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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. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — October 29, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    I totally have that zebra print duct tape you speak of – it’s for my kids when their folders/notebooks/books break and need a little love. The girls love it! (I have checkered for the boys)


    • Jessica — October 29th, 2012 @ 10:13 am

      you are the coolest teacher ever.


  2. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 29, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    This looks awesome! I love the steam shot coming up from the skillet and the glimpses of your kitchen. I can practically smell this one from looking at these pics. Lovely job!


  3. #
    Amelia — October 29, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    Although dairy and I are not friends, I may have to make an exception for this kind of meal. The pain may be worth it! ;)


  4. #
    elle | nutritionella — October 29, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    Looks incredible! May have to make this for my fiancé this week. Oh and my friends kids made her a purse out of zebra print duct tape and yes, she pretends she carries it around. :)


  5. #
    Kim in MD — October 29, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    Wow…I thought I was prepared for hurricane Sandy, but now I think I need to make another grocery store run to get the ingredients to make this! Yum!


  6. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 29, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    Oh my gosh does this look fantastic! I wish my Husband would eat squash, I’d love to make it! I guess I could make it for me and freeze some of it!! It looks fantastic Jessica!!


  7. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — October 29, 2012 @ 7:36 am

    Jessica – the whole texture thing – I’m totally with you! I once made a pumpkin lasagna of sorts and while it was definitely delicious, it lacked just that – texture! ground chicken is a great choice – it wont overpower the dish at all, but still give each bite a little something extra to chew on. Lovely photos! Love the steam shots you’ve been posting recently! :)


  8. #
    Blog is the New Black — October 29, 2012 @ 7:47 am

    Love the idea of a skillet lasagna!!!


  9. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 29, 2012 @ 7:50 am

    Jess this looks fantastic! I adore butternut squash in all shapes and forms and have just discovered how delicious fresh sage is with it. Consider this one tucked away for a rainy day (which is probably going to be every day this week according to our weather forecast!)


  10. #
    Abby@ Totes Delish — October 29, 2012 @ 8:13 am

    I am also having a REALLY hard time not eating everysinglepiece of Halloween candy in the house, it’s just there! I don’t ride the meat train, so I’m thinking some Soyrizo from TJ’s would be perfectly spicy for this dish!


  11. #
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh — October 29, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    Yes please! This looks perfect for the rainy days in my future.


  12. #
    Heather@SugarDish(Me) — October 29, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    I’m so excited about this right now!!!! I have A TON of butternut squash that I need to use for something besides soup. I was thinking mac ‘n’ cheese because I’m freezing cold and craving cheesy starch, but THIS! This is better.


  13. #
    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries — October 29, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    Yummm so cheesy and delicious looking! Can’t wait to give this one a try!


  14. #
    Rose — October 29, 2012 @ 8:42 am

    Wow this recipe looks so tasty! Can’t wait to try it!


  15. #
    Erin@LawStudentsWife — October 29, 2012 @ 8:51 am

    I’ve been have a love affair with my skillet this week, so I’m so excited to see this! It does indeed look like coziness in one bite. Getting ready to hibernate here up north, and this looks like a satisfying way to start. Mmmmm


  16. #
    Amy W — October 29, 2012 @ 8:51 am

    With Frankenstorm coming you might not have to pass out candy anyways…. Eat away, I say!


  17. #
    Joy — October 29, 2012 @ 9:10 am

    I agree with Amy W-I’ve already decided to dive into all of our Halloween candy as soon as I hear that trick-or-treating has been cancelled due to Sandy. Also, that lasagna looks yummy! Perfect comfort food.


    • Jessica — October 29th, 2012 @ 10:12 am

      don’t tempt me with these ideas!


  18. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 29, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    i may cry if i don’t get this in my face TODAY


  19. #
    Stephanie — October 29, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    you have combined my three favorites…the butternut..the skillet lasagne…and marscapone cheese….you she devil!


  20. #
    Katie — October 29, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    I’ve never made a skillet lasagna…that’s about to change! (You’re other butternut squash lasagna – in a pan – is one of my favorites!)


    • Jessica — October 29th, 2012 @ 10:12 am

      You seriously need to. You will die.


    • Jessica — October 29th, 2012 @ 10:12 am

      (in a good way)


  21. #
    Ashley — October 29, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    Creamy deliciousness. Yes please.


  22. #
    Hannah — October 29, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    I know you’re out in PA, so I’m wishing you all the best with the upcoming Frankenstorm!


    • Jessica — October 29th, 2012 @ 10:11 am

      Thanks! Think we’re just supposed to get a lot of rain. Like… a lot.


  23. #
    Anne — October 29, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    This looks awesome! I might try to squeeze in a batch before our power goes out as it inevitability will in Sandy. I’m totally with you on fennel seeds–gross! They’re the reason I have to make all my own lasagna (well, other than the obvious reason: it’s so yummy and easy to make at home!) Thanks for the awesome recipe!


  24. #
    carrian — October 29, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    That looks and sounds amazing!


  25. #
    Julie @Savvy Eats — October 29, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    I’ve made butternut squash lasagna three times in the past 2 weeks… great minds think alike!! :-D


  26. #
    Maria — October 29, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    Love it! Need it!


  27. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — October 29, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    looks delicious! i love the butternut squash and pasta combo – so good.


  28. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — October 29, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    I’m dying- this looks incredible! If only Sandy was being a real jerk and making it tough to get to a grocery store for some bnut squash.


  29. #
    Kerry — October 29, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    This sounds delicious! I might try it with some Jimmy Dean roll sausage mixed in (it’s not just for breakfast!! And it doesn’t have fennel in it!!).


  30. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 29, 2012 @ 11:18 am

    if Sandy lets me out of the house today I’m totally making this for dinner :)


  31. #
    Alison — October 29, 2012 @ 11:23 am

    Holy moly this looks fantastic!! Would be perfect for this hurricane weather on the East coast ;)


  32. #
    Paige — October 29, 2012 @ 11:25 am

    Do you use the frozen butternut squash?


    • Jessica — October 29th, 2012 @ 11:33 am

      Nope I use fresh… but you can probably use a frozen one as long as it’s completely thawed.


  33. #
    honeywhatscooking — October 29, 2012 @ 11:27 am

    that looks incredible.. haven’t quite tried butternut squash lasagna, sounds like something Giada would make. Looks amazing for fall.


  34. #
    Aggie — October 29, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    Amazing. Completely drooling over here.


  35. #
    Claire — October 29, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    Ohhh this looks so good! I bought a butternut squash at the farmer’s market over the weekend and this would be the perfect way to use it!
    Since you mentioned using sausage, I think I am going to try chopping up some turkey kielbasa into this. I used turkey kielbasa in a butternut squash jambalaya just the other week and the combination was out of this world!
    So excited! Thank you!


  36. #
    Kristen — October 29, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

    Another brilliant creation. I need the zebra tape for this so I wouldn’t eat the whole pan!


  37. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — October 29, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    Heaven! look at all that CHEESE!


  38. #
    Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} — October 29, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    Oh man, you’re killing me with this lasagna! And I saw that pink leopard print tape last week at Target. I thought about buying it, but have NO clue what I’d use it for! :)


  39. #
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — October 29, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    Ohh delicious! I just made a pumpkin lasagna and used ground sweet italian sausage and it was divine. I love butternut too!


  40. #
    luv what you do — October 29, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

    That looks incredible!
    I wish my boyfriend liked butternut squash because I think it is amazing. I don’t think I could trick him into eating it in this recipe : )


  41. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — October 29, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    I am soooo all about the butternut squash right now. And I am all about the cheese ALWAYS. This looks amazing.


  42. #
    Carey on Lovely — October 29, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    I too am addicted to butternut squash right now. I did pizza last week! Love the use of an old school cast iron skillet too… so underutilized in the modern kitchen.


  43. #
    Brittany from Counting My Cupcakes — October 29, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    They also make Justin Bieber duct tape. No joke.


  44. #
    Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk — October 29, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

    You did it again! This looks amazing and thank you for another excellent dinner option!


  45. #
    Erin — October 29, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    Ughg.. that sage looks so yummy!!! I had some excellent vegetarian butternut squash lasagna at Tin Front Cafe a couple weeks ago. I’m having delicious food flash backs.


  46. #
    Kacy — October 29, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

    All of the Halloween candy is gone here. And two bottles of wine. And a whole box of crackers. Could you please come make that skillet for me? I’m too drunk to cook.


  47. #
    Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut — October 29, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

    Oh my word, this looks so sinfully wrong yet so right—YUM! Seriously, that last cheesy photo looks ridiculous. That wouldn’t last two minutes in my apartment! Thank god I’m only a mediocre cook. :)


  48. #
    Riley — October 29, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    I’m definitely powerless before Halloween candy… And I think powerless before this lasagna! It looks delicious, I’m so ready to start cooking with butternut squash!


  49. #
    Ruby — October 29, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

    Wow! i’ve made winter squash lasagna but not in a skillet, But YUM! This looks so much better than what I made!


  50. #
    April was in CT now CA — October 29, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    While this sounds/looks super delicious, all I can focus on is WHAT THE HELL DEODORANT COSTS $18?!? LOL I bought my hubs some mustache duck tape for his birthday, but mainly because I wanted it for myself.



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