Butternut squash for the win….

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Last night, I decided to make another Pinterest recipe. I was really excited about this one.

When Jeremy saw the butternut squash going into the shopping cart at the store, he wasn’t thrilled. In fact, I think he was a tad bit nervous.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Here is the recipe:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 5 cups fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups diced peeled butternut squash $
  • 1 jar of no sugar added spaghetti sauce
  • 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add meat and onion; cook until cooked through about 7 minutes. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.
  3. Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender. Mix with mixer squash to make it smooth. I added salt, pepper, and chicken stock to give it some flavor.
  4. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti squash in the bottom of one prepared dish. Arrange 3 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.
  5. Arrange 3 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.
  6. Arrange 3 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients in remaining pan. Cover each pan with foil.
  7. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.
  8. To freeze unbaked lasagna: Prepare through Step 6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
  9. To prepare frozen unbaked lasagna: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover lasagna with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly.

I figured it would take some time to get the squash cooked, so I started with that first. I saw somewhere that you could peel squash. I thought I would try it. Just so you know, I could not. Maybe other varieties, but not butternut. So I shaved the skin off with a sharp knife. ( Truth be told, I was afraid I was going to chop a finger off doing this. If anyone knows an easier way to peel and chop uncooked butternut squash, I am all ears.  )

I cooked the squash in my deep covered baker. I wanted it nice and tender without getting gummy and I knew that the deep covered baker would do great. The recipe says it takes about 5 minutes, but it took me more like 15-20. I was also confused about whether or not to add liquid to the squash while it cooked. I did. I added the chicken broth.

After the squash was nice and soft, I separated the squash from the broth and mashed it in a bowl.

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The cheese part was self explanatory, but I would like to add, that I used part mozzarella part provolone. Not sharp provolone like the recipe calls for. I also did not use parsley, because I couldn’t find it quickly at the grocery store.

I used turkey for this recipe. I did add three garlic cloves to the meat and spinach mixture. Next time I would only add maybe one.

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I did start the turkey meat while the squash was cooking in the microwave. I did not use a dutch oven pot like the recipe suggests. I used my 12″ skillet. It worked beautiful. And I actually would add more spinach next time.

( I do realize that some people don’t like microwave cooking. I hear you. To be honest, I am hesitant about it as well. You can easily cook the squash ahead of time, so it’s done when you want to start assembling your lasagna. )

My prep time for this dish was more like 45 minutes. I cooked it on 400 degrees. I did 25 minutes covered and 25 minutes uncovered.

Her recipe was confusing to me a little. In step 6, she mentions “smoky marina,” I didn’t see a mention of that before. So I just used the spaghetti sauce like I had used in the other steps. While I am talking about spaghetti sauce, her recipe didn’t specify what size jar to use. I used a large jar. I don’t like dry lasagna.

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Jeremy walked into the house after a long day. It was late and he was hungry.

He saw the left of the squash on the counter and you could see the doubt in his eyes. He didn’t say much other then “smells like squash in here.” I opened the oven and said ” yes, but doesn’t it look wonderful?” :)

My pictures can’t even do this lasagna and sort of justice.

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It was utterly fantastic.

I didn’t tell the kids what was in it. Maddie just commented on how it looked different. The squash does blend into the noodles and cheese. Emma said “it’s melicious Momma.”  Nathan just devoured it. Jeremy… well… he ate two helpings.

Definitely NOT a Pinterest fail. This recipe has already moved over to my yummy board.

Things I learned:

You don’t need a large butternut squash for 3 cups of chopped squash. A medium squash would have sufficed.

I really do like butternut squash.

 

 

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