What do you get when you combine macaroni and cheese, lasagna, and healthy? You get this amazing lasagna that will rock your world.
I was a little nervous about Bjork liking this (or, more accurately, not liking this). After all, it does seem a tad girly considering I took out the meat and replaced it with a delicate butternut squash puree.
But not to worry – he told me he liked it and ate the whole piece! How lucky am I to have a butternut-squash-lasagna-liking husband! Or at least one who pretends to like it! It’s awesome.
I was also worried about this being kind of time-consuming. I was looking for some inspiration online and found one recipe that required roasting the squash, pureeing it, and straining it through a cheesecloth – all before assembling and baking.
- Ummm… what is cheesecloth?
- Where the heck do I buy a cheesecloth?
- Can it be done without a cheesecloth?
Answer: Yes! You will love me for this. Unless you love using a cheesecloth.
I did add an extra 100 calories per slice by topping each piece with Gouda cheese and broiling it for a few minutes. I think standing up to get yourself seconds will burn enough calories to negate the extra cheese.
- 4 cups butternut squash puree (i.e. Farmer’s Market Organic canned)
- 1 1/2 tbs. sel de cuisine (features cinnamon, rosemary, and salt)
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 15 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 short whole wheat lasagna noodles
- sliced cheese to top pieces (optional – but not really)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine squash purée, sel de cuisine, garlic, salt, and pepper; mix well. Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, salt and pepper in second bowl and mix well.
- Coat 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Put a little butternut squash on the bottom of the pan. Place 2 noodles in bottom of dish, overlapping slightly. Spread half of squash mixture over noodles. Layer 2 more noodles on top, and spread with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat layers—noodles, squash, noodles, ricotta—then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Top with sliced cheese and bake/broil an additional 5-10 minutes.
Covering the lasagna might help the top not to get so crispy looking – especially if you don’t plan on melting cheese over each piece. It might also help keep some of the moisture in. I made this uncovered and it tasted great, but next time I would either cover it while baking or add a little more liquid, like vegetable stock or something, to keep it super creamy!
Breaking News: Bjork just walked by me eating a jumbo bowl of Fruity Pebbles (30 minutes after eating lasagna). Maybe the squash didn’t quite do it for him after all.
But if you’re a butternut squash lover (and looking for healthy comfort food), I promise you will love this as much as I did!
Or at least you’ll tell me you love it before you go for the Fruity Pebbles.