Hearty. Filling. Cheesy. Satisfying.
I’m describing this lasagna.
It’s a good one. A keeper of a recipe, in fact.
There’s lots of different types of lasagnas out there. Spinach, mushroom, veggie. But I liked adapting this recipe because I hadn’t really tried a squash variant yet (which I know is pretty common.) So here’s what I did: I added in some onion and some extra mozzarella (really, I know this is supposed to be a “light” recipe, but I cannot eat lasagna without a few pieces of glorious melted mozzarella on top.) And I loved the idea of a cheesy béchamel sauce instead of a tomato-based sauce (again…maybe not so much in the way of being “light”, but it was heavenly.) I made a giant pan of this and then promptly froze half of it for random weeknights when I don’t feel like cooking (which might be tonight.) It reheats nicely as leftovers, too, which is always a positive thing.
Add in extra vegetables here if you want. Some shredded carrots or mushrooms would be great. And play around with the cheese as well. I know Gruyere isn’t the cheapest option out there, but I splurged and it was worth it. (Well, really, any cheese is worth it to me, so there you go.) Enjoy.
Butternut Squash Kale Lasagna
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
One 1 to 1.5 pound butternut squash, roasted and cooled, peeled, and cut into cubes
One head kale (doesn’t matter which type), leaves torn and stems discarded
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 and 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, plus an additional 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 and 3/4 cups milk, divided (I used skim.)
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
One package (9 ounces) whole wheat no-boil lasagna noodles
1 cup Mozzarella, shredded (or more, if you are heavy-handed like me)
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. For the filling: In a large saute pan or Dutch oven over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and heat until shimmering.
3. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and softened, about 5 minutes.
4. Add 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Carefully add the cooked cubed squash and cook, mashing the squash gently, until it is heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
6. In batches, add the kale until it is wilted and softened, stirring frequently.
7. Add the oregano and the red pepper flakes, stirring to combine. Remove the mixture from the heat to cool.
8. For the béchamel: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
9. Add the remaining 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic; cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic begins to brown, stirring occasionally.
10. Whisk the flour and 1/2 cup of the milk in a small bowl until smooth.
11. Add the milk mixture and the remaining 2 1/4 cups milk to the saucepan; increase heat to medium-high.
12. Bring the mixture to a boil; cook for about 1 minute or until thickened, stirring frequently; remove from heat.
13. Stir in 1 ounce Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt, and pepper; stir until cheese melts.
14. Coat baking dish or lasagna pan with cooking spray.
15. Spread 1/3 cup milk mixture in the bottom of dish. Arrange the lasagna noodles over the milk mixture; top with half of squash mixture and 2/3 cup milk mixture, followed by a thin layer of mozzarella.
16. Repeat the layers once, ending with remaining noodles and remaining milk mixture. Sprinkle the top with any remaining mozzarella cheese.
17. Cover the with foil; bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
18. Remove the foil; sprinkle remaining Gruyère on top. Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees for an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned and sauce is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.