or fresh sage leaves (for topping)
For the Butternut Squash Filling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (skip this step if you're using canned pureed butternut squash).
- Cut, peel, and chop your butternut squash into small, 1-inch cubes. Transfer to your prepared baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast in the oven for approximately 25-35 minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
- Place the cooked (or canned) butternut squash, ricotta cheese, garlic, milk, salt + pepper, and nutmeg in the bowl of a large food processor. Puree until completely smooth. Add more milk if needed- you want the butternut squash filling to be thick and creamy, but too liquidy or runny. Season with salt, pepper, and additional nutmeg, to taste.
For the Spinach Ricotta Mix
- Remove excess water from the thawed spinach; you can do this using a mesh wire strainer, cheesecloth, or tea cloth. Transfer the spinach to a medium bowl with the ricotta cheese, mozzarella, fresh chopped basil, salt and pepper. Mix until fully combined.
Build your Lasagna
- Prepare your baking dish (I usually use a large, deep casserole dish, 12.38"L x 9.25"W x 2"H, but the one shown in the images is slightly larger). Spray dish with non-stick cooking spray of choice.
- First layer - Spread 1/3 of the butternut squash puree on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese and cover with a single, non-overlapping layer of no-boil lasagna noodles (approximately 5 lasagna sheets). Gently spread half the spinach ricotta mixture over the noodles and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Top with a layer of sliced zucchini (see notes).
- Repeat layering (second layer) - Spread 1/3 of the butternut squash mixture over the sliced zucchini layer. Sprinkle with a light layer of mozzarella cheese and top with a single, non-overlapping layer of no-boil lasagna noodles (approximately 5 lasagna sheets). Spread the second half of the spinach ricotta mixture on top of the lasagna noodles. Top with mozzarella cheese and top with a layer of sliced zucchini.
- Final layer - Spread the remaining 1/3 of the butternut squash filling over the zucchini and sprinkle with grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle fresh basil leaves on top of the cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with a large foil "tent" and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
- Top with additional fresh basil or sage leaves, if desired.
- If you prefer not to roast your butternut squash in the oven, you may also cook it using your Instant Pot or purchase it pre-cooked, pureed, and canned from the market. You will need three cans (15-ounces each) of pureed butternut squash per large lasagna.
- If butternut squash isn't available, pumpkin or pumpkin puree (unsweetened) will work just as well.
- If your zucchini noodles are super thin, you can make a layer 2-3 noodles thick.
- Feel free to substitute the lasagna noodles for more zucchini noodles and vice versa.
- I used whole milk ricotta, but fat-free ricotta or half fat-free and half whole milk ricotta will both work. Some readers have also mentioned substituting some or all of the ricotta for cottage cheese.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)