Kris Carr

Kris Carr Recipes

Butternut Squash and Chard Vegan Lasagna

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.


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


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.

*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!

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,

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  1. Kathy says:

    Is there a link that will allow me to print this recipe?

    • kris says:

      Hey Kathy! The print friendly option is included for everything in the “Recipes” section of the site. This Test Kitchen Tuesday will be up there soon! xo

  2. Pippa Dooney says:

    Hi there!

    Same question! usually there is but not for this one. Will have to do screen shots. Many thanks Kris for this recipe.
    Pippa x

    • kris says:

      Hi Pippa! So glad you’re gonna try the recipe—I hope you love it. The print friendly option is included for everything in the “Recipes” section of the site. This Test Kitchen Tuesday will be up there soon! xo

  3. Zoe Ruff says:

    I’ve always avoided cooking with olive oil. Your recipe includes it. What are your thoughts?

    • Jen Reilly, RD says:

      Hi Zoe! I’m the nutrition director here so I’ll jump in for Kris. Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils out there and it helps enhance the flavors in veggies and make plant-based dishes even more satisfying. It is rich in antioxidants (highest levels in extra virgin olive oil), helps reduce inflammation in the body, is rich in monounsaturated fats which protect your heart, and isn’t associated with weight gain or obesity.

      Olive oil has gotten some bad press over the years because it is processed (“just eat the olive,” some experts say) and because there was a study done about 10 years ago showing that olive oil consumption may decrease Flow Mediated Dilation (FMD) in the brachial artery, potentially increasing risk for cardiovascular events. However, there have been numerous reviews demonstrating significant heart disease risk reduction with the consumption of olive oil, meaning that FMD is not likely the whole story. Here is one of those studies in case you’re interested in reading further:

      If you prefer to skip olive oil, you can “steam-fry” your veggies with water or broth and get your healthy plant fats from whole foods without missing out on any significant nutrients.

      I hope that helps clear things up! xo – Jen

  4. Patty says:

    I also had a concern about the olive oil when heated as I’ve read that it doesn’t have a high smoke point and can turn rancid if heated, any thoughts?

    • Jen Reilly, RD says:

      Hi Patty! Jen here again chiming in for Kris. Olive oil is actually quite stable at high heat because it is rich in monounsaturated fats. It’s the polyunsaturated fats that become unstable when heated (flax oil, canola oil, soybean oil). Olive oil is low in polyunsaturated fats (11 percent), but if you find it’s frequently smoking (406 degrees Fahrenheit), you might switch with grapeseed oil, which has a higher smoke point (485 degrees) or avocado oil (520 degrees). The good thing about extra-virgin olive oil is that it’s not only low in polyunsaturated fats, which are the ones prone to oxidative damage under high heat, but it also contains antioxidants (namely, vitamin E) to prevent oxidative damage. Plus, extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil is slightly richer in nutrients and since it hasn’t been heated above 80 degrees, it has a milder flavor. Hope that helps! – Jen

  5. Lyndsey Valin says:

    Any sub for cashews??? This looks amazing but I’m nut free.

    • Jen Reilly, RD says:

      Hi Lyndsey! I’ve tested several of our Crazy Sexy recipes using soaked raw sunflower seeds and soaked raw pumpkin seeds in dressings and sauces in place of cashews and they’ve turned out great. I haven’t tested seeds in this particular recipe, but I have a feeling it will also be yummy. Just make sure you get *raw* seeds as they’ll end up being much smoother than roasted seeds. Let us know how it turns out! xo – Jen (Crazy Sexy Nutrition Director)

    • Jen says:

      Hi Lyndsey, I can’t eat cashews either so I use shelled hemp seeds aka hemp hearts. They have a creamy texture when soaked and blended. Plus they have bonus Omega 3s!

      • Lyndsey says:

        Hi Jen’s – I made the lasagna last night using hemp hearts and it was incredible!! Definitely a great substitute for cashews. Love your site!

  6. Shar says:


  7. Romani Bays says:

    HI, I am planning on making your recipe for the butternut squash lasagna this weekend and am wondering if I can sub fresh pumpkin for the butternut squash?

    • kris says:

      Hey Romani! I haven’t tried it this way, but I think pumpkin would work well. The roasting time (step 3) may vary a bit, so that’s something to keep in mind. Let me know how it turns out—sounds tasty! xo

      • Romani Bays says:

        Hi Kris, so I made your butternut squash lasagna the other day using pumpkin instead and it turned out great! Everyone who had it enjoyed it…. thank you for sharing your recipe and for being you!

  8. Staci A Radford-Vincent says:

    How long to the cashews need to be soaked? Overnight or just a little while?

    • kris says:

      Hey Staci! If you have a high speed blender, you shouldn’t have to soak them for too long (maybe an hour or until they get a little soft). If you don’t, you may want to go ahead and soak the cashews overnight—just make sure to put ’em in the fridge. xo!

  9. Carrie says:

    I’m making this on the weekend for our dinner group – yum! Would it be good if I only use spinach? I’m not sure I can get other greens right now. Thank you so much!

  10. Emily says:

    Made this a few days ago – YUM!!! Followed it exactly except, as in the notes, I used cauliflower instead. Really delicious, filling and left me feeling a lot better than a dairy cream sauce would.

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