No Noodle – Butternut Squash Lasagna
I have always loved lasagna but the older I get, I find I try to avoid having pasta. I got to thinking the other day that I”d love to try making lasagna without pasta, but with veggies instead. I’ve seen where others have made zucchini lasagna, although that sounded marginal at best, to me.
Butternut Squash is a favorite in my home, so creating sheets of butternut squash with my mandoline sounded ideal. I have 2 different mandoline’s. My OXO mandoline is wider and has legs to stand making it safer, due to the size and weight of a butternut squash.
I decided I’d make Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with homemade ricotta and marinara sauce. I prepped everything on Sunday, and finished it off on Monday to have for dinner. It turned out perfect! I decided to make a small portion, using an 8×8 pan since there would just be two of us eating it.
I had quite a few sheets of butternut squash leftover so decided to roll those up with the ricotta/spinach filling tucked inside, and place over a layer of sauce, then topped with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Both were so tasty, but I enjoyed the ease of the butternut squash lasagna roll-ups – they were the right size, not too sloppy, and easy to remove and plate.
If you don’t feel like making fresh ricotta, or homemade marinara sauce, your favorite store-bought is fine and quick. I also used fresh spinach, but frozen will work. Preparing my lasagna with ready-made ingredients can be done in a short time, and in one day vs. two – totally from scratch.
While I used few ingredients here for my layers, you could always add roasted red peppers, and mushrooms or any other type of veggie you like. For us it was perfect, and while it may not have been low in calories because of the cheese, it was addictive and insanely delicious!
I hope you’ll try my Butternut Squash Lasagna or Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll-Ups………………………………
No Noodle - Butternut Squash Lasagna
- 4 – cloves garlic, minced
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 – 28 oz. can imported Italian tomatoes (San Marzano)
- 3 fresh basil leaves, torn in pieces
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon hot red pepper
- 1 half gallon whole milk (preferably organic)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Special equipment: large strainer, fine-mesh cheesecloth
- 16 oz. fresh spinach, rinsed & drained
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 whole shallots, minced
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 16 oz. pkg. fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Parmesan
- 1 large Butternut Squash, sliced into 1/16 - inch thick slices
- Marinara Sauce: Mince the garlic and cover the bottom of a large kettle with olive oil. Saute the garlic in the olive oil until it is almost ready to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes, basil, black and red pepper. Bring to a boil and ten turn down and simmer sauce for about an hour, until the tomatoes are broken down. Use a wooden spoon to help break down the tomatoes while simmering.
- Ricotta Cheese: See detailed instructions with photos here.
- Spinach Mixture: Add butter to a large saute pan and melt. Add shallots and cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Add spinach and continue cooking until spinach is wilted and bright green. Remove from heat, place into a strainer and allow to cool. With a spatula or your hands squeeze out any excess moisture.
- Place spinach on a cutting board and chop. Place chopped spinach into a large bowl and add 16 oz. (2 cups) of ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan, pepper, and egg. Mix together and set aside.
- Cut ends off butternut squash, removing bottom portion with seeds (reserve for another use if desired). Then proceed to remove the skin with a knife or heavy-duty peeler making sure to have one side flat. I prefer using a knife, I feel as though I have more control. Set flat side of peeled butternut squash onto mandoline. Adjust thickness to approximately 1/16 of an inch slice until done.
- Layering: Spray an 8x8-inch pan with non-stick spray. Spoon 1/3 of marinara sauce on the bottom pan to cover bottom.
- Top with slices of butternut squash to cover entire surface. Overlap if necessary.
- Cover with 1/2 spinach/ricotta mixture.
- Cover mixture with slices of fresh mozzarella.
- Repeat layers, then top with more tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella slices and 2 Tbsp. Parmesan.
- Place in a preheated 350F degree oven, covered and bake for 1 hour.
- Slice and Serve.
- In place of homemade marinara sauce, use a jar of your favorite pasta sauce
- Substitute homemade ricotta for a container of prepared ricotta
- Substitute fresh spinach for 16 oz. of frozen spinach that's been thawed and drained well, squeeze dry if necessary!
I definitely will enjoy this low-carb lasagna! Wish I could still get some butternut squash at this time of year.
While it’s definitely lower in carbs than your traditional lasagna, ricotta is higher in carbs than most cheese. So it’s not carb free!
I love this! I used to make a recipe using zucchini strips instead of noodles, so I’m a big fan of this ditch the carbs recipe!
I’ve made little zucchini lasagna roll-ups and they’re very tasty. We’re huge fans of butternut squash in my home so I decided to give this a try to see if it would work and it did. Very tasty and satisfying. The key is having a reliable Mandoline and one that’s wide enough to hold the butternut squash you purchase. I hope you’ll try this.
Getting older is mainly a good thing, but it’s a bummer that we can’t consume as much as we used to. So replacing the pasta in lasagna with squash is such a good idea! This looks terrific — my kind of dish. Thanks!
I agree John it is a bummer but actually in the long run it’s probably better for us. This turned out even more tasty than I had imagined when I came up with the recipe. I hope you’ll try it.
That’s one glorious lasagna!
I have never done any noodles or pasta strips with veggies but I really love the idea, plus it is gluten free.
It tasted great Balvinder, I hope you’ll try it. Oh thanks for mentioning gluten free, I forgot to tag it for that.
This almost makes lasagna seem like a diet food!! I love that the entire recipe is from scratch — that’s amazing 🙂
I’m just seeing this. This recipe is so easy and incredibly delicious! I hope you try it.
Looks absolutely delicious!!!
It is, I hope you try it!
The dish is great! I would like to thank you for this recipe! I really like the result I’ve got with your help!
You are welcome. I’m so glad it turned out to your satisfaction. Sorry for just responding. I’m not sure how I missed your comment.
I love this recipe. Thank you. I can’t wait to make it again. I don’t feel bloated after eating it as I do after normal pasta lasagne
You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. So sorry for just seeing this. I”m not sure how I missed your comment.
Can I make this a day or two ahead ? And cook on the day we are eating?robin
Yes definitely. So sorry I’m just seeing this. Just be sure to keep it covered prior to baking and I’d suggest bringing it to room temperature before putting it in the oven.
absolutely delicious! I have to make them again.
So glad you enjoyed this. Sorry for the late response.