Butternut Squash Lasagna with Walnut Ricotta Cheese

I’ve never made lasagna and to be clear, I’ve never had the slightest desire to make it – even coming from an Italian family who loves Italian food. The idea of lasagna seemed complicated and exhausting and I’d find myself thinking, “Why bother”? Most of my food for so many years has been about ease and convenience because I barely had the energy to boil water but now, it’s time for a whole new way for me to cook and actually enjoy my food.

There’s something so comforting and delicious about pureed squash because it gets so thick and creamy. Whether you’re using it for a soup, sauce or this lasagna recipe, pureed squash feels like a big warm hug when it’s freezing in Manhattan and that’s exactly what I needed with these chilly temperatures the last few weeks.

For this recipe, you’ll need a large butternut squash, your favorite lasagna noodles and walnuts along with a few other odds and ends. We’re roasting the squash until it’s tender and pureeing it in a food processor. While the squash is in the oven, we’re making the ricotta cheese, dairy-free, of course, with walnuts and a few other ingredients in a mini food processor. Then, we’re layering the squash, the walnut ricotta and the noddles in a baking dish and tossing it into the oven until it’s bubbling and golden brown.

The cumin dusted butternut squash, creamy walnut ricotta, slightly charred caramelized onions, tender noodles and a few flecks of fresh oregano all piled onto my fork was nothing short of the greatest comfort food I’ve ever made. I think you’ll agree.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Walnut Ricotta Cheese

When you’re buying butternut squash, make sure you purchase a squash that feels heavy when you pick it up. I suggest one with a thick neck and a small bulb, which will yield the most “squash meat” and less seeds. As with any vegetable, make sure there are no cuts, bruises or mold on the outer skin.

In terms of the walnut ricotta, you’ll want to spoon it into your mouth over and over again and use it for various other recipes, as well. So, why use walnuts when making my diary-free ricotta? Why not? I’m a big fan of walnuts because they lend a nice creaminess when pureed so you don’t even miss the dairy.

When making any dip or sauce or dairy-free cheese, I highly recommend using a mini food processor because the recipe will not work in a large food processor – the texture won’t be creamy because there will be such a small amount of food in such a large processor and the blade won’t be able to whip it up as well as a smaller food processor. Here’s the mini food processor I use.

For the lasagna noodles, I’m using these gluten-free noodles, which are no-boil.

Lastly, don’t skip the fresh oregano or thyme on top. It makes the ENTIRE dish complete.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Walnut Ricotta Cheese

I made a similar Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna with Basil Almond Ricotta recently on my new website, if you’re in the mood for a variation.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Walnut Ricotta
Serves: 6
Butternut Squash Lasagna with Walnut Ricotta Cheese

Ribbons of chickpea noodles add a delightfully hearty texture to this butternut squash lasagna.

Author: Amie
Recipe type: Entree



  • 1 large butternut squash (at least 4 pounds), halved and seeded
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 large red onions (1.5 pounds), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 package gluten-free lasagna noodles no-boil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme or oregano leaves optional, for serving

Walnut Ricotta

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to roast the squash. Also, prepare an 8 x 11-inch baking dish with olive oil and set aside for the lasagna.

  2. Drizzle the squash with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Use your hands to rub the oil into the squash until glossy. Sprinkle the cut-side with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Place the squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until very tender.

  3. Meanwhile, to make the caramelized onions, add 1 Tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Toss the onions in the oil and spread the onions evenly in the pan with a spatula, cover, and scrape the pan every 5 minutes to ensure the onions start to brown and become very tender. Continue to scrape the pan with your spatula and cook until the onions are a deep brown color. Allow the onions to cook for 25 minutes or until the onions are browned and very tender.

  4. Make the walnut ricotta by combining all the Walnut Ricotta ingredients in a mini food processor and puree until very thick and creamy. Season to taste with sea salt. Set aside.

  5. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes or until it's cool enough to touch. Using a spoon, scrape out the squash flesh and transfer it to a large food processor with the sea salt and cumin. Discard the squash skin. Puree until the squash is creamy. Season to taste.

  6. Lower the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat bottom of the prepared baking dish with 1/2 cup of the squash purée then two the lasagna noodles width-wise followed by the ricotta and onions and continue to layer until you use up all of the ingredients. The top layer should be the squash puree. Sprinkle the cumin over the top layer and add a few dollops of the walnut ricotta on top, if desired.

  7. Transfer the lasagna to the oven, covered with parchment paper, for 50 minutes or until the noodles are tender. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm with fresh thyme or oregano garnished on top.

  8. Store leftovers in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Facts
Butternut Squash Lasagna with Walnut Ricotta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 598 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 19g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Sodium 328mg14%
Potassium 688mg20%
Carbohydrates 84g28%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 13312IU266%
Vitamin C 30mg36%
Calcium 119mg12%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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