Vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna

Everyone loves lasagna, but if your gluten free you might try to avoid it. It's now easier to find gluten free lasagna noodles at the grocery store, but why not do something crazy like use a vegetable instead. This vegetarian lasagna uses butternut squash in place of the noodles, which offers more nutritional value. The result is a savory, hearty vegetarian/gluten free lasagna, that won't weigh you down. To make this dish vegan replace the mozzarella with a vegan cheese or skip it altogether, it's delicious either way. 

Vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna

Serves 4

1 butternut squash

1 package Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble (100% plant based)
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cloves chopped garlic
generous pinch (or two) red pepper flakes
fresh ground salt and pepper
4-5 cups chopped baby spinach
2 - 24 oz Classico pasta sauce (spicy red pepper)
16 oz mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

Pre-heat oven to 400º F. In a skillet with some olive oil sauté the Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble, onions and mushroom over medium heat until onions are just starting to become transparent. Add garlic, spinach, red pepper flakes, fresh ground salt and pepper and cook another few minutes. Remove from heat while the spinach is still bright green and set aside. 

Time to prep the squash. Cut the top and ends off the squash and peel it. Cut the squash in half width-wise, right where the squash starts to turns bulbous. Split the two halves in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and slice the squash into planks. Make sure your planks are the same width for even cooking, 1/4-1/2" thick. 

In a 4 quart baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish (this keeps the squash from sticking). Add the squash planks to cover the bottom of the dish, cut the planks into smaller pieces as needed to fit in any gaps without overlapping. Lightly salt and pepper each squash layer. After the squash, spoon half of the mushroom mixture, a generous layer of sauce and a layer of cheese. Repeat again with another layer of squash (lightly salt & peppered), remaining mushroom mixture, sauce and finish with remainder of cheese. 

Bake for 45 minutes or until browned on top and bubbly. Stick a knife into lasagna to make sure the squash is fork tender before removing from oven. It will be quite liquidy when it comes out of the oven, let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify. 

Top with fresh basil.


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