Butternut Squash and Chard Vegan Lasagna

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Hiya Gorgeous!

Ohhhhh baby, do I love fall. There’s just something about this time of year—ya know? I want to snuggle up under a fleece blanket with a cup of tea and a book or some Netflix. Cozy is the name of the game and I’m lovin’ every second of it.

What about you—do you love fall, too? Tell me your favorite season in the comments below!

In addition to fuzzy slippers and chunky knit sweaters, I’m dialing up the cozy factor on what I eat, too. I’m craving healthy, warming meals like oatmeal, lentil soup and, of course, this delicious vegan lasagna!

The perfect vegan lasagna for your fall table

This spin on a traditional favorite is not only super festive, it also leaves out many of the unhealthy ingredients often found in lasagna. The decadent béchamel is made of parsnips instead of the standard butter, milk and flour combo. Parsnips are one of the few veggies rich in soluble fiber—the fiber responsible for smooth digestion and lower cholesterol levels. How cool is that?

And it doesn’t stop there when it comes to all of the plant-powered nutrition packed into this vegan lasagna. Butternut squash and Swiss chard add a hearty dose of immune-boosting nutrients to keep you healthy all season long. Plus, the cashews are a good source of protein and healthy fats. The nutritional yeast adds a wonderful cheesy flavor (hold the cheese!) and a dose of B12 for your brain. And did I mention it’s gluten-free? That too!

Butternut Squash and Chard Vegan Lasagna

This is the ultimate treat yourself meal.

Whether you’re gettin’ fancy for a holiday meal with your crew, or you just want to slow down and enjoy yourself in the kitchen, allow a little extra time for this one. Don’t get me wrong, I love a quick, healthy meal. But sometimes it’s nice to throw on an apron and play! And that first bite makes it alllllllll worth it.

Put your phone on Do Not Disturb and turn on a podcast or your favorite playlist, then take in all of the delicious smells and savor the process. This is self-love, sweetheart. You deserve it.

Ready to get cookin?

Let’s hop on the train to drool city! This vegan lasagna has everything a fall meal should have. A dreamy creamy sauce, sweet butternut squash and superstar leafy greens are all wrapped up into one super tasty package.

Check out the recipe below!

Butternut Squash and Chard Vegan Lasagna

Serves 8 | Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes | Prep Time: 1 hour

Parsnip Béchamel Ingredients:
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1” pieces (about 3 cups)*
3/4 cup cashews, soaked and drained
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Lasagna Ingredients:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into 3/4 – 1″ pieces (about 6 cups)**
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
14 sage leaves, divided
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 large onions, sliced 1/4” thick
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped (about 10-11 cups)***
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
16 gluten-free or whole wheat lasagna noodles

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

2. Boil noodles according to the directions on the package. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, toss butternut squash cubes with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 6 sage leaves, rosemary, salt and nutmeg. Spread evenly over the surface of baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 22 minutes, flipping midway, or until fork tender and slightly golden. Let cool slightly and discard/compost sage leaves. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees for baking lasagna later.

4. While squash is baking, bring a medium sized pot filled with water to boil. Add parsnip pieces to boiling water and let cook for 14-15 minutes, or until fork tender.* Drain thoroughly and set aside.

5. In a large pan, add remaining 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced onion and let cook, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add garlic, chopped chard, water, and apple cider vinegar and let cook another 5 minutes, or until chard has completely wilted. Season to taste with salt and set aside to cool slightly.

6. To make parsnip béchamel, add cashews and water to a high speed blender and blend on high until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add cooked parsnip, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, and nutmeg and blend again until completely smooth, about 1-2 more minutes. Season to taste with additional salt, if needed.

7. To assemble lasagna, spread 1 1/4 cup of parsnip béchamel evenly over the bottom of an ovenproof lasagna dish. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles evenly on top (it’s fine if they overlap slightly). Top evenly with 1/3 of Swiss chard and onion mixture, 1/3 of cooked butternut squash, and 1/2 cup béchamel.

8. Repeat for 2 more layers. Top with a layer of 4 more lasagna noodles and the remainder of the béchamel to cover. Place 8 sage leaves evenly over the surface of the lasagna (2 rows of 4 leaves). Cover loosely with foil and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake, uncovered, for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve immediately.

Notes:
*You can sub cauliflower for parsnips if you prefer or can’t find parsnips at the store! Use a 1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped into florets (a little over 3 cups). Boil the florets for 6 minutes and drain before adding to them to the blender to make the béchamel.

**Short on time? Save yourself a step by picking up some pre-cut butternut squash. I often see it available at the grocery store, especially this time of year. Just make sure to recycle the packaging!

***You can use any variety of Swiss chard (rainbow, red, etc.) or dark leafy green in this recipe!

Share your scrumptious vegan lasagna with me!

Whether you’re cookin’ up a storm or sitting down for a cozy meal with your crew, I wanna see! Snap a pic of your very own vegan lasagna and share it on Instagram or Facebook with #TestKitchenTuesday. Don’t forget to tag me at @crazysexykris—I’ll share my faves with our spectacular community!

And finally, a very special thanks to our talented Chef Lauren and the rest of the Test Kitchen Tuesday crew for helping to create this spectacular dish!

Your turn: Don’t forget to share your favorite season with me below! Comment 🍁 for fall, ☃️ for winter, 🌱 for spring or ☀️ for summer.

Peace and fall festivities,

Kris Carr

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