My Butternut Squash Lasagna

Okay, I’m back. It’s been crazy around here. We went to Portland, OR for an awe­some get-a-way that turned into a glo­ri­ous week-long extrav­a­ganza of foodie bliss. I promise I’ll soon post a recap of our trip along with pic­tures of some great times. But for now, on with the show!

20091104-Butternut Squash Lasagna

I’ve titled this My Butternut Squash Lasagna because it seems every­one and their mother has their own recipe for this fab­u­lous fall-flavored, Italian-inspired dish. Now, I know some of you will think, “Oh look, he’s mak­ing more win­ter squash. What else is new?” Somehow I have become the squash guy. It’s mainly due to the mas­sive amounts of both sum­mer and win­ter squashes we’ve received from the CSA we’ve par­tic­i­pated in this year (we also hap­pily signed up for the win­ter pro­gram with Avalon Acres. Support your local farm­ers!). For this Lasagna I really wanted some­thing hearty. I was inspired by Nancy Vienneau’s Butternut Squash Leek Lasagna but wanted a bit more.

Taking a cue from Nancy, I knew that a good béchamel would really make this lasagna great, But I wanted to build upon it with slightly sharp shal­lots and the earth­i­ness of mush­rooms. I really wanted to use a good chicken-apple sausage, but the stu­pid Kroger by us stopped car­ry­ing any­thing fancier than smoked sausage. However, to reduce the fat, I found a good low-fat turkey smoked sausage. I ended up build­ing more flavour into my cream sauce by deglaz­ing the pan that I cooked the sausage in before start­ing the béchamel in the same pan, incor­po­rat­ing the lit­tle brown bits of intensely deli­cious fla­vor (known as sucs in French) into the sauce.

I was really pleased with how this turned out. The sage accen­tu­ated the but­ter­nut squash per­fectly while being sup­ported nicely by the nut­meg, all­spice & car­damom. And the won­der­ful no-boil lasagna really helped in reduc­ing the work involved in bring­ing this all together.

Butternut Squash and Smoked Sausage Lasagna
serves 6 – 8

4 tbsp. but­ter divided
2 large shal­lots, diced
½ lb. white mush­rooms, washed, destemmed and sliced ¼” thick
1 lb. Turkey Smoked Sausage, sliced ¼” thick on the bias
¼ cup water
3 tbsp. flour
1 ½ cup half & half
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ tsp. nut­meg
1/8 tsp. all­spice
pinch of car­damom
Kosher salt & fresh-ground black pep­per
1 box no-bake lasagna
1 but­ter­nut squash, roasted & puréed
1/3 cup chopped fresh sage
6 oz. shred­ded Romano cheese

Preheat over to 350ºF.

In a stain­less steel sauté pan, melt 1 tbsp. but­ter over medium high heat. Add the shal­lots and sauté for 3 min­utes; add the mush­rooms and con­tinue cook­ing for another 5 min­utes until the mush­rooms are done. Remove from pan and set aside.


Return pan to heat and add sausage. Cook sausage until it is golden brown on both sides. This can be done in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Remove all sausage and set aside.


Bring pan back up to medium-high heat and add water. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits from the sausage off the bot­tom of the pan (make sure you get all the lit­tle bits). Allow the water to sim­mer for a few min­utes until it is almost com­pletely evaporated.


Add remain­ing but­ter to pan, once melted sprin­kle in the flour and whisk until the flour fully dis­solves into the but­ter. Add half & half and whisk to com­bine well. Add shal­lots, mush­rooms and stir con­tin­u­ously until the sauce begins to sim­mer. Stir in ricotta and sea­son with nut­meg, all­spice, car­damom and salt & pep­per to taste.


Cover the bot­tom of a greased 9x13 bak­ing dish with a thin layer of the cream sauce then cover with a layer of the lasagna. Spread half the but­ter­nut squash purée evenly over the pasta and sprin­kle with a third of the sage. Cover with the sausage and sprin­kle with about a quar­ter of the Romano cheese and then spread with another thin layer of the cream sauce. Add another layer of the but­ter­nut squash, sage, Romano and lasagna and then spread with the remain­ing cream sauce. Sprinkle with the remain­ing Romano and sage.


Cover the dish with foil and bake cov­ered for 25 min­utes at 350º, remove foil and bake for an addi­tional 10 min­utes or until the cheese browns. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 min­utes before cut­ting & serving.




Try it some­time, and let me know what you think!

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  1. Posted November 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    You ARE the Squash Guy!
    I have mut­tered Stupid Kroger numer­ously in my life.
    It’s great to see how one idea leads to another in cook­ing,
    the turkey sausage/mushroom vari­a­tion is nice!

  2. Posted November 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Oh beau­ti­ful! Both the pics AND the lasagna.

  3. Posted November 7, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks guys!

  4. Liane
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I have white sage (salvia api­ana) grow­ing by my house and aside from being a waxy white color, it still smells like sage. Some web­sites say it’s ok for cook­ing and it seems like the sage species aren’t poi­so­nous so I could just pick those leaves and use them. Does it mat­ter what kind of sage I use?

    • Posted December 9, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      White sage, huh? that sounds awe­some. I want to find some of that. If it’s not poi­so­nous I would try it for sure.

  5. Liane
    Posted December 22, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    It turns out white sage is strongly hal­lu­cino­genic and actu­ally not rec­om­mended for cook­ing. A lit­tle extra research goes a long way… Darn! I guess it’s nor­mal ol’ sage for us.

  6. Posted February 4, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    yum! You totally should claim it as your own, every­one needs recipes like that :)

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