Butternut Squash Lasagna With Bacon-Braised Greens and Béchamel

Butternut Squash Lasagna With Bacon-Braised Greens and B\u00e9chamel

This two-filling, bacon-y, béchamel-laced titan of a lasagna takes some time to prepare, but the result is well worth it. [Photograph: Lauren Rothman]

About the author: Lauren Rothman once interned at Serious Eats and recently graduated from journalism school. Try the original recipes on her blog, For the Love of Food, and check out her (many) food photos on Instagram.

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  • Yield:Serves 8
  • Active time: 55 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 40 minutes
  • Rated:


  • For the Squash Filling:
  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • Water
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Greens:
  • 2 large bunches hearty dark greens such as chard and kale, well rinsed and sliced into wide ribbons
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices (about 4 ounces) thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • For the Béchamel Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Remaining Ingredients:
  • 2 (1-pound) boxes oven-ready lasagna noodles


  1. 1.

    For the Squash Filling: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Place squash cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet and add water until water level rises 1/4" inch up the pan. Bake squash until fork-tender and peeling away from the skin, about 35 minutes. Remove squash from oven, let cool slightly, then use a spoon to peel squash away from skin. Transfer squash to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups squash purée, ricotta, eggs and thyme and stir until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. 2.

    For the Greens: While squash is baking, prepare the greens. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, then add bacon, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until bacon has rendered some fat, about 5 minutes. Add greens and cover pot for 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir, and cook until most liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

  3. 3.

    For the Béchamel Sauce: Heat milk in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Wipe out Dutch oven and return to medium heat. Add butter; when it melts, add flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture thickens and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Add hot milk one cupful at a time, whisking constantly, until no lumps remain. Simmer mixture until smooth and thick, about 7 minutes, then remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese; season to taste.

  4. 4.

    Assemble the Lasagna: Add 1/4 of the béchamel sauce to the bottom of a deep lasagna pan. Add one layer of noodles, breaking into pieces and overlapping as needed to create a uniform layer. Add 1/2 the greens, spreading evenly over noodles, then spoon over another 1/4 of the béchamel. Add another layer of noodles. Spoon 1/2 the squash filling on, and smooth with the back of a spoon. Add another layer of noodles. Add the remaining greens and cover them with another 1/4 of the béchamel. Add another layer of noodles, and top them with remaining squash filling. Add final layer of noodles, and top with final 1/4 of béchamel. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the top of the lasagna and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in the 375°F oven for 45 minutes, removing foil after 25 minutes. Remove lasagna from oven, let set for 15 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve immediately.