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Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna I howsweeteats.com

Today we’re mashing two of my favorite dishes evah: skillet lasagna and butternut squash lasagna. Oh em gee. Right?

Today we’re also trying not to eat all of the Halloween candy. Late October: better known as the days when will power is non-existent. Somebody please duct tape my mouth shut. And please use the pretty leopard print duct tape I saw at Target the other day. That is seriously a thing.

Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna I howsweeteats.com

Today we’re trying to decide why we spent $18 on a deodorant. Like, one bottle of deodorant. I really don’t know. I mean, why did we do that? We can discuss at a later date. Maybe.

Today we need to eat a big plate a coziness. Coziness is delicious.

Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna I howsweeteats.com

Here’s the deal: I have been testing this recipe for weeks. I have wanted to make it FOR EV ER and that is no exaggeration. (Wait, yes it is.) The reason I love butternut squash lasagna so much is because it’s meatless and well, just utterly delicious. With the noodles and the cheese and the spice and if you’re a glutton – the brown butter – it can practically taste like dessert. And adding meat to my accidental-on purpose dessert dinner? No thanks.

But. The thing is… if you don’t add some texture to this dish, you may as well just eat a skillet full of mashed squash. Oh, with some noodles added in. And now that I’m thinking about it, it’s not that wild of an idea because hello – we have pierogi casserole and it’s fantastic – but it just wasn’t what I was going for. I attempted to keep the squash cubed and have it masquerade as some sort of texture here, but it so didn’t work out. It wasn’t soft enough, it was too mushy, it was a mess… it just didn’t work. It didn’t stay beautifully cubed and I was annoyed. So chicken it was. Ground chicken to be exact. That was just my preference. I actually think that a spicy sausage may be the best flavor combo, but fennel seeds be damned – I will not touch you. If you reeeeeeally want to stick to a meatless dish here, you could add some sort of crispy tofu or tempeh and go to town. Or maybe you’ll do something totally cool for texture. Something I don’t even know about.

Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna I howsweeteats.com

While the directions seem a bit lengthy, this dish is pretty simple to make and when made more than once, gets easier and easier. It can be made in about an hour and is so very rustic, so thick and hearty and just… autumnish. Soul warming, if you will. Trendy comfort food with a little twist. It should come as no surprise that it’s my most favorite thing in the universe. At least for the next five minutes.

Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna I howsweeteats.com


Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna

Yield: serves about 4

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into thirds
4 cups cubed (1-inch) butternut squash
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken or veggie stock
1 sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage
1 pound ground chicken breast
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
fresh sage leaves for topping


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add in squash with 1/4 teaspoon salt, the pepper and the nutmeg. Stir to coat well and add in 1/3 cup stock. Cover and cook until softened, about 10-12 minutes. Once soft, remove squash with a large spoon (and any extra stock, though most of it will cook away) and place in a bowl. Mash well with a potato mashed or fork.

At this time, prepare the water for the pasta and boil according to directions, shaving a minute or 2 off the time since you will cook the pasta more in the oven. While water is boil/pasta is cooking, continue with the rest of the recipe.

With the skillet still hot, add in the other tablespoon of olive oil, then toss in onion with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Still well to coat, cooking for 2-3 minutes until slightly soft, then add in ground chicken with remaining salt to season. Break apart the chicken using a wooden spoon, continuing to do so as it cooks so it is in small bits. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Once cooked, remove chicken and onions (if a few remain it's fine) and place in a smaller bowl.

With the skillet still hot, add in butter and once it sizzles, whisk in flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden and nutty, then add in milk, stirring constantly. Continue to stir and one it begins to thicken and bubble on the sides, whisk in mascarpone and parmesan with a pinch of nutmeg, turning the heat down to low. At this time, add the mashed butternut squash back into the milk mixture and whisk to combine. It will probably be very, very thick so add in additional stock, beginning with 1/4 cup, stirring until it is just a bit thinner. Note: it will still be pretty thick! Use your judgement and add a little more if needed. You can also taste the "sauce" here and season more if desired.

Add in the chicken/onion mixture and slowly add the lasagna noodles, strategically placing them if needed. I took a few seconds and pushed mine around/separated them just to spread them throughout the skillet. Top with sliced mozzarella, panko and sage leaves. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is golden. Serve immediately. This reheats fairly well, but you must add some liquid and do some stirring as you go!

[adapted/inspired by my skillet lasagna and butternut lasagna]

Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna I howsweeteats.com

It’s seriously a thing too.

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114 Responses to “Butternut Squash Skillet Lasagna.”

  1. #
    Diana — October 30, 2012 @ 12:58 am

    I’m making my butternut squash lasagna again this thanksgiving, but I’ll have to try it out in a skillet! Thanks for the idea


  2. #
    Donna — October 30, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    Yessiree…definitely a recipe that calls for pulling just a bit of said funky duct tape to allow for “mini”…controlled…yet thorough shoveling of this obviously devastatingly delicious dish…..

    One hopes no one asks for carb, calorie and total fat counts…After all it IS the end of October.¨!!…


  3. #
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — October 30, 2012 @ 9:01 am

    You have officially blown my mind! This is such a fabulous idea and the only problem I have is with the small size. Guess it’s good that I have 2 skillets, right?

    I’d totally do this with sausage. It sounds incredible!


  4. #
    Steph@stephsbitebybite — October 30, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

    There is now slobber all over my desk. I want!!


  5. #
    Michelle — October 30, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    Ok, so I found your website on Pinterest and all I can say is that you are my idol. I am going to be trying a lot of your recipes on my unsuspecting family (who think eating healthy means their life is over as they know it..LOL) I am going to be looking for easy and possibly make ahead recipes as I’m starting nursing school in a few weeks so please help a girl out will ya? Thanks for sharing your cooking adventures, both the ups and downs with us.


  6. #
    Colette @ JFF! — October 30, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

    What a great idea for a cozy fall dinner.


  7. #
    Katie@Cozydelicious — October 30, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

    This looks So yummy! Why have I never made skillet lasagna??? I mist try this. Yum!


  8. #
    Kat Collins — October 31, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    I’m making this tonight for dinner! Perfectly cozy for an “after-hurricane” dinner. We survived in PA, but it’s going to take a long time to clean up after Sandy along the coast.


  9. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — November 1, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    I’ve heard amazing things about butternut squash lasagna, but I’ve never tried it. This looks like an awesome way to make it, and I’d probably take your advice and add sausage as well! I’d probably throw in some toasted pecans too!


  10. #
    Andrea C — November 2, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

    What size pan do you consider large? I have a 9 in round Cast Iron, is that big enough or do I need to go bigger?


  11. #
    rette5991 — November 4, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

    This was AMAZING!!!!! We were kinda skeptical, but everyone LOVED it! Will definitely be making this again.


  12. #
    alice buesing — November 6, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    What size skillet did you use?


  13. #
    Raechal — November 7, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    Ho many calories?


  14. #
    Katedb — November 8, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    So on the bottom is the meat/sauce, then the noodles then top with cheese? Sorry I am trying to understand the layering :) Looks so good!


    • Jessica — November 8th, 2012 @ 10:45 am

      Not necessarily – it’s really all tossed together! Just cover the top with cheese.


  15. #
    Jeff B — November 8, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    I made this dish this week. My family all declared it was the best lasagna they’ve ever had! It should be on a restaurant menu! Thanks so much for making me look good.


  16. #
    agirlandherfood — November 23, 2012 @ 6:56 am

    I need to make this ASAP! I love butternut squash. Great recipe!


  17. #
    Catherine — October 7, 2013 @ 11:55 am

    This looks wonderful – can’t wait to try it out at the weekend!

    Over here in the UK we don’t use ‘cups’ for measurement, so how many grams would 1/4 cup of Mascarpone be?



  18. #
    Shannon — October 22, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

    Hazelnuts, Hazelnuts, Hazelnuts!!! Crushed up in between layers (or mixed in) they are a natural match for butternut squash. I always mix them with my butnut squash raviolis in a brown butter sauce.


  19. #
    Kristen — November 17, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    I was inspired by your post and made a variation based on what I had on hand! I used frozen pre-cooked butternut and steamed it in a little chicken broth. I used ww spaghetti noodles and almond milk instead of milk. Minus the skillet, throw it all in big pan and pop it in the over. Holy yum!!! Thanks! The flavors combined with the crispy sage is a winner :)


  20. #
    Courtney — December 11, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    I have a whole butternut squash in the fridge (and generous amounts of my 100 different cheeses) and was thinking about throwing lasagna together for dinner one of these nights… but I’m debating between this one or your original squash & sweet potato lasagna.

    I wanna ask the kitchen artist herself: which one is your favorite?


  21. #
    Hillary Lodge — March 24, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

    High fives for your out-and-proud hatred of fennel. I feel foodie guilt for not being a fan of it and its friends (anise, black licorise-flavored Jelly Bellies, I’m looking at you)), but it is the WORST. Thank you for keeping your recipes safe and fennel-free :-)


  22. #
    Shana — October 24, 2014 @ 11:43 am

    I made this last night for my Parents anniversary. It was a HIT! I served it with a side of sauteed shaved brussel sprouts. Thank you for a great recipe!



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