Monday, October 3, 2011

Spinach and Butternut Squash Lasagna

I had a huge craving for some lasagna the other day but I didn't want the usual, meat-laden, heavy lasagna that leaves you feeling weighted down and in need of a nap.  So I found an interesting lasagna at Cooking Light with spinach, butternut squash and ricotta.  I love all of these ingredients on their own, so I thought I'd give it a whirl!  It was amazing.  Fireman and my Dad went nuts over it too - and there was no meat whatsoever in the dish!  Awesome!!  The following is the modified recipe that I used.  The original is from Cooking Light/March 2003.  One great thing about this recipe is that it can easily be doubled so bake one tonight and freeze one for later.  How awesome will it be to come home from work one night and just pop a ready-made lasagna into the oven for dinner?  I have included the freezing instructions at the end of the recipe! 

I hope you'll try this one.  It really is easy to put together and contains two of the veggie groups that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans tells us people don't eat enough of - green and orange!  I also included roasted broccoli and fresh bread for a vitamin packed and delicious meal that I can't wait to make again.

So pick up a bag of baby spinach and a small butternut squash the next time you're at the store.  I bet your family, even the meat loving ones, will love this recipe!  Let me know if you make this one!!

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients for 1 8x8 lasagna
  • Cooking spray
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 5 cup fresh spinach
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup + 1 T (1.5 ounces) shredded provolone and mozzarella blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/2 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese 1/2 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1.5 cups diced peeled butternut squash
  • 3 cups marinara sauce - I used a sun-dried tomato marinara
  • 6 oven-ready lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts then sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg. Combine provolone, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.
Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender.
Coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of prepared dish. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread half of cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.
Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread remaining cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange the onion/spinach mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.
Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Cover the pan with foil.  Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.
**Please note:  I used one 15 oz. container of part-skim ricotta because it's what I had - note that the nutrition facts are for using half part-skim and half fat-free ricotta!
To freeze unbaked lasagna: Prepare through Step 6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
To prepare frozen unbaked lasagna: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover lasagna with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving): Calories: 254, Calories from fat: 30%, Fat: 8.5g, Saturated fat: 4.5g, Monounsaturated fat: 2.2g, Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g, Protein: 18.6g, Carbohydrate: 27.6g, Fiber: 3.3g, Cholesterol: 69mg, Iron: 3.2mg, Sodium: 560mg, Calcium 414mg

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