Healthy Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel

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 tsp freshly minced garlic (4 cloves)

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ cup Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 ounces)

½ cups fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (2 ounces)

Filling:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 sweet onion, chopped

5 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced, (1 pound)

1 tbsp vegetable broth

5 cups Swiss chard, leaves thinly sliced, stems chopped and kept separate (1 bunch)

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped*

Lasagna:

Cooking spray

6 lasagna noodles, cooked

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (4 ounces)

⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Preheat oven to 375°.

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.

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 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.

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 sauce on top of lasagna noodles. Top with ½ of the vegetable mixture (about ¾ cup),

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.

 

6 servings, 480 calories per serving

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 #2: 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 #3: Pine nuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 months or in the freezer for 6 months.

Hack #4: 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 #5:  Bechamel sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Cover surface with plastic wrap to avoid forming a skin.

Hack #6:  Use leftover pine nuts to make this Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts, Scallion Pesto or Baked Rice Pilaf!

 

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10 Replies to “Healthy Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel”

  1. Wow, I love Lasagna! Outside is difficult to find vegetable lasagna. Your lasagna look tasty as the fillings include mushroom and pine nuts which I love! Thank you for sharing this healthy recipe.

  2. As a lover of food and also a chef, I liked going through this article and I know that anyone who loves cooking as well would totally agree with me because the article was really top notch and the recipe is something that I would clearly want to try this weekend with my fiancee. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe

  3. I love butternut, but have never thought of using it to make a bechamel sauce. You mention boiling the butternut with the broth and the milk, but doesn’t the milk boil over?

    This would make the perfect meal for a vegetarian. Can I use pre-cooked lasagna sheets that I don’t need to cook them, or is it better to use the sheets that I have to cook myself?

    1. You are just simmering the butternut so it won’t boil over.  If it looks like it may boil over, simply reduce the heat.  And, yes, pre-cooked (or no-boil) lasagna sheets would work fine. Enjoy!

  4. Hi,

    I’m reading this article while traveling, and I can’t wait to leave my comment even without trying the recipe. I can’t wait to cook my lasagna following your recipe. I’m salivating while reading this and imagining it the way you said it in your Hacks.

    I’ll surely be a frequent visitor to your site, because I love food and cooking.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    God bless and stay safe,

    Chuna

  5. In America today, one of our biggest health issues is not eating healthy enough. We are a bunch of obese folks, eating whatever makes us full and feel good. But if you look around now at menus in most cities, a more healthy menu is offered to the public because of the bad eating habits. Do you think this new wave of healthy eating will keep hospital admissions down? I feel it will. Healthy eating should be on the forefront of everyone’s mind.

    1. You are absolutely correct.  Many people want to eat healthier but are mislead by food manufacturers who make misleading and deceptive claims about how “healthy” their foods are.  It’s up to each one of us to the research in regard to what is truly a healthy diet and share what we know with others.

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