Healthy Vegetable Lasagna is a hearty dish with a sauce so delicious, you want to eat it all by itself. Make a double batch to drizzle over veggies or pasta!
Healthy Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel
Butternut Bechamel Sauce:
- 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (2 lbs)
- 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 cloves freshly minced garlic (4 tsp)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 ounces)
- ½ cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (2 ounces)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 5 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced, (1 pound)
- 5 cups Swiss chard, leaves thinly sliced, stems chopped and kept separate (1 bunch)
- 1 tbsp vegetable broth
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped*
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- Cooking spray
- 6 lasagna noodles, cooked
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (4 ounces)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine squash, 1 cup broth, milk and garlic in a medium saucepan, heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Add Gruyere cheese and 2 ounces of mozzarella. Blend until cheese is well incorporated. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add onion, mushroom and chopped Swiss chard stems. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook until browned and liquid evaporates (7-10 minutes).
- Add chard leaves and 1 tbsp vegetable broth. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes or until chard wilts. Place vegetable mixture into a cheesecloth-lined colander and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Place mixture into a bowl and toss in pine nuts.
- In a seperate bowl, mix ricotta and egg until well incorporated.
- Coat 11 x 7-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread ½ cup bechamel sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay two lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
- Spread ¾ cup bechamel sauce on top of lasagna noodles. Top with ½ of the vegetable mixture (about ¾ cup),
- Add a layer of ½ cup ricotta and ⅓ cup mozzarella cubes. Top with 2 lasagna noodles.
- Repeat the above step for the second layer.
- Put remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of the lasagna. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray and lay over top of the pan.
- Cook, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, until lasagna is bubbly and internal temperature is 160°. Put lasagna under the broiler to further brown top, if desired.
- Allow lasagna to rest a minimum of 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
- *Roast pine nuts in saute pan in a single layer until lightly browned.
- Hack: Store leftovers in the redrigerator for up to 5 days
- Hack: Place individual portions of cut, cooled lasagna into individual containers (or one container, separating portions with parchment paper) and store in the freezer for a quick grab-and-go lunch!
- Hack: Fresh peeled and cubed butternut squash can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store. Frozen butternut squash can also be used.
- Hack: Pine nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 months or in the freezer for 6 months.
- Hack: Make a double recipe of Bechamel sauce. Freeze extra portion in 1 cup portions to serve over pasta or vegetables! If the sauce separates after thawing, give it a whirl in the blender before heating.
- Hack: Bechamel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover surface with plastic wrap to avoid forming a skin.
- Hack: Uncooked winter squash can be stored in a cool, dark environment (less than 50℉) for up to 2 months so stock up when it’s on sale! Cook, mash and freeze unseasoned winter squash for up to 12 months as a quick and easy addition to many recipes.
Did you know? Winter squash provides numerous health benefits that may help reduce the risk of many diseases!
Suggestion: Use leftover bechamel sauce to make creamy chicken and peas!