Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna w/ Cashew Cheese & Kale Pesto

Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna (paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free) via Food by Mars

Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna (paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free) via Food by MarsVegan Butternut Squash Lasagna (paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free) via Food by Mars

Forget pasta. Yes I know that’s a bold statement, and no I am not drunk. I’m just gitty because of this vegan lasagna I made without pasta is all. Moreover, I didn’t even use cheese! I try to eat cheese in moderation… but that gets pretty hazy sometimes and I need a timeout. So in order to make sure that actually happens, having a batch of cashew cheese on hand is key and turns out it works perfectly here! Then, we have the pesto… I could eat pesto on anything and everything, so that was just an obvious choice and way more interesting than tomato sauce in my opinion.

Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna (paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free) via Food by MarsI made a batch of this on a Sunday while hiding from the freezing cold tundra that is NYC right now, and the smells from the kitchen were pretty wonderful, it’s so comforting. It has the sweet, salty, creamy, gooey thing going on and is pretty easy overall to put together. I made both the pesto and the cashew cheese the night before to have on hand and then just had to roast the squash and assemble the next day! Aced it.


gluten-free & vegan // serves 4-6

Squash (noodle replacement!)

  • 1 medium-large butternut squash
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Kale Pesto:

  • 4 cups kale, ripped (no stems)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup+ olive oil
  • dash of salt
  • dash of pepper

Cashew Cheese:

  • 2 cups cashews (soaked in water for at least 2 hours & drained)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast


  1. Make the cashew cheese first, submerge 2 cups of cashews in water and let sit for at least 2 hours to soften up. Drain cashews and add all cheese ingredients to a blender, mix until smooth and set aside.
  2. Make the pesto next, mix all ingredients in a food processor, add more olive oil as necessary (I add maybe 1-2 tsp more). Set aside.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 450f degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel a butternut squash, and cut the bulb off and set aside. Half the top part and then cut into (approx. 1/4 inch thick) half-moon shaped slices. You should have enough for about 3 layers of the lasagna using an 8 inch dish.
  4. Toss the butternut squash slices with 2 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper, arrange slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes until tender.
  5. Let squash cool for 10 minutes until you can handle the slices, reduce the heat to 350f degrees.
  6. Lightly grease a glass dish or casserole dish and start by arranging the squash slices slightly overlapping. Next, add dollops of pesto all around, then the same for the cashew cheese. Add your 2nd layer and continue until you’re done,  you may have a little pesto or cheese leftover depending on how much you use.
  7. Bake lasagna for approx. 25-30 minutes and serve!

Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna (paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free) via Food by Mars

Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna (paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free) via Food by Mars


Hope you enjoy!
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  • Samantha YMarch 3, 2015 - 1:54 pm

    This looks divine!! Must try this weekend!


  • jaime : the brinyMarch 3, 2015 - 9:57 pm

    this is so freaking smart I CAN’T EVEN


  • Cassandra DotzelMarch 6, 2015 - 5:02 am

    Oh-my this looks AH-MAZING! I’m starting to get super hungry 🙂


  • ThaliaMarch 6, 2015 - 6:10 am

    I love the idea of cashew cheese.. it’s something I’ve never tried before and you definitely have inspired me here to make it. This lasagna looks super delicious.. and it’s great that it’s so healthy too!


  • Lu | Super Nummy Yo!March 7, 2015 - 9:17 pm

    Holy… this looks amazingggg. I’ve been holding on to my butternut squash for 2 weeks now and I really need to cook it! Must try this mmmmm 😛


    • Alison MarrasMarch 7, 2015 - 9:41 pm

      You are too cute. I’m always hoarding some kind of squash or another. I hope you love it!


  • Rabecca RanaldiMarch 8, 2015 - 2:53 pm

    Oh wow!! I might add some zucchini and sliced tomato to mine!! What else do you use your cashew cheese for??? I see great promise for some butternut squash ravioli or portobello mushroom ravioli w a gluten free pastry dough. !!!


    • Alison MarrasMarch 8, 2015 - 3:38 pm

      Those all sound like great ideas! Let me know how it turns out. I use cashew cheese as a sauce if you add more water to make it thinner and just used it in a new recipe I’ll post this week- ricotta pancakes! It’s so versatile and yummie! Oh also in place of sour cream on baked potatoes 😉


  • LauraMarch 10, 2015 - 12:19 am

    Just put it in the oven.. Yummm


  • kim kMarch 10, 2015 - 8:18 pm

    This recipe looks DELICIOUS! Just wondering if it all needs to be eaten right away? or could it be refrigerated and heated up a few days later?


    • Alison MarrasMarch 10, 2015 - 10:56 pm

      Great question! I kept mine for 4 days in the fridge and it stayed fresh!


  • Caitlin HancockMarch 11, 2015 - 9:16 am

    How would this go freezing it? Could I make up all the ingredients but just freeze one half and cook the other straight away?


    • Alison MarrasMarch 11, 2015 - 10:53 am

      I’ve frozen pesto before, so I could definitely see doing that. You could probably freeze cashew cheese but it may get watery after it defrosts- I haven’t tried it. For the squash, you can chop them up and freeze them raw and save until you’re ready to cook.

      I also made the pesto and cheese the night before and stored them in the fridge. I then made the squash the next day and assembled!

      Hope this helps!


  • DonnaMarch 12, 2015 - 4:28 am

    Beautiful recipe. Thank you for sharing!!


  • KarenAugust 8, 2015 - 2:07 am

    This is going to be tonight’s dinner! Yummy!


  • EricaAugust 17, 2015 - 3:41 pm

    Made this for a graduation celebration with both vegans, and non-vegans….it was a huge hit among all! Super delicious. 10/10 will make again.


    • Alison MarrasAugust 17, 2015 - 9:29 pm

      Yay!! That makes me smile ear to ear, girl! Happy you guys enjoyed it.


  • KristinaDecember 14, 2015 - 10:32 pm

    Do you think spinach would be an okay replacement for the kale in this recipe?


    • Alison MarrasDecember 15, 2015 - 3:43 am

      Yes, definitely! If you use frozen spinach, ring out as much water as you can otherwise use fresh. Hope you love it!!


  • NicoleJanuary 19, 2016 - 2:40 am

    I made this tonight for dinner and it turned out great! So tasty! Thank you for posting this recipe.


    • Alison MarrasJanuary 19, 2016 - 2:45 am

      I’m so happy to hear that!! It’s one of my favorites and it’s great for making in bulk too. Have a lovely evening! XO


  • NikiMarch 28, 2016 - 4:17 pm

    Any idea on the nutrition content? Looks so good!!


    • Alison MarrasMarch 29, 2016 - 2:44 pm

      This is one of my most popular recipes – you should definitely try it!! Good question on the nutrition – I can post it for you. Will ping you when it’s up!


  • LisaMay 26, 2016 - 10:53 pm

    This was simply divine! I realized I only had 1 cup of cashews soaked but made it with the same ingredients and it was so tasty. I didn’t have a food processor for pesto but made it in my blender. It’s more liquidy that way as I had to add water but still worked out! My new recipe for Lasagna! Amazing! Thank you!


    • Alison MarrasJune 1, 2016 - 12:16 pm

      So glad it was easy to modify, I love how flexible the recipe is. Sounds like you made a delicious dinner, Lisa!! Xo


  • LisaMay 26, 2016 - 10:54 pm

    And yes, would love to know the national and calorie information if possible!


  • RachaelJune 1, 2016 - 5:23 am

    I made this with zucchini (cut into long, thin slices) instead of squash and it was great! Oh, and I also added some pine nuts to the pesto and some fresh basil to the cashew sauce. 🙂


    • Alison MarrasJune 1, 2016 - 12:12 pm

      That sounds like a perfect summer version to me!! Yum!! Thanks flor sharing 🙂


      • RachaelJune 2, 2016 - 6:47 pm

        Thank YOU for the amazing recipe. I shared leftovers with coworkers and they went nuts for it! They were convinced it had ricotta cheese in it.


  • ashleyJune 7, 2016 - 11:00 pm

    I tried this and I’m not sure if your squash was huge but mine wasn’t enough to make more than a tiny lasagna. Next time I’ll do two squashes to make sure I’m covered. Love the cashew cheese!


  • alixAugust 1, 2016 - 4:44 pm

    One tray of roasted squash is definitely not enough to make one lasagne like you described. I would say at least two trays needed!


    • Alison MarrasAugust 2, 2016 - 12:51 am

      I think it depends on the size of the butternut squash as well as the dish you use. I used an 8 inch pyrex and had 3 layers as noted above – but over preparing never hurts! Having leftovers is always good 🙂


  • KimAugust 10, 2016 - 2:22 am

    Put the ingredients in a program and it will give you calories.

    Used sweet potato and zuchinni instead cooking now!

    Thank you


  • Leslie S.August 11, 2016 - 11:24 pm

    This recipe is a favorite in my house. I use the cheese recipe with other recipes all the time, it’s the best nut cheese recipe on the interwebs. Could you add a print recipe button?


    • Alison MarrasAugust 12, 2016 - 2:49 am

      Leslie, thank you! You’re so sweet and that makes me smile ear to ear!

      Do you have the drawer of social media icons on the left side? <— The last green button is for printing.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca OuelletNovember 6, 2016 - 2:11 pm

    HI, this was delicious! I’m curious as to what the nutritional yeast does in the recipe?


    • Alison MarrasDecember 1, 2016 - 12:22 am

      Hi! So happy you liked it! Nutritional yeast is a very common ingredient in vegan cheeses because it tastes similar to cheese. And the good news is… it’s nutritious hehe (spoiler alert with the name there). It makes a great topping/sub for Parmesan too.


  • SadieNovember 30, 2016 - 2:39 am

    I never comment on blogs, but this has become a favorite in our house so I decided to make an exception. So tasty and hearty! I add chili flakes to the pesto for a little kick and top the whole thing with sautéed shitake mushrooms. My bf asked for this basically once a week. Thanks for such a great recipe!


    • Alison MarrasDecember 1, 2016 - 12:21 am

      Seriously, you made my evening with this comment so thanks so much for the kind feedback. Nothing makes me smile more than hearing this!! XO!


  • SheilaApril 1, 2017 - 3:34 pm

    This dish is incredible. I also added a layer of sauteed mushrooms and onions the second time I made it which my family loved. The cashew sauce is outstanding, thank you for the recipe.


    • Alison MarrasApril 1, 2017 - 4:09 pm

      Thank you so much, I love it too!! And yum, mushrooms make everything better. So happy you enjoyed it! Xo


  • Nicole Crilly LarsenMay 1, 2017 - 3:20 am

    This may be one of the best things I’ve ever tasted….


  • […] Butternut Squash Lasagna with Cashew Cheese Kale Pesto | Food By Mars […]ReplyCancel

  • TeriSeptember 27, 2019 - 2:56 am

    Are the cashews raw or roasted?ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasOctober 18, 2019 - 4:57 pm

      they’re rawReplyCancel

  • Abi KDecember 15, 2019 - 3:28 am

    Made this tonight and my husband said it was one of his top 5 favorite dishes I have ever made! Thanks for the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Bronwen HintonApril 9, 2020 - 3:31 pm

    I follow an AIP diet, could I use one of your other cheese sauce recipes instead of the cashew cheese version?ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasApril 13, 2020 - 2:02 pm

      Yes, totally! You can try the cauliflower-coconut one on my dairy-free cheese sauce post.ReplyCancel

  • Alanna Taylor-TobinApril 10, 2020 - 12:28 am

    My husband and I made this for dinner. It was satisfying and delicious, we loved it! ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasApril 13, 2020 - 2:01 pm

      Ahh! I’m so happy to hear it, Alanna – thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • LynnAugust 30, 2020 - 5:23 pm

    This was so delicious and even better the next day! ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasSeptember 1, 2020 - 2:57 pm

      Yay! so happy to hear that – I agree, as casseroles sit, they get even tastier.ReplyCancel

  • Mary WhiteSeptember 5, 2020 - 5:28 pm

    This looks great! Can it be made ahead of time?ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasSeptember 6, 2020 - 3:15 pm


      • Mary WhiteSeptember 6, 2020 - 7:18 pm

        Would you suggest to bake it and reheat it or just assemble the day before and bake it then?ReplyCancel

  • KatyApril 4, 2021 - 10:19 pm

    I made this for Easter and it went over AMAZING with everyone. There are almost no leftovers lol.  Cannot recommend enough. I’ll be using this “cheese” and pesto in lots of others dishes. Thank you so much for posting! ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasApril 5, 2021 - 7:07 pm

      So happy to hear it, Katy! Thanks for sharing. xoReplyCancel

hey thereI'm Alison

I believe your healing journey with real food can be a stress-free lifestyle, filled with joy and flavor.