Ultimate Winter Squash Lasagna

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Who doesn’t like lasagna?

I mean, really, there’s usually more than one type of cheese in there….and cheese is pretty freaking delicious. So yay! Enough said.

A lot of my meals are honestly last minute decisions based on what I feel like eating each day and I kind of really like it that way.

So earlier this week, close to the end of my work day (after talking to people about food all day), I was really feeling something a little more warm and comforting. At the same time, I realized that I had bought an acorn squash that probably needed to be used within the next few days. Score.

Side tip to you: If you are looking to expand your taste buds or meals, just go ahead and buy random ingredients at the grocery store…..because you’ll eventually have to use them…and can always find a recipe later 🙂

Yes, I know. Acorn squash may not be a random ingredient for you. But, then again maybe it isn’t something you routinely buy. If it is, give yourself a high five.

Okay, back to my lasagna story.

I ended up googling squash recipes and found a few lasagna recipes….and like I said earlier lasagna = comforting deliciousness. Problem solved.

I usually look at a few recipes and then just do my own thing. It’s SO much more fun that way….AND there’s no way you can mess it up.

Another important tip about cooking and baking ….I believe you can pretty much always improvise if you’re missing ingredients. Unless it’s the main ingredient in the recipe….then you should probably just go get it.

Things I did have : a lot of freaking vegetables, cheese, ricotta, frozen spinach, tomato sauce, frozen ground turkey, seasonings.

Things I didn’t have: lasagna noodles.

Here we go :

Oven Temp: 350° F

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 Minutes

Makes:  9×13 lasagna

Ingredients:

Homemade tomato sauce (can also use store bought and add in veggies):

  • 1 lb of ground turkey (I’d use 1.5 lbs if you want it to be more on the meaty side)
  • 3 -8 fl oz cans of low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2-1/3 of orange bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped (I used red)
  • 6-8 oz of mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1-2 large carrots chopped (you don’t have to add, I just had them handy too)
  • 3 large garlic bulbs (chopped)
  • ~2 tsp of smoked paprika
  • ~2 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • ~1 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp of sugar
  • sprinkle of salt
  • sprinkle of black pepper

Filling:

  • 1- 15 oz container of ricotta cheese (use 1/2 if you don’t care for ricotta cheese)
  • 1 – 6 oz bag of shredded cheese (I suggest mozarella, italian, or pizza blend) – you don’t have to use the whole thing….and you can
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 to 1 full bag of frozen spinach
  • 1 large butternut squash or 1.5 acorn squash (peeled and sliced)
  • garlic powder and black pepper

Directions:

  1. Open and pour cans of tomato sauce into large skillet over low-medium heat. Add in all spices/seasonings.
  2. Chop up all your veggies and add to skillet.
  3. Add frozen or de-frosted ground turkey meat to skillet. If turkey is still frozen, stir and separate with a wooden spoon while it cooks so that it cooks evenly.
  4. Allow it to cook until veggies and ground turkey meat are cooked through.

[you can add music like I did to get even more excited about your meal ;)]

5. Add spinach to microwave-safe bowl and heat in microwave for a few minutes until de-frosted. Add in ricotta, parmesan cheese (to taste), and a sprinkle of black pepper and garlic powder.

6. Now the fun part: layer all ingredients into 13 x 9 inch oven-safe pan (I like pyrex).

Start with sauce. Add squash slices and follow with spinach cheese mixture. Repeat. Top off with cheese 🙂

7. Bake for 40ish minutes at 350° F.  Everyone’s oven cooks a little different so check on it at ~30 minutes. The squash should be cooked through and the cheese on top should be melted and look slightly browned.

Enjoy with a side of warm bread 🙂

From my belly to yours,

Lucia

 

 

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