Mini Butternut Squash, Ricotta, & Spinach Lasagna: Two Ways {One w/Noodles, One Noodle-less/Gluten-Free}

I love butternut squash… I love lasagna… I love anything mini.  So naturally, I LOVED the idea of a mini butternut squash lasagna!  And there’s more to love still… for those who don’t do noodles, I’ve created a noodle-less version, too!  Yep, two lasagna versions… both full of butternut-ricotta-spinach goodness, but only one with noodles.  This makes this a two-in-one post… whether or not the noodle-less one can indeed be called lasagna is questionable, but it sure does the trick for anyone looking for layered goodness without any noodle.  :)

PCLasagna

For some reason, everything little is cute.  Whether it’s a baby, a puppy, or simply  a tomato, if it’s tiny, it’s adored.  Lasagna is no exception.  In these teeny ramekins, a typically large and messy dish becomes a cute and little perfectly tucked bowl of goodness.  It doesn’t matter what size ramekins you use, but you need some type of mini baking bowl to make these personal-sized portions.  If you don’t have them, go ahead and layer them out in a lasagna pan… a full-sized platter of goodness is good, too!  But I think we can all agree that little is adorable.  And it’s functional, too- these were perfect to-go lunches for work!  I just grabbed a ramekin, reheated it at work, and had a delicious lunch in minutes flat.  Love that.

P1090351

This post is unusual in that it is really two recipes in one.  But since they both involve the same exact ingredients, with the exception of the noodles, I figured it’d be best to post them together and let you as the reader decide which floats your boat.  Both are equally delicious…. the noodle adds some texture, while the layered ones without noodle are creamy and just as tasty without… your choice.  Or make both as I did if you wish.  :)

P1090356

The picture above is the noodle-less version… a few layers of a ricotta-spinach blend along with a sautéed shallot and herb-smothered butternut squash puree, topped with some melted mozzarella cheese.  Um, yum.  The one pictured below is the noodle version… same thing, but with noodles lining the bottom, middle, and top… the baked cheese on top gives the noodle a crispy delicate crunch.  Yum again…

P1090357

It’s Autumn baked in a mini bowl.  What’s not to love ;)

P1090352

Makes 4 personal-sized lasagna

INGREDIENTS

to bake the squash…

1 medium butternut squash

drizzle olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

for the butternut mixture…

1 tbsp ghee (or butter)

2 large shallots (3/4 cup chopped)

2-3 garlic cloves (1 tbsp minced)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp minced finely chopped fresh sage leaves

1/2 tsp salt (split in half)

1/2 tsp black pepper (split in half)

baked squash from above, about 3 cups

for the ricotta mixture…

1 cup ricotta cheese (fresh is best, if possible)

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 tsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

for layers…

lasagna noodles, 1-2 sheets per ramekin, depending on size {no-boil or boil ones both work}

extra grated mozzarella, a couple tbsp per lasagna

to garnish, small sage leaves

P1090290

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

The squash should be baked first, since it takes the longest…

I tried two techniques- I peeled half of the squash before baking it,

and put the other half in with the skin on

{I was curious which method was more efficient; turns out they both are, so choose which one is best for you.

Peeling the skin off can be tedious, but it cooks the squash faster… your call} :)

To bake the squash, cut it in half lengthwise, remove all of the seeds,

and then drizzle the face with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Then place the halves face-down on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, until soft.

P1090292

When done, poke with a fork to make sure they are done (it should be soft and mushy)

P1090313

You can prepare the remaining ingredients while the squash bakes…

when it is done, set it aside until cool enough to handle

P1090314

Finely chop the shallots and garlic

P1090294

Heat the ghee in a pan over medium heat

Add the shallots and garlic, along with half of the salt and pepper (1/4 tsp each)

P1090296

Sauté for about five minutes, until lightly golden and translucent

P1090302

Separate the shallot mixture into two halves… half will be for

the butternut squash mixture, half will be for the ricotta mixture

P1090303

Divi it up into two mixing bowls

P1090304

In one, add the ricotta cheese, the mozzarella, the chopped basil, salt and pepper

P1090307

Mix well

Taste and adjust seasonings as desired

P1090308

Add spinach and egg

P1090309

Stir well, making sure the egg is evenly mixed in

P1090310

Now for the butternut mixture…

Depending on what method you used to bake it (skin on or off),

either chop up or scoop out all of the squash

{This squash made about 3 cups baked}

P1090315

Add the squash to the second bowl {with the shallots and garlic}

P1090316

Add the parmesan cheese, sage, salt and pepper

Stir to mix well

Taste and adjust seasonings as desired

P1090317

If you’re making the noodle-less version, skip below to that section…

if you’re making the noodle version, stay right here! :)

Bring a pot of salted water to a rapid boil

Add the lasagna noodles, boil until soft and pliable, and then strain liquid

(rinse with cool water to expedite the cooling process-

doing so also removes some starches so the pasta won’t stick to itself)

P1090293

Now you’re ready to assemble!

Lightly grease your ramekin dishes

Cut the lasagna sheets into squares about the

same size as the ramekin dish you are using… you’ll need three squares per lasagna

(Things don’t have to be perfect here… the noodles with be covered anyway ;) )

P1090325

Lay one noodle square down on the bottom of the dish-

you may need to overlap it in sections to make it fit…

P1090326

Scoop some butternut mixture over it

P1090327

Top the butternut with a healthy heap of ricotta mixture

P1090328

Then top that with another lasagna square and again more butternut… we’re repeating layers here

P1090329

Then more ricotta

P1090330

Top it off with one last lasagna square

(Remember, there’s no such thing as perfection here… just make it work how you can :) )

P1090332

Then add a little pile of grated mozzarella on the top,

piling it on tightly so it doesn’t fall off during baking

{cover as much of the exposed noodle as possible

otherwise it will become dry during baking- covering it with chesse will help it stay yummy and moist}

P1090333

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown

P1090380

That’s it!  Let them rest for about 5-10 minutes to settle before serving…

P1090344

Top with a little fresh sage leaf and dig in!

P1090354

Now for the noodle-less version!!  Pretty much the same concept, sans noodle :)

Lightly grease your ramekins

Add a scoop of butternut mixture to the dish

P1090335

Add some ricotta mixture (generous portions are welcomed)

P1090337

Then more butternut…

P1090338

And then more ricotta

P1090339

Finally, the third and last layer of butternut to wrap up the layering process

P1090340

Top it all of with a little pile of rated mozzarella

P1090342

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is lightly golden brown

P1090345

Garnish with a little sage leaf if desired

P1090356

And that’s it… two butternut dishes done!  Hope you enjoy!!

P1090358
Let’s Connect
About Me
Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!
My New Cookbook!
My New Cookbook!

Available for download now! Click on the image above to read more!!

Organic herbs, spices, teas and oils.
Products I Love
my photos on tastespotting
honeygheeandme