Vegan Butternut Squash & Kale Lasagne

Vegan Butternut Squash & Kale Lasagne

serves 6 cooks in 1hr difficulty two

This vegetarian lasagne is one of my favourite weeknight meals: packed with flavour from a combination of butternut squash and kale in an amazing ‘cheesy’ cashew-based sauce. 

I’ve always been a stickler for a vegetarian lasagne, a ‘family style’ dish that lends itself to inviting guests over and passing the dish around until not a crumb is left. I often play around as the seasons come and go with different ingredient combinations to change up the core taste. In the winter I use butternut squash and kale (as I have here) but you could use carrots and spring greens in the spring; courgettes and aubergines in the summer; and mushrooms and swiss chard in the autumn. This recipe packs a punch with hearty, seasonal, healthy ingredients and incredible flavour combinations.

My vegan butternut squash lasagne recipe is gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, and meat-free whilst tasting just as hearty as it’s traditional counterpart. Instead of cheese and to make it vegan we use a combination of cashew nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic and fresh lemon juice.

The Ingredients

2 cups (1-inch) cubed butternut squash

1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 cups raw cashews, soaked

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp 100% pomegranate juice

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped into bite-size pieces

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp basil

1 tsp thyme leaves

1 cup pomegranate seeds

28 ounces vegan marinara (tomato sauce)

6 spelt/brown rice lasagne sheets

Freshly chopped basil, to garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with 2 tsp melted coconut oil, coating it well. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Spread the squash in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until fork tender. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Drain the cashews and add to the bowl of a food processor along with lemon juice, garlic, salt, pomegranate juice, nutritional yeast, and 1/4 cup water. Process until smooth then set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat remaining coconut oil until hot. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the kale, pepper, oregano, basil, and thyme. Cook until the kale has wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the bottom of a 9×9-inch baking dish start with a layer of marinara sauce (about ½ cup). Top with 2 lasagne sheets, then spread a layer of the cashew ‘cheese’ (about ½ cup). Top with a layer of the roasted  butternut squash.

Add another layer of marinara sauce (another ½ cup), 2 lasagne sheets, the cashew cheese (another ½ cup), and roasted squash. Top with the kale and herb mixture.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds on top then add another layer of marinara sauce (another ½ cup), 2 lasagne sheets, a final layer of roasted squash and final layer of cashew ‘cheese’ (the last ½ cup). Finish with the remaining marinara sauce and top with remaining pomegranate seeds.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until heated all the way through. Top with the freshly chopped basil (if using) and serve!

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