Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne

frugal spinach

It is my firmly held belief that butternut squash is one of the most enjoyable ingredients available in the autumn – it is simply delightful. Its name seems almost too perfect; when cooked to perfection it has a buttery quality and a sweet, nutty flavour. Moreover, its colour is so vibrant and so quintessentially autumnal that it really couldn’t belong to any other season. Happily, beyond these qualities it also works very well in many of the different types of food eaten at this time of year – soups, casseroles and rustic bakes. I already have so many recipes that make use of this fruit; it’s almost embarrassing that I should upload another! For a few more ideas, please see these delightfully frugal posts: butternut squash and sage risotto and butternut squash and leek soup

The one way to beat quantity is with quality and this is my best butternut squash recipe to date. When you combine the roasted squash with sweet roasted onions, garlicky spinach and a subtly infused béchamel sauce, it’s difficult not to come out on top! In terms of flavour, I highly recommend making your own sheets of lasagne. If you need help with this, follow the detailed instructions here. However, instead of making tagliatelle, cut each sheet to the required size.

pasta

Quite a few of you have been asking about my lighting situation and a proper update will soon be had by all. However, I’ll shed a little light on my current solution – it involves my girlfriend, Katherine, standing by with white pillows which are used to reflect light back onto my food… poor girl. Yet more evidence that slavery isn’t quite dead in Britain.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Serves 4-6 with side salad

Ingredients:

• 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks

• 1 onion, roughly chopped

• 600ml semi-skimmed milk

• 3 bay leaves

• 5-6 peppercorns

• A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

• 140g fresh spinach

• 1 garlic cloves, mashed

• A little olive oil

• 25g butter

• 2 tbsp plain flour

• 6-7 sheets of fresh lasagne, dry will do

• 50g very mature cheddar cheese

• Seasoning

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and roast the squash and onion with a little oil, salt and pepper until just brown and soft. Infuse your milk with the bay leaves, peppercorns and nutmeg by heating them very gently – do not allow to boil. Once the milk has infused (30 mins – 1 hour) strain it and set aside.

roasting tray

2. Melt some butter in a pan and whisk in the flour, cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, season and allow to thicken. At the same time wilt the spinach in some oil along with the garlic. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from your spinach. Start layering your lasagane – the first layer should be all of the squash. Top this with a layer of pasta, then tip on 1/3 of the sauce followed by all of the spinach.

frugal lasagne

3. Cover this with another layer of pasta, followed by the rest of the sauce. Top with cheese, a sprinkling of olive oil and a little grated cheese. Add a twist of black pepper and cook for 30-40 minutes until brown. Serve with a side salad.

A close up on the lasagne

Cost: Since this contains only a little cheese and absolutely no meat, the price will be far lower than a traditional lasagne. Indeed, the entire meal, which can feed up to six people, should set one back no more than £3!

252 thoughts on “Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne

  1. Somer

    Oh you devil! Not only did you beat me to the punchline, you had to top me by adding spinach and your own stinking homemade pasta sheets. Seriously scrapping my draft for butternut lasagna that was scheduled for next week. Nice job, way to make me feel like a loser ;) (Seriously awesome lasagna Nick)!

  2. christinajane

    Your chopping board has a heart shaped handle.. :P So so cool that you have a pasta roller. I have always thought homemade pasta absolutely MAKES a good lasagna but have never achieved thin enough pasta from rolling by hand. Yours looks perfect!

  3. Karista

    Brilliant! Are you sure you didn’t go to culinary school? You are such a natural at putting together such glorious flavors Frugal. If I owned a publishing company… you’d be my first book!

  4. narf77

    With the plethora of amazing melty vegan cheeze recipes out there I am sure that this delicious concoction isn’t far from my reach (cheers Somer ;) ). I love butternut pumpkin and any new way to include it in something scrumptious is my idea of food heaven. Cheers for yet another delectable post…where do you keep pulling them from?! I am starting to think that you might just be the Dutch Nigel Slater! You have to love Nige :)

      1. narf77

        Oops…mixed you up again! Darned Rss feed reader misleading me! At least I mixed you up with another worthy blog poster ;). Yeh…I love Somer and as a vegan she always delivers spot on…much as you do. Steve loves everything that I make from your posts. Thats what made me think of good old Nige… hopefully you don’t fondle your food like he does (at least in public ;) )

          1. narf77

            lol food fondling Nige Slater 101…I can see a new book Nigel! ;) Probably aimed at a most “interesting” market and would sell well in Japan methinks ;)

  5. musingmar

    I have two 6-pound butternut squashes just looking for a good recipe; thank you! Love the image of your girlfriend holding pillows to reflect light for your photography. The things we crazed bloggers put our significant others through for the sake of our art!

    1. frugalfeeding

      Amazing! This blog was made for it :D. I am definitely a crazed blogger! I’m sure you could! I never use kitchen lighting, but I don’t really want a light box either. I need to source some nice linens too.

  6. Natalie Ward

    This is right up my street, I’ve never made a butternut lasagne but this has all my favourite things in one dish and it has just stared to rain here so I am feeling like something autumnal and comforting! Lovely image of your poor girlfrind holding up pillows,will have to tell The Washer Up when he starts moaning about always eating cold food because I have to photograph everything before we eat! At least we have natural light most of the time! Not today though…. :(

  7. Bob Vivant

    Absolutely beautiful. Can’t think of a better fall dinner on a chilly night. I’m smitten with the notion of leaving the squash chunks whole rather than mashing them into a puree like so many other recipes suggest. Genius!

      1. Our Adventure in Croatia

        Unusual in the sense that you were a student wanting to eat healthily but trying to do it within a budget, and this blog came about. I think we all have this idea of university students living off take-away pizzas or pot-noodle and not having the faintest idea how to cook (nor worrying about what they eat, as long as there is a beer to go with it).

  8. Kimby

    I used your infused milk method on the macaroni cheese you featured recently and it was absolutely delicious. Can only imagine how much flavor it adds to this authentic (made with bechamel sauce) lasagna! I expect Katherine doesn’t mind holding pillows when you cook meals like this to share with your lighting assistant. :)

  9. Shira

    It looks I am late to the party on this one but – wow! Incredible looking pasta! I agree with many of the others here that butternut squash is amazing in anything! Mouth is watering… ;)

  10. emily

    This sounds like a great intro to fall dish. (We’ve managed to cling to upper 70′s temps here in CA, but autumn is slowly showing its face.) I particularly loved scrolling through the visuals in this post, too — especially moving from the verdant spinach layer to the glossy, bubbling cheese snapshot. This dish seems the epitome of all things in moderation. :)

  11. crisgzr

    yumm! I love the flavors of winter squash, this looks so elegant. I will definitely add it to my list after this darned sensitivity diet -a nice gluten reward LOL! Have you tried squash gnocchi?

  12. poppytump

    Just made this tonight ! It is wonderful . Congratulations on scrummy recipe. I did think that I had misjudged my measurements with the flour and butter as it seemed not to thicken as much as I would normally expect BUT it was perfect being slightly let’s say viscious lol … and a great success.
    One very happy bunny :-)

  13. Anita Mac

    Looks awesome! I am looking for some yummy veggie dishes for this week and I can never get enough of the fall and winter vegetables! Butternut squash runs right up there as one of my faves. Thanks for sparking my imagination for tonight.

  14. Grumpa Joe

    My mom used to do wonderful things with zucchini. I hated zucchini. Then as I aged so did my palette. Now I love zucchini. My deceased wife Barbara made a butternut squash to die for. It was simply baked with butter. Hmmm. Thanks for sharing.

  15. otownmommy

    I am posting a Meatless monday peice and my family really liked this recipe- can i share the link to this recipe to your site-it was so yummy.? can’t wait to see more vegan recipes coming from you :)

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  17. Jeanette

    Wow, it looks like you have a lot of fans of either you or your lasagna!! It does look delicious and I’m definitely going to try it out. The combination of sweet butternut squash with the sharpness of cheddar would be great together. Have you ever thought of using ricotta cheese in this recipe? Ricotta and spinach together are wonderful and the addition of the squash would be perfect.

  18. beccalady

    Thanks for following me and giving me the opportunity to see this recipe that sounds amazing.

    I’ll be growing butternut myself next year and can’t wait to try these recipes! I’ll have to post some of my yard-scrounged favorites!

  19. Jayne

    You’re hilarious. But genius! White pillow instead of fancy gadgets is the way to go, my kinda thing. I would need to recruit my “intern” soon. This lasagne looks so good. Reckon sweet potatoes would work? maybe pureed.

  20. Robin

    This looks great. A couple of questions: do you think adding mushrooms into the mix would ruin it? Also, wondering what size pan your ingredients went into and if I should double it if I want to use a large casserole dish (16×13).

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  23. Janet Rörschåch

    “Quite a few of you have been asking about my lighting situation and a proper update will soon be had by all. However, I’ll shed a little light on my current solution – it involves my girlfriend, Katherine, standing by with white pillows which are used to reflect light back onto my food… poor girl. Yet more evidence that slavery isn’t quite dead in Britain.”

    You cracked me up. Well done.

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  26. Cheryl

    This was fabulous. It’s officially one of the best butternut squash recipes I’ve tried. After two great hits, I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

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