Cold weather screams comfort food and what better time than now to warm up from the inside out with our decadent Butternut Squash Vegetable Lasagna. This plant based recipe is what every veggie-lover dreams of and can compete with any traditional Italian lasagna in both flavor and texture! Our unique version of lasagna uses butternut squash as a noodle substitute, making it a highly nutrient-dense alternative to a classic veggie-less casserole. Butternut squash has a wonderfully sweet and buttery taste and is perfect for layering with our vegan Cashew Ricotta Cheese, flavorful sauce, and oven-roasted vegetables. We’ve created a plant-centric meal that is hearty, healthy and bursting with mouth-watering flavors. We love oven roasting our vegetables because it brings out their natural sweetness and reduces them to a size where we can fit a LOT of veggies between the layers. Move over meat–please pass the plants!
Nutrient Booster: Butternut Squash
It’s a common fact that regular hand-washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections. But did you know that your diet also plays a major role? Butternut squash has many health promoting properties and is an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. While butternut squash may not cure the common cold, it may help reduce your risk of developing further illnesses. Beta-carotene helps support the immune system by attacking viruses before they cause further complications. There are so many ways to enjoy the nutrition and health benefits of butternut squash–baked, boiled, pureed, or layered in our delicious vitamin A-rich lasagna–a perfect way to fuel your body for a well nourished immune system!
Make Ahead Meal
We love creating recipes that can be assembled in advance, especially when feeding a busy family. Our Butternut Squash Vegetable Lasagna is a perfectly delicious example of a nutrient-dense make-ahead meal. Not only can you prepare this lasagna ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours, you can also freeze it for up to one month. Why not cook once and eat twice? Make a double batch of this recipe and put one in the fridge for dinner tonight and the other in the freezer for later. We help you keep your freezer full of nutritious food so you can fill your family with healthy meals!
Butternut Squash Vegetable Lasagna
Cashew Ricotta Cheese:
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight or boiled for 20 min
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 small garlic cloves, or 2 large
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4" inch thick rounds
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, sea salt or himalayan salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 12 ounces portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed, 4-5 mushrooms
- 1 (28 ounce) jar marinara or homemade marinara sauce
- 2 cups cashew ricotta cheese
Cashew Ricotta Cheese
In a medium saucepan, boil cashews in water for 20 minutes until soft, then rinse them with cold water or soak them overnight.
In a food processor, add water, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic, and process until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, add cauliflower, 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Mix well and spread the coated florets in an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes per side. When done, remove from oven and set aside.
Brush the caps and the bottoms of the mushrooms with remaining 1 olive oil and place them on the second baking sheet. Roast them for 10 minutes on each side. Cool for a few minutes then slice in strips with a pairing knife. Set aside.
In a 9 x 13 casserole dish, evenly spread 3/4 cup of marinara sauce, then layer the butternut squash on top. Layer 1 cup of the cashew ricotta cheese, roasted cauliflower, and portobello mushrooms over the butternut squash, and spread 1 cup of sauce over the top. Repeat by layering the butternut squash, cashew ricotta cheese, and marinara sauce until the ingredients are gone.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. The outside should be bubbly and the squash should be starting to soften. (Check by inserting a knife through the center of the dish.) Remove the aluminum foil and continue baking the dish for 20 minutes.
If desired for a non-vegan option, sprinkle mozzarella or Parmesan cheese on top after 15 minutes, and cook until cheese is melted. Serve warm.
Serving size: 1 serving, Calories: 415 calories, Fat: 28 grams, Saturated fat: 5 grams, Carbohydrates: 30 grams, Sugar: 12 grams, Sodium: 115 milligrams, Fiber: 5 grams, Protein: 13 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
(1) Pharmacological effects of niacin on acute hyperlipemia. Current Medical Chemistry. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27063258