Christmas Butternut Squash Lasagna Questa ricetta è disponibile anche in italiano.
Today I’ve got for you a recipe that merges together both mine and my husband’s roots. This vegan festive lasagna is a perfect Italo-British fusion dish that will make you go for seconds!
I believe this is definitely the best vegan lasagna you can possibly have on Christmas day, Boxing day or on Christmas Eve dinner: layers of durum pasta sheets and gorgeous wintery veggies with a hint of sweet and comforting cranberries all cooked into a spicy and creamy butternut squash sauce.
In Italy we usually have the classic Italian lasagna (with beef mince) at least one of the three days around Christmas, typically my family and I used to have it on Boxing day.
If you’re looking forward to tasting Christmas in a bite this is the way to go.
And if you also have guests either vegan or vegetarian, even better! This dish will make everybody happy around your table and nobody will be missing the “meat” or the “cheese”: this is your chance to impress even the most skeptical ones!
And if you don’t receive compliments about this dish I invite you to write me a comment at the end of this post.
I see you’re not a fan of Brussels Sprouts..
So is Guy, my husband. He told me that on Chrismas night on their table there was at least one dish starring Brussels sprouts and has never liked them.
And do you want to know who’s the biggest fan of this dish?
You guessed it!
It’s him indeed!
This is because the Brussels sprout flavour has sapiently been mellowed down by the rich sauce and the sweetness of both cranberries and butternut squash. These three elements work so very well together that I highly recommend you not to substitute any of them if you’re making this vegan lasagna.
Give me a little trust!
I never publish recipes that have not been tested and re-tested by myself and my non-official tasters!
You have to know (if you haven’t noticed yet) that I am a “bit” of a perfectionist and the last thing I want for my blog that is all about food is for my recipes to taste bad or that they don’t come up well together.
Believe it or not, I’ve been there too (and I still do sometimes, sadly) having come across recipes on the web that I tried to replicate and they didn’t turn out the way I was promised/expecting.
Luckly I sometimes can tell by only reading a bunch of ingredients (especially when it come to pastry) if they can hold together or not, but I keep experimenting anyway, giving the blogger or whoever shared the recipe my trust, and most of the time the result is unfortunately not as expected!
I don’t want that to happen for my blog and my work in general. If I do not have a stunning recipe I simply DO NOT POST IT, end of story.
What I want for my blog is to have a win-win outcome, where both me AND you are happy with everything I share.
So please, if some of my recipes don’t meet up to your expectations or you feel they came out wrong let me know. I’d love help figuring out what went wrong!
…Woh, that was a long way to basically say that I am sure even those who don’t like brussels sprouts will fall in love with this butternut squash lasagna!
Here’s some nutritional facts about it!
Star of the dish is without doubt Butternut Squash.
We’re going to cut it into cubes and roast it in the oven to bring up some extra flavour. Then we’re going to use half of the roasted butternut squash for the sauce and the other half for the filling of our lasagna.
If you cannot get butternut squash you can substitute it with any other squash or pumpkin.
Next up: Brussels Sprouts.
We are going to simply wash these lil’ cabbages, trim a bit of the stalk off then cut each of it in halves (or into 4 if too big). As you are trimming the stalk, you’ll notice than some other leaves will come off. This little hack is the quickest way to discard the outer leaves that are sometimes yellow or dotted.
Now we can quickly toss the sprouts with some oil, salt and pepper and arrange on the same tray as the butternut squash cubes, ready to be roasted.
Finally: Cranberries and Walnuts
Now that our veggies have been gorgeously roasted we can add the last touches to the filling.
Simply chop roughly some cranberries and walnuts that will add both sweetness, texture and extra crunch to our rich filling.
If you don’t like walnuts you can use Pecans instead, or even Pistachios, Almonds or Cashews.
You can substitute cranberries with Goji berries.
The Butternut Squash Sauce
As you are about to see, the sauce that will allow our lasagna sheets to cook is dead easy and very straightforward to make.
You will end up with a creamy and flavourful butternut squash sauce, that smells absolutely gorgeous thanks to the addition of:
- Smoked Paprika
- Nutritional Yeast
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
This sauce is also perfect to coat pasta or to make an healthy version of vegan mac&cheese!
To make the sauce we will only need to add the dried ingredients to a bowl first, then the plantbased milk, and simply blend it with a hand stick blender until completely smooth.
That’s it guys!
How easy was that??
Last step before the oven is to assemble our Christmas-y vegan butternut squash lasagna.
In a deep ceramic dish pour roughly 1/4 of the sauce, then arrange a layer of dried (or fresh, or gluten free sheets, you pick, as long as they’re vegan!) 100% durum wheat flour lasagna sheets.
Spread 1/2 of the filling onto the lasagna sheets, then cover with another 1/4 of the butternut squash sauce.
Another layer of pasta sheets goes in, followed by the remaining filling and some more sauce.
Finish with another layer of lasagna sheets and the remaining butternut squash sauce.
Here’s our Christmas lasagna ready for the oven. This beauty will bake at 180°C (350°F) for around 40 minutes.
Make sure to prick the lasagna with a wooden skewer or fork to check if it’s cooked before serving and don’t forget to allow the lasagna to rest for at least 10 minutes before portioning it. This will allow you to have perfect slices on your serving dishes!
I’ve topped my lasagna with some other chopped cranberries and walnuts and a sprinkle of ground pistachios for colour and extra texture.
If you’re looking for other recipes with butternut squash, I’ve got plenty too! Take a look at this Giant Couscous Stuffed Butternut Squash, these Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli or this Lentil and Squash Savoy Cabbage Rolls.
Butternut Squash Lasagna with Brussels and Cranberries Recipe
1 Large Butternut Squash (around 1.2 kg)
300 gr Brussels Sprouts
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup Walnuts
1 tbsp Ground Pistachios
1-2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
…for the sauce…
700 ml Plantbased Milk (Soy)
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
1/4 cup Corn Starch
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1. Preheat the oven at 180°C (350°F).
2. Wash the butternut squash, peel off the outer skin, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into regular 1 cm (1/2 inch) cubes. Toss with oil, salt and pepper and arrange on a baking tray.
3. Wash the sprouts, trim the core off, cut in half or quarters (depending on size) and remove the outer leaves. Toss with some oil, salt and pepper and arrange on the tray next to the butternut squash cubes.
4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (check after 10-12 minutes if there are sprouts that are already too dark and set them aside). Note: if you prefer, you can roast the squash for longer.
5. In a large bowl combine 1/2 of the roasted butternut squash with corn flour, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, nutmeg, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Add the plantbased milk and blend until smooth with a hand stick blender.
6. Roughly chop the cranberries and the walnuts, then add them along with the butternut squash and the brussels sprouts to a bowl. Mix well with a spoon and that’s our filling done!
7. Assemble the lasagna. Start with some sauce on the bottom of a 20×30 cm tray (around 1/4 of the total sauce). Arrange 1 layer of lasagna sheets, followed by half of the filling and another 1/4 of the butternut squash sauce. Repeat for another layer and finish with the remaining lasagna sheets and the remaining sauce.
8. Top with some more chopped cranberries and walnuts and a sprinkle of ground pistachios (optional).
9. Bake for 40 minutes or until soft.
10. Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 extra minutes before serving.