These vegetarian Butternut Squash, Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll-Ups are delicious, hearty, and comforting. Plus they can be made ahead and put in the freezer for quick weeknight meals!
Ever since we’ve been eating more plant-based meals, we’ve eaten plenty of dinners that we file under “pretty good for a vegetarian meal.” However, there are a few that deserve just to be in the “dang that’s good” category and are meals I’d feel perfectly comfortable serving even my most meat-loving friends. For example, this sweet potato chili, spiced lentil soup, and vegetable bolognese are all repeat-worthy dinners, and now these vegetarian lasagna roll-ups have secured their own position on the list!
I think the secret to the heartiness is the chopped mushrooms which give the dish a satisfying texture, but what really gives this dish the flavor pop it will be remembered for is the lemon zest. So despite it being tempting to leave out small amounts of seemingly unimportant ingredients, don’t skip it!
My final brag on this dish before imploring you to add it to your family’s weekly rotation is that that it can be made ahead of time and frozen. Certainly you can make and freeze the whole dish together, but the lasagna roll-ups can also be frozen in smaller batches of two or three, making it a perfect single-serve meal for busy nights or when your spouse is traveling.
The extra nutritional power of the butternut squash puree gives a slight sweetness to the dish that balances out the savory sauteed vegetables. Long story short- this dish is a keeper. The kids loved it (being covered in cheese certainly didn’t hurt), but I even made it once with only a slight sprinkle of the mozzarella topping and it STILL was incredibly flavorful. I’m so excited to finally share this roll-up recipe with you and can’t wait to hear what you think!
These vegetarian Spinach, Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagna Roll-Ups are delicious, hearty, comforting and can be made ahead and put in the freezer for quick weeknight meals!
9 lasagna noodles
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, diced
17 ounces tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup packed pureed Butternut squash*
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the filling:
5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon organic lemon zest
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
extra chopped fresh basil
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions, or just until tender. Do not overcook. Drain and place cooked lasagna noodles individually on a clean surface. (Spray surface with a little cooking spray if noodles seem to stick.)
To prepare the Sauce:
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic: cook, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes or until onions are softened. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are softened and tender. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, and Butternut squash; cook until heated through. Stir in basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Keep warm.
To prepare the Filling:
Combine spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, lemon zest, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Divide ricotta mixture evenly among 9 lasagna noodles (about 2-3 tablespoons each). Spread evenly along noodle. Place about 2-3 tablespoons tomato sauce on each noodle on top of ricotta filling; spread evenly along noodle. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of Mozzarella cheese on top of tomato mixture.
Starting at one short end, roll noodle up, being sure filling doesn’t leak out of the side of the roll. Continue rolling each noodle.
Place half of remaining tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Place lasagna roll ups on top of tomato sauce, seam side down. Top with remainder of tomato sauce. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with additional chopped fresh basil, if desired. Serve immediately.
The easiest way to get a quick cup of Butternut squash puree if there is none on hand is to buy a 10-ounce package of frozen Butternut squash chunks. Microwave them according to package instructions, drain, and pulse quickly in a blender or food processor. Those 10 ounces will equal 1 cup packed puree.
To portion out lasagna roll-ups for a quick pre-made vegetarian dinner, cover bottoms of 8-inch aluminum loaf pans with tomato sauce. Place 2-3 lasagna roll-ups on top of sauce, top with more tomato sauce and cheese, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place in freezer. You can bake these directly from frozen at 350° for 1 hour covered, remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered or until cheese is melted. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.