Butternut Squash Lasagna with Kale Pesto

We’re always on the lookout for fresh new ways to enjoy kale, and this twist on 
pesto might just be our favorite yet! Here, we’ve layered it into a veggie-packed 
lasagna as a fun, nutrient-rich alternative to tomato sauce.

Photo: Darren Kemper

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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
70 min


  • 1 tbsp 
+ ½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 1/3 cups 
peeled, seeded and finely chopped butternut squash (¼-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tbsp organic unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp white whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ cups 
low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 
lasagna noodles
  • 5 cups 
chopped kale, thick stems removed (about ½ bunch)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup 
blanched unsalted almonds or walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp ground black 
 pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup 
grated Parmesan 
cheese, divided
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Mist a rimmed baking sheet and an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium and brush with ½ tsp oil. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, 2 minutes. Add squash, ¼ tsp salt and nutmeg and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add orange juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until squash is tender but still holds its shape, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan on medium, melt butter. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low until sauce thickens slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer noodles to prepared sheet, separating gently. Cut each noodle in half crosswise to yield 12 pieces. Set aside.
  5. In same pot of boiling water, cook kale until wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain. In a food processor, pulse garlic until finely chopped. Add almonds, pepper, kale and remaining 1 tbsp oil and ¼ tsp salt; process until a paste forms. Stir in 1 tbsp Parmesan. Set pesto aside.
  6. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, egg and 2 tbsp Parmesan.
  7. Spread 3 tbsp sauce on bottom of baking dish and cover bottom with 4 noodle pieces. Spread with half of ricotta, one-third of pesto then half of squash mixture. Top with 4 noodle pieces then with half of remaining sauce. Repeat with remaining half of ricotta, half of remaining pesto and 4 noodle pieces, and spread remaining sauce on top. Add remaining squash and dollop with remaining pesto. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp Parmesan. Cover loosely with foil and bake until cheese is melted and filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/4 of lasagna
  • Calories 568
  • Carbohydrate Content 55 g
  • Cholesterol Content 105 mg
  • Fat Content 32 g
  • Fiber Content 0 g
  • Protein Content 23 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 13 g
  • Sodium Content 0 mg
  • Sugar Content 7 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3.5 g