As the weather slowly improves and the start of Spring appears to have finally arrived, I like to enjoy comfort food still but with a healthier twist. My slow cooker butternut squash and lentil lasagne is a great filling veggie slow cooker dish and works well for a healthy eating plan too as it is based on vegetables.
There is no pasta here, I’ve replaced it with slices of butternut squash and courgette. Topped with ricotta cheese and a little extra mature cheddar, this dish is full of flavour and perfect for a chilly but sunny Spring day.
Butternut Squash and Courgette Layers
The layers of butternut squash and courgette do a great job in place of sheets of lasagne. They keep their bite and I season them well for loads of flavour.
You can buy butternut squash in sheets from some supermarkets, or do what I did and buy it in large pieces and then just make into thinner slices for layering. I just sliced the courgette carefully lengthways with a knife or you could use a mandoline if you have one (and don’t mind losing the odd finger here and there…).
The tomato sauce with green lentils adds flavour and depth and makes this suitable for a main meal. I often make vegetarian meals in my slow cooker, have a look in my Slow Cooker Archives for more of them.
How to Make Slow Cooker Butternut & Lentil Lasagne
To make this slow cooker vegetarian lasagne you need to layer up your ingredients as you would if making lasagne the usual way in the oven.
Alternate a layer of lentil sauce, then slices of butternut squash and courgette, then repeat. Top it off with a simple cheese sauce made of ricotta, milk and cheese with no pre-cooking required.
Then cook in the slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
Butternut Squash Recipes
More butternut squash recipe ideas:
- Spinach and butternut squash soup from Fab Food 4 All
- Squash, walnut and goat’s cheese pizza from Tin and Thyme
- Autumnal squash and goat’s cheese tart from Foodie Quine
- Butternut squash and feta giant couscous salad
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Lentil Lasagne
For the lentil tomato sauce:
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic large
- 400 g chopped tomatoes
- 0.5 tsp dried thyme
- 3 leaves fresh basil torn
- 1 tin green lentils 410 g tin, 265 g drained
For the vegetable layers:
- 500 g butternut squash sliced
- 3 courgettes (zucchini) large, approx 375 g, sliced lengthways
- 3 leaves fresh basil torn
For the cheese sauce:
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- milk a splash
- 50 g extra mature cheddar cheese grated, I used 30% lighter cheese
- Spray you slow cooker pot lightly with oil to prevent sticking.
- Mix the ingredients for the lentil tomato sauce in a large bowl. Place half of the sauce in the base of the slow cooker pot.
- Add a layer of courgette to cover the lentil sauce.
- Add a layer of butternut squash to cover the courgette. Season with salt and pepper and add some more torn basil leaves.
- Repeat, first adding the best of the lentil tomato sauce, then a layer of courgette and another layer of butternut squash, and seasoning/basil.
- Put the ricotta cheese in a small bowl, add a splash of milk to thin it slightly. Put half of the grated cheese in the ricotta and mix.
- Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the top of the butternut squash slices. Top with the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper and add a little more basil.
- Cook on high for 3 hours. Then take the lid off and cook for another hour on high to reduce the liquid in the pot.
- Allow to cool slightly then slice and serve using a wide spatula.
Also sending my veggie lasagne over to Meat Free Mondays with Jac from Tinned Tomatoes
and Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching for Spice
and CookBlogShare with Hijacked by Twins