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Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

September 15, 2019

Sunday dinner comfort using sweet butternut squash layered in a flavorful lasagna casserole!

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

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Season changes and fresh menu plans!

Those fall schedules do something to you, don’t they? The warm air hangs on for a while around here, but we catch glimpses of cool, crisp mornings, and with new school routines speckled into our weekly rhythm, I’ve been feeling the itch to turn the oven on for slow cooked, comforting dinners on the weekends.

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

Lasagna cravings!

Oh yes, it is absolutely a thing! And when you don’t have those special noodles in the pantry, you figure out a way to still get those flavors in the oven. One week, I thought about making lasagna soup instead, but I had squash on the counter and other various veggies that I did not want to go to waste, so we did this lasagna in a veggie casserole style, and I’m telling you, it is definitely a keeper! And listen, I love traditional lasagna – there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! This was just a fun dinner change up – and I think you will find that the kids will love this new squash prep! It is so fun!

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

The method :: Squash

While the different components look intimidating at first, I promise you that this prep rolls fast. Especially because there are no noodles to fuss with! Use a very sharp knife to slice thin rounds of squash for the “noodle” layer in your lasagna casserole. You’ll want between 20 and 30 rounds. If you make your squash rounds any thicker than what I’m showing here, you’ll just want to adjust your cook time longer.

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

The method :: The meat sauce

Here’s where you’ll want to spend some time. I promise that caramelizing the onions, peppers, and mushrooms is worth the 10 or so minute wait. Melt some butter into your large skillet and let the heat do some work on those veggies. Everyone will be “ooo-ing” and “ahh-ing” over the meat sauce flavor! You could make the meat sauce on your prep day if you want to pull it out easy from the fridge as you assemble your lasagna.

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole
Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

The method :: The bechemel cream sauce

It’s easier than it sounds! This cream sauce is just a seasoned, thickened milk mixture. This creamy addition feels so decadent swirled into the lasagna – like an indulgent, cheesy dream in the middle of the casserole. And the added bonus of only taking a few minutes to prep doesn’t give you any reason to leave it out!

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

The casserole assembly

You’ll first cover the bottom of your casserole pan with that flavorful meat sauce and then start layering those squash rounds. Just like with any lasagna, imperfection is all a part of being homemade. There is no reason to make the squash fit perfectly – overlap the ends and cover every inch! You’ll spread that creamy bechemel sauce layer and then add more meat sauce – this heavenly mixture of savory meat sauce with that creamy mixture is what makes this casserole feel so comforting. You’ll do another layer or so, and then bake the casserole for a half our before topping with…cheese of course!

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

Prep Tips

While this amazing dinner is more weekend prep in nature, I do think that with a few prep ahead tips, you could make this on a weekday.

  • Make the meat sauce and cream sauce on your prep day. You could do one or both on a Saturday or Sunday prep day, and just store it in an air tight container in the fridge until you need it.
  • Slice the squash ahead of time. I promise this does go fast once you get the hang of it! If you decide to peel and cut ahead of time, just store the rounds in an air tight container so they don’t dry out.
  • Assemble the entire casserole ahead of time and store it in the fridge covered. You can pull it out on the night you need it and just pop it in the oven. This would also be a great way to prep for a friend in need (new momma, an ill friend, or just because!) – what an easy to digest meal for just about everyone!
Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole
Print Recipe
5 from 14 votes

Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

Ingredients

FOR THE MEAT SAUCE

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms sliced
  • 2-3 cups chopped kale
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups of your favorite marinara sauce

FOR THE BECHEMEL CREAM SAUCE

FOR THE REST OF THE SQUASH LASAGNA

  • 1 small to medium butternut squash peeled and sliced into thin cross-section slices
  • Your favorite cheese to top the lasagna – anywhere from 1-3 cups per your preference.

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

MAKE THE MEAT SAUCE

  • Melt the butter into a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion, pepper, mushrooms, kale, and a big pinch of sea salt. Cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes until the veggies are soft, fragrant, and slightly caramelized.
  • Add the garlic and cook for a minute, and then add the ground beef, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Break the beef up and mix it into the cooked veggies, browning the beef.
  • Add the marainara sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

MAKE THE BECHEMEL SAUCE

  • Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, and then whisk the flour in to make a paste.
  • Slowing pour the milk into the sauce pan, whisking along the way so that the roux incorporates into the milk to thicken it. Whisk the salt in pepper in as well.
  • Simmer until the cream sauce thickens about a minute or so.

ASSEMBLE AND BAKE THE SQUASH LASAGNA

  • Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce along the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Line up one layer of the squash rounds, overlapping them some, and then spread ½ of the cream sauce over the top of the layer of squash.
  • Spread another 1/3 of the meat sauce over the top of the cream sauce, and then add another layer of butternut squash rounds, overlapping them making sure to fit squash in every spot – you can cut the rounds a little if you wish so that they fit.
  • Spread the last 1/3 of the meat sauce over the top of the squash and bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Pull the lasagna out of the oven, top with shredded cheese, and bake another 5-10 minutes until bubbly and melted.
Gluten Free Butternut Squash Lasagna Casserole

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21 Comments

  • Reply Daniela Modesto September 16, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    5 stars
    This is one gorgeous and impressive dish! Seriously drool-worthy and so very appropriate for the season!

  • Reply Raia Todd September 17, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    5 stars
    Oh yes. This is totally happening. My hubby is not a fan of butternut, so I’m always trying to hide it! This is perfect!

  • Reply ChihYu September 17, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    5 stars
    So perfect for Fall! Hearty and comforting!

  • Reply Joni Gomes September 18, 2019 at 8:52 am

    5 stars
    This butternut squash lasagna is what fall recipe dreams are made of! I did not miss the pasta sheets one bit!

  • Reply Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! September 18, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my… what perfect fall comfort food, we’re both huge butternut fanatics around here so this is going to be a hit!

  • Reply heather@easyketodishes.com September 19, 2019 at 10:02 am

    5 stars
    I love the idea of butternut squash in this!

  • Reply heather@recipesfromthehomestead September 19, 2019 at 10:05 am

    5 stars
    Butternut squash is one of my favorites…I am really excited to try this!

  • Reply STACEY CRAWFORD September 19, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Oh my, making lasagna with butternut squash is completely genius and that cream sauce is the best!

  • Reply STACEY CRAWFORD September 19, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    5 stars
    Just wanted to give it 5 stars too!

  • Reply paleoglutenfreeguy September 19, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    5 stars
    Let’s see – I love lasagna, I love butternut squash. Yep, I love this! So hearty and perfect for fall!

  • Reply Cheryl Malik September 20, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    5 stars
    Delicious! I’ve never had butternut squash lasagna.. I’m super excited to try this!

  • Reply Jo September 20, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    5 stars
    When I had to go dairy-free because of my son’s allergies, lasagna is THE thing I missed most. Thank goodness I can have dairy again because this recipe is a must try!

  • Reply Erin September 21, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Oh man. I’m totally trying this! Lasagna is my favorite food but I always feed bad afterwards. This is such an amazing idea!

  • Reply Megan Stevens September 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    5 stars
    This is everything yummy Renee! I love how neatly you’ve peeled and sliced your squash, the beautiful saute, that sauce, and the finished casserole is just enticing! My family loves casseroles and so cool that this one can be dairy-free.

  • Reply Zuzana September 22, 2019 at 1:45 am

    5 stars
    What a great idea. Never would have thought of using it as a lasagna.

  • Reply jen September 22, 2019 at 8:09 am

    5 stars
    this sounds sooooo amazing . . . . love the caramalized veggies in it! Also I like that the “noodles” don’t have to be precooked, like if doing a traditional pasta lasagne.

  • Reply Jess September 26, 2019 at 10:21 am

    This is a fun way to use butternut squash. Sounds delicious and looks amazing (I always love your photos). Thanks for the recipe!

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