Chicken Butternut Squash Lasagna is a rich, creamy and hearty comfort food. Combined with a generous amount of fresh spinach, this cozy one-pan meal is full of delicious warming fall flavors.
Chicken Butternut Squash Lasagna is a scrumptious meal for fall and winter, and it's fun to make, too!
With fresh sage and spinach, combined with tender pieces of chicken and creamy butternut squash, you will keep going back for more.
Make it over the weekend, and you'll have lasagna dinners all week.
What You'll Need
- butternut squash purée - Check out this guide to roasting butternut squash. It’s easy!
- ground chicken
- lasagna noodles - I use no-boil lasagna noodles to save a bit of time. You can use any type that you like, including gluten-free.
- onion - Choose onions that are firm, heavy for their size and without bruises.
- garlic - Look for firm heads of garlic without any soft spots or green shoots, which are an indication of old garlic. (Raw garlic cloves should be firm without any dark spots.)
- sage - Look for perky bunches and avoid any brown, bruised or yellow leaves.
- vegetable or chicken stock (or water) - Low to no sodium is best if you use stock.
- ground cinnamon
- ground allspice
- Ricotta cheese
- grated Gruyére cheese
- spinach - Choose spinach bunches with leaves that are crisp and dark green. Bags of triple washed spinach are okay too.
- salt - I cook with Kosher salt. (It’s coarse and salts foods in a subtle way that enhances their flavors without making them taste salty.)
- black pepper - Preferably freshly ground.
How to Make Chicken Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Roast one or two whole butternut squash (to equal 5 pounds) by following this guide. This can be done up to two days ahead.- Scoop out 4 cups of the squash.
- Add it to a blender with 1 cup of water or stock and blend until it's super smooth and almost pourable. Add the second cup of liquid gradually as you need it. You might need just a little, or all of it.
- Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Sauté, stirring every so often, until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and sauté for another couple of minutes.
- Add the ground chicken to the pan and sauté, breaking up the chicken into smaller pieces, until it's cooked through. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the allspice over the mixture and stir to blend.
- Add the butternut squash and spinach. Cook for about 10 minutes on low, stirring initially just to get the spinach wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the ricotta with the egg, ¾ teaspoon of salt and the remaining ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and adjust a rack to the top third of the oven.
- Assemble . . .
1. Add just enough of the sauce (chicken/squash/onion mixture) to coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 3-inch baking pan.
2. Add a single layer of the no-boil lasagna noodles.3. Spoon about ⅓ of the sauce evenly over the noodles.4. Spread an even layer of about ⅓ of the Ricotta mixture over the sauce.
5. Sprinkle evenly with a 1 cup of the grated cheese.
6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 twice more, finishing with 1½ cups of the grated cheese.
- Bake for about 30 minutes. The edges should be bubbling, and the top should be golden brown when it's done.
- Let the lasagna sit, covered lightly with foil, for at least 30 minutes before serving.
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- Ground chicken isn't always as readily available as ground turkey. If you can't find it, you can use the turkey.
- For a bit more texture, feel free to use kale in lieu of spinach.
- As I mentioned above, you can use gluten-free lasanga noodles if you'd like. The no-boil noodles save time, but use whichever type you like.
- If you don’t want to roast your own squash, this chicken butternut squash lasagna recipe can be made with purée from a can. Many stores carry it the fall, and if you don’t see it, this is a good one. I like roasting the squash because the flavor is more intense and slightly caramel-y.
- When you're puréeing the squash in the blender, the amount of liquid (water or stock) you need will vary. Sometimes the blender simply won't mix if there isn't enough liquid, I add enough so that it's still quite thick, but pourable.
- Using stock instead of water will add little more flavor and depth to the sauce, but it's good either way. So if you don't have stock on hand, don't fret.
- The Gruyère cheese adds a lovely nut-like flavor which is delicious with the squash. If you want to use Mozzarella, it will be great too.
- If you notice the top of the lasagna getting too brown while it's baking, cover it loosely with foil. And if after 30 minutes, the top has not browned, place it under the broiler for about 30 seconds -- just to brown it.
- Be sure to let it sit for about 30 minutes, lightly covered with foil, after it comes out of the oven. It will be much easier to cut this way.
Can you Make it ahead?
Chicken butternut squash lasagna is an excellent make-ahead dish.
- Refrigerator. Once the lasagna has cooled completely, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to about four days, but ideally you’ll serve it the day after you’ve made it. Before serving, heat it in a 375°F oven just until it’s hot.
- Freezer. Wrapped tightly, you can store it for about a month in the freezer. Defrost it overnight in the refrigerator the day before you want to serve it. I would recommend this for any leftovers.
More unique lasagna recipes:
- Swiss Chard Vegetarian Lasagna
- Root Vegetable Lasanga
- Lamb Lasagna
- Swiss Chard Lasagna
- Zucchini Lasanga
Chicken Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe
- olive oil for the pan
- 3 cups onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2¾ teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 4 cups butternut squash purée (from approximately one 5-pound squash)*
- approx. 2 cups water, chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 super packed cups spinach leaves, washed, dried, and stems removed
- 2½ cups ricotta cheese (part skim or whole)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3½ cups grated Gruyère cheese
- salt freshly ground black pepper to taste
- about 15 small no-boil lasagna noodles (gluten-free are okay, too)
- Prepare the squash (this can be done up to 2 days ahead). Roast one or two whole butternut squash (to equal 5 pounds) by following this easy-to-follow guide. Then scoop out 4 cups of the squash. (Alternately, you can use canned butternut squash purée.) Add it to a blender with 1 cup of water or stock and blend until it's super smooth and almost pourable. Add the second cup of liquid gradually as you need it. You might need just a little, or all of it. Set this aside.
- Make the sauce. Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Sauté, stirring every so often, until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and sauté for another couple of minutes.Move the onion mixture to one side of the pan and add the ground chicken to the empty side. Sauté, stirring and breaking up the chicken into smaller pieces, until it's cooked. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the allspice over the mixture and stir to blend. Add the butternut squash mixture and the spinach. Cook for about 10 minutes on low, stirring initially just to get the spinach wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's how to season to taste.)
- Prepare the Ricotta. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the ricotta with the egg, ¾ teaspoon of salt and the remaining ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Set the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and adjust a rack to the top third of the oven.
- Assemble. 1. Add just enough of the sauce to coat the bottom of a 9 X 13 X 3-inch baking pan.2. Add a single layer of the no-boil lasagna noodles. 3. Spoon about ⅓ of the sauce evenly over the noodles.4. Spread an even layer of about ⅓ of the Ricotta mixture over the sauce.5. Sprinkle evenly with a 1 cup of the grated cheese.6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 twice more, finishing with 1½ cups of the grated cheese.
- Bake. Place the pan on a sheet pan and bake in the preheated 350°F oven for about 30 minutes. The edges should be bubbling, and the top should be golden brown when it's done. If you notice it's getting too brown during the baking time, cover it lightly with foil. And if after 30 minutes, the top hasn't browned, place the pan under the broiler for about 30 seconds -- just to brown it. (Watch it closely under the broiler -- it works quickly!)
- Cool and serve. Let the lasagna sit, covered lightly with foil, for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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Valentina - this is the perfect GF lasagne. When I first saw the photo, I assumed it was corn tortillas instead of pasta, and I thought I saw some Hatch chiles in there, too - but I was wrong! The combo of the chicken, tomatoes and spices with the squash is lovely. Thanks!
Thank YOU, David. For reading, commenting, etc. XO
I have to get some brown rice lasagna noodles, this looks so good. I've not tried a lot of gluten free pastas, do you have a brand in particular?
Serisouly this bake looks so delicious and the layers, oh so healthy and yum.
Thanks so much, Asha. For brown rice lasagna noodles I like De Boles. 🙂
Butternut squash is a favorite this time of year! An ingenious lasagna just bursting with seasonal flavor!
Thank you, Deb!! 😀
What a neat idea! I too am often in search of pasta alternatives since the real stuff often makes me feel blah. I bet these hold up a lot better than zucchini. I can't wait to give this a try! 🙂
Thanks, Lauren. I hope you give it a go. 🙂
This looks crazy good! I didn't feel like cooking tonight. So, we went out.
But, next Sunday, this will be on our table! xo
you are the sweetest, Colette!
Made this for my daughter in law's shower. Every one raved about about it!
It turned out so well and was delicious. Everything last piece was gone.
I will make it again for sure. Thanks so much for the recipe!
You've just made my day, Mary! Thank you. So happy you all loved it. It's one of our favorites and so lovely this time of year. 🙂
This looks AMAZING & butternut squash is my favorite so I can't wait to try this.
YAY! Hope you do and love it! XO
Kelly | Foodtasia
Valentina, I'm so amazed by this lasagna! Using butternut squash "noodles" is absolutely brilliant! And all the layers look so yummy and delicious!
Thank you, Kelly! I hope you give it a go. Enjoy! 🙂 ~Valentina
This looks wonderful! I love your choice of cheese also.
Thanks, Mimi. I love the nutty flavor of Gruyère. Hope you try it and love it! 🙂 ~Valentina