Another butternut squash recipe! Squash is a popular vegetable used when introducing first tastes in weaning, so it is a familiar taste for little one. The added kale is also fantastic for a dairy free or vegan diet. Did you know that one medium portion of cooled kale (that’s about 70g) contains 90mg of calcium. Compare that to cow’s milk which contains 240mg per 200ml serving, then kale is another way to supplement calcium in your diet. For more information and calcium food alternatives check out the NHS guidelines here.
This butternut squash and kale lasagne is a yummy alternative to the traditional meat version. It’s also a great way to get some extra veggies in or to try new tastes. The sauce is pretty tasty on its own too and would well as a pasta sauce served with spaghetti. Like other lasagnes this one is perfect make ahead dinner. I made the sauces and constructed the lasagne earlier in the day, which meant all I had to do was pop it into the oven when little one’s great Grandmum and great auntie came over. The leftovers were yummy for lunch the next day too!
500g butternut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 carrot, diced
200g vegetable couscous (see notes for more info)
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp each of basil and oregano
2 tins of chopped tomatoes (800g)
200/300ml hot vegetable stock (I used kallo very low salt) or boiling water
A large handful of kale
1 tbsp dairy free spread, I use Pure sunflower spread
1 tbsp plain flour
400 ml dairy free milk, I use Oatly
Butternut squash and kale sauce–
1. Pre heat the oven to 200 C. Toss the butternut squash in a little olive oil and roast in the oven on a roasting dish for 20-30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, over a medium heat, cook the onion, garlic and carrot until starting to soften. Add the vegetable couscous and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Stir in the tomato purée, basil and oregano, cooking for a few minutes.
4. Pour in the tinned tomatoes, 200ml veg stock (or boiling water) and stir until well combined. Add seasoning if using.
5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 mins until reduced and the sauce is thicker. If it gets too thick then add a splash more water. At about ten minutes before finishing the sauce, add the kale and stir through.
6. Before assembling the lasagne, add the roasted squash and stir.
Bechamel (or white) sauce–
Whilst the squash and kale sauce cooks you can make your white sauce. For a fuller recipe check out my original post.
1. Melt a heaped tbsp of dairy free spread in a pan over a low heat. I used Pure sunflower spread.
2. Add a heaped tbsp of plain flour. Could be gluten free. Stir quickly and cook for a couple of minutes until you make a paste (or roux). I use a silicon spatula.
3. Gradually add dairy free milk (I used Oatly) to the pan whilst continuously stirring. Add a little at a time to prevent lumps and to help the sauce thicken. I added about 400ml of milk. Slightly increase the heat and stir until the sauce is thick and smooth.
1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 6, 200 C.
2. In an oven proof dish place half of the squash and kale sauce on the bottom and spread out evenly. Then cover with a layer of lasagne sheets (I parboil the sheets for 5 minutes first). Top with a third of the white sauce.
3. Repeat step one, finishing with a layer of pasta followed by the white sauce.
4. You could add grated dairy free cheese to the top.
5. Pop in the oven and cook for half an hour until the lasagne is bubbling! Allow the lasagne to rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving as it helps to hold its shape.
Notes- I used ready prepared vegetable couscous from Tesco, however you can easily make your own. Blitz a range of raw veg in a food processor until you achieve a couscous consistency and ta-dah vegetable couscous!
Dairy, egg, nut and soya free. Vegan.
Could be gluten free swap the flour and lasagne for GF alternatives
Total make time less than two hours