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!

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252 comments on “Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagne

  1. Somer
    October 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    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)!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Haha – sorry, Somer! Please post it! Don’t deprive us!

      • Somer
        October 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm

        I think I’ll do butternut enchiladas soon instead….

  2. christinajane
    October 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    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!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      It does indeed! Get a roller, they are pretty cheap and make REALLY great pasta. I think it achieves a smoother pasta too.

  3. healthygirlandthecity
    October 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    what a great recipe – thanks for sharing…awesome for fall :)

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks! It really is perfect for this season.

  4. Sibella at bakingwithsibella.com
    October 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Oh, this lasagna looks mouthwatering! I share the same love for the butternut squash – just amazingly delicious food!

  5. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    October 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Butternut squash is one of my favourite ingredients too … love this recipe of yours, great combination flavours.

  6. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    October 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Wow.. just.. wow.. I can see why this is your favorite butternut squash recipe yet.. It’s pretty and the addition of a bechamel sauce with lasagne sheets.. just fantastic! I love everything in this post:) (well, except the slavery of your poor girl!)

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks! Yes, it was deeeelish :). She doesn’t mind really :D

  7. cookinginsens
    October 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I would just like that roasted squash please.

  8. cameraphonevegan
    October 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    i like your lighting situation description :)

  9. Carl Milner
    October 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I’ll be trying that one out

  10. notesfromrumbleycottage
    October 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I love Butternut squash, my kids, not so much. Maybe I can make this as a side dish so they can try it but it is not the main meal.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      Oh no! Perhaps this will help them to love it! Good idea.

  11. notedinnashville
    October 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    This looks delicious not just because of the ingredients used, but because of your photography. What talents!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks! Don’t go too over the top, you’ll make me blush.

  12. Jill
    October 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Phenomenal! What a perfect way to enjoy squash…

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks! It was the perfect way – the most perfect way I’ve found so far anyway.

  13. Stephanie
    October 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I love butternut squash, and this looks amazing!

  14. LeilyRosesFashionWorld
    October 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Looks delicious!!! Plus I saw ur post right when I was going to start cook something!

  15. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    October 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Lovely lasagna! And with fresh pasta no less. Thank you for the reminder about butternut squash – I have also been meaning to give your risotto recipe a try!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks, Amanda! No less! Oh yes, that’s a really nice recipe :)

  16. Katrina Tauchen
    October 24, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    This looks amazing! I have a butternut squash staring at me from the kitchen that’s in need of some love. This might be just the ticket!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Thanks! I think it definitely is the ticket :D

  17. Karista
    October 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    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!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Thanks – I’m quite sure. Well, feel free to buy one and offer me that. I’d love to write a cook book.

  18. gordolamb
    October 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    This looks delicious! I’ve been a huge butternut squash kick lately, but this has to be made some time in the next couple of weeks!

  19. Korena in the Kitchen
    October 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Nick this sounds so fantastic! Thanks for the lighting tip – although I don’t have a girlfriend standing by with white pillows, I had forgotten all about the reflecting technique ;)

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks, Korena! I’m glad you think so. Reflecting is SO useful!

  20. narf77
    October 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    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 :)

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Indeed not, isn’t Somer great?!

      I have no idea, they just keep coming… I’m definitely not Dutch though, plus he annoys me :D

      • narf77
        October 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm

        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 ;) )

        • frugalfeeding
          October 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm

          We all make mistakes sometimes :D. No, I don’t tend to fondle my food… though perhaps I ought to start… Thanks :D

          • narf77
            October 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm

            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 ;)

          • frugalfeeding
            October 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm

            Haha – I like the title :D

  21. Sarah
    October 24, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Gorgeous!!

  22. carey
    October 24, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Lovely colors!!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      Thanks – the squash is so pretty isn’t it?

  23. accordingtocarey
    October 24, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Lovely colors!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks! IT was very aesthetically pleasing!

  24. Cathy
    October 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    You’ve done it again – created a fabulous dish and entertained with your lovely way with words. It’s always a pleasure reading your posts!

  25. 4plates2table
    October 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I love butternut squash! This looks amazing!!!

  26. theglobalgarnishgeek
    October 24, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    What a nice mix of flavors and color.

  27. A Dog With Fleas
    October 25, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Beautiful pictures and this recipe has all my favorite ingredients. Can’t wait to try.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2012 at 12:03 am

      Thanks! It was delicious, I can’t wait to make it again.

  28. petit4chocolatier
    October 25, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Kudos to Katherine!!

    This is a perfect lasagna; love it!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Indeed – the unsung heroine of frugalfeeding!

  29. musingmar
    October 25, 2012 at 3:42 am

    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!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      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.

  30. otownmommy
    October 25, 2012 at 5:08 am

    This looks divine! I am heading out to the store tomorrow to get the ingredients for this for sure. As always your recipes inspire :)

  31. GreedyFrog
    October 25, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I make a similar dish and it is always a winner, even with my cannot-live-without-meat husband. Great pics!

  32. Natalie Ward
    October 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

    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…. :(

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Awesome! You should give it a go! She’s the washer up too :D. I’m not a bad person. I’m getting a better reflective source soon.

  33. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    October 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    What a great fall recipe. Katherine did some fine pillow holding here.

  34. NativeNM
    October 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I’m a fan of butternut squash and always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy it. This looks fabulous!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Thanks – I adore the stuff. It has such a great taste.

  35. fatgirlkr
    October 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Hey just to let you know I love your blog and I have nominated you for the liebstar award. Check out the link to my blog for the rules to accept xxxx
    http://afatgirlsfoodguide.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/liebstar-award/

  36. Keith Chadwick
    October 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Definitely on my short list of foods to try out

  37. Susan
    October 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Lovely autumnal recipe. :)

  38. baconbiscuit212
    October 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Love it! Looks like life is good in Bristol :-)

    And your girlfriend is a real trooper!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      She is indeed. It is very good, Daisy! Hope your life is equally pleasing at the moment!

  39. zahody
    October 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    You have amazing lasagna cutting skills. That is a neat slice!

  40. Russell van Kraayenburg
    October 26, 2012 at 12:57 am

    This lasagna looks fantastic! What a delicious combination of ingredients!

  41. emmycooks
    October 26, 2012 at 6:00 am

    What a gorgeous vegetarian dish. I’m coming over now.

  42. Jody Thompson
    October 26, 2012 at 6:05 am

    This looks beautiful! Bravo!!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      Yes, I was very pleased with the way it looked :D

  43. Bob Vivant
    October 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    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!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks, Bobbi! Yes, sometimes it’s easy to lose the real essence of something if you puree it!

  44. mmmarzipan
    October 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    wow! this looks amazing! :)

  45. KatsHealthCorner
    October 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    What an absolutely gorgeous dish!!! (Btw, I love how you mention the cost of your meals. Is so handy — thanks! :))

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks! Well, that’s the idea :D. It is rather handy, even for me :)

  46. theplumpalate
    October 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Love butternut squash in almost anything. This is gorgeous!

  47. Karen
    October 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    If this is your best butternut squash recipe then it must be tried.

  48. sowninpeace
    October 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    This looks amazing it will be a great gluten free must try with a few tweeks :)

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      Yes! It could very easily be made gluten free!

  49. Real Mom Time (RMT)
    October 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Wow looks delish (& v seasonal)!!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      Thanks! Yes, it’s best to eat seasonably!

  50. Laurie
    October 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Wow, this looks great!

  51. cecilia
    October 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm