Butternut squash lasagna is a deliciously dreamy dish for family dinners. This simple recipe layers mashed butternut squash puree, easy, no-cook lasagna noodles and sage infused white sauce with a yummy parmesan crumble topping. Follow the easy step by step photos to assemble the butternut squash casserole. Great as a fall side dish, this butternut squash casserole also makes a hearty vegetarian main course that’s perfect for Thanksgiving.
Butternut squash screams fall, but it takes on a whole new vibe in this lasagna recipe. It’s sweet, savory and endlessly customizable. Serve as a side dish next or a vegetarian main course. A perfect recipe for Thanksgiving or weekend dinners.
Components for butternut squash lasagna
- No-Cook Lasagna Noodles
- Easy Butternut Squash Puree
- Sage Bechamel (White Sauce)
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Simple Sage Parmesan Crumble Topping
Many butternut squash lasagnas call for steaming cubes of butternut squash, but I prefer roasting, for two reasons.
- Peeling and dicing butternut squash is a pain. The squash are generally too big for my lilliputian hands to hold. Consequently, I’ve gotten more than one finger cut wielding my vegetable peeler. Roasting butternut squash halves is much simpler.
- Roasting intensifies the flavor of the squash and makes it sweeter.
That said, if you prefer steaming the squash, you certainly can.
Preparing butternut squash for lasagna casserole
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out and discard the seeds.
- Place the squash, cut side down on a prepared sheet pan and roast until the skin is blistered and the flesh is tender.
After the butternut squash has been roasted, just let it cool until it’s comfortable to handle and scoop out the tender flesh to transfer to a food processor. A few, quick pulse and the squash is completely pureed.
While the butternut squash is roasting, you can prepare the creamy white sauce. This is a classic béchamel sauce seasoned with a bit of fresh grated nutmeg and steeped with fresh sage leaves.
How to make the sage white sauce
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
- Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the milk a little at a time (stirring constantly, until smooth before adding more milk).
- Heat the white sauce to a low bubbling boil, stirring constantly.
- Cook for about 1 minute or until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Stir in the fresh sage leaves and set aside to steep.
A delectable crumble topping is what sets this squash lasagna recipe apart from the others. It’s cheesy, herbal and sweet made with grated parmesan cheese, chopped fresh sage and a hint of sugar. The buttery crumb accents the flavor of the squash and makes it that much better…
Making a crumble topping for butternut squash lasagna
- Combine the small cubes of butter with flour, sugar, grated parmesan and sage.
- Use a pastry cutter (or the tines of a fork) to cut the butter into the other ingredients until a fine crumb forms.
Note: The sage crumble should clump when you pinch a bit between your fingers.
Note: The main components of the lasagna can be prepared up to 3 days ahead of time and assembled at the last minute (so if you are doing this for Thanksgiving or another special occasion, you don’t have to start everything the day of).
How to make butternut squash lasagna
- Spread a little white sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Add a layer of no-cook lasagna noodles.
- Top with a layer of butternut squash purée.
- Add shredded mozzarella cheese and freshly grated parmesan.
- Continue to layer in this manner, finishing with the noodles and white sauce.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping over the squash casserole.
- Cover the lasagna with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the butternut squash lasagna is lightly browned and bubbly.
This recipe works well when your butternut squash puree is a little wet. If your puree is on the dry side add a few (3-4) tablespoons of water or vegetable broth to give it a little moisture.
I used no-cook lasagna noodles in this recipe for simplicity’s sake, however you can also go the traditional route and boil regular lasagna noodles. They’re a bit thicker, but equally delicious.
We all love those little crispy browned bits on the top and edges of a casserole, right? Well, the buttery herb and parmesan crumble that crowns this squash lasagna is the bomb-diggity. It’s savory and lightly sweet. Absolutely irresistible.
Browning the crumble topping
After the butternut squash lasagna has cooked for 45 minutes and is nice and bubbly, remove the tin foil and bake the casserole for an additional 15 minutes to crisp up and brown the sage crumble topping. For a bit of extra browning, you can also run it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes… but keep a watchful eye. The topping will burn quickly.
What goes with butternut squash lasagna casserole?
I made this particular squash casserole last week when my parents came to visit and we served it with grilled lamb.
If you’re like me — and the thought of a marshmallow crusted, candied sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving grosses you out, consider this butternut squash lasagna instead. I know we will.
Butternut Lasagna FAQ’s
Yes. Use a 2-quart casserole dish if doubling.
Yes. To freeze the leftovers, put the whole casserole dish in the refrigerator overnight. Chilling will help set the squash lasagna so it’s easier to remove from the casserole dish. Then cut it into individual servings to freeze, or simply use a metal spatula to transfer to tin foil. Wrap it tightly, then wrap again in freezer paper and seal to freeze. It should keep for up to 3 months, frozen.
Yes, any type of squash with a similar consistency to butternut will work for this lasagna recipe. Try sugar pumpkins, acorn squash, honeynut (you’ll need several, cause they’re small), carnival, kabocha, hubbard, red kuri, or turban squash.
Yes, use a vegan bechamel recipe, vegan mozzarella and parmesan (or nutritional yeast).
Yes. Use a gluten free bechamel recipe and gluten free lasagna noodles.
What does the butternut lasagna taste like?
OMG – this is unlike any lasagna you’ve ever had.
The butternut squash gives the casserole a natural sweetness. The sage in the bechamel isn’t overpowering, but it is noticeable and adds a distinct fall flavor to the sauce.
And how genius is that parmesan sage crumble topping? It’s nutty and slightly sweet, really highlighting the layers of butternut squash.
My tasters said it was a perfect fall or winter dish and they loved it served as a side with other more savory items (like that lamb) and a leafy green salad. Pair with a chilled Viognier or fruity Cotes Du Rhone. It’s a show-stopper.
More lasagnas and fall casseroles you might like:
- Spicy Sausage and Spinach Lasagna
- Vegetarian Ratatouille Lasagna
- Healthy Butternut Kale Mac and Cheese
- Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
- Green Chile Cornbread Casserole
- Twice Baked Sweet Potato Gratin
Butternut Squash Lasagna
- 1 quart casserole dish
- Food Processor
FOR THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH PUREÉ
- 2 pound Butternut Squash
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- pinch nutmeg
FOR THE SAGE BECHAMEL SAUCE:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 cups whole milk warmed
- 5 fresh sage leaves
FOR THE SAGE CRUMBLE:
- 2 tablespoons cold butter cut into small cubes
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
FOR THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNA:
- 9-10 no cook lasagna noodles (I used Trader Joe's)
- 2 cups butternut squash puree
- 2 cups sage bechamel sauce
- 1 1/4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
FOR THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH PUREE
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable spray.
- Carefully cut the butternut squash in half, vertically. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the squash cut side down on the foil and roast for 40 minutes or until the flesh is tender and the skin is dark and leathery looking.
- Set aside to cool. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and transfer to a food processor. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and process until smooth. (Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time).
FOR THE SAGE BECHAMEL SAUCE
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg and whisk until the flour is absorbed by the butter and forms a paste. There should be no dry bits of flour remaining.
- Add the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly. It will be thick at first, but as the rest of the milk is added it will thin out. Continue to whisk constantly as the mixture warms and comes to a boil. Cook for one minute, scraping the sides of the pan to prevent sticking or scorching.
- Remove from the heat and add the fresh, whole sage leaves. Stir to combine and set aside to steep.
FOR THE SAGE CRUMBLE:
- In a small bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar, parmesan cheese and sage. Use the tines of a fork to mash the mixture together. Work the mixture for 2-3 minutes. After, you should be able to pinch a bit between your fingers and the crumble will stick together. Set aside.
ASSEMBLE THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH LASAGNA:
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Remove the sage leaves from the bechamel (scraping away any sauce that's clinging to them. Discard the sage.
- Add about 1/3 cup of bechamel sauce to the bottom of a one quart casserole dish and spread around in an even layer.
- Top the bechamel with dry lasagna noodles, then spoon about 1/2 cup of bechamel over the noodles. Use a spatula to spread the sauce into an even layer.
- Top the bechamel with 1 cup of the butternut squash purée and spread it evenly over the bechamel.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the grated mozzarella over the purée layer, followed by 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Add another layer of lasagna noodles, followed by 1/2 cup of bechamel, 1 cup of the butternut squash, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
- Top with a final layer of lasagna noodles and the remainder of the sage bechamel sauce.
- Sprinkle the sage crumble over the top of the lasagna and cover with aluminum foil. Bake covered for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before serving.