My favorite fall vegetable is butternut squash. I use it in soup, salads, mac and cheese (seriously–try this amazing recipe from Oh She Glows), and now lasagna! The inspiration for this came from a friend’s incredible butternut squash ravioli made with hand-rolled pasta and lots of goat cheese. I’m still working on a ravioli version of my recipe, but the lasagna is pretty awesome too. Whatever package your butternut squash puree comes in, this dish is some serious autumn comfort food.
It’s also a good option for a vegan Thanksgiving dinner, especially if you are attending a non-vegan dinner and want to bring something that you know you’ll be able to eat. It is really easy to pack up at home and reheat when you arrive, but make sure to put the sauce in a separate container. To reheat this dish, put it in the oven at 350F for ten minutes, or microwave on high for 90 seconds. Reheat the sauce in the microwave (covered) for 30 seconds on high, or in a saucepan on the stove.
For the lasagna:
20 oz cubed butternut squash, frozen or fresh
1/3 cup goveggie parm cheese OR 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast (soy free option!)
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup plain almond cheese (recipe here) –leave out parsley, chives, and garlic from the almond cheese
1 box of gluten-free lasagna noodles
For the cream sauce:*
4 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp potato starch or cornstarch
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground thyme
*If you don’t want a sweet sauce for your lasagna, you can replace the maple syrup and thyme with 2 tsp ground sage OR 2 tsp dried basil instead. Sage or basil cream sauces go well with this dish, and you can follow the same directions below to make them.
First, soak your almonds for the almond cheese in water so they are ready to blend in an hour.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Next, take the cubed squash and place it on a tray lined with parchment paper. Brush the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
Cook the lasagna noodles according to instructions on the package, then drain and set aside.
When the squash is done, take it out and let it cool. While the squash is cooling, make the almond cheese in a blender. Place almond cheese in a small bowl in the fridge for ten minutes.
Next, put the squash into a mixing bowl. Mash the squash with a fork until you reach the consistency of mashed potatoes. Mix in 1/2 cup of almond cheese, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (or 1/3 cup soy parmesan cheese), and 1 tsp nutmeg. Stir until everything is combined.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place one layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom of a baking dish. Spoon half the butternut squash mixture over the noodles, then cover with another layer of noodles. Spoon the rest of the mixture on top, and cover with one more layer of noodles. Bake this in the oven for 10 minutes.
While the lasagna is baking, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan on medium heat on the stove and pour in the onion powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk and potato starch until all of the starch is dissolved and there are no clumps, then pour this into the saucepan and whisk until everything is combined. Pour in the maple syrup and thyme powder and continue whisking the sauce until it starts to bubble and thicken. When it has reached the consistency of pudding, remove it from the heat.
Take the lasagna out of the oven and cut it into squares. Pour the sauce over each piece of lasagna and serve warm.