Paleo Butternut Squash Lasagna

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.

140 thoughts on “Paleo Butternut Squash Lasagna

  1. Marc Reply

    Solid recipe as always. My only observation was that it took way longer to cook than 45 minutes. I checked it at 45 and the butternut squash was still crunchy and then pulled it after another 20 minutes. I tried it then and the squash was still too firm. So I popped it back in for at least another 30 minutes. The top ended up being a little too dark but the squash was tender at that point. I sliced the squash about the thickness of a thick-ish lasagna noodle so the timing didn’t make sense to me… Either way… it ended up tasting great.

    Next time I will probably shoot for more like 350-375 for an hour and a half…

    • Maggie Reply

      Marc, it seems to me that you cut the planks much too wide. Mine are thin enough to see my finger through and it doesn’t take nearly that long.

  2. Jules Reply

    I have a butternut that’s been sitting on my counter for 6 months because I’ve been dreading peeling it. No more excuses!

  3. Bridget Reply

    This was soooooo good! I was prepared for it not to be like SAD lasagna, but it really wasn’t far off. The butternut squash made it kind of creamy so I didn’t miss the cheese at all. Even the 5 year old twins liked it with mild sausage. The only thing that would have made it better would be better pizza sauce but I had limited options at the store. Thank you for yet another amazing recipe!!!!!

  4. Jules Reply

    Yeah, it still looks great and isn’t squishy or anything! Hopefully I don’t cut it open and get an unpleasant surprise :/

  5. Kristina Reply

    LOVED this! I think we enjoyed it better than pasta-based lasagne.

  6. Christine Reply

    I’ll vegan/vegetarianize it and let you know how it comes out. :)

  7. Robyn Reply

    I tried this recipe last night and to my surprise it came out delicious! Some changes I made due to limited options: mild sausage, spanish onion, garlic powder, no fresh basil, and pre-cut cubed squash, so it was more of a casserole than a lasagna. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Dana Zia Reply

    This is such a great idea! Thank you so much! My hubby makes our own Italian sausage out of elk that would be perfecto in this recipe. Loving your blog!

  9. Lauren Reply

    What a fantastic dish! I don’t miss the noodles at all. I cooked mine for 45min at 400F and the squash was cooked perfectly. I will be telling everyone I know about this recipe!

  10. jd Reply

    Made this tonight.. Few minor tweaks. Added some organic ground beef and made the sauce from scratch-ish. It was phenomenal! I swear it was better than the usual over cooked hard and crusty lasagna I’m used to.. So good! Thanks!

  11. jasmine Reply

    Seriously this was ridiculous….it is SO good!!!! Even more excited because I doubled the meat!!!!

  12. Beverly Reply

    I made this a while back and it was wonderful! I tried it in the crockpot with mixed results in terms of “hold-it-togetherness,” but the flavor was wonderful.

  13. piggeh Reply

    just cooked this, although I had 500g beef and 100g chorizo instead (because I’m english and dont know what you mean by ialitan sausage ;)). Was lovely though, many thanks for the recipe. This is really the first paleo meal I cooked from scratch (aside form salads) and was really pleased with the results. the butternut squash was more difficult to chop up than I was expecting though! lol.

  14. Natasha Reply

    My husband and I have been feeding ourselves almost solely from your website and this is his favorite recipe by far. He asks me to make it about once a week. Thank you so much for your wonderful website!

  15. C Miller Reply

    Made it with patty sausage ( a mix of wild hog and venison). And Spice the meat with garlic and crushed red pepper. I was good. Well keep the stuff coming. The kill it cook it hunter is out.

  16. KimA Reply

    Unique + delicious = WIN! After having things “staged” to make this since you posted the recipe, I finally got to this last night! The whole family dug it! Thanks and keep ‘em coming, Megan!

  17. Virginia Reply

    This was another great one! I cut the squash the night before (and got my workout doing it!), and then I followed piggeh’s example and used beef and chorizo. The chorizo was the only sausage I could find without a bunch of added sugar, and it was really good! I have enough squash left for another lasagna, so I’m going to have to buy more meat on the way home. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Amy Reply

    I loved this. I had it for breakfast one day, lunch another day, dinner another day. This is probably one of my favorite meals from this page.

  19. Stephanie Reply

    Wow, never thought to try butternut squash! We make lasagna with zucchini and yellow squash sliced lengthwise to make noodles. It’s been a favorite for 8 years now. Will have to try the butternut…tried it once in a different preparation and didn’t like it, but maybe it’s time to try it again!

  20. Stacy Reply

    Husband asks what’s for dinner, I say “Lasagna, kind of, and you’re not going to like it.” He knows what that means. He says, “You paleoized it, didn’t you? What’s in it instead of noodles?” So I say it’s butternut squash, which he has never really liked before. I used ground pork with some Italian seasoning instead of Italian sausage, and I added some diced bacon to the sauce. I also used up some fresh mozzarella I had on hand, by breaking it into bits between the layers. After 45 minutes it was bubbly and delicious smelling, and I had a bowl before husband got to it. And it was really good. I told him he might even like it. When he finally tried it, he agreed. He said he couldn’t, in good conscience, call it lasagna, but it was very tasty. So, win!

  21. Rachel Reply

    Damn this was good!!!

    I didn’t have all of the ingredients in the recipe on hand so made do with what we had. Used a mix of ground beef and free range pork sausages out of casings. Also used tomato passatta and a can of diced tomatoes and Italian seasonings mix, chopped onion and powdered garlic. Very tasty but I would like to try this exact recipe with the roasted red peppers.

    Thanks for another great meal! I’m already dreaming of eating a slice of this for breakfast.

  22. Harriet McClain Reply

    This recipe is fantastic. It was easy to make. The aroma in my kitchen while it was cooking was amazing! We let it rest for 30 minutes like you suggested. It was so good that it will become a staple in my home. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  23. CarrieZ Reply

    I tried this the other day. It was delicious! I added spinach as I had a bag needing used up. I thought it might make it too watery but it didn’t. I followed your advice and let it sit for a while. Will be making this one again!

  24. Kristen Reply

    One of the best things I’ve had in a while! I’m not a huge fan of peppers so I substituted with sun dried tomatoes and it was delicious. Doesn’t make me miss pasta one bit!

  25. Fay Reply

    I absolutely love this lasagna and prefer it to the tradtional kind. I’ve made it at least a dozen times and find myself coming back to it again and again. The only thing different I do is roast a whole red pepper and use the entire thing. I like the freshness of a roasted pepper as opposed to the jar ones (the tastes are different for me). I’m also able to get a pizza seasoned sausage at a local butcher shoppe that is kilelr in this dish, but have made it all types, even plain ground turkey and it was still amazing. YUM!

  26. coco plum Reply

    this recipe is amazing for obvious reason. i made it last week and my husband was giving it lusty eyes after one bite. thank you so much for your time to this website…it makes my menu planning easier and my family meals happier and healthier!!

  27. Mrs.Buck Reply

    Yummmmmmmm! I made this last night for my husband and mother – it was a hit all around for the Paleo’s and non-paleo’s alike! My only issue was finding a paleo pizza sauce, where do you find yours? Thanks for a fabulous recipe!

    Oh, and I bumped the oven temp up to 450 for about 20-25 minutes in the middle of cooking to speed things along and my butternut squash was nice and tender after about 40 minutes total cooking time!

  28. Andrea Reply

    Our traditional New Year’s Eve meal is Lasagna and for years I’ve been rocking out an awesome gluten-free version of my family recipe…this year I’m full on paleo so this recipe was a life-saver! I did make the traditional version (it’s my 85 year old grandmothers favorite!!!) along with the BS Lasagna…it was so good! I did give everyone a taste and I think if I would have let them they would have chosen my BS over the traditional!!! Thanks for this recipe…it is now definitely my New Year’s Eve tradition!!!!

  29. andrea r. Reply

    Delicious. Gobbled up by everyone and my husband had thirds. He’s from NY. He knows lasagna. While he admits it isn’t the real thing, it’s absolutely out of this world. Thanks!

  30. Herbalchef Reply

    What an great recipe! Made this for dinner last night and it was a huge hit. I never expected the butternut squash to pair so well with the other ingredients but it sure did! I too had a bit of trouble with the amount of time it needed to cook properly. Initially I covered it with foil for the first 45 minutes then added an additional 30 minutes but felt the squash was still too firm. Next time I will slice the squash a bit thinner (perhaps on the mandolin). I made my own homemade sausage using a spice blend we make (very easy) and added some mozzarella cheese between the layers, I know cheese isn’t Paleo – I am just heading in the Paleo direction (almost there) and I had tons of shredded mozzarella leftover from Christmas appetizers! I just discover your site and am now a “subscriber”. Looking forward to trying more recipes.

  31. Andrea@simplylivinghealthy.org Reply

    This has become my new favorite meal! I’ve been making lasagna with zucchini for years but it has always been so watery no matter how I prepared it or how long I let it rest. This Butternut Squash Lasagna has the perfect texture and holds it even out of the fridge and re-heated…just had my last leftover piece…for breakfast! Yum. Thanks again for this recipe!

  32. Meghan S Reply

    I’ve heard great things about this recipe, and am really looking forward to it even more now that I’ve read some feedback! My question is this…what do you consider a plank size to be? Thin? Thick? Cutting butternut squash is an exercise of it’s own, so I want to do it right! Thanks!

    • megan keatley Reply

      it doesn’t really matter. the thinner you slice, the faster it’ll cook, but butternut squash is a tad bit difficult to handle, so it may be more difficult.

  33. Bridget Reply

    Absolutely a hit! Don’t miss the cheese at all. The best part of this recipe is it is so easy to make and easiere to over eat…. Making this for Super Bowl festivities.

  34. April Reply

    A-MAZING! Ive been makng this for my paleo challenge for the past few weeks. Ive substituted paleo friendly meatballs for the sausage… My favorite thing to eat by far!!!! THANK YOU <3

  35. Terese Reply

    Sounds awesome. I’m going to definitely make this! Not many recipes get such fantastic reviews!

  36. Dylan Reply

    Awesome Recipe. I doubled the ingredients (makes two dinners worth for two, if one person eats a lot like me). I used one pound mild italian chicken sausage and one hot, and cubed butternut squash (only thing they had at BJ’s). All fit into a large glass dish. Outside area got done in an hour, middle area hour fifteen.

    Next time I will try and experiment a little and add some greens, a layer of asparagus perhaps?

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