Vegan Butternut Squash and Lentil Lasagne is one of my favourite regular mid-week meals for my family.
Packed full of nutritious and yummy butternut squash, savoury lentils and creamy sauce. The lentil filling is gently spiced for the ultimate winter warmer.
Additionally the Butternut squash can be subbed with sweet potato, marrow, pumpkin or cauliflower, whichever is your favourite.
My Vegan Butternut Squash and Lentil Lasagne recipe is perfect for batch cooking.
The lentil filling is enough for 8 portions, maybe more depending on appetites, and can be prepared as one large lasagne or two smaller lasagnes.
Freeze one for later for a quick, instant meal.
Ideal for busy days when you don’t have the time or feel like cooking.
For those who follow an oil-free plant-based diet, my Vegan Butternut Squash and Lentil lasagne is an oil free recipe.
Even if your not oil-free, there’s still less fat and calories within this lasagne so that’s got to be a bonus!
Vegan Butternut Squash and Lentil Lasagne
- 1 or 2 baking/casserole/lasagne dishes. I used an 8 x 8 inch casserole dish and an 8 x 6 lasagne dish, and still had enough lentil filling left over for a couple of potions of lentil-butternut squash soup the next day for lunch!
- Large saucepan for preparing the lentil-vegetable mix
- Medium saucepan for preparing white sauce
- Small sauté/fry pan for toasting the cumin seeds, although this is optional
- 400 grams dried red lentils, washed or about 2 and a 1/4 cups
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 packet fresh cherry tomatoes, chopped in half, these are optional. I found a reduced punnet of tomatoes and decided to use them up with this dish. Glad I did!
- 1 inch bit of fresh ginger, fine chopped or grated alternatively, use 1 tsp dried ginger
- 2 tins of 400 grams chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped or use 1 tablespoon of dried garlic. My family likes a lot of garlic so I would use about 6-8 garlic cloves for this recipe.
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds or 2 tbsp of cumin powder
- 2 whole bay leaf's
- 2 vegan stock cubes or use stock powder, paste etc.
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1750 ml (millilitre) boiling water, 0r 1.85 US quarts/ 3 UK pints
- 1 whole butternut squash, peeled and rough chopped into bite size pieces alternatively use 2-3 cups of pumpkin, or 2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes, scrubbed and skins left on (remove any blemishes).
- 2 medium carrots, grated I leave the skins on, just peel off any blemishes.
- 1 can kidney beans, drained or use 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo or butterbeans
- salt and pepper to taste, a squeeze of lemon juice is also a tasty additional seasoning.
- White Sauce
- 600 ml plant-based milk 1 and a 1/16th pint/0.63 US quarts
- 2 tablespoons plant-based margarine
- 3 tablespoons plain flour either wheat or gluten-free plain flour. I've made the sauce with gluten-free plain flour and it is fine.
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Handful plant based cheese, grated. Or nutritional yeast flakes. this is optional and is used to sprinkle over the finished lasagne. I usually just use nutritional yeast but also add in some plant-based cheese if I happen to have it.
- Toast the cumin seeds to release more flavour.However, this is optional. The seeds can just be used untoasted or use cumin powder. Heat a small fry/sauté pan over a medium heat.Add the cumin seeds and shake the pan constantly until the seeds begin to brown. To prevent burning, I usually take the pan of the heat and shake the pan, turning the seeds around, until they look toasted.
- Add the toasted seeds to a large saucepan.Add the onion, celery, carrots, butternut squash, and garlic.Tip in the lentils and stir.
- Pour in the boiling water. Crumble the stock cubes with your hand into the saucepan. Or pop in your stock paste or powder.
- Tip in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and kidney beans.Add the bay leaf's, ginger, and garam masala.
- Give everything a good stir.Bring to the boil.Lower the heat and gently simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent lentils sticking to the saucepan bottom.If the lentil mix becomes too dry and the lentils and vegetables are not yet soft just add a little splash of water and simmer until everything soft and mix is thick. Letting the cooked mix sit for 10 minutes off the heat will also help thicken up the mix if needed.
- Preheat the oven to 180 Fan/200 Celsius/ 400 Fahrenheit /Gas 6.While the lentil mix is cooking, prepare the white sauce.
- Melt 2 tbsp of plant-based margarine in a medium saucepan over a low-medium heat.
- Once melted, add the flour a little at a time and mix well.Cook the flour paste for a few minutes, stirring all the time.Slowly add in the plant-based milk a splash at a time, whisking well to combine the flour paste and break up lumps.Don't panic if you have lumps, just keep whisking, as you can always strain the sauce through a sieve before adding to the lasagne.
- Once all the milk is added, gently simmer for a about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Take off the heat and let it sit until needed. but give it a stir every now and again to avoid a 'skin' forming. If a skin does form just whisk it away.If your sauce needs to sit for awhile you can cover it with a circle of scrunched up greaseproof/baking paper. Just press the paper onto the surface of the sauce and it will help prevent a skin forming.
- Once the lentil mix and white sauce is prepared its time to layer up the lasagne. (Remove the bay leaf's from the lentil mix. Check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. A squeeze of lemon juice is also tasty.)First add some lentil mix to cover the bottom. Followed by lasagne sheets to cover. Then another lentil layer and so on until you reach near the top of your casserole dish.I snap bits of lasagne sheets up to fill in the gaps that tend to form at the sides.I usually have room for 3 layers for my lasagne.Add the whole cherry tomatoes to the top layer so that they will sit under the white sauce.
- Pour over the white sauce. If making 2 lasagnes share out the sauce evenly.Spread out the sauce to cover the lasagne sheets.Sprinkle vegan cheese or nutritional yeast, or do what I do and sprinkle both, over the top.Bake in the oven for around 40-50 minutes until the top is golden, the cheese melted and the sauce bubbling.
Recipe notes for Vegan Butternut Squash and Lentil lasagne
- Save time and use a jar of vegan white sauce for the top. I have used a jar of Asda’s (UK) Free From Lasagne white sauce and it has been tasty.
- This recipe will serve 8 people, and is enough to prepare 2 lasagnes. Or if you have a large casserole/baking/lasagne dish make one large lasagne. If you just want to feed 4 people then half the ingredients. Or do what I do and prepare 2. Freeze one for a quick meal another time. To reheat, defrost and bake at the oven temperature stated within the recipe for 30-40 minutes or until piping hot. Cover the lasagne with kitchen foil to prevent browning.
- Spinach can be added to the lentil mix, just stir it in when its finished cooking and the residual heat will wilt and cook it. Or add the spinach to the lasagne layers when your layering it up.
- Add some chopped parsley to the white sauce.
- If you sub out the butternut squash for cauliflower, then I would roast the cauliflower until soft and add it to the lasagne with the lentil mix. A teaspoon or two of garam masala rubbed onto the cauliflower before cooking is delicious. Use a small amount of oil or do what I do and just dry roast the cauliflower for about 25 minutes at 180 fan/ 200 Celsius/400 Fahrenheit/Gas 6. I can eat this cauliflower straight from the oven its so yum. Or to keep it simple just add the cauliflower to the lentil mix for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- Any leftover lentil mix can be turned into a yummy soup, by either blending with some water or left chunky with added water, and heating till boiling. Boil for a few minutes. Check seasoning and serve. I usually do this for next days lunch.
Still looking for more easy, nutritious all-plant meal ideas?
Check out my Vegan Macaroni Cheese
Also my warm-the-bones Vegan Lentil Soup with Quick Dinner Rolls:
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Vegan Butternut Squash and Lentil Lasagne