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Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cauliflower Béchamel: A Plant-Based Show-Stopper

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In this vegan butternut squash lasagna recipe, slices of the popular gourd replace lasagna noodles, providing a good source of vitamin A. And that is just the beginning. We also have cashew and ceauliflower working together to create a dairy-free béchamel sauce, we’re making cauliflower ricotta, there are sautéed mushrooms, and, yes, even kale is showing up to the party. Between the prepping and baking, this isn’t one of the quickest recipes around, but sometimes you have to put in some effort to get something truly remarkable. We promise it is worth it.


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Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cauliflower Béchamel

 

Servings
8
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
85 min
Duration
130 min

Ingredients

  • 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 + additionalfor garnish, optional
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removedand chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb), peeled, seeded and sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch rounds (Note: You need about 36 slices.)

Preparation

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