Roasted Butternut Lasagna with Crispy Sage

Roasted Butternut Lasagna with Crispy Sage

Roasted Butternut Lasagna with Crispy Sage and Cashew Bechamel – seriously flavorful vegan comfort food! Rich and sweetly savory, great for a weeknight dinner, perfect for entertaining!


Whenever I make lasagna I am reminded of my first years of cooking away from home – in college, in my own place for the first time. I learned about bechamel sauce and it became my favorite thing. I wanted to add bechamel to all the foods.

Then I made my very first lasagna. Back then I thought I was brilliant for using bechamel in place of ricotta or other soft cheese in the filling. I made many lasagna this way, as it was often requested when I hosted dinner parties or offered to bring something to an event.

I have made almost every lasagna with bechamel. Serious comfort food.

Roasted Butternut Lasagna with Crispy Sage

This is the first lasagna I have made in a while.

I wanted to bump up the protein without using a faux meat product, so instead of starting my bechamel with the usual butter-flour roux, I blended in cashews. Not only did I get my wanted protein, the result was a creamy sweet rich flavor.

We are in nutmeg week of Meatless Mondays A-Z, and while the nutmeg is a standard ingredient in my bechamel sauces, I also used it here to add warm spice to the butternut squash as it roasted. Wonderful depth of flavor in this dish.

Roasted Butternut Lasagna with Crispy Sage

Roasted Butternut Lasagna with Crispy Sage

inspired by lasagne alla zucca

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan

makes 9 x 11 pan of lasagna

1 butternut squash
drizzle olive oil
pinch sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
9-10 fresh sage leaves
1 package lasagna noodles (I use these – gluten free)
cashew bechamel sauce (recipe follows)
7 ounces jack cheese, sliced

Prepare cashew bechamel sauce (see recipe below).

Peel, remove seeds/innards, and cut butternut squash into cubes. Arrange in single layer on (parchmented) baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and nutmeg. Arrange sage leaves on same sheet, brush with olive oil. Roast in 300 degree oven – 5 minutes for sage leaves, 30-35 minutes for squash. Remove from oven and cool.

Transfer cooled squash cubes to food processor and purée until smooth.

Assemble lasagna layers: Pour a small amount of bechamel in 9 x 11 baking dish. Add noodles. Spread a layer of squash purée, top with cheese, another layer of bechamel, top with crispy sage. Repeat steps for two more layers.

Cover with foil (especially important if using no-boil pasta noodles) and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10-15 minutes, to set – you get even slices of lasagna layers this way.

gif maker free

cashew bechamel sauce

1/2 cup raw cashews
3 cups almond milk, divided
4 tablespoons butter (Earth Balance soy free)
4 tablespoons gluten free all purpose flour
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt 

In high speed blender or food processor, process cashews until crumbly. Add 1 cup milk while processing, until a smooth cashew cream forms – this will be much thinner than traditional cashew cream.

In saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to darken in color – a light tan. Continue to stir while adding cashew milk. Mixture will thicken. Whisk in remaining two cups milk, and the salt and nutmeg, remove from heat. 

Roasted Butternut Lasagna with Crispy Sage

This to me is the epitome of cold weather comfort food. Brightly flavored squash between layers of rich sauce and boldly flavored cheese. The crispy sage adds an earthy flavor perfect for winter foods. We will be enjoying this again soon.


What is your favorite cold weather comfort food?




  1. says

    Wow, ya that’s some serious comfort food! I love your play by play images. Very cool to watch the layers being built up.

    My favorite comfort food would have to be stew. I haven’t had it in ages, really. My Mom makes the best stew and no matter how many times I make it, it just doesn’t taste the same!

    • spabettie says

      I love those gifs… layers are fun. stews are another great cold weather comfort – my African peanut stew is on the list this week! :)

  2. says

    That was me in college, too!! I made lasagna with cream cheese instead of ricotta and everyone thought I was master chef! :)
    But, now, this take on lasagna could really be a master chef creation… yummo!

    • spabettie says

      oooh, cream cheese? you ARE a genius! I use cream cheese in my enchiladas – people always love that! :)

      and hmm… Master Chef IS coming to Portland for auditions… 😉

  3. says

    Mmm…this sounds so comforting! I actually made lasagna this weekend too, since we had an 8-person dinner party last night. It’s such a great “bulk” cooking option and everyone seems to like it. Love your vegan bechamel sauce with the nutmeg. And I need to learn how to make an animated graphic like you did – that’s so cool!

    • spabettie says

      I think that’s why I made lasagna so much for my college dinner parties – lots of guests and it was pretty easy – add a big salad, a crusty bread and some wine, you’ve got a great dinner!

  4. says

    Yum! I loooove butternut squash, think it’s my fave. I went to the Hillsdale farmers’ market over the weekend and was in awe over all the amazing kinds of squash (and other veggies) they had… have no idea how to cook some of the huge ones, though! Now I feel bad for buying squash at Winco the other day. Bet local ones would taste better!

  5. Lora @cakeduchess says

    When the temps drop I could eat a comforting lasagna every day. Love the cashew beschamel sauce and want to make it for my next one. Happy my lasagna inspired you:)xx

    • spabettie says

      I hope you do try the cashew sauce – it is even more decadent, if that is possible? thank you for the inspiration!

  6. says

    You know, I don’t think I’ve ever made a lasagna with a bechamel! All red sauce all the time around here. It does sound perfect with winter squash and sage, though. :) Thanks for the great idea!

  7. says

    Yum! I only wish my husband was a squash lover :( I’ll have to make this when he is out of town. Do you think it would freeze well? I am waiting with baited breath for the African peanut stew!

    • spabettie says

      same here, Leah! I made another dinner for Jason while I enjoyed this. not sure if it would freeze well, I sent some of this to Dad’s house and ate the rest over a few days… you could make a half batch for yourself? or a half pan of this flavor and using the rest of the noodles, cheese, add a tomato based sauce in place of the pumpkin? (I do this sometimes too – making a ‘Jason half’ and a ‘Kris half’…

    • spabettie says

      I am loving the new Daiya wedges, it was perfect for this! and lasagna is so much easier to make than ravioli, right?

  8. says

    A piping hot bowl of soup!

    Wow, this is pure comfort food…love the squash and sage combo…classic and delicious. And your layering video is so darn impressive…you rock, my friend!

  9. says

    Looks awesome! I can’t wait to try it…that is if I can find that cheese here in Hawaii?? I stumbled upon your blog today as I was searching for recipes for a 30 day meal plan I am making for my family. I’m so glad I found it! Looks like you have some yummy stuff on here! :)

    • spabettie says

      hi Peggy! I am not sure, I hope you can find this cheese in Hawaii? I am so happy you found me, keep in touch and let me know if you have any requests… Mahalo!

    • spabettie says

      I am in the same place – Jason is not a fan… I made him his own lasagna this day (in the other half of the pan!).

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      I know, and really? lasagna is so very easy, we shouldn’t be avoiding it! I cannot wait to make this one again – I think cooler months are more lasagna friendly for me anyway…

  10. anne says

    This may sound like a stupid question but ———— I have lots of raw almonds. Would the sauce be compromised if I used the almonds rather than cashews? If so, note to self – buy cashews.

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      hi Anne! that is absolutely a valid question – and I almonds will definitely work, as far as consistency goes. The taste may be a bit different, but it would still be good! Enjoy!

  11. Natasha says

    Now you’ve done it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Arg!!!!( said with a clenched fist to the heavens) – must make, must….thank you for the inspiration!!!
    Miss ya girl – hope your Daddy is good…Basil, and Jason too.

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      ah, hello my long lost friend!! how ARE you?? I miss our chats, I know you are busy extreme, I hope you are well? think of you often XXO

  12. Stephanie says

    Oh, Spabettie!!!!! I made this last night, and it is one of the best and most impressively delicious dishes ever! I cannot believe that béchamel sauce-it was so very yummy, the nutmeg in this recipe worked so well. I gave some to the doctor I work with, and he could not understand how it could be so full of flavor and vegan at the same time-and he’s a vegan! I’ve just discovered your website, and I want to thank you so much. Amazing!

  13. Diane says

    Sorry, but this is not vegan because it has butter and cheese in it (two animal products). It is vegetarian, however.

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      hello Diane.

      if you see the link for the cheese, you will see it links to Daiya, a dairy free/soy free vegan cheese product. if you read the note in the ingredient line for butter, it says “Earth Balance soy free” – which is a vegan butter product.

      I have not used animal products for years.


  14. Lara says

    Hi there! Been looking forward to trying this (even though it’s spring already…lol!) for some time now. I’m planning to sub pumpkin just cuz I have so much already that I made. So I’m sure the flavor will be a bit different…but I have a question…other than roasting the sage, I don’t see where you put it in the recipe. Am I missing it? Looks like (from the pictures) that you crush and sprinkle it on in the layering steps… Thanks for any insight! I’m making this tonight! I’ve never done bechamel sauce before and I’m looking forward to trying it! I use cashews for everything! My cheese, my ice cream, so much is made with it! 😀 Thanks for the great recipe!!!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      hi Lara! thank you for pointing out my error – other than the photo showing the layering process, I did not leave instructions for the addition of sage! I have amended the assembly instruction – basically you crumble the crispy sage and sprinkle over each bechamel layer.

      the flavor of pumpkin might be a bit different, but still complimentary with these flavors! enjoy the recipe – it is one of our favorites! cheers!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      indeed. bechamel was always my favorite, and honestly? cashews TAKE IT OVER THE TOP. so incredibly good.


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