Vegan Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna
Vegan Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna- layered with cashew ricotta and roasted butternut squash, this lasagna is sure to make for a memorable meal!
It wouldn’t be the holidays without lasagna! Or at least some kind of Italian food.
We always eat Italian cuisine for Christmas and I’m fairly certain we always will. It’s a tradition I never want to break. The usual rotation includes stuffed shells, vegetable bolognese, some kind of eggplant dish, and a hearty vegetable lasagna. You just can’t go wrong with tomato sauce and pasta, you know?
While I usually stick to the basics with lasagna, I thought it would be fun to mix things up with a winter vegetable inspired version featuring roasted butternut squash and kale. Always a good combo, in my humble opinion.
To replace the cheese I used my go-to cashew ricotta (based on the recipe for my stuffed shells) which is a blend of raw cashews, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Super simple and so delicious.
Between roasting the squash, cooking the kale, boiling the lasagna noodles, and blending up pine nut parmesan, this recipe isn’t a quick one. That why I used store bought marinara. Sometimes you have to cut corners where you can to keep your sanity.
Even though it takes a little bit of time to make, I promise it’s worth the trouble. The nutty squash pairs so well with the creamy cashew ricotta and the kale is sure to make you feel good about getting some green in the mix.
You can also prep it head of time if you’d like to make it for the holidays. Just assemble then cover and wait to cook until everyone is about ready to eat.
Vegan Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna
For the lasagna
- 2 cups (1-inch) cubed butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon high heat oil
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked*
- juice of 2 lemons (1/3 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 28 ounces marinara
- 6 lasagna noodles
- fresh basil for garnish (optional)
For the pinenut parmesan
- 3/4 cup toasted pinenuts
- 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F then line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Arrange the cubed butternut squash on top and toss with high heat oil. Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until tender to pierce with a fork. Remove from oven then reduce heat to 350°F.
Meanwhile prepare the cashew ricotta by combining the soaked and rinsed cashews with the lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt in a high speed blender with 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth. You will likely have to scrape down the sides in between blending. Add a tablespoon or so of water at a time if needed to help blend. Careful not to add too much water. It should be thick but able to spread.
In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil then add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the kale, salt & pepper, and oregano, then cover with a lid and continue to cook until wilted, stirring intermittently. Set aside.
Prepare the lasagna noodles as directed then rinse with cold water to keep from sticking together. In a 9×9” baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of the marinara along the bottom.
Place 2 of the noodles over the marinara then layer roughly 1/2 cup of the cashew ricotta on top. Arrange 1/2 of the butternut squash on top of the ricotta, layer with another 1/2 cup marinara then top with 2 more lasagna noodles.
Spread 1/2 cup of the cashew ricotta on top of the noodles then arrange cooked kale over the top. Add another 1/2 cup marinara then finish with remaining 2 lasagna noodles.
Spread the remaining cashew ricotta on the noodles and arrange the remaining butternut squash on top. Finish with remaining marinara then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until heated through.
Meanwhile, prepare the pine nut parmesan by combining the toasted pinenuts with nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt in a food processor or blender. Pulse until a somewhat chunky powder forms.
Remove warm lasagna from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle pinenut parmesan on top of lasagna and garnish with fresh basil. Serve warm and enjoy!