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You know, I am realizing I am such a lasagna kind of girl.

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Or really, I am just a cozy foods kind of girl. Even in the summer I somehow manage to make summer food cozy. It’s a gift I tell ya.

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

But first, how was everyone’s Halloween weekend? Asher wore the Elsa dress I gave her for her birthday. For once it was a decent Halloween night here (last year there was a blizzard!). The town of Frisco closes off Main Street and all the little trick-or-treaters get to run down the mile long strip (well more like a half a mile, they don’t close off the entire street) from business to business begging for candy. My parents said it was a really nice night and surprisingly, not all that crowded.

Since it’s Monday and the last three days have been a little dramatic around here, I am keeping things semi-short (I will tell you all about it in another post).

So let’s get on to this simple caramelized butternut squash and kale florentine lasagna. You see, when I talk about cheesy pasta and such my mind seems to forget all my worries. It’s the coziness of it all. I freaking love coziness like no other.

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Also, aren’t my big, medium, little and extra little butternut squashes so stinkin’ cute??? Blake (the kid who practically lives here) gave them to me. His mom grew them at her house in Aspen and she sent them with him for me. I was in love with them and actually kind of sad to cut into them. No more cute little family of butternut squashes.

Enter sad face.

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Sooo.

I think lasagne (did you know that is the plural form of lasagna? I sure didn’t – thank goodness I looked it up!) are the best. You can make them in advance, you can freeze them, they are perfect for company, they feed a crowd and lasagna is a dish where pretty much everyone says, “YUMMERS”. Ok, they might not say yummers, but they should. I like that word, it’s cute.

Not to mention, you can almost always count on lasagne being good. Again, cheese and pasta… pretty hard to mess up a lasagna.

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Last year I showed you guys my very favorite Classic Lasagna. It’s my go to dish around the holidays and I honestly make it all the time. My family loves it, really everybody loves it.

This year though, I wanted a lasagna that was heavy on the vegetables. I am such a huge fan of butternut squash and kale, but the combo together sounded perfect for a lasagna and that was that. I was making butternut kale lasagna and I was making it florentine style. Instead of spinach, I substituted Kale and of course, went heavy on the cheese.

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I actually made my homemade pasta and I made it using whole wheat flour, and you know what, it was awesome!! Seriously, no one even noticed the difference and the whole wheat pasta fits really well with the earthy flavors of the kale.

I wanted this squash and kale florentine lasagna to be simple, so I am telling you guys that if you want to, you can use no-boil whole wheat lasagna (use DeLallo, it’s the best!). But if you can, make homemade lasagna noodles. It really does not take much time and the little extra effort is so worth it. The noodles melt in your mouth. Melt. In. Your. Mouth.

I used the this recipe, but subbed all white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour. Worked like a charm.

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

And the rest is simple. I caramelized a lot of butternut squash with a little garlic, nutmeg, sage and thyme. It’s such a good combo and I love the texture you get from caramelizing the squash. I think it is so good. Then I tossed in the kale to cook it down a little and that’s pretty much it.

You just need to make your béchamel sauce and then layer everything together. Pretty simple and it’s great for entertaining because like I said you can prep everything in advance and then just bake before eating.

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

See, now didn’t all that cheesy pasta talk cozy up your Monday?

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 617 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups cubed medium butternut squash (about 1 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg plus a pinch more for the béchamel
  • 6 leaves fresh sage chopped + more for topping
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 large bunch kale roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups warm milk I use 2%
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated, plus more for serving
  • 4 ounces blue cheese crumbled (or use cream cheese or mozzarella)
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese shredded
  • 1 pound no boil whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds + salt for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish - if baking the lasagna right away.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the butternut squash and sprinkle with brown sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently to avoid burning for 10 to 15 minutes or until the squash begins to caramelize all over. Add the garlic, nutmeg sage and thyme, cook 5 or so minutes more.
  • Now remove the skillet from the heat and add the kale, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. The heat from the pan will cook the kale down.
  • Meanwhile, make the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter over medium heat and allow the butter to brown lightly. Once the butter begins to brown, add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the warm milk in a steady stream. Add the a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and simmer for 2 minutes, whisking. Remove from the heat, stir in the blue cheese (or mozzarella) and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
  • To assemble the lasagna, spoon a little béchamel onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add a layer of lasagna noodles. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the butternut + kale mixture over the noodles. Now add 1/3 of the fontina cheese and drizzle with a little béchamel. Repeat the layering process until you have three to four layers. Once you get to the very top, spread any remaining béchamel over the noodles. Sprinkle with the last of the fontina cheese. Feel free to add more cheese if desired!! Top the lasagna with sage leaves.
  • Spray a piece of tin foil with cooking spray and cover the the lasagna. At this point the lasagna can be placed in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen.
  • Bake, covered for 35-45 minutes and then uncovered for 15 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. If your lasagna was cold prior to baking, bake covered for 15-30 minutes longer.

Notes

 
 
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Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna |halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

How could it not? Just look at that. YUMMMERS.

Caramelized Butternut Squash and Kale Florentine Lasagna | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

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Comments

  1. This recipe looks and sounds amazing! I just wanted to know if the 8 cups of cubed butternut squash is correct? I normally cheat and buy the pre-cubed variety and just want to make sure I’m following the recipe correctly. Thank you so much! 🙂

  2. Hi! I am so confused. I tried making this last night but it did not come out right. When were we supposed to mash the butternut squash? & How come it looks red in your photo – did you add tomatos?

    1. Hi Layton,
      Thanks for trying this recipe, so sorry to hear you had some issues. There is no mashing of the butternut squash:) Maybe you are referring to the cheese that I browned on the top? Please let me know if I can help in any other way! xT

  3. This is next on my list to make. We have homegrown butternuts from last summer and a very good kale crop in the ground right now, plus a culinary sage plant, so this is perfect! Can’t wait to try it!

  4. Hello! I’ve made this several times fresh and the flavours are amazing!! What are the baking from frozen instructions? Do I defrost it overnight in the fridge before baking?

    Thank you,
    Catherine

    1. HI! Yes, I would recommend thawing overnight in the fridge, then baking as directed. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am glad you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  5. 4 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ve been making hearty vegetarian lasagnas all week to test for a party that I’m catering this fall. This one is delicious and a serious contender for the party. However, the 30 minutes of prep time is very unrealistic. I’m an experienced chef and it took me an hour in prep time, not counting making the pasta. I will also make a minor adjustment to the technique when I make it again. The 10 minutes of sitting in the hot skillet off heat are probably sufficient for young, tender, heritage kale but were insufficient to achieve a palatable texture for the kale that I used. With all of the other flavors, I can’t justify the extra cost of using young, tender, heritage kale here. If using mature, tougher kale I will deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of fruity white wine or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of water when I remove the squash; then cook the kale in that liquid (covered) for 5-10 minutes, until barely tender.

    1. Hi Trill! I am glad you liked this recipe and thank you for sharing some helpful tips for others! I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes! xTieghan

  6. Hi, this looks so delicious! What kind of fontina would you recommend for this lasagna? The kind I see is usually semi-soft, but it seems like that would be difficult to spread. Did you use a hard fontina?

    1. HI! I like to use a soft fontina, it’s all my grocery sells. I am sure hard would be great however too! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! :

  7. This looks delicious – in my oven baking right now and I hope it turns out just as well! I was super confused by the squash instructions so I wanted to pass that feedback along. Right now it says 1 cups of squash cubed (8) which sounded like just 8 cubes!! I figured that wasn’t quite right so went with about 3 but the comments sound like it should be 8.
    Thanks for the dinner inspiration !

    1. Hey Cassie! SO sorry for the trouble. We just switched our recipes to a new system and some of the recipes did not transfer right. Fixing now. SO SORRY!

  8. Question! This looks delightful. I have experience with browning butter from a certain ridiculously amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe I make at Christmas.

    Do you mean – for the sauce here – to fully brown the butter – as in: it gets clear, then it foams over, then it gets clear again and then foams and develops little brown particles floating around and you have to grab it off the heat before it burns? And it then smells nutty and has, thanks to the particles, an amber hue? Or do you just mean keep the butter melting until it starts to clarify/separate? (http://www.abeautifulplate.com/clarified-butter-ghee-and-brown-butter/) … thanks!

    1. Hi! I mean to fully brown the butter like you do for your cookies (which sound awesome!). let me know if you have questions. Hope you love this!

  9. Hi! Looking forward to making this for my mother-in-law’s birthday, but want to freeze it in advance. Do you know how I should cook it from the frozen? Also, I’m planning to use store-bought lasagna noodles. Do I need to cook the noodles first?

    1. Hey Jen! If using store bought noodles, boil them first. If they are no-boil, then there is no need to boil them. I would freeze this, then thaw overnight in the fridge and then bake as directed. Please let me know if you have any questions at all. Hope you love this!

  10. Hello! Kitchen rookie question: my skillet isn’t large enough for 8 cups of butternut so I was wondering if it would work to roast the squash on a large rimmed baking sheet, then add the garlic and kale for the last 5 or 10 minutes. I’m guessing the oven should be around 400 degrees to carmelize the squash. HELP! THANK YOU!

  11. I have this in the oven right now and am sure it will taste super yummy. I just have to ask…why are there pictures of eggs (cracked and in the bowl)? I don’t see anything about them on the ingredients or instructions….made me think I was missing something. Would love to know if I was! Thanks!

    1. Hey Stacey!! SO SORRY! Yes, there are eggs in this, but I am sure it is fine without them. It just makes the sauce a bit creamier. Hope you still enjoyed it! Headed to fix the recipe now!

      1. Thanks! Yes, it was still very good. This just gives me a reason to make it again, so I can compare. 😉

      2. Making this as my first fall dish on this cool Sunday football day. With the eggs I should add four with the flour I did not see an edit then add over heat with the rest of the sauce? Or just whisk it in like the milk? I love a good creamy sauce!

        1. Hi Maive!!

          Ok so, I got confused myself, BUT the eggs on the photos where used for my homemade pasta do. I did not use any eggs in my sauce. SO sorry to be so confusing! Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this!

  12. Hello!

    I have this in the oven right now! Just curious, it seems from the pictures that you only did one layer of the squash/kale and the béchamel sauce? I did a few and didn’t have enough sauce to put on top of the top layer of noodles. I’m wondering if the way you assembled it is a better way to go? Looking forward to your feedback so I can try making again! Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Kristin,

      I did three, but topped my last layer with just cheese as I did not have enough sauce either. Hope you love this!

  13. Hi Tieghan,
    Happy New Year!
    I am such a fan of yours. I saw this recipe and knew it would be delicious. But while I was shopping for ingredients, I thought, why not thinly slice the squash and layer that as noodles. I am avoiding wheat and that seemed like a good option. (I realize there was wheat in the sauce, but I have an idea for next time…) So, I used the ingredients listed, using cream cheese rather than bleu for my kids’ sake ;-( . I thinly sliced the squash using my mandolin and roasted it while I prepped the sauce and kale. Then I layered the squash and kale mixture lasagna-style. It didn’t need to bake quite so long and I didn’t cover it. t was SO good. this recipe is a keeper. Keep the good stuff coming!