This butternut squash lasagna is a healthier take on traditional lasagna. The pasta is swapped out for hearty butternut squash sheets that pair perfectly with the rich meat sauce. To keep the lactose low, farmer cheese is used in place of ricotta. Freshly shredded provolone and Havarti cheese provide the cheesy deliciousness that you expect from lasagna. This SCD, gluten free, and grain free meal is the ultimate comfort food!
Hi friends! Today I’d like to share with you the recipe that is my ultimate comfort food! If I have a bad day, this is what I want. If I need to feed a crowd, this is what I make. If I want something that freezes beautifully, this is the recipe.
Those of us that follow the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) can’t have traditional pasta noodles (as it’s made with grains and gluten), ricotta cheese or mozzarella cheese (too much lactose). So this recipe is a different take on traditional lasagna!
The meat sauce is a hearty combination of ground beef, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. I’ve made sauce numerous times from fresh tomatoes but that was in my PK (pre-kids) days! Now I use the POMI brand of strained tomatoes and crushed tomatoes when making my sauce. It just speeds the process up a bit and the only ingredient in them is tomatoes. No thickeners, sugar, preservatives, etc.
In order to get the most flavorful sauce, I let it simmer for at least an hour. It’s totally worth it and your house will smell AMAZING!
In the past I’ve used eggplant to replace the noodles in lasagna but I’ve got to be honest, I don’t really like it. For me, it’s a bit too “slimy” in texture. I find that using butternut squash “sheets” is much closer to the texture of pasta noodles!
When picking out the butternut squash for this recipe, try to find one that has a longer “neck”, since that’s the only part of the squash that’s needed. The squash gets sliced into long, thin sheets using either a knife or mandolin.
It’s very important that the squash sheets are all the same thickness, as this will ensure that they cook evenly when in the oven.
The replacement for ricotta cheese is farmer cheese. It has a VERY similar texture to ricotta but has almost no lactose..which means my tummy is happy!
Instead of mozzarella cheese, I used a combination of havarti and provolone. Oh my! The havarti has a nice creaminess while the provolone adds an almost salty bite. SO good!
Other than these easy swaps, this lasagna is put together and cooked just like a traditional lasagna!
Hope you enjoy!
Leave a comment below if you enjoyed this recipe or have questions!
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- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 16 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup strained tomatoes
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 lbs butternut squash (about 2 butternut squash with long "necks")
- 8 ounces farmer cheese (I use the friendship dairies brand)
- 8 ounces havarti cheese, grated
- 8 ounces provolone cheese, grated
Melt the coconut oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground beef, breaking it into small chunks as it cooks.
Stir in the onion and garlic. Add the basil, oregano, thyme, and salt. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and strained tomatoes. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Drop the heat to low and allow to simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
Peel the "neck" of the butternut squash. Cut the "bulb" off the squash and set aside. Use a mandolin or sharp knife to slice the "neck" of butternut squash into 1/8" slices. You should have about 25 evenly sliced "sheets".
Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread about 1/2 cup of meat sauce on the bottom of a deep 9x13 pan. Layer the squash on the bottom of the pan. Spread the farmers cheese on the squash and top with about 1 cup of meat mixture. Sprinkle the Havarti and provolone cheese on top.
Repeat layering two more times until you have three complete layers. Loosely cover the top of the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake in the center rack for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional).
*The calories calculated in the recipe are an estimate*