Vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna
Hi everyone! Today I want to share a delicious recipe recipe that’s been a staple in my family for years. What’s surprises me most about Vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna is that the original recipe came from my dad! You’d never know because my mom now takes the fame for her iconic veggie lasagna. It’s even been our Thanksgiving dinner for a long as I can remember!
This all came about in the 80s, when my parents were first dating. Since my mom’s a vegetarian, my dad made her a veggie lasagna, very similar to the recipe below. One of the staple ingredients in the dish is zucchini. But my dad’s roommate saw the lasagna and thought they were pickles (or jokingly said so anyway)! Ever since, we’ve nicknamed this recipe “Pickle Lasagna”…but I thought better of making it the name of this post! 🙂
Vegetarian Butternut Squash Lasagna varies based on the season. For instance, in the summer, I don’t use butternut squash at all! Instead, I use a marinara sauce because I don’t have any squash in the garden to make the sauce out of.
In the spring, you can add other veggies like asparagus and in the summer, bell peppers, spinach, and of course zucchini. 😉 As fall approaches, broccoli, kale, and diced butternut squash work well too. Regardless of the season, I always use shredded carrots and zucchini, but everything else varies.
Notes on the Sauce
Any pasta sauce will work for this recipe, but in order for it to be a true butternut lasagna, the secret ingredient is the sauce. Although you can buy some pretty good creamy squash sauces in the store (Trader Joe’s has a good one in the fall), I prefer making my own. It’s really easy and takes this lasagna to a whole new level. I’ve included the recipe below.
Will this recipe work with meat?
Absolutely! If you happen to like meat in your lasagna, feel free! On Thanksgiving we always have one pan of veggie and one pan with ground turkey. I’ve also made it with ground beef which works as well. Just brown up the meat with some onions, salt, and pepper and sprinkle it on each layer with the veggies.
What kind of cottage cheese should I use?
Until recently, I didn’t realize how many ingredients get added to most conventional cottage cheeses. When I made this recipe last weekend, the only two kinds at the store had a lot of extras, so I worked with what I had and chose the more local brand (though ingredient-wise it wasn’t much better). Since then, I did a little more research and found a cottage cheese scorecard from the Cornucopia Institute. I encourage you to check it out along with their other scorecards! Basically, they rate various products in a category based on their ingredients, whether or not they’re organic, and other such criteria.
Why do you use uncooked noodles?
Because it works and it saves time and dishes. Simple as that. There’s just no reason why you have to cook them first! And I’m not talking about “oven-ready” noodles either. Truth be told, all lasagna noodles are oven ready. I know it might sound weird if you’ve never tried this before, but trust me–it really works!