Making the perfect butternut squash lasagna at home is easier than you might think. The creamy butternut squash and ricotta cheese are a little sweet and pair really well with all the garlic, cheese sauce, and spinach.
We just can't get enough of butternut squash in the fall. This time of year calls for cozy, comforting dishes and this butternut squash and spinach lasagna are what you're comfort food dreams are made of. It's got all of the same basic layers as a classic lasagna, but with a fall twist, which makes it perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. We've already made butternut squash pasta sauce, butternut squash soup, and air fryer butternut squash,
I'm excited about this butternut squash lasagna, especially as a vegetarian option for Thanksgiving (alongside our other Thanksgiving recipes). A lasagna recipe is a great way to add a vegetarian main dish to the holiday table. Bring this butternut lasagna and all of your vegetarian friends will thank you or serve it with our cheesecloth turkey and other delicious sides like butternut squash and brussels sprouts or cauliflower gratin!
Here are the simple ingredients for butternut squash lasagna. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- No-boil lasagna noodles: you can purchase these at any grocery store or on Amazon. We used gluten-free no-boil noodles and it worked wonderfully.
- Butternut squash: this ingredient is the base of the recipe and adds so much texture and sweet flavor to the dish.
- Ricotta cheese: this is a must for lasagna, but you can find a vegan option to keep it dairy free and vegan.
- Spinach: we used frozen baby spinach, but fresh spinach is a red option.
- Butter: We used Myokos vegan butter because it has so much flavor. Any unsalted butter or vegan butter works well.
- Fresh herbs: a mixture of sage and rosemary adds the perfect touch to make this for Thanksgiving.
- Garlic: opt for fresh garlic here, you won't regret it, however, garlic powder is a good option.
- Flour: the flour thickens the cream sauce and is critical for the recipe. We used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 flour and it was perfect.
- Vegetable broth: this thins the sauce out a bit and keeps this dish vegetarian.
- Milk: We used whole milk for an extra creamy flavor.
- Shredded cheese: gruyere or fontina cheese are delicious in this recipe, but mozzarella cheese is another delicious option.
How to Make Butternut Squash Lasagna
Here are the simple steps (with photos) to make this vegetarian lasagna. Jump down to the recipe card for the full recipe.
Roast the squash
- Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler then use a sharp knife to slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop the seedy centers out using a spoon then slice and dice the squash into cubes.
- Spread the squash out evenly onto a large baking sheet and roast at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until fork-tender.
Make the cream sauce
- Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fresh herbs and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the flour (or gluten-free 1:1 flour) and whisk to create a thick paste. Pour the milk into the pan and stir to mix it well with the flour paste. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir well then add the shredded cheese and salt and stir until the cheese is melted.
- Once it's melted, add the spinach and stir to wilt. This cream sauce is a twist on a classic béchamel sauce that we'll use to layer into the lasagna.
Layer and bake
- When the squash is done roasting, carefully transfer it to a medium bowl and mash it with a potato masher or transfer it to a food processor and blend until smooth. Mix the butternut squash puree with the ricotta cheese.
- Spray a large 9x13-inch (3-quart) casserole dish with nonstick spray. Use the back of a serving spoon to spread a small amount of the white sauce in the bottom of the dish and spread it evenly to all four edges.
- Start with a layer of noodles then spoon the squash and ricotta mixture on top and spread gently with the back of a spoon. Add cup of sauce and then top with shredded provolone. Repeat the process with noodles, butternut squash, spinach sauce, and provolone until you've run out. Sprinkle more cheese on top of the final layer.
- Bake the butternut squash lasagna in the oven at 375°F for 45 minutes or until it's heated all the way through and the top layer is melted and browned. Start checking for doneness around 35 minutes and tent with foil if it's getting too dark. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes then serve it with crispy sage leaves or fresh rosemary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lasagna is a great recipe to prepare in advance, which is why it's perfect for Thanksgiving. Cook the lasagna all the way through then allow it to cool and cover it to keep in the fridge or freezer. You can also prep all of the layers separately, like the roasted squash and cream sauce, up to a few days in advance then assemble and bake that day.
Butternut squash pairs well with sweet and savory dishes. We love it with savory flavors like sage and ricotta, but also love it with cinnamon, maple syrup and nutmeg.
You can make lasagna up to 3 days in advance if you are keeping it in the fridge and up to 3 months if you plan to store it in the freezer.
Uncooked lasagna that's been layered and prepped will only last for one day in the fridge. If you're planning to make it farther in advance, cook it all the way through then reheat it when you're ready.
Use vegan butter, canned coconut milk, nutritional yeast and omit the provolone cheese. Use gluten-free no-boil lasagna noodles to keep it gluten free and dairy free.
Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions
Make ahead: follow the instructions to make the lasagna all the way through then cover it tightly with plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil and place it in the fridge for up to 36 hours before baking. You can also make and bake the lasagna all the way through then allow it to cool completely, cover it, and store it in the fridge before reheating.
Freeze: allow the baked lasagna to cool completely then cover it with plastic wrap. Store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating the next day.
Reheat: Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes, or until warmed through.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
- Roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash
- 5 Ingredient butternut squash soup
- Maple roasted butternut squash
- Butternut squash pasta sauce
- The best Thanksgiving salad with spiced vinaigrette
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
- 9 ounces no boil lasagna noodles (we used gluten-free)
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- ½ cup unsalted butter or vegan butter
- 3 teaspoons chopped sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup all purpose flour or your favorite 1:1 gluten free flour blend
- 1 ½ cups whole milk or full fat canned coconut milk shaken
- 1.5 cups vegetable broth
- ¾ cup gruyere or fontina cheese (can sub nutritional yeast)
- 3 cups ricotta (sub vegan ricotta like Kyte Hill)
- 6 cups fresh spinach or 1 package frozen spinach thawed and patted dry
- 2 cups provolone optional
Roast the butternut squash:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler then use a sharp knife to slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop the seedy centers out using a spoon then slice and dice the squash into cubes.
- Spread the squash out evenly onto a large baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.
Make the spinach cream sauce:
- Melt the butter (or vegan butter) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the fresh herbs and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour (or gluten free 1:1 flour) on top and whisk to create a thick mixture. Pour the milk into the pan and stir to mix it well with the flour paste. Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow to simmer and thicken for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the vegetable broth and stir well then add the remaining salt and shredded cheese (if using) and stir until the cheese is melted. Skip this step if you aren't using cheese.
- Once it's melted, add the spinach and stir to wilt.
Assemble and bake:
- When the squash is done roasting, carefully transfer it to a medium bowl and mash it with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Add the ricotta cheese to it and stir well until combined. Set it aside to assemble the lasagna.
- Spray a large 9x13 inch baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Use the back of a serving spoon to spread a small amount of the spinach and cream mixture to the bottom of the pan and spread it evenly to all four edges.
- Next, lay the no-boil lasagna noodles on top in an even layer. Spoon the butternut squash and ricotta mixture on top of the noodles and spread gently with the back of a spoon. Add more spinach cream sauce on top then top with shredded provolone if using. Repeat the process with noodles, butternut squash, spinach sauce and provolone until you've run out. Finish with shredded provolone on top if using.
- Bake in the oven at 375°F for 45 minutes or until it's heated all the way through and the top layer is melted and browned. Start checking for doneness around 35 minutes and tent with foil if it's getting too dark. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Roast the butternut squash in advance or;
- Roast and make the butternut squash and ricotta mixture as well as the spinach cream sauce a day in advance or;
- Follow the directions all the way through and allow to cool completely. Cover and store in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.