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This Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe is a cozy and heartwarming vegetarian meal, made with a creamy roasted butternut squash sauce, no-boil noodles, mushrooms, spinach, ricotta, and sage. Video + Vegan-adaptable.
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.Thorton Wilder
Here is one of my favorite fall meals… Butternut Squash Lasagna with mushrooms, spinach and sage. It’s so cozy and warming, full of fantastic fall flavor. Butternut squash is roasted in the oven and becomes the creamy sauce that infuses the lasagna with goodness. A delicious vegetarian or vegan main dish, worthy of your holiday table – so comforting and homey.
Table of Contents
- Why you will LOVE this!
- Butternut Squash Lasagna Ingredients
- How to make Butternut squash Lasagna
- Ways to Elevate (optional)
- Butternut Squash Lasagna FAQS
- Serving Suggestions
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- Butternut Squash Lasagna | 60-sec Video
- Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe
Why you will LOVE this!
- Veggie-loaded Vegetarian meal– full of wholesome vegetables, it’s hearty enough for meat eaters!
- Make it ahead (or in stages). The butternut squash sauce (and filling) can be made up to 4 days ahead. Or make the whole thing up to 4 days ahead, refrigerate and bake.
- No Boil lasagna noodles– makes this faster & easier!
- It is vegan– adaptable! Make our tofu ricotta and substitute vegan cheeses- easy peasy! It can be made gluten-free with gluten-free noodles.
- Freeze it! Lasagna is one of the best meals to put in the freezer for later- thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat it. A gift to your future self!
- Tomato-Free. It doesn’t have tomatoes or tomato sauce-for those who can’t tolerate the acid or who are allergic, this recipe is a godsend!
Butternut Squash Lasagna Ingredients
- Small butternut squash– you can also use almost any winter squash ( pumpkin, Hubbard, delicata, acorn squash) except spaghetti squash. In a pinch, you can even use canned pumpkin puree.
- Mushrooms -cremini mushrooms, button mushrooms, oyster, shiitake mushrooms, portobello, or wild mushrooms.
- Spinach – fresh or frozen spinach both work here! Feel free to use other wilting greens- kale, chard, etc.
- Onion, garlic and sage- fresh is best!
- Cheeses: ricotta cheese (or sub vegan tofu ricotta) mozzarella cheese, romano cheese or parmesan cheese. Can sub with vegan cheeses!
- Egg (optional) for enriching the ricotta. Feel free to leave it out.
- No-boil lasagna noodles (dry, uncooked) make this much easier to make- no boiling pasta water! Feel free to use regular lasagna noodles that are parboiled.
- Seasonings -Salt, black pepper and a whisper of nutmeg, heavenly!
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – or butter.
- Optional Garnishes: For the top, you can make a quick bechamel sauce (for an extra creamy lasagna) and/or crispy sage. Arugula Pesto is nice too.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to make Butternut squash Lasagna
Step one: Make the Butternut Squash Sauce. Cut the butternut squash in half, and place open side down on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place sliced onion next to it and drizzle it with a little olive oil. Roast until fork-tender, about 30-40 minutes and let it cool. Once cooled, scoop out the seeds, and place 3- 3 ½ cups flesh out into a food processor. Add the roasted onion, olive oil, water, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Puree until very smooth. You will need at least 4 cups of butternut sauce and we want it to be very saucy, like a marinara sauce. The butternut squash puree should pour out of the food processor.
Step 2: Make the mushroom filling. In a large skillet, heat the oil or butter. Add mushrooms and shallots and salt, and saute over medium heat, until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown. Add the garlic, sage and pepper. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 more minutes, turn the heat off. Toss in some spinach at the end and wilt for extra nutrients. Taste and make sure the filling has enough salt and pepper. You could also add a little truffle oil.
Step 4: Assemble the lasagna. In a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish, add 1 cup of the creamy butternut sauce and spread out into a thin layer. Top with lasagna noodles.
Add half of the ricotta mixture and spread out evenly. Top with half of the cooked mushrooms ( and spinach).Sprinkle with ½ cup grated mozzarella and a couple tablespoons romano cheese.
Add 2nd layer of lasagna noodles. Add 1 cup of butternut sauce, spread out the rest of the ricotta mixture as evenly as possible.
Add the remaining mushrooms and all the good bits (onions and sage) and sprinkle with another ½ cup shredded mozzarella and a couple tablespoons of pecorino cheese. Place the 3rd and final layer of noodles over the top. Lather with the remaining butternut puree and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. (See ways to elevate below!)
Step 5: Bake! Place a layer of parchment over the lasagna, then wrap it tightly with foil to create a tight seal ( you especially need this with no-boil noodles). Bake 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbly.
When the Butternut lasagna comes out of the oven it will smell heavenly. Beautifully golden and fragrant! Let it stand 10 minutes, then cut into 9 servings.
Ways to Elevate (optional)
- Make a Bechamel Sauce for the top. Sometimes, instead of adding a final layer of grated cheese, I’ll make a light, quick béchamel sauce…. purely because I prefer the look of it (from my catering days) compared to the grated cheese “look”. See recipe notes for more info.
- Add truffle oil! If you love truffle oil, drizzle the mushrooms with a little truffle oil – a nice touch.
- Make crispy sage leaves as a garnish over the butternut lasagna. See recipe notes. Or drizzle with our Arugula Pesto.
Butternut Squash Lasagna FAQS
Butternut squash lasagna can easily be made up to 4 days ahead. Let it come to room temperature before baking. You can also make it in “stages”- for example, roast the butternut squash on day one and refrigerate it; on day two, make the creamy butternut sauce; on day three, make the filling; on day four, assemble and bake. All components will keep up to 4 days. The sauce can also be frozen.
Yes! This butternut squash lasagna is easily adaptable for vegans. You can make a tofu ricotta as a substitute for the traditional ricotta cheese and use vegan cheeses instead of mozzarella, romano, or parmesan.
Yes, you can make this butternut squash lasagna gluten-free by using gluten-free lasagna noodles.
Yes, this lasagna is freezer-friendly. Once baked, you can let it cool, cover it well, and freeze it for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it in the oven.
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Hope you enjoy this cozy vegetarian meal… please let us know how you like this in the comments below! xoxo
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Butternut Squash Lasagna | 60-sec Video
This Butternut Squash Lasagna is a delicious vegetarian meal, perfect for fall. Made with mushrooms, spinach, sage, and easy, no-boil noodles. Vegan adaptable. Video.
Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce:
- 1 medium butternut squash (2 1/2 lbs- 3 lbs), about 3 cups, cooked
- 1/2 a sweet onion, sliced into big wedges
- olive oil for drizzling
- 1/2–1 cup water or veggie broth
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Mushroom Spinach Filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced (cremini, button, shiitake, portobello, wild mushrooms, etc.)
- 1 fat shallot or 1/2 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage ( or sub thyme, or rosemary)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- optional – 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach or other greens, to wilt.
- 1 lb ricotta cheese (or sub vegan tofu ricotta) If using the tofu ricotta, no need to add more salt or egg. Just nutmeg 🙂
- one egg (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1 /2 cups grated mozzarella cheese ( about 3–4 ounces) or sub vegan “meltable” cheese
- 1/2 cup pecorino cheese or parmesan ( about 1 ounce) or sub vegan
- No-boil lasagna noodles (uncooked) – or use regular boiled lasagna noodles cooked to al dente. ( you’ll need enough for 3 layers)
- Optional: Crispy sage leaves ( see notes) or Arugula Pesto
Optional Quick Béchamel Sauce:
- Make the Butternut Squash Sauce. Preheat oven to 425 F. Cut butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place them open-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the onion ( cut into large wedges) next to it and drizzle it with a bit of olive oil. Roast until fork-tender, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool. You could do this a day before or cook whole in an instant pot for 22 minutes. When the butternut is cool enough to handle, scoop out 3 -3 ½ cups of the flesh into a food processor. Add the roasted onion, olive oil, water, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Puree until very smooth. TIP: When using no-boil noodles, you want this to be extra loose & saucy, like a marinara sauce (so add more water if need be!). It should pour out of the food processor and you’ll need at least 4 cups of sauce. This can be made up to 4 days ahead.
- Make the mushroom filling. In a large skillet, heat the oil or butter. Add mushrooms and shallots and salt, and saute over medium heat, until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown. Add the garlic, sage and pepper. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 more minutes, and turn the heat off. You could toss in some spinach at the end and wilt for extra nutrients. Taste and make sure the filling has enough salt and pepper. You could also add a little truffle oil to elevate. Make this up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate.
- Ricotta Mixture: Using a fork, mix the ricotta cheese with the egg, nutmeg and salt. ( You really don’t need to add the egg, but it adds a lovely richness.)
- Lower oven to 375F
- Assemble the lasagna. In a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish, add 1 cup of the butternut puree and spread out into a thin layer. Top with the first layer of lasagna noodles. Add half of the ricotta mixture and spread out evenly. Top with half of the cooked mushrooms/spinach. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the grated mozzarella and 2-3 tablespoons of pecorino cheese. Add the 2nd layer of lasagna noodles. Drizzle with 1 cup of butternut sauce; spread out the remaining ricotta mixture as evenly as possible. Add the remaining mushrooms and all the good bits (onions and sage) and sprinkle with ½ cup shredded mozzarella and 2-3 tablespoons pecorino cheese. Place the 3rd, final layer of noodles over the top. Lather with the remaining butternut Sauce and either sprinkle with the rest of the cheese or make the creamy béchamel sauce, spreading it over top. (See notes.).
- Cover with parchment, then wrap tightly with foil and bake in 375 F oven for 40 minutes. You want a tight seal when using no-boil noodles. (You never want the foil to touch your food, especially something wet- the aluminum will leach into your food.) Uncover and continue baking 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes, cut into 9 servings.
- Garnish with optional crispy sage leaves.
Tip: when using no-boil noodles, be sure your butternut sauce is extra saucy ( it’s ok to add more water) so the noodles have more moisture to soak up. If using boiled noodles, cook only to al dente (don’t overcook).
Optional Béchamel: Instead of sprinkling the remaining cheese on top (which is totally fine, especially if pressed for time) make a quick light béchamel sauce to pour over the final layer of butternut puree using the remaining cheese. This just gives it a creamier look and feel (compared to the look of melted, grated cheese). This is just a personal preference that makes it look more appealing (from my catering days). Totally up to you. 😉
To make the bechamel: heat the oil or butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add the flour, and toast it for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk, whisking out any clumps and browned bits. Stir in salt, pepper and the cheese reserved for the final layer, stirring until melted and incorporated.
A great way to conquer this is to make the components in stages. Make the butternut puree one day, the filling the next day (storing in the fridge) assembling the next day, baking the next etc. OR Feel free to make this all ahead (refrigerate) and bake before serving, remembering to pull it out of the fridge for at least one hour before baking to let it come to room temp, for even baking.
This can also be baked and frozen, or frozen unbaked.
To make the crispy sage leaves, generously coat the bottom of a small skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Place each leave ( leaving a little stem is cute) into the hot oil and fry each side, around 30 seconds, or until crisp. Place on a paper towel to blot. Do one tester first, to get the timing right. You want them crisp, but still green, not too brown.)
- Serving Size: 1/9th
- Calories: 363
- Sugar: 5.3 g
- Sodium: 663.8 mg
- Fat: 16.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 7.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 37.4 g
- Fiber: 5.4 g
- Protein: 16.8 g
- Cholesterol: 57.6 mg
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