Post in partnership with Disney’s The BFG, now available on Blu-ray, Digital HD & Disney Movies Anywhere.
Feeding a toddler has made me more creative. I’m always looking for ways to miniaturize recipes so that he can join along with exactly what we’re eating. So, when Disney asked me to create a giant and mini version of a recipe in honor of the movie Disney’s The BFG, I felt like I’d been preparing for months. To give context, in the movie, Sophie befriends the Big Friendly Giant and their friendship is the backbone for the movie.
These butternut squash rolls are my take on a meal for Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant. For the mini versions, you can make these lasagna rolls in a large muffin tin, making serving the individual portions very easy and for the hungrier giants in your life, you can make this lasagna in a regular pan!
A beautiful vegetarian butternut squash lasagna that's easy to make and serve in individual portions!
- 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles (roughly 12 ounces)
- 3 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese
- 1 16 oz container whole milk ricotta
- 2 cups packed spinach (80 g) shredded
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small shallot (60 g), minced
- 2 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced sage
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups butternut squash puree (220 g)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until pliable and tender but not falling apart, about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain and lay the lasagna noodles out on wax paper or a cutting board, not overlapping the noodles.
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta with the shredded spinach, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook until fragrant and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another minute. Measure in the sage and thyme followed by the milk. Heat until the sauce thickens slightly and begins to simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the butternut squash puree, salt, and pepper.
Ladle roughly half the butternut squash puree in the bottom of an 9x13 pan or an 8x8 pan and a 6-cup large muffin tin. Spread the ricotta mixture over each lasagna noodles. Roll the lasagna noodle, starting with the end closest to you. Place seam side down in the pan or muffin tin. Repeat with remaining noodles and ricotta filling.
Ladle the remaining sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or cheese is melted and starting to brown. Sprinkle with fresh sage and serve.
Tips & Tricks: To get butternut squash puree, I cut the butternut squash in half and roast cut side down until tender. Scoop the squash out of the skin and mash until fairly well smooth.
If you don’t feel like messing with the butternut squash, pumpkin puree would be an easy substitute.
This makes quite a bit of sauce but trust me, after you bake the lasagna rolls, you will want all of it in the pan!
Nutrition: See the information.
Squash Lasagna Rolls
In honor of Disney’s The BFG, I’m also including a Sophie’s style version of these butternut squash rolls. Peas and nutritional yeast get added to help add a little extra boost to the recipe. Here’s the full recipe:
I love lasagna for many reasons but one of my favorite things about lasagna is the ability to easily adapt it. Since this butternut squash lasagna uses the squash as the sauce, if gives you the ability to play around a bit with flavors of vegetables and greens. A few ways to change up this recipe:
Regular Lasagna: Turn this butternut squash lasagna into a regular lasagna. Use 9 noodles and layer like you would in this recipe. I would also recommend adding about 1/2 cup of milk and another 1/2 cup butternut squash puree to the sauce!
Squash/Sweet Potato: Use other squash purees (like acorn squash), sweet potato puree, or pumpkin puree.
Greens: Kale, chard, or collards would work in place of the spinach. I recommend cooking them before mixing into the ricotta. The wilted greens will mix a bit better!
Sophie’s Version: Kale, chard, or collards would work in place of the spinach. I recommend cooking them before mixing into the ricotta. The wilted greens will mix a bit better!
It might be apparent but I love pasta and butternut squash together. The slightly sweet, earthy flavor of the squash can easily be used in a myriad of pasta dishes whether it’s cubed or pureed. A few of my favorite ways to use butternut squash in pasta/noodle dishes include: