Béchamel lasagna filled with butternut squash, mushrooms, and mozzarella. Bake up a vegetable lasagna with béchamel cheese sauce. This vegetarian-friendly lasagna is the perfect, decadent main course meal. It's hearty and filled with many flavorful roasted vegetables. Whether you're looking for a warm fall dinner or a dinner party main course, this is the perfect meal!
I've been dreaming of the perfect lasagna! Something that's full of cheese, a bit decadent, and of course super delicious and filling! This béchamel lasagna is exactly that! And, it's packed with delicious roasted vegetables like butternut squash, mushrooms, peppers, and onions.
This vegetable lasagna is literally a flavor bomb! Not only would this be the perfect Sunday fall dinner, but it could also be a great lasagna for Thanksgiving.
This dish has so much potential. And, it's vegetarian friendly and can easily be made gluten free as well.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
By making this recipe, you'll learn a few tips and tricks for preparing a lasagna dish including:
- What a béchamel sauce is, and why it makes this vegetable lasagna so over the top & decadent
- A few ways to make the lasagna (or parts of the lasagna) ahead of time
- How to substitute ingredients to make this dish gluten free
If you've decided to make this lasagna for Thanksgiving (a great vegetarian dish option), don't forget to grab my Thanksgiving timeline checklist to help you prepare for dinner.
This recipe has four main parts that come together to form the perfect vegetable lasagna! Here's a rundown of each component you'll be making for the lasagna:
- Butternut Squash Sauce: Rather than using a traditional red sauce, we're making a homemade vegetable sauce for this lasagna. The flavors from the butternut squash, red bell peppers, and onion give this dish so much flavor!
Don't be intimidated by using fresh butternut squash. It's easy to dice up and roast in the oven. Try using this video if it's your first time cutting up a butternut squash.
- Mushroom Filling: Since there's no meat in this lasagna, we need a hearty vegetable to help add some texture. This recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, also sometimes labeled as baby bella or baby portobello mushrooms.
If you can't seem to find cremini mushrooms, you can substitute for regular portobello mushrooms or white button mushrooms.
Make sure you allow the mushrooms to cook without stirring so they get nice and browned. This cooking technique adds so much flavor and richness to the mushrooms.
- Béchamel Cheese Sauce: Béchamel is considered one of the five classic French mother sauces. The idea of these mother sauces, including béchamel, is that they can be made into many variations and used for a variety of dishes.
Béchamel is a white sauce made with butter, flour, and milk. For this recipe, we're adding in Parmesean and asiago cheese to the béchamel to make a type of mornay sauce (béchamel with cheese).
- Final Assembly: To assemble the lasagna, you'll need some lasagna noodles and low moisture mozzarella cheese. Fresh mozzarella will add too much water into the lasagna, so don't be tempted to use it!
You can assemble the lasagna up to 24 hours ahead of baking it. Just store it covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook!
Tools & Equipment
You'll need a few pieces of equipment to make this lasagna. To make things easier when preparing the vegetable lasagna with béchamel, I'd suggest reading through each section of the recipe and pulling out all the tools you'll need. Then, the equipment will be at arm's length while cooking.
- Sheet Pan
- Parchment Paper
- Aluminum Foil
- High Powered Blender or Food Processor
- Heavy Bottom Saucepan
- Large Bowl
- 13” x 9” Baking Dish
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make the entire lasagna up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake it in the oven.
Try making the butternut squash sauce ahead of time. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before assembling the lasagna. Just be sure to allow the sauce to come to room temperature before assembling so it's easy to spread!
Another easy task to prep ahead of time is grating all the cheese and storing it in an air-tight container or bag until you're ready for assembly.
All you'll need to do is make a few substitutions. First, choose gluten free lasagna noodles. You'll also need to substitute the all-purpose flour for a one to one gluten free flour, like this one from Bob's Red Mill.
Yes, I have been using this technique for years now! I never boil my lasagna noodles anymore. As long as you ensure the noodles are covered by the butternut squash sauce and béchamel cheese sauce, the noodles will perfectly cook in the oven. No need for all the fuss of boiling water and cooking the noodles ahead of time!
Be sure to follow the instructions in the recipe below very closely! It's important, first off, to completely whisk the flour and butter, then allow that mixture to cook for a few minutes together.
Also, be sure that the milk does not boil. It can cause the consistency to be off. If you notice the milk starting to bubble, immediately remove it from the burner and whisk in the cheese.
Vegetable Lasagna With Béchamel
Butternut Squash Sauce
- 6 cups (about 2 ½ pounds) peeled and coarsely chopped (¾ inch thick) butternut squash
- 2 red bell peppers quartered with seeds removed
- 1 medium yellow onion quartered with skin removed
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 ½ teaspoons Morton kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bulbs garlic
- ½ cup vegetable stock
Béchamel Cheese Sauce
- 10 ounces lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces shredded low moisture mozzarella
Butternut Squash Sauce
- Heat oven to 425°F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place butternut squash, bell pepper, and onion on the baking pan. Toss vegetables with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Peel off the outer, loose paper of the garlic bulb and cut off the top ¼ inch. Place the cut bulb on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top. Wrap the aluminum foil around the garlic bulb, making sure the oil olive will not drip out, and place on the sheet pan with other vegetables.
- Roast vegetables and garlic for 40 minutes until they have softened and slightly browned. Allow vegetables to cool for 10 minutes.
- Add roasted butternut squash, bell pepper, onion, and garlic removed from the outer paper to a high powered food processor or blender. Cover and blend on high speed while slowly streaming in vegetable broth. Stop blender occasionally to scrape sides. Blend the mixture until it’s chunky, but no large lumps remain. Set mixture aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a heavy bottom saucepan and set it over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and is hot, stir in a third of the mushrooms until coated in butter. Allow them to cook, without stirring, until browned on one side (about 3 minutes). Flip mushrooms and allow the other side to brown for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer mushrooms from the pot to a large bowl.
- Add another 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot and repeat the process with the second batch of mushrooms, and then again with the third batch. Once all the mushrooms have been cooked, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Béchamel Cheese Sauce
- In a heavy bottom saucepan (you can use the same one you cooked the mushrooms in), melt the butter over low heat. Once completely melted, whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium and pour in the milk while continuing to whisk. Allow the milk to heat, but not boil (about 7 minutes), whisking occasionally.
- Once the milk is very hot (steaming, but not boiling) remove from heat. Slowly whisk in the cheese ½ cup at a time. Continue whisking until the cheese fully melts and no clumps remain. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Spread ½ cup béchamel in a 13” x 9” baking dish. Top with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. Spread a third of the butternut squash sauce mixture over the noodles, then a third of béchamel cheese sauce, a third of the mushrooms, and finally top with a third of mozzarella cheese. Repeat the process 2 more times, starting with the noodles and ending with mozzarella, for a total of 3 layers. Alternate the direction of the noodles after each layer. Make sure all of the noodles are covered with the butternut squash sauce and béchamel so the noodles fully cook.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Cook for 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes until bubbling and browned on top. Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Don't forget to try out some of these other veggie-packed recipes: