Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cauliflower Béchamel

Squash stands in for lasagna noodles in this hearty, vegan-friendly dish that makes both ricotta and béchamel out of cauliflower.

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An Autumn Favorite

Low in sugar, butternut squash offers a delicate sweetness
to many types of dishes and meals, which is why you’ll
often see it featured in desserts, mains and sides. In this
recipe, slices of the popular gourd replace lasagna
noodles, providing a good source of vitamin A.

Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
85 min
130 min


  • 8 oz cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch florets (about 2¼ cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided + additional for greasing
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms (any variety), thinly sliced
  • 6 fresh sage leaves + additional for garnish, optional
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb), peeled, seeded and sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch rounds (Note: You need about 36 slices.)


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large saucepan,
bring 3 qt water to boil. Add cauliflower,
cashews and 1 tsp salt; cook until cauliflower
is very soft and falls apart easily when poked,
about 20 minutes. Drain and cool 5 minutes.

2. To a food processor, add cauliflower
mixture, 3 tbsp oil and ¼ cup water; process
until smooth, about 2 minutes. Mixture will
be slightly grainy. Season with 1 tsp salt and
pepper to taste. Transfer ½ cup mixture to a
bowl and whisk in 5 tbsp water. (Note: In the
bowl is the béchamel; reserved mixture in
food processor is cauliflower “ricotta”.)

3. In a large skillet on medium-high, heat
2 tbsp oil; add onion and sauté until tender,
5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sage. Sauté
until mushrooms soften, about 3 minutes.
Add kale, remaining ½ tsp salt and pepper
to taste; sauté until kale is tender, 6 to
8 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

4. To assemble lasagna, grease a 9 x 13-inch
rectangular baking dish with oil. Arrange
about 12 squash slices inside, overlapping
as needed to cover bottom of dish. Gently
spread half of cauliflower ricotta over
squash. Top with half of sautéed vegetable
mixture. Arrange 12 more squash slices on
top, spread with remaining ricotta and add
remaining vegetables. (Note: You can also
use an oval-shaped dish; look for a capacity
of 2.5 qt. As the slices may overlap more, the
lasagna will be thicker, so add 20 minutes to
the covered baking time in Step 5.)

5. Finish lasagna with remaining butternut
slices and pour reserved béchamel over
top. Cover with foil; bake 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove foil and bake 30 more minutes, until
squash is fork-tender. Let cool 10 minutes.
Garnish with additional sage leaves (if using).

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories 300
  • Carbohydrate Content 30 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 19 g
  • Fiber Content 5 g
  • Protein Content 8 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 424 mg
  • Sugar Content 6 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 12 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g

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