Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna: Looking for an easy holiday-season meal? Here it is

Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna: Looking For An Easy Holiday Season Meal? Here It Is
Carson Downing/TNS

Spinach gives the lasagna a nutrition and flavor boost.

This delicious vegetarian lasagna recipe showcases seasonal vegetables. Butternut squash brings a sweet richness while spinach gives it a nutrition and flavor boost. As a bonus, this recipe makes an extra lasagna that you can freeze for an easy holiday-season meal.

Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna

Serves 12

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes

  • 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (11-ounce) package baby spinach
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus more for serving
  • 1 (9-ounce) package no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch slices

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat two 8-inch-square baking dishes with cooking spray.

2. Mix ricotta, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until mostly wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and press with the back of a spoon to release excess moisture. Set aside.

4. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Cook, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese, sage and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper until smooth.

5. Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce in each of the prepared baking dishes. In each pan, add a layer of noodles, then cover with 1/3 cup of the ricotta, a layer of squash, 1/4 cup spinach and 1/2 cup of the remaining sauce. Repeat the layers. To finish, divide the remaining noodles, sauce and 1 cup cheese between the pans. Cover one lasagna with plastic wrap, then foil. Refrigerate or freeze this lasagna.

6. To bake, coat a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna, sprayed-side down. Bake until lightly browned on top, about 1 hour. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve topped with more sage, if desired. Cut into 6 squares.

Tasty tip

To make ahead: Refrigerate unbaked lasagna for up to two days or freeze for up to two months. Remove plastic wrap and replace foil before baking (add 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time if frozen).

Recipe nutrition per serving: 314 Calories, Total Fat: 16 g, Saturated Fat: 9 g, Cholesterol: 43 mg, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Fiber: 3 g, Total Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 16 g, Sodium: 449 mg, Vitamin A: 7507 IU.

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)