Butternut Squash Lasagna

Don't bother with pumpkin. Cooking with butternut squash is all the rage this time of year. The creamy fall vegetable takes the place of marinara or bolognese in this dish. Instead, butternut squash, spinach, bechamel, and cheese are layered between the lasagna layers. It's a ridiculously comfortable and comforting combo.

Do you want to get ahead of the game? You may put everything together and bake it ahead of time; just allow it cool to room temperature before wrapping it tightly and freezing it. Cover and reheat in a 350° oven until warmed through.

INGREDIENTS

Salt

8 oz. lasagna noodles

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

4 tbsp. butter

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

3 c. whole milk

3/4 tsp. freshly chopped thyme

Large pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

2 (10-oz.) bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

8 oz. shredded mozzarella

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and drizzle with a bit of olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking together.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. Slowly add milk, while whisking constantly. Bring to a boil. Add thyme and nutmeg and reduce heat to medium, cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk in Parmesan, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  4. In an 8"-x-8" dish, spread a thin layer (about ½ cup) of white sauce in the bottom of the dish. Add a single layer of lasagna noodles followed by a layer of squash. Season with salt and pepper and top with half the spinach, a third of the mozzarella, and about ¾ cup white sauce. Repeat layers one time. Top with remaining noodles and spread remaining bechamel and cheese over top.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then increase temperature to 400º and bake uncovered until squash is tender and lasagna is golden on top, about 25 minutes.
  6. Garnish with parsley before serving.