It’s fall and time for comfort food…what better way to indulge than with a Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna. I struggle with calling this dish “lasagna” since that dish traditionally defined as a baked dish containing layers of boiled lasagna noodles, and usually cheese, a seasoned sauce of tomatoes, and meat or vegetables…Well, we have a seasoned sauce of tomatoes and loads of meat and vegetables so I guess we are half-way there! This recipe is pretty simple to throw together and can certainly be modified to include dairy by adding layers of ricotta and mozzarella (I’ve made it this way too and it is certainly delicious!). Adapted from this recipe on Health-Bent.
- 1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, or bison)
- 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 c red pepper, chopped
- 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 24 oz jar tomato sauce
- couple leaves of fresh basil
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1 small butternut squash
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut the top and ends of the squash off and peel it. Split it into 1/4′s. What I mean by that is, right where the squash starts to turn bulbous, cut it in 1/2, width-wise. Split those two halves in half, lengthwise. This will make it much easier to cut into planks. Scrape out the seeds. Slice the squash into planks. Roast the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet until tender, about 25 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, in a saute pan heat the oil and saute the onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic. Add the ground meat and Italian seasoning and continue to saute until the meat is browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
Using a 9×9 oven safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add a layer of squash planks and top with a layer of baby spinach, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up (I usually get three layers)…trying to reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna, sprinkle the fresh basil over the top layer of sauce.
Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Look for a bubbly pan with a crispy, browned top. Right out of the oven, the lasagna may by liquidy, let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify. Serves 6 generously.
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