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Kale and Butternut Squash Lasagna

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Even carnivores won’t miss the meat in this vegetarian lasagna. The different components do take some prep time, but the whole thing can be made and assembled up to a day in advance. Crescenza (also sometimes called stracchino) is a creamy Italian cheese and a great addition here; if you can’t find it, though, feel free to skip it.

Serves 4

For the butternut squash:

1½ pounds butternut squash (1 very small squash), peeled, cut in half, and cut into ¼-inch slices

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

For the béchamel:

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, very finely minced

1 cup grated Parmesan

 

For the kale:

1 bunch dino kale, cleaned and sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

pinch of salt

 

To assemble:

6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (or 6 oven-ready lasagna noodles)

4 ounces crescenza cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Spread the squash slices out in an even layer on an aluminum-foil-lined baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ground black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and just starting to brown.

3. While the squash is roasting, make the béchamel sauce. In a medium saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat until it is melted and beginning to foam, then add the flour and whisk to incorporate. Cook the butter-and-flour mixture, whisking constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, making sure it doesn’t brown. Slowly begin adding the milk, ½ cup at a time. The mixture will seize up and thicken quite a bit after the first addition, but don’t worry. Keep whisking and adding slowly until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. This should take about 10 minutes. When the sauce is cooked, add the salt, nutmeg, cayenne, and Parmesan cheese.

4. To cook the kale, heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high, add sliced kale and a large pinch of salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the kale is wilted.

5. Once all of the components are ready, it’s time to assemble the dish. Grease an 8½x4½-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray, then spread a quarter of the béchamel sauce in the bottom. Next make 1 layer of lasagna noodles, breaking or cutting them as necessary to fit. Top the noodles with ½ the butternut squash, ½ the kale, ½ the crescenza, and ⅓ of the Parmesan. Then repeat with another ¼ of the sauce, another ⅓ of the pasta, the rest of the squash, kale, and crescenza, another ⅓ of the Parmesan, and another ¼ of the béchamel. Top with the last layer of pasta, the last ¼ of béchamel and the last ⅓ of parmesan. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to bake.

6. To cook, bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is browned and the lasagna is bubbling.

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