Butternut Squash & Kale Lasagna
It’s finally fall, ya’ll. Sure, the calendar declared it months ago, but this year it took the world a little bit of time to catch up. We’ve had a lot of warm days lately, but today, I opened my window and I could smell it, feel it, breathe it in with a big, lovely sigh. It’s here. Fall.
I just adore this time of the year. The colors, the crispness, the shift we all make when summer fades out and the cool season fades in. I don’t know if it’s my Nordic heritage or just years of conditioning in upstate New York and New England, but I’ll take cold over heat any day of the week. Somehow summer heat just seems too stifling, but a deep gulp of brisk, cool air opens me right up – it feels life-affirming. The time of the year is always a reminder that world keeps turning, and to make the most of each and every season. And with fall, that means long hikes, family get-togethers, cool nights, and some really amazing season food that taste just like Fall feels – utterly wonderful.
Now we all know that pumpkins are the reigning champions of everything Fall, but lately butternut squash has been gaining rank. This year I’ve been finding tons of new ways to use it, and I’m absolutely hooked on the stuff. It’s the perfect go-to for the carb-loving yet health-conscious likes of me. Butternut squash is slightly sweet, starchy, and creamy – all words that make me do a happy dance when it comes to hearty Fall food. It doesn’t need anything more than some salt and a bit of time in the oven to bring out its natural goodness. I mean, just look at that. If I were given nothing but that beautiful baby and a spoon, and I’d be a happy girl.
But I urge you, resist that temptation – because when added to this rustic seasonal lasagna, that roasted butternut squash shines even brighter in all is gorgeous, wholesome glory. Layered between sheets of pasta, cheese, and peppery kale, the squash binds the whole dish together with its perfect sweet flavor and rich, creamy texture.
I actually made this lasagna as a carbo-load dinner for the Sailor – he’s running the Philadelphia marathon next week, and it was the perfect meal to fill him up for one of his long training runs (…and fill me up for the very arduous task of snuggling with our cats on the couch and writing this blog post. Hey, we all have our struggles). But whether you’re a crazy athlete like the Sailor or just craving a comforting meal on a cool night, it doesn’t matter — because this lasagna is full of wholesome veggies and tons of nutrients, so you won’t have that heavy, sluggish carb hangover that often follows a meal like lasagna. Trust me, try this one – you won’t be disappointed. It’s so satisfying, so good, and every bite is a delicious reminder of the season just outside your front door.
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 head garlic
- 8 oz. lasagna noodles
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 5 oz. fontina cheese, grated
- 5 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
- 5 oz. ricotta cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place face down on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Roast the squash for 45-60 minutes, until golden and tender. Meanwhile, place garlic head on a sheet of foil, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. When squash has about 20 minutes left, add the garlic to the oven and roast until soft and fragrant.*
Remove the squash and the garlic from the oven. Let cool, then scoop flesh out of and discard skin for both. Set aside.
Boil the lasagna noodles in salted water until just al dente, about 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Over medium heat, sauté the onion for about 8 minutes, until softened and golden. Deglaze the pan with white wine** and add the kale. Cook down for about 4 minutes until the Kale is slightly softened but still sturdy. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to create a roux. Cook for a few minutes, then slowly mix in the milk. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens.
Once the mixture is thick, add in the roasted garlic, nutmeg, sage, half of each of the cheeses - mozzarella, fontina, and ricotta - and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to fully incorporate. Lastly, mix in half of the butternut squash.
Assemble the lasagna by coating the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with olive oil. Beginning with the noodles, layer the squash and cheese mixture, then the kale, then chunks of the remaining squash, and finish with a sprinkling of remaining cheeses. Repeat layering, ending with layer of squash and cheese mixture. Top with the last of the cheeses.
Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Finish by broiling for 2-3 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.***
- *Roasting garlic completely changes its flavor - it becomes mellow and slightly sweet, and its a great addition to this lasagna. You can roast it whole, without peeling. Once its cool enough to handle, simple squeeze the softened pulp out from the bottom!
- **The wine here gives the kale a great flavor, but if you'd rather omit it, you can use stock or even a little water and lemon juice.
- ***If you slice into the lasagna when its hot out of the oven, the layers will fall apart. Letting it sit - even though its hard not to dive right in! - will ensure it has time to fully set.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14.2g||18%|
|Saturated Fat 8.5g||42%|
|Total Carbohydrate 32.1g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 2.5g||9%|
|Total Sugars 4.9g|
|Vitamin D 3mcg||17%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet.
2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
|Recipe analyzed by|
Please note: This estimate is provided by an online nutrition calculator.
It should not be considered a substitute for a professional analysis or recommendation.