Tasty Tuesday – Squash Lasagna

Happy Valentine’s Day readers! If I had been writing this blog a few years ago, this post would have showcased some delectable dessert (most likely cupcakes) but instead I’m going to use this Tasty Tuesday to promote one of my healthy meal options. That being said, no need to feel guilty if today is cheat day (it is for me) just don’t let it last all week!

Onto the meal: a couple weeks back, my friend Keeragh turned me onto skinnytaste, a blog which provides a wide range of healthy recipes with lots of different options for special diets (low carb, paleo, gluten free, etc.). I’ve never really been a recipe person but I’ve slowly been working on expanding what I know how to cook and unless you have someone teaching you how to make new dishes, you’re going to need a recipe. Since it seems unlikely that Matt’s going to start schooling me in the kitchen, I had to turn to skinnytaste.

Before we get started, you should know something: I don’t lasagna. It’s too much marinara, I don’t like the noodles and unless you cover it in a lot of extra cheese I’m just not into it. The only lasagna I’ve ever really liked is the seafood one with alfredo sauce that you can get at Nofrills. Despite all that, I saw the Noodle-less Butternut Sausage Lasagna on skinnytaste and I become immediately intrigued. I’m a big squash fan in general and this dish definitely looked divine (mine may not look as pretty but it still tastes great)

After skimming the ingredients and the instructions I made a plan on how to make my own version my cutting away some of the ingredients. On my first try I kept it to 4 ingredients (marinara, squash, cheese, and ground beef) and once it turned out alright I decided to try the recipe again in order to share it with you but I added a few things.

For my version of the Squash Lasagna you will need:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 250 grams of ground beef (approximately)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 jar of marinara / pasta sauce (approximately)
  • 100 grams of ricotta cheese (approximately)
  • 50 grams of cheddar or mozzarella cheese (optional)

First things first, preheat the oven to 350°F. Then, the first bit of food prep you’re going to do is peel the squash. Yep, peel it. I had never done this before and thought it sounded weird (not to mention awkward to do) but it’s not quite as difficult as I thought it would be. It can be a bit slippery once you’ve peeled enough of it so just make sure you hold on tight.

Once the skin is off of your squash begin to cut even discs from the skinny end towards the bigger end. These discs are going to serve in place of the pasta. I’d suggest not making them too thin so your lasagna will actually hold together but you don’t want to go too thick either because you’ll need enough to do at least two layers (8 pieces in my case).

I cut my slices a little thick this time around so I didn’t have enough to do three layers like I did the first time so instead I just did two and cut up the additional squash including the unused end so I could roast it up for my other meals. No need to waste it!

So next up you’re going to begin layering your lasagna. First, cover the bottom of a glass pan with your squash slices. You’re going to cover these slices with half the browned beef, half of the bell pepper (chopped), half the ricotta cheese, and half the pasta sauce. This is assuming you’re only doing 2 layers like I am, you could split them into thirds if you cut your squash slices thinner. You can also add a bit of shredded cheddar or mozzarella is you’re feeling extra cheesy. After that you’ll put your next layer of squash on top and repeat the process until you’re out of ingredients.

Throw this beautiful pan of goodness into the oven and set a timer for 45 minutes. After the time is up stick a fork in the dish to make sure you can pierce through the squash (if you can’t, return the dish to the oven and check in 10 minute intervals). All that is left is to dish it out or pack it up for later!

I love this dish so much I’m planning on making it again this weekend when Matt’s parents come down for the Marlie’s game we gifted them for Christmas. What meals are you loving right now? Trying anything new? I’m always down to check new things out so if you’ve written a post about it please drop me a link in the comments!

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