Butternut Squash Lasagna Without Noodles (gluten free)

Healthy, Quick and Easy

by From Scratch Farmstead
overhead shot of butternut squash lasagna no noodles

This simple butternut squash lasagna without noodles recipe has everything to make it the perfect cozy comfort food. Oozing with cheese, filled with meat, and butternut squash replaces noodles, making it a nourishing meal that comes together in a few minutes time and only requires a few basic ingredients. It is sure to satisfy both the big and little in your family.

baked lasagna without noodles

There are a lot of noodle substitutes going around the inter webs these days but we have found replacing noodles for butternut squash to be our favorite. The squash holds up well amongst the meat and cheese and gets less soggy than zucchini. It has the hearty and comforting taste of traditional lasagna with more nutrients and less calories.

Growing Winter Squash

Any type of winter squash would work but we have found a lot of success growing butternut squashes and can also easily source these locally. We love their creamy texture, bright orange color and their shape makes them very conducive for this butternut squash lasagna without noodles recipe.

We grew a lot of squash this past summer. In this post, we go into detail about our three sisters garden, which included an abundance of corn, beans, and squash. I’m not complaining though, we love winter squashes and have found so many creative ways to put these beauties to use. We’ve mashed them, roasted them, turned them into pancakes, used them in baking, and throw them into almost anything and everything these days.

While we aren’t strictly gluten free and do incorporate locally grown grains on occasion and in sourdough, in large part I avoid grains and opt for replacing them with more nutritious alternatives. Hence, the creation of this butternut squash lasagna without noodles recipe. And, using butternut squash here was the inspiration for another family favorite, our butternut squash enchilada casserole.

butternut and acorn squash

Why substitute squash for lasagna noodles?

  1. You get more bang for your buck so to speak. From a nutrition standpoint, butternut squash is rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber for a relatively small number of calories and a low glycemic index. When you compare it with lasagna noodles, there are a significantly greater number of overall calories, almost exclusively coming from carbohydrates, with less nutrients.
  2. Butternut squash is a starchy, comforting vegetable and holds up well with the meat, sauce, and cheese present in this recipe.
  3. The butternut squash leaves you feeling full and satisfied without spiking your blood sugar nearly as much as the noodles would. And if you have any allergies or intolerances to gluten, this is a great alternative to nourish your body and avoid tummy troubles.
  4. You can likely find winter squashes locally and they store super well throughout the winter. Before we grew enough to last us through the winter, I used to always stock up on these in the fall from local farms.
  5. They are so yummy! Winter squashes are one our favorites from a taste standpoint and go perfectly in both savory dishes like this one as well as sweet dishes.

Butternut Squash Enchiladas - cutting squash

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Feel free to replace the ground beef in this recipe to your ground meat of choice. Substituting sausage here is delicious. This butternut squash lasagna without noodles is quite meaty and can easily be made with only 1-1.5 pounds of meat instead of the 2 pounds listed here if preferred.
  • Add more veggies to your meat filling. If you have other veggies on hand that you want to use up and add some extra nutrition, throw them into your meat/sauce filling. If we have them on hand, I will often add mushrooms and peppers.
  • After pulling the lasagna out of the oven, let set for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, I often like to cook it earlier in the day and just keep it warm in my oven until ready to serve.
  • There may be some excess juice that seeps out from the squash and filling as the lasagna cooks but we have not found this liquid impeding the taste or texture.
  • Extra cheese never hurts. ☺

Notes about serving

Instead of cutting this into squares like a traditional lasagna, we generally use a serving spoon and scoop this butternut squash lasagna without noodles into bowls, more like a casserole. Serve it by itself or along side a salad and you are good to go. This butternut squash lasagna without noodles recipe will feed our family of 5 for two meals and we find that we like the leftovers just as well, if not more, than the first day. It reheats well if kept tightly covered in fridge for up to five days.

portion of butternut squash lasagna served up

Ingredients

1 Medium Butternut squash lasagna, cut into 1/8” slices*
1-2 tbsp olive oil or cooking fat of choice
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground beef
3 cups tomato sauce
Italian seasoning or add oregano and basil
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups shredded mozzarella**

Instructions

  1. In a large pan heat your olive oil and sauté onions and garlic.
  2. Once soft, add ground beef and stir until the meat is browned.
  3. Add tomato sauce and spices to your ground beef mixture.
  4. Once everything is thoroughly incorporated, set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  6. Ladle a thin layer of your sauce mixture to the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  7. Add your first layer of butternut squash over the sauce. You want the pan covered but try not to stack the squash on top of each other.
  8. Put 1/3 of the remaining sauce mixture over squash.
  9. Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese on top of sauce.
  10. Repeat layer of squash, sauce, cheese.
  11. Last layer (third layer) of squash, sauce, and cheese.
  12. Cook covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 30 minutes until squash is tender, sauce is bubbling, and cheese is starting to brown.
  13. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving to set.
spreading bottom layer of sauce for lasagnafirst layer of butternut squash for lasagnaadding layer of meat sauce to lasagnaadding layer of cheese for lasagna

*Uniform butternut squash slices are ideal. You can easily do this with a food processor, mandolin slicer, or my favorite, by hand.

**Any type of cheese will do but we prefer mozzarella for this one. The more cheese the merrier. I try to reserve a bit extra for the top layer to make it extra cheesy.

served baked lasagna without noodles

Want more inspiration and recipes for a healthy kitchen?

Sadie @wisconsinhomesteader – 5 tips so you can cook from scratch without a meal plan

Britt @thesimplesalvagedfarmhouse – How to keep a well stocked fridge to cook from scratch

Janelle @crowdedtablefarmstead – Chicken enchilada soup

portion of butternut squash lasagna served up

Butternut Squash Lasagna Without Noodles (gluten free)

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This simple butternut squash lasagna has everything to make it the perfect cozy comfort food. Oozing with cheese, filled with meat, and butternut squash replaces noodles, making it a nourishing meal that comes together in a few minutes time and only requires a few basic ingredients. It is sure to satisfy both the big and little in your family.

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium Butternut squash lasagna, cut into 1/8” slices*
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil or cooking fat of choice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • Italian seasoning or add oregano and basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 cups shredded mozzarella**

Instructions

    1. In a large pan heat your olive oil and sauté onions and garlic.
    2. Once soft, add ground beef and stir until the meat is browned.A
    3. dd tomato sauce and spices to your ground beef mixture.
    4. Once everything is thoroughly incorporated, set aside.
    5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    6. Ladle a thin layer of your sauce mixture to the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
    7. Add your first layer of butternut squash over the sauce. You want the pan covered but try not to stack the squash on top of each other.
    8. Put 1/3 of the remaining sauce mixture over squash.
    9. Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese on top of sauce.
    10. Repeat layer of squash, sauce, cheese.
    11. Last layer (third layer) of squash, sauce, and cheese.
    12. Cook covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 30 minutes until squash is tender, sauce is bubbling, and cheese is starting to brown.
    13. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving to set.

Notes

*Uniform butternut squash slices are ideal. You can easily do this with a food processor, mandolin slicer, or my favorite, by hand.

**Any type of cheese will do but we prefer mozzarella for this one. The more cheese the merrier. I try to reserve a bit extra for the top layer to make it extra cheesy.

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