Butternut Squash Lasagna

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Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Tempeh Bacon Filling & Cashew Cream Béchamel
Vegan, Gluten-Free

This rich and creamy baked Lasagna is as unbelievably satisfying as it is elegant. A perfect pasta course at a seven course meal or buffet or served with a salad. Trust me, you don’t need to eat a lot to feel full but you are going to want to have seconds just the same. Happy Feasting.
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For the Butternut Squash Filling:

1 onion (diced)
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
1 large butternut squash (to make 1 1/2 cups purée)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup raw cashew pieces or whole, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Cut one large butternut squash in half and remove seeds. Put it back together and wrap in parchment paper and then in foil. Bake on sheet pan in 350oF oven for one hour or until soft to the touch. Let cool and scoop out filling into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Place cashews in sauté pan and toast, stirring occasionally until golden brown. OR bake cashew pieces in a 350oF oven until golden brown.
Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned.
Add butternut squash purée and sauté for about 2 minutes.
Add half of the toasted cashews, reserve the other half of the cashews for later.
And the remaining ingredients and purée in a food processor. Adjust seasoning. Let cool.

For the Brussels Sprout Filling

1 onion (diced)
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
28 Brussels sprouts (stemmed and quartered)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned.
Add the quartered Brussels sprouts and sauté until tender but not over cooked (about 5 to 7 minutes).
Adjust seasoning. Let cool.

For the Cashew Cream Béchamel

2 cups cashew cream
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons vegan butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and place on medium-high heat, bring to a boil; whisking occasionally; being careful not to burn. Lower the heat and simmer for a minute or two or until it thickens slight. Remove from the burner and cover. Let cool.

NOTE: Once the Béchamel has cooled you may need to add vegetable stock (one tablespoon at a time) to loosen the sauce for use in the lasagna layering process.

For the Tempeh Bacon

1 package of tempeh bacon (6 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375oF

Lay the strips of tempeh bacon about 1″ apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove sheet pan from oven; flip bacon strips; return to the oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool.
Cut the bacon in 1/2 inch pieces.
Place pieces in a bowl to use later in the lasagna layering process.

For the Lasagna Noodles

1 box (10oz) of brown rice noodle lasagna (we use Tinkyáda brand)

Follow the package directions for baked lasagna making sure to under cook the noodles by two minutes. Rinse them in cold water; drain well.

ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA

Preheat the oven to 350oF

In an 11″x7″ Pyrex or comparable oven proof baking dish:
Ladle about 1/4 cup of Béchamel and spread it evenly on the bottom of the baking dish.
Lay down one layer of lasagna noodles (about three) side by side (if they overlap a little it’s fine).
With a teaspoon, spread butternut squash purée over the layer of noodles (about a quarter of a cup). You don’t need to completely cover each noodle.
Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of Brussels sprouts over the layer of squash and noodles. Again, you don’t need to cover each noodle.
Sprinkle approximately a quarter cup of tempeh bacon pieces.
Sprinkle approximately 2 tablespoons of remaining toasted cashew pieces (Again, you don’t need to cover the entire area.)
Drizzle about 1/4 cup of Béchamel on top. (Again, you don’t need to cover the entire area.)
Lay another layer of noodles on top and repeat the process.
You will have enough noodles and filling to repeat the process three times.
On the final layer, ladle a little sauce on top and sprinkle the rest of the cashew pieces (but no other ingredients).
Cover with parchment paper and then cover the paper with aluminum foil or a sheet pan.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the covering and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

Serve with each piece of lasagna with a dollop the following sauce:

1 cup Béchamel (see above for recipe)
1 cup butternut squash purée (see above)
1/2 cup clear vegetable stock
1/2 cup of white wine
pinch of salt and pepper and nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a blender.
Pour in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for several minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Plate the lasagna with a dollop of sauce and a few Brussels sprouts leaves and some freshly grated nutmeg.

NOTE: Acorn Squash or sweet potatoes can be substituted for the butternut squash. You can also experiment with the nuts; for example, hazelnuts are fantastic with butternut squash.

ENJOY!

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  2 comments for “Butternut Squash Lasagna

  1. Nat Glenn
    February 2, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    This took 2 days to prep and prepare…. I followed the recipe to the letter and the end result and just ok…. disappointed… new to he vegan world and this was discouraging, can we just keep things simple?

    • Caryn Hartglass
      February 3, 2020 at 8:55 am

      Hi Nat,

      Thank you for trying this recipe. We have made it on numerous occasions and love it. It is for special occasions that we feel are worthy of the time. We offer many recipes on this site, all are free. Some are easy, some are complicated! This recipe is probably one of the most complicated, so congratulations on seeing it through.

      I recommend anyone who is new to veganism and/or preparing meals at home to review recipes in detail before getting started, trying to anticipate the time needed. This includes buying the ingredients and cookware needed, and seeing what might be prepared ahead of time. In the classes I have taught regarding food prep we always start with the planning and organization because they are so important. Also, for those new to chopping, this can be a very slow process until the skill is developed. There are many shortcuts, including buying frozen or fresh vegetables that are already chopped or substituted a store bought item to replace something homemade. YouTube has many how-to videos that are very helpful.

      Our recipes are low on salt, or have none at all. Many have little or no oil. For those used to eating the Standard American Diet loaded with sugar, salt and oils it can take time for the taste buds to awaken and actually taste the flavor of real foods without these cheap additives. You may want to add a little more salt or oil until your taste buds adjust.

      Everyone has different likes and dislikes. Stick with it and you will discover what works for you as you develop more skills cooking vegan.

      What are some dishes that you like to prepare that are not vegan? Have you tried making vegan versions of those? If you need help veganizing anything, let us know.

      – Caryn

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