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Paleo Butternut Squash Lasagna

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butternutsquashlasagna

I think we’ve all been there. We think we’re so incredibly clever for using spaghetti squash as a sub for spaghetti noodles. Then you realize it’s become a bit Paleo passé, a.k.a. boring. So, let’s start taking that idea further. We’ll sub butternut squash for lasagna noodles, and we can call is B.S. Lasagna. The squash around the edges of the pan does actually get crispy, crunchy like lasagna noodles do…and the flavor is definitely there. But other than that, I’m not going to lie and say, “WOW! It tastes exactly the same!” Though I can’t remember the last time I had S.A.D. lasagna, so I guess I couldn’t tell you if it did. Anyway…

What it is does taste like is a sweet, salty & tangy quasi lasagna. I’ll settle for that any day.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 15 oz can pizza sauce
  • 1/2 c roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • couple leaves of fresh basil (leave it out if you don’t have it, just freshens up the sauce a bit)
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • cheese, optional

Method

Get your oven to 400ºF. In a saute pan crumble the sausage and brown it, along with the onions & garlic. While that’s going, cut the top and ends of the squash off and peel it. Split it into 1/4′s. What I mean by that is, right where the squash starts to turn bulbous, cut it in 1/2, width-wise. Split those two halves in half, lengthwise. This will make it much easier to cut into planks. Pull out the seeds. Don’t be anal about getting out all the strings, as you won’t even notice those when they’re cooked. Slice the squash into the aforementioned planks.

Make the sauce by pureeing the pizza sauce, red peppers, olive oil and basil. If you don’t a contraption that will puree (blender, food processor, immersion blender), chop up the red peppers and just whisk everything together.

Using a 9×9 oven safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add the squash, trying not to overlap the pieces, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up…trying to reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna.

Bake for 45 minutes. You’re looking for a bubbly pan with a crispy, browned top. Right out of the oven, the lasagna may by liquidy, let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify.

139 comments

  1. AHHHHHHH! I <3 you guys!!

    This recipe was SO yummy, even better than when I used to eat pasta lasagna! This was my first time using butternut squash & I was pleasantly surprised by how well it tasted. I didn't even miss the cheese. I followed your recipe exactly & it turned out perfect. Thanks for sharing this! I will definitely be making this again.

  2. This has become part of our bi-weekly, if not weekly, menu now. I add chopped black olives to the top to give it some more “bite” and occasionally add a dash of crushed chilli peppers into the pizza sauce for the same reason.

  3. Dumb question, but I’m finally getting around to making this recipe this weekend–did you peel the squash?

  4. This is such a great recipe, I shared it the the clients at my gym. A few of them had trouble cutting up the squash and asked how I did it. So, I made a quick video on the way I like to slice it up. Hope this helps!
    http://youtu.be/v32f6uedDlc

  5. I made this last night.. AMAZING!!!!!….
    If you don’t like hot Italian sausage, you won’t go wrong by buying mild instead. I loved the sauce too. Adding the roasted red peppers and the basil worked wonderfully. Thank you very much!

  6. This is a great idea! Using butternut squash for your noodles. Now that summer is coming to a close I have to say goodbye to zucchini and eggplant lasagna noodles. Thank you for the inspiration

  7. Hello fall/squash season!!! So happy to have butternut squash back on the menu. Made this again last night, and it’s been too long. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this meal! I made it like a dozen times last year and hope to even that up this year :)

  8. This looks fantabulous…..Could I make green lasagna by using zucchini slices instead of butternut squash?…or would this throw off the whole taste/feel factor? Loving your blog…thank you for sharing your wit and culinary creativity!

  9. I made this last night and it was phenomenal! I added bacon, bison, kale,spinach and mushrooms. Thanks for a great recipe. I’m going to try it with acorn squash next.
    Cheers,
    Kat

  10. Perfect fall recipe! The whole fam loved it. Thank you for sharing all this goodness with us! Thanks also for making the recipes so easy to print. I have two littles who “help” me cook, so putting the laptop on the counter would surely end in sauce all over the keyboard or some such disaster. Better to print the recipes out! Later today we’ll be making your Primal Carrot Cupcakes – can’t wait.

  11. I loved this recipe!! My mom is doing the Paleo Diet and passed it along. I used Marinara instead of pizza sauce since I had some in the pantry and I also roasted my own red pepper. I’m sure most of you know how to do it but I wasn’t sure. Set the oven at 400 and then once it reaches that temp, put the oven on broil. Cut the red pepper in half and de-seed it. Put the peppers face down on a baking sheet and let them blacken (about 20 minutes). Take them out and put them in a sealed container or like I did, put the pepper in a bowl with a plate over it to finish “steaming” it. The skin can then be easily peeled and pop it into the blender to puree with the sauce and olive oil!

  12. I’ve made this 3 times ….. DE-LISH !!!!!

  13. I have to tell you guys… I’ve made this recipe countless times. It’s amazing every time. THANKS!!!! :)

  14. My hubby HATES squash so we rarely get to have it here, which completely limits the delicious things I could make on our Paleo diet. I’m throwing caution to the wind tonight and making this. I just licked the sauce bowl completely clean – I mean like face-in the bowl licking because it was so good. I cannot wait to taste it tonight. If he doesn’t like it, there’s leftover unrolled cabbage casserole in the refrigerator.

  15. WON-derful recipe. Easy to follow and tastes superb. Thanks a ton!

  16. This was so yummy and hubs also loved it. I used already washed and cut up butternut squash and turned it into a ghoulash, that made it way easier. Thanks!

  17. I’m new to your site. Made this over the weekend and it was so good!!!! Thank you!

  18. Wonderful recipe. I LOVE butternut squash.
    Thank you so much.

  19. how thick do you slice the squash planks? is thinner better?
    thanks!

  20. One of the best recipes EVER. I make slight mods by adding hamburger meat and a jar of spaghetti sauce instead of pizza sauce so it will make a huge dish. We can eat off of this for a long time!

  21. This recipe is amazing and one of my favorites! Thank you so much for sharing! Keep up the good work!

  22. I love this recipe! It is so yummy. My husband does crossfit and sent me your link. This is one of my favs. Wouldn’t change a thing!

  23. my man & me eat this all the time! Best part – for some reason organic butternut squash at the local health food store (Island Naturals) is cheaper than non-organic @ the safeway. SCORE!!!

  24. How well does this reheat? I’m hoping to cook it tonight for a work potluck tomorrow but we only have a microwave available for reheating.

  25. Hey All-

    This looks great and I can’t wait to try it out. One question, I’m new to paleo so please forgive me it’s a stupid one but there appears to be cheese in the picture. I know real lasagna has cheese but i didn’t see cheese mentioned in the recipe. Did I miss something?

    • cheese would be optional. it’s sort of a gray area food…ancestral health proponents like weston a price foundation and “primal” proponents like Mark Sisson are for it in those who tolerate it. but it’s an individual preference. in the original recipe we did it with no cheese and it still tastes great, and the new photos here are from our book where we just say the cheese is optional.

      hope that helps.

      - brandon

  26. I made this using a mild Italian chicken sausage & it was delish!!! Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  27. How would I prepare this if I want to freeze it? Did i miss those directions? I would imagine that I would do everything except bake the lasagna??? any suggestions?

  28. Wow a paleo lasagna recipe! I am a “paleo advocate” but I still have to convince my hubby to embrace a paleo lifestyle. I believe that eventually, paleo diet, to be most effective should be a family lifestyle. My goal is to involve the entire family into adapting paleo and when that happens, I definitely will be needing tons of creative and enticing paleo recipes such as this one . Starting today and in the coming days ,I will be a regular visitor of your blog. :-)

  29. Talk about primal cravings! This satisfies my lasagna craving like nothing else! The roasted red peppers and olive olive oil in the sauce, along with a pinch of red pepper flakes are what make this dish totally killer – perfect combos to offset the somewhat sweet flavor of the squash. My family, including my 1 1/2 yr old daughter just love it! We love the Primal Cravings book and usually make this recipe from it, but I had to see if it was online so I could “Pin It” for others. Thanks for a great recipe!

  30. I love all of your wonderful recipes! Primal Cravings is definitely my favorite cookbook:-) I made this dish the other night and my husband and I enjoyed it so much-seconds were a must! Thank you so much for your creative and extremely tasty meals!

  31. I’ve made this so many times–can’t believe I didn’t comment on it yet. Because it’s FREAKING DELICOUS! There’s no way you’ll miss the pasta or cheese with this much flavor going on. I can never resist tweaking a recipe and I love tucking in extra veggies, so I add:

    - 1 bag of baby spinach, sauteed/steamed with 1 T water until wilted and fairly dry
    - 12 oz button mushrooms, also sauteed w/ 1 T water until ‘dry’

    I also substitute hot Italian turkey sausage instead of pork, Rao’s pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce, and I don’t add the extra 1/4 C oil. But that’s just me.

    Thank you, Meghan, for yet another superb recipe!

  32. Oops–Megan. Sorry for the superfluous “h”. :^)

  33. I have made this so many times, but wanted to leave a note about my first time. The first time I made this I remember being excited, but then as I made it I was thinking – oh this is going to be a paleo let down. There is no way this few simple ingredients are going to be THAT good. Then it came out of the oven, and the smell was intoxicating, but the taste…good god was it amazing. Yes, it can be a little watery (just a little, not bad). But as stated, let it sit, it does firm up, but what is better is it makes for PERFECT leftovers. This is one of those foods that is even better day 2…after everything had congeled and then rewarmed – heaven. HEAVEN I say! My first time I was mid W30, so I did omit the cheese. But now that I’m not as strict, I add cheese since I know that helps the hubby and little boy enjoy it more. FYI, while I’m usually of the mind cheese makes everything better…with or without this is sinful. As a paleo/primal foodei who ideally wants everything homeade, but can’t do that with work and a toddler… this easy sauce has replace making my own pizza/marinar/sidedish staple sauce. Try it over spiralized zucchini…doooo eet. And just to emphasize how good the entire recipe is, my non-paleo husband, my celiac mother, and my 18 month old toddler all LOVE it. We have so much trouble leaving enough for leftovers. Kudos, this is now one of my staples – we eat it once/twice a month. And for those of you who haven’t made this dish yet, go get busy. You thank health-bent!

  34. made it loved it, bomb dot com wonderful blend of goodness and hearty perfect meal on a cold winter day

  35. In the oven now! But I couldn’t cut the squash into planks I feel like they are more like chunks:/ I hope it cooks ok.

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