The Foodie Dietitian Blog

Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna

Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna is a game changer – saves you so much time and hassle! You’ll never want to boil noodles for lasagna again. This version is packed with my favorite seasonal vegetables – butternut squash and kale. Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna is a game changer - saves you so much time and hassle! You'll never want to boil noodles for lasagna again. This version is packed with my favorite seasonal vegetables - butternut squash and kale. Is winter over yet? My body and brain are confused. One minute Boston’s getting hit with a snow storm that puts the city on hold (and my husband stuck in Kansas City) and the next it’s 50 degrees outside and I’m enjoying a leisurely walk outside without my parka. It’s a strange winter with lots of up and down temps. As much as I’d like to hope that this string of warmer weather is a sign that spring is around the corner, I’m playing it safe and taking proper precautions that another snow storm is imminent. Precautions = cooking up all the warming comfort meals, like this slow cooker lasagna.

There’s nothing like having a warm, hearty meal in front of you while watching the snow blowing in every which way outside. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. It’s the way our bodies are programmed to eat. When it’s hot, we crave cool foods – like salads and fruit. And baby, when it’s cold outside, we crave warm, comforting foods. This logic is also in line with Ayurvedic diet recommendations. Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker LasagnaLasagna has always been a favorite comfort food of mine. The Italian in me smiles a little on the inside every time I have it. But it’s not the easiest or fastest dish to make and requires a decent amount of prep work. Not only do you have to bake it for close to an hour, you have to boil a pot of water, cook the noodles and dry the noodles too BEFORE you can even think about assembling. I remember asking my Mom as a kid why she didn’t make lasagna more often and she said that it was a pain to make. I know my Mom is not alone in feeling this way. So, I was pretty excited when I had the inclination to try making lasagna in the slow cooker. I thought if this goes well, my lasagna making career could be forever changed.Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker LasagnaAnd it did go well. Very well, in fact. So well that this recipe was featured on as a favorite slow cooker lasagna recipe on Today.com. And it happens to be one of the top 5 most popular recipes on my blog. So, when I had a couple readers comment that roasting the squash and sautéing the kale ahead of time defeated the purpose of “set it and forget it,” I had to agree with them. So, I retested the recipe letting the slow cooker do all the work for you – no need to cook veggies beforehand. No baking pans or pots of water necessary (hello, minimal clean up!). And I was able to throw this together at lunchtime and have dinner ready by evening. All hail the slow cooker!

Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna

Yield: 6-8 servings

Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cubed
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 3/4 24oz jars marinara sauce
  • 12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Toss butternut squash in a large mixing bowl with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, basil, garlic powder, egg and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover the bottom of the slow cooker with 1 cup of sauce. Layer 3 noodles on top, breaking as needed to fit. Spread 1/3 of ricotta mixture over the noodles. Add 1/3 of kale and butternut squash over the ricotta. Top with 1 cup of sauce. Repeat this layering 2 more times. Top with one more layer of noodles and sauce.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. Top with mozzarella cheese and cover for about 10 minutes (or until melted).

Notes

To save additional time, purchase already peeled and cubed butternut squash. Save the leftover tomato sauce for reheating/serving.

3.1
http://karalydon.com/recipes/butternut-squash-kale-slow-cooker-lasagna/

Butternut Squash and Kale Slow Cooker Lasagna is a game changer - saves you so much time and hassle! You'll never want to boil noodles for lasagna again. This version is packed with my favorite seasonal vegetables - butternut squash and kale. Note: This blog post was originally published in February 2015 and has been completely retested and reshot to give you the most delicious post possible. 

Love the slow cooker? Check out these recipes for more time saving dinners:

Slow Cooker Greek Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Greek Baked Beans

Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup

Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup

Slow Cooker Chipotle Corn Chowder-1

Slow Cooker Chipotle Corn Chowder

I’m a nutrition coach and yoga teacher helping people to learn to love food again. I love cooking, taking pictures of my food and traveling around the world. Follow my blog for delicious, seasonal vegetarian recipes and simple strategies to bring more yoga and mindfulness into your life. And check out my e-book to learn how to improve your health through nutrition and yoga. Show me what deliciousness you make! Tag me @karalydonRD on Instagram.

Comments

  1. This looks INCREDIBLE! Can’t wait to give it a go! xo

  2. This looks so delicious!!

  3. This sounds like a slow cooker dream meal!!! :-)

  4. I need to use my crock pot more.. especially for recipes like these :)

  5. Yum! I love how you added butternut squash! This recipe looks delicious, the perfect lasagna for the winter to spring transition.

  6. I make slow cooker chicken lasagna, slow cooker beef lasagna, slow cooker taco lasagna…but never this combo. You know I’ll try it!

  7. Hi Kara
    I dont have a slow cooker so using an oven what temperature do i use for the 5 hours
    Cant wait to try this

  8. This seriously sounds like slow cooker magic. Going to have to give this slow cooker lasagna deal a try this winter :)

    • there seems to be a lot of precooking before everything goes into the crockpot. whats the point of slow cooker

    • Hey Mary – that’s a great point. My purpose was to be able to set it and forget it. You should be able to add in uncooked kale and squash and it should cook through in the slow cooker. I’m going to test it again soon and will update the recipe accordingly!

  9. The perfect meal for these cold fall days!

  10. Is there a way to make this recipe vegan?

  11. Entered recipe on lose it ap for nutritional breakdown.
    Cal per one serving (of 8) 587, fat 27.2g, sat 15g, chol 112 mg, sodium 730 -1037mg (depending brand jar sauce), carb 53g, fiber 5g, sugar 8.9g, protein 31.9g.
    FYI used whole milk and cheese, subbing 2% milk and part skim cheeses raises sodium 300 mg more and sugar 7 g’s more, while only decreasing fats by 1g and cholesterol by 5 mg!

  12. Do you use uncooked lasagna noodles?

  13. Can I use no boil lasagna if that is all I have?

  14. If I only have no boil lasagna noodles, can I still make it in slow cooker or do I need to oven bake?
    If oven bake, what temp and time?

  15. This looks SO delicious! My last lasagna attempt was a flop…this is inspiring me to give it a go again!

  16. This sounds so comforting! Love the idea of adding butternut squash and kale!

  17. Any guidance as to how much frozen butternut squash to use?
    And could kale be frozen, too? Again, how much to use?
    Many thanks.

  18. You cooked this on low, can I cook it on high and have it cook in 2-3hrs?

  19. I’m out of the house for at least 8 hours at a time. Would this recipe still be okay if left cooking in low for more than 8 hours?

    • Hi Darlene! It should be fine if you leave it in a little longer than 8 hours but I wouldn’t go above 9 hours. And I would suggest adding more red sauce so it doesn’t dry out/burn.

  20. i am using my slow cooker a lot, the recipe looks delicious, but personally i won’t add the noodles lasagna, its is a lot calories on it.

  21. Do you have calories and nutrition info for the recipe?
    Thanks, Mimi

  22. I made this to eat during halftime of the Patriots game on Sunday and it was a huge hit (as were the Pats)!

  23. Hi, Looks delicious. How many servings does this recipe make? Thanks

  24. Yummy; can’t wait to try this recipe. I LOVE butternut squash! Thank you for sharing another use for my crock pot.

  25. Kara, I love my slow cooker and are always looking for great recipes. I’ll be trying this very soon and report back. Looks so delicious.

    • Thanks so much, Shellie! I’ve been a little obsessed with my slow cooker lately so feel free to check out some of my other slow cooker recipes. And please let me know how it turns out if you try it. Enjoy!

    • Kara, I just wanted you to know that I absolutely loved this lasagna. It was so so good. My next try is your spaghetti squash with the eggplant. You are speaking my language. I love your recipes. Keep them coming.

    • Thanks, Shellie! So glad you loved it! Hope you enjoy the eggplant parm spaghetti squash boats too!

  26. Looks great! What size slow cooker did you use? And does that matter? Thanks.

  27. Lasagna in the slow cooker?? Awesome! My mom’s lasagna was always my favorite request when I was younger. A hot, comforting meal is always necessary with snow!

  28. Yes, that is the perfect comfort food! This recipe looks so tasty – I can’t believe this beautiful lasagna came out of the crock pot!

  29. This looks so good! I’ve been wanting to make butternut squash lasagna for a long time now. I’m a little jealous of the snow storms… yesterday here in Texas it was 65 and sunny which, don’t get me wrong is super nice, but sometimes I wish we had a “real” winter, snow and all 😛

  30. I love this veggie-filled recipe. I’m a big fan of the slow cooker and am always looking for new recipe ideas. Pinning now!

  31. Ha! It must be the snow because I posted a vegan lasagna recipe today. :) This looks delicious, I love the addition of squash and kale. Yum! It’s funny, I have a slow cooker, but I rarely use it. Maybe it’s time to break it out again. Thanks for the idea Kara.

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