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Vegan Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna

Vegan-Butternut-Squash-Lasagna---Featured

Every bit decadent and flavorful, this vegan butternut squash lasagna with kale is about to become your new favorite recipe this season.

This dish is a healthier take on the classic comfort food, featuring basil cashew cream sauce and lentil lasagna noodles that will leave you craving more. Get your forks out and ready to dive in the minute it comes out of the oven!

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This lasagna recipe is inspired by a restaurant that my family frequents whenever we are in Carmel, CA. In the Fall, they have a delicious seasonal pizza that is made with a butternut squash puree, roasted tomatoes and a light sprinkling of cheese. 

Related recipe: Roasted Vegetable Butternut Squash Tortilla Pizza

Some people might not like a hint of sweetness in their savory meal, but I happen to love it. Using butternut squash in a dish is a natural way to satisfy sweet cravings, while boosting the overall nutritional quality of your meal. 

Once winter squash are in season starting in early Fall, I am all over incorporating this sweet vegetable into anything I can get my hands on. 

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Related recipe: Detoxifying Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup 

The nutritional benefits of butternut squash extend beyond its natural sweetness. 

Butternut squash is a fantastic source of vitamin C, the classic immune system fighter, and beta-carotene. It’s as if nature knew that we would all be wishing for a summer glow during the cooler months.

Beta-carotene is what gives squash its orange hue. Incorporating orange vegetables into your diet will give you a natural glow all year round!

Related post: Nutritional Benefits of Butternut Squash

When you combine roasted butternut squash with the other flavors in this vegan butternut squash lasagna with kale, it’s as if there is a firework show of flavors happening at once. 

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The Lowdown on Healthy Swaps in this Butternut Squash Lasagna

Traditional lasagna is made with white pasta noodles, but to bump up the protein and fiber of this dish, we are swapping in lentil lasagna noodles as an alternative. 

Instead of using ricotta cheese, this recipe calls for a decadent and creamy basil cashew cream sauce (also used in this gnocchi with spring peas recipe). 

The result? 

A decadent and flavorful lasagna infused with seasonal Fall flavors that is sure to satisfy your desire for comfort foods in a healthier way. 

Before you get started, let me share a few cooking tips with you to make the lasagna assembly a little easier. 

  • For a super creamy cashew sauce, run the blender for a minute longer after the desired consistency has been achieved. The extra time and heat from the blade will result in a buttery smooth sauce. 
  • The key to a tender no bake noodle is to fully submerge the raw noodles with liquid. Make sure you use enough marinara and cashew cream sauce in each layer and spread all the way to the edges of the dish, leaving no exposed noodles behind. 
  • If you prefer not to use kale, you can swap for frozen spinach (no need to thaw). 
  • When you’re ready to layer the lasagna, follow this order: marinara > noodles > cashew cream sauce > butternut squash > marinara > noodles > cashew cream sauce > kale > marinara > noodles > marinara > cashew cream sauce >  butternut squash > kale. 

This might seem like a lot of layers, but trust me, they are all necessary for making this vegan butternut squash lasagna recipe one that you will repeat time and time again. 

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This butternut squash and kale lasagna can be prepped ahead of time and cooked later. It makes for delicious leftovers and can even be frozen for a healthy dinner in the future. 

That is … if you don’t eat it all first.

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Vegan-Butternut-Squash-Lasagna---Featured

Vegan Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna

  • Author: FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

All of the savory flavors of fall wrapped up into a comforting slice of comfort food. This vegan butternut squash and kale lasagna has gone through a serious healthy makeover by using lentil lasagna for a boost in protein and fiber, as well as basil cashew cream for a dairy free cheese alternative. Every bite is guaranteed to be decadent and full of flavor!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¼” thick half moons
  • 1 bunch dino kale, ribs removed and shredded
  • 2 28-ounce jars marinara sauce
  • 10 ounce package no bake lentil lasagna noodles
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Basil cashew cream sauce:

  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup filtered water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. To roast the butternut squash, lightly coat a parchment-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the butternut squash in an even layer, being careful not to overlap. Lightly coat the top with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15 minutes, until fork tender.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the cashews for the cream sauce. Add all of the ingredients to a blender, except for the water. Add ½ cup of water and turn on high to blend. Slowly add more water as you need it, until you reach the consistency of a thick, pourable sauce.
  4. To prepare the kale, remove the tough ribs and roughly chop it through with your knife. Place the kale in a mixing bowl and massage to break down the leaves and tenderize them a bit.
  5. Lightly coat a 13×9 deep casserole dish with cooking spray. Add ½ jar of marinara sauce to the bottom. Next, layer the noodles, slightly overlapping. Spoon ⅓ of the cashew cream sauce over the noodles and spread into a thin layer, all the way to the edges. Place a layer of roasted butternut squash on top. Next, spoon the other ½ of the marinara jar over top. Repeat with a layer of lasagna noodles, then cashew cream. Sprinkle half of the kale on top and spoon ½ of the second jar of marinara on top. Layer with noodles, more marinara and the remaining cashew cream sauce. Add a layer of butternut squash and sprinkle the remaining kale on top to finish.
    Tip: The key to a tender noodle is to make sure the lasagna noodle is submerged in sauce, so it’s important to spread the marinara and cashew cream sauce all the way to the edges of the dish.
  6. Bake in the oven covered with aluminum foil for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes, until bubbly and golden. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 404
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 423mg
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Protein: 19g

Keywords: dairy free lasagna, vegan lasagna, butternut squash, healthy comfort food, butternut squash lasagna, vegan butternut squash lasagna, butternut squash and kale lasagna, basil cashew cream sauce, gluten free lasagna

-Carly Paige

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Simply Swapped Everyday

Simply Swapped Everyday is your guide to elevating the everyday through mindful methods, ingredient swaps and over 75 plant-powered recipes. Cooking healthy foods at home has never been easier or more delicious!

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Hi! I’m Carly Paige, a culinary nutrition expert and chef who believes that healthy doesn’t have to be frustrating, boring or restrictive. I’m here to show you how through my Simply Swapped Method so that you can feel more energized and confident from within. You’ll find tips for focusing on nutrition in the kitchen, along with plant-powered, gluten-free recipes that proves healthy can be delicious.

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