Vegan butternut squash and red lentil lasagna is a delicious change to regular lasagna. The flavours of coriander, cumin and garam masala add the right amount of spice while complimenting the tasty veggies.
An amazing vegan cheesy sauce is prepared with butternut squash and silken tofu to create a satisfying savoury, creamy topping.
Got some leftover pumpkin from carving at Halloween? Use it instead of butternut to prepare the lasagna sauce! Utterly delicious.
This recipe is perfect for batch prepping, treating the family, impressing dinner guests, or even as a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner alternative.
Quick Origins of lasagne
The best meals are classic meals with deep roots in history. I love traditional foods hence the name of my family's recipe blog. I find it fascinating discovering what people used to eat and how those meals evolved.
Modern day lasagna originates from a dish eaten in medieval Italy. A lasagna recipe was discovered recorded in the 14th century cookbook titled The Book of Cookery.
Medieval Italians enjoyed their lasagna sheets fermented and boiled. Cheese and spices were added to the plain pasta.
Eventually other ingredients were added to the lasagna such as tomato sauces and ragu's, meat, meatballs, eggs, vegetables, herbs, and white sauces.
However, there is contention as to whether lasagna is in fact a British invention as a recipe for lasagna was also discovered in the first recorded cookery book The Forme of Cury.
It is claimed that medieval British knights were enjoying meals of lasagna. Although Italy is firmly laying claim to the invention of lasagne.
Vegan Butternut And Red Lentil Lasagna
This plant-powered lasagna is packed full of nutritious and delicious ingredients including red lentils, kidney beans, and sweet potatoes cooked in a lightly spiced tomato sauce.
And topped with a cheesy white butternut squash sauce enriched with savoury white miso and nutritional yeast flakes.
My kids think the best part is the crispy topping and always argue as to who will get the best crunchy corners that always seem to catch and brown within our oven.
This lasagna recipe is one of my successful go-to recipes for visiting meat-eaters. The flavour is so savoury and satisfying that meat is certainly not missed.
Not a fan of butternut squash? Pumpkin is an ideal stand-in especially if leftover from Halloween carving. Or try cauliflower or sweet potato.
How To Prepare Vegan Butternut Squash And Lentil Lasagna
Leftover vegan lasagna will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days in the fridge. Add a layer of kitchen foil to cover if preferred or store within a covered container.
Lasagna can be frozen for 4-6 months well wrapped in the freezer.
Defrost completely before reheating, and if frozen within the baking dish allow the dish to come to room temperature, to avoid cracking the dish in the oven.
To reheat place the lasagna into a casserole dish and cover with kitchen foil to prevent the lasagna overcooking as it reheats. Reheat a notch down from the cooking temperature, for 25-30 minutes or until piping hot.
Yes with a few changes this lasagna can make a delicious gluten-free meal.
Ensure that the lasagna sheets are a gluten-free variety and choose a gluten-free stock.
Also check that the white miso is gluten-free although most brands are naturally gluten-free.
Any of the veggies can be subbed out for your favourite vegetables. Also the kidney beans can be replaced with a different type of bean,
Also to save time, a ready-made vegan white lasagna sauce could be used instead of the butternut sauce. The butternut squash or pumpkin could be added to the filling instead.
If your not too keen on spices then simply replace with some mixed herbs or just omit. Although the spices are mild and not too spicy so perfect for those liking less spicy meals.
Not a fan of vegan cheese? Simply replace with extra nutritional yeast or go for some thin sliced fresh tomatoes, and layer these across the top of the lasagna before baking. Delicious!
A few ideas:
* garlic bread
* crusty bread
* bread sticks
* crispy green salad
* any salad veggies
* steamed greens
* white or sweet potato wedges/fries/chips
* baked beans
* mango chutney
* vegan mayonnaise
* vegan sour cream or yogurt
* tomato ketchup or similar
Small amounts of leftover lasagna filling can be enough to prepare one or two extra meals.
A few suggestions:
* Leftover lentil mix can be turned into a yummy soup. Either blend with a little water or veggie stock or leave chunky and just add extra liquid. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes or until piping hot. Check the seasoning and then enjoy.
* Or use the filling to prepare vegan grilled cheese toasties. Add scoops to bread along with a sprinkle of cheese and toast/grill until bubbling and melted.
* Reheat the filling and pack into buttered rolls for a tasty take on a sloppy joe.
* Or enjoy the filling scooped into a baked potato, and serve with a crispy salad.
More Vegan Family Meals
Vegan chicken stew and fluffy dumplings
Vegan beef stew and fluffy dumplings
Really easy everyday vegan curry
Delicious and packed with veggies traditional hotpot
Vegan Indian Spiced Butternut Squash and Lentil Lasagna
- large lasagna dish/casserole dish big enough to serve 6-8, or 2 smaller baking dishes
- small saucepan, for cooking butternut squash
- large non-stick pan, for cooking lentil filling
- small food processer/blender/immersion blender, for preparing cheesy sauce
To sauté veggies:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or ½ cup/125 ml of veggie stock
For lasagna filling:
- 250 grams red split lentils rinsed and drained
- 1 can kidney beans 400g/15oz can, drained. (Or 240g cooked beans) Alternatively replace with chickpeas
- 400 grams sweet potato chopped into bite size chunks
- 200 grams carrots 1 large, sliced lengthways into 4 sticks and chopped into small chunks
- 150 grams onion 1 medium-large, chopped. Any type of onion is fine, especially red ones.
- 100 grams celery 1-2 ribs, sliced into small chunks
- 4 cloves garlic thin sliced, use more if preferred
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes 2 400g/ 15 oz cans, or a 500-600g carton/jar of tomato passata
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree paste
- 1 tablespoons cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 litre vegetable stock
After sauce is cooked:
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice optional
- 12 sheets lasagne dried, use more sheets as required
For the butternut cheesy sauce: (can save time and use a jar/can/package of vegan white sauce and blend with the cooked butternut squash. Mix through the nutritional yeast flakes although this is optional)
- 300 grams butternut squash or pumpkin, sliced, grated or chopped into small pieces, the scrapings/shreds from a pumpkin after its been carved can be used
- 500 millilitres water
- 150 grams firm silken tofu this is often found on the aisle section in supermarkets as it is a shelf-stable tofu
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste if in the UK white miso can be found in Asda
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 100 grams vegan cheese grated, or replace with extra tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes. Or perhaps use some thin sliced tomatoes to cover the sauce.
- 8 grams parsley fine chopped, or replace with cilantro/coriander, chives
Prepare the filling:
- Heat the oil or veggie stock in a non-stick pot.
- Add the onion, celery, carrots, and sweet potato. Sauté over a medium heat for 8 minutes.Stir frequently.
- Mix through the garlic, bay leaf, cumin, coriander and tomato puree. Cook for 1 minute stirring all the time to avoid sticking too much to pan.
- Stir through the lentils and kidney beans.
- Pour in the hot vegetable stock along with the chopped tomatoes. Add a good sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Give it a good stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Stir frequently.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce (this step can be omitted if using a ready prepared vegan white or cheese sauce):
- Place the butternut squash or pumpkin in a saucepan along with 2 cups/500ml of water.Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until the squash is very soft.
- Once soft drain the squash or pumpkin over a sieve or colander, reserving the liquid. Push the squash around to squeeze out excess cooking liquid.
- Place the squash into a food processer or blender. Pour 1 cup/250ml of cooking liquid into the processer (if you don't have this much just top up with some water). Or place the squash and cooking liquid in a bowl or pot suitable for using an immersion blender with.
- Add the remaining sauce ingredients, along with ½ teaspoon of salt and some pepper if liked.
- Blend until smooth. Set aside until required. It will thicken up a little as it sits.
Preheat the oven to 180 Fan/200 Celsius/Gas 6/400 Fahrenheit
After lentil mix has cooked:
- Once the lentil mix has been cooking for 20 minutes remove from the cooker ring.
- Mix through the garam masala, along with the lemon juice if using, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the base of your casserole dish with the lentil mix. Layer over lasagna sheets and so on. I managed 3 layers of sheets but if your dish is deeper you may get 4 or more layers.
- Pour over the butternut sauce and spread out to cover the lasagna top, it will drip down the sides into the lasagna but this is fine.
- Bake for 25 minutes. The sauce will form a thin crust but will be soft underneath, this is simply the tofu baking and is delicious.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle the vegan grated cheese over. Or instead sprinkle some nutritional yeast flakes for extra cheesiness without the cheese.
- Place back in the oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, coriander or chives.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Leftover vegan lasagna will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days in the fridge. Add a layer of kitchen foil to cover if preferred, or store within a covered container. Or keep the lasagna within the casserole dish.
- Lasagna can be frozen for 4-6 months if well wrapped in the freezer. Defrost completely before reheating, and if frozen within the baking dish allow the dish to come to room temperature, to avoid cracking the dish in the oven.
- To reheat place the lasagna into a casserole dish and cover with kitchen foil to prevent the lasagna overcooking as it reheats. Reheat a notch down from the cooking temperature, for 25-30 minutes or until piping hot.
- The vegan grated cheese can be replaced with a layer of thin sliced tomatoes. Simply add the tomatoes after the white sauce has been spread over the lasagna and bake for 40 minutes.
- A few handfuls of fresh spinach leaves can be added to the lentil mix after it has finished cooking on the stove top. Or add some kale for the last 10 minutes of cooking the lentil mix.
What temperature please?
So sorry about that! No idea how that slipped by not adding the cooking temperature! Thanks so much for letting me know. Recipe has been updated with the temperature. Hope you enjoy the butternut lasagna 🙂