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Gluten-free Butternut Squash Lasagna with Pesto (Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)

5 from 2 votes

What’s Inside: This popular favorite is packed with layers of veggies like butternut squash and kale with dairy-free vegan cashew cheese! This gluten-free lasagna (without noodles) will be your favorite as soon as you try it and is also Paleo and Whole30.


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

Skip the noodles in this plant-based gluten-free lasagna! Butternut squash is the perfect replacement and tastes even more flavorful than soggy pasta.

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

How to make vegan cheese

This simple dairy-free staple is one of the best-tasting vegan cheeses out there! If nuts are your friend, having some cashew cheese in the fridge for dishes like this is a must. If you need something nut-free, check out my post here for 3 delicious dairy-free cheese sauce recipes.

All you need is:

  • Cashews: 2 cups, soaked in water for at least 2 hours & drained
  • Filtered water and lemon (for the juice) as the liquid to blend with.
  • Some garlic powder and sea salt to add more flavor.
  • Nutritional Yeast is the secret weapon to make dairy-free, vegan cheese taste like cheese! (so definitely don’t skip this ingredient)

Real talk: my husband thought this was all real cheese when he first tried it. I dare you to give this to the biggest cheese lover!

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

Okay, and let’s talk PESTO! This lasagna is nightshade-free, meaning no tomatoes, peppers, or other nightshade spices that might not sit well. I also happen to love a “white” lasagna like this with pesto as the sauce. And, yes the pesto is dairy-free too! Turns out it’s quite easy to leave out the parmesan and it’s still majorly flavorful thanks to other ingredients we’re using.

This would make a great meatless meal, but you can also easily throw in a layer of ground meat as you wish for more protein! No matter what, this lasagna has the sweet, salty, creamy, gooey thing going on – all the things you love about this comfort food.

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

Tips for how to store gluten-free lasagna

  • You can easily make the pesto, cashew cheese, and roasted butternut squash pieces ahead of time, storing them each in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days. Then, on any weeknight, layer it all together and pop it in the oven!
  • To store as leftovers, simply store the whole lasagna in the fridge for up to 5-6 days in an airtight container and reheat in the oven until warm in the center.
  • To batch cook, make the lasagna, assemble but hold off from baking it. Store the lasagna in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1-month, let defrost at room temp. and cook in the oven as directed below.
Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna (paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free) via Food by Mars

More gluten-free casserole recipes:

gluten free butternut squash lasagna made with kale pesto and cashew cheese

Gluten-free Butternut Squash Lasagna with Pesto (Paleo, Whole30, Vegan)

5 from 2 votes
This popular favorite is fun to make and packed with delicious veggies! While meatless, you can easily add a ground meat layer if you'd like to between the pesto and cashew cheese sauce. This makes a great batch meal prep meal!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Yeild: 4

Ingredients

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

Instructions:

  • Make the cashew cheese first, Drain the water from 2-hr soaked cashews and add all cheese ingredients to a blender, mix until smooth, and set aside.
  • 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.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 450f degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Peel the butternut squash, cut the "neck" off from the bulb and discard seeds. We'll mostly use the "neck" pieces but you can add in more squash from the "bulb" as needed Cut the "neck" 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.
  • 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.
  • Let squash cool for 10 minutes until you can handle the slices, reduce the oven heat to 350f degrees.
  • Assemble: 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.
  • Bake lasagna for approx. 25-30 minutes and serve! This can be stored in the fridge for up to 5-6 days in an airtight container.
Diet: American, Italian
Keywords: lasagna, paleo
Course: Main Course
 

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65 comments

  1. 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! 

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

    • 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.

  6. 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?

    • 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.

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

    Used sweet potato and zuchinni instead cooking now!

    Thank you

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

    • 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 🙂

  9. 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!

  10. 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. 🙂

  11. 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!

    • 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!

  12. 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.

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

    • 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!

  14. 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?

  15. 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. !!!

    • 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 😉

  16. 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!