Hearty Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagne Recipe
This vegetable-packed lasagne is for anyone looking for a meal-prep recipe that is just as tasty as a classic lasagne but loaded with healthier ingredients! Traditional versions often contain refined wheat pasta but this one uses wholemeal lasagne sheets which is a great high fibre food to include in your diet.
While it can be enjoyed in any season, this butternut squash lasagne recipe is perfect in colder weather as it contains immune-boosting ingredients like garlic, spinach, tomato and butternut squash. Butternut squash, or pumpkin, is not only a great source of Vitamin A and C, it also gives this dish a sweet and creamy texture.
If you don’t have time to go shopping for extra ingredients, it’s really easy to adapt this recipe to use whatever you have in your fridge or pantry. This version includes red lentils to provide a source of plant-based protein but you can swap them for any sort of legume, like brown lentils or kidney beans. To save time, use the tinned varieties; simply add the drained legumes to the butternut squash after it’s finished cooking on the stove.
This lasagne is the perfect option to stay healthy when you’re busy as it can be cooked in advance and makes enough portions for several meals. Best of all, it allows you to enjoy delicious comfort food while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There’s no need to restrict the foods you love! It’s all about finding simple recipe ideas that use nutritious, wholesome ingredients.
Butternut Squash Lasagne Recipe
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 80 mins
Dietary Preferences: Vegetarian, Nut-free
- oil spray
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ small brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp dried basil
- 600g butternut pumpkin (squash), peeled and cut into 1.5 cm (⅝ inch) cubes
- 200g (1 cup) dry red lentils
- 300ml salt-reduced vegetable stock
- 260g tinned tomato passata
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 400g low-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 120g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 10 wholemeal lasagne sheets or gluten-free lasagne sheets
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves, shredded
- 100g mozzarella cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (356°F) and lightly spray a 3L capacity baking dish with oil spray
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, nutmeg and basil and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly.
3. Add the pumpkin, lentils, stock and three-quarters of the passata and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin and lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Remove from the heat, lightly mash with a potato masher and set aside to cool.
4. Place the ricotta cheese, egg yolks and half of the parmesan cheese in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired and mix until well combined. Set aside.
5. To assemble the lasagne, spread the remaining tomato passata on the bottom of the baking dish and top with one layer of lasagne sheets. Arrange the lasagne sheets so that they do not overlap, but there are no big gaps between sheets.
6. Pour over one-quarter of the pumpkin and lentil mixture and spread evenly over the lasagne. Evenly scatter over one-third of the baby spinach leaves, followed by one-third of the ricotta mixture.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, to form three layers. Top with a final layer of lasagne sheets and the remaining pumpkin and lentil mixture.
8. Top with the remaining parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Loosely cover with aluminium foil.
9. Bake in the oven, covered, for 25-30, then remove the foil and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and golden in colour. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
10. Slice and serve. Enjoy!
Tips for serving your Butternut Squash Lasagne
For a fresh side dish, serve this lasagne with a green salad of watercress, red oak lettuce and cucumber with a simple dressing of olive oil and salt. If you prefer something warmer, try steamed broccoli or roasted Brussels sprouts.
If you’re not planning on eating this meal right away, freeze the separate portions and save them for days you need something no-fuss! It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.