Have you ever bought a beautiful butternut squash at the grocery store with the best intentions only to let it sit on the kitchen counter for weeks and eventually letting it get tossed it in the compost because it was attracting more fruit flies than inspiration? If you have, you are not alone. I used to have this problem so often I had to just stop buying squash all together. I know, I know, there are a hundred recipes to make with squash: soup, pasta, even cakes and brownies. But despite that, sometimes I feel taht the butternut squash is simply too intimidating. Is there a recipe worth it’s sweet and tender splendor?
Last week at the grocery store, when walking past the large displace of perfect butternut squashes, I caved and bought myself the biggest, most beautiful one I could find. Well, I had no choice but to face my fear (there I go again with that) and come up with a recipe worthy of this butternut squash.
And folks, I think I did just that with this Vegan Butternut Squash Kale Lasagna.
While this vegan Butternut Squash Kale Lasagna recipe is fantastic, it does take a bit of multi-tasking to make it happen. So before you get started make sure you’re kitchen is clean with your mise en place. Okay ready? Let’s go.
To begin, we’ve got to get those beautiful butternut squash roasting. They get rubbed with garlic and spices and then baked to tender perfection. While they are doing that, you’ve got about 40 minutes to get everything else prepped. The next step is making the Bechamel Sauce. I’ve you’ve never made Bechamel Sauce before, you’re in for a nice surprise. It’s super easy! A little bit of stirring and whisking and stirring and done!
Now, let’s move on to the kale.
Just a simple sautéd with the onions for a few minutes should do it. While those are cooking you can start that water boiling for your noodles (unless you bought those super cool, no-boil needed lasagna noodles).
All right! Squash is out of the oven, Bechamel cooling, kale cooked, and noodles ready. Let’s start assembling.
Okay, so your kitchen is a mess and you’ve used nearly every pot and pan BUT now you can put that baby in the oven and start cleaning up. By the time the lasagna is out of the oven, you’ll be sipping on a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in a clean kitchen with a fancy, fabulous, and totally delicious dinner ready to eat.
Okay, quick recap:
- Roast that squash
- Whip up a simple vegan Bechamel Sauce
- Sauté some onions and kale
- Boil those noodles (unless you bought those super cool, no-boil needed lasagna noodles)
- Assemble the Lasagna
- Sit back and drink some wine.
Think you got it? Great. Let’s go!
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- 1 butternut squash
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons sage
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- pinch of salt
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cups fresh kale, packed
- 8 ounces lasagna noodles
- 5 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch of salt, to taste
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Shredded vegan mozzarella
- Italian parsley, minced
To prepare the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 425. Slice the butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with garlic, sage, allspice, and salt. Flip the squash over so that the inside is face-down on the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, until very tender.
While squash is baking make the Bechamel Sauce (directions below) and prepare the noodles and kale.
To prepare the kale: In a large sauté pan, heat the additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions and sauté slowly, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Once onions are soft and lightly browned, stir in chopped kale. Sauté for another 5 minutes until kale is cooked.
Boil lasagna noodles in a large pot of water according to packaged directions.
When butternut squash is done, remove from heat and reduce oven to 375 degrees. With a spoon scoop out squash from the skin, and mash. Set aside.
Heat vegan butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, add flour and stir over heat for 3-4 minutes, until mixture is smooth and golden-brown. In another pot, bring milk and minced garlic to a boil. Add hot milk to butter/flour mixture in 3 batches. Bring to a boil, whisking often, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Once thick and creamy, remove from heat and set aside. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
In an 8x8 or 9x6 baking sheet, pour a small amount of Bechamel Sauce on the bottom and spread evenly.
Lay down a layer of noodles followed by Bechamel Sauce, mashed butternut squash, and then sautéd kale. Top this with more Bechamel Sauce and repeat the process (see photos above).
Top with a 3rd layer of noodles and final layer of Bechamel.
Cover in foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes before slicing. Top with vegan parmesan cheese and/or parsley and serve.
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