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Tasty butternut squash and spinach Italian lasagna

30 September 2020

The thought of making lasagna from scratch could sound like a time consuming process but this vegetarian and diabetes friendly recipe with less than 10 ingredients, it is a meal idea that will impress at any occasion. Each serving provides 57g of carbohydrates along with 15g of protein and just 12g of fat putting this Italian lasagna recipe into a low carb meal category.     

butternut squash and spinach Italian lasagna Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 6 lasagna sheets
  • 2 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed or 800 g butternut cubes (1 3/4 lb)
  • 7.5 ml vegetable or chicken stock cube(1 1/2 t)
  • 200 ml water (4/5 c)
  • 2.5 ml salt (1/2 t)
  • 100 g fresh baby spinach leaves (3 1/2 c)
  • 30 g mixed nuts, roughly chopped (1 oz)
  • 100 g low fat mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (250 ml or 1 c)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ground nutmeg

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200º C (400 °F).
  2. Place lasagna sheets next to each other on a sufficiently large baking sheet, and cover with boiling water to soften the pasta. Set aside.
  3. Place the cubed butternut in a glass bowl and sprinkle with the vegetable or stock cube Add the water, cover with a microwave-safe lid and microwave for 15 minutes on high until tender enough to mash. Or boil in a saucepan on the stove until tender.
  4. Mash the butternut together with the stock and season lightly with salt and pepper. It should be quite sloppy. If not, add a little more boiling water.
  5. Spoon one third of the butternut mash into a lightly greased 300 mm x 150 mm (2 qt), oven-proof serving dish.
  6. Remove the lasagna sheets from the water, pat dry with a paper towel, and place two sheets of the softened pasta on top of the butternut mash and top with a generous layer of fresh spinach (about half of the leaves).
  7. Spoon another third of the butternut mash, add another two sheets of pasta and sprinkle with half the chopped pecans.
  8. Top with the other half of the spinach and then the last two sheets of softened pasta.
  9. Spread the remaining butternut mash over the pasta and sprinkle with the rest of the pecans.
  10. Cover and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Or microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove the lasagna from the oven or microwave and top evenly with the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with a little nutmeg. Turn the oven to broil and place the lasagna back in the oven until the cheese is lightly browned.
  12. Cover and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Or microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  13. Serve on a bed of mixed greens as a complete meal.

Variation:

For a little extra flavour, try adding chopped, sun-dried tomatoes to the first layer of butternut mash. Non-vegetarians can count this as the starch and vegetable or simply add a portion of grilled lean meat for a complete meal.