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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. I wish i lived near you guys, i’m known to be an excellent taste tester :)

  2. 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…

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

  4. 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!!!!!

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

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

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. Wonderful! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. My husband made this for me for (with just a few modifications) for my birthday, and I loved it! We summed it up over here http://chubsandsmalls.blogspot.com/2011/10/chubs-cooks-lasagna.html.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  25. This was amazing!! Will definitely be making it again soon!

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. 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!!

  31. 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!

  32. 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!!!!

  33. 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!

  34. 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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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!

  37. 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.

  38. 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

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

  40. 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?

  41. This looms incredible! Question, though: if one should happen to have a calabaza squash on hand instead of butternut, in your expert opinion would this recipe still work? I’m dying to try it, but alas, am lazy and hate running to the store for one ingredient. :)

  42. *looks….autocorrect is my arch enemy.

  43. Do you cover to cook?

  44. I have made this a gazillion times already because I’m in love…and because I had a cornucopia of butternut squashes under my stairs that needed to be used. I forwarded the recipe to one of my coworkers who I’ve been able to coach her into paleo. She has never really had squash and has always hated it. She loved it, and she let another one of our coworkers try it who was a presupposed squash hater, and SHE LOVED IT! So there, you guys have multiple converts! Thanks always for your hard work and debunking the myth that eating paleo means brand and boring. :)

  45. I have had this recipe bookmarked forever and finally got around to making it yesterday (with much help from my husband, who had to cut the squash for me. That is no easy task)! I have never been huge on lasagna so I wouldn’t say I missed it since switching to Paleo, but I love squash and this recipe was awesome! We both loved it and I was very excited to have the leftovers for lunch today. :)

  46. Just made this tonight and I wanted to eat the whole pan! I’ve been cooking awesome recipes off of your website for the past month, and loved this one the most (though they’re all fantastic!). Thanks so much for these :)

  47. Thanks so much for posting your recipes. I just found this off another blog and it looks delicious. How long have you been living “paleo?” I just started with the Whole 30, did you do that to begin with? I am having trouble distinguishing between what is “paleo” and what is “Whole 30″ approved. Thanks again!

    • thanks for your comment Jenny. we started “paleo” roughly 5-6 years ago after reading “the Paleo Diet” by Cordain. the thing is…our version of what “paleo” is has changed since then and continues to evolve. it’s tough and unfortunately it’s not perfectly black and white and people have different opinions about what fits a “paleo template” (what modern foods help us approximate the type of ancient diet that helps us be disease free?)

      people like whole 9 brand their own version of paleo and ultimately you’ll just have to figure out exactly how you feel about some of the grey areas like some dairy, small amounts of added sugar etc. you’ll find a way to make it all work for you.

      our easiest description of eating “paleo” is to avoid 1. Grains 2. Vegetable oils (high omega 6 foods) 3. Sugar beyond 50 g/day or so (fructose)…and include lots of animals and plants (with animal fat and egg yolk etc). hope this helps, check out our links for
      some real experts. take care!

  48. Hector Boyardee

    I had a dream the other night that my friend made this amazing lasagna with squash instead of noodles. I was just googling Paleo potluck recipes and here is the recipe from my dream! I think I have to make this now! Thanks!

  49. This was freaking awesome. I used as freezer meals for work and I’ve completely run out. Will make more this weekend. Thank you so much!

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