OMG !!! I haven’t made this lasagna in awhile, and I really love it. I was racking my brain for dinner ideas and then this old favourite came to mind, and that was it, mind set…this was happening !
Okay, I know the pics do not give this meal justice, stone me, sue me, do what you will, but just try this combination of vegetables made into a lasagna….almost to die for.
Even though this is super easy, you can even cheat with this to make it even easier if you want…the roasted butternut, roast extra the night before, the corn, cook or grill up extra the night before with your evening meal, or even with the creamy spinach. Hey, if you want to cut corners, go for it, no judgement here.
Easy Vegetable Lasagna
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes (roasting butternut) + 30 minutes (to cook the completed lasagna)
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Serves 4 – 6
9 – 12 lasagna sheets (I used Gluten-Free, but you can use which ever lasagna sheets you prefer)
1 medium-sized butternut (approximately 500 grams)
sprinkling of either fresh or dried thyme
1 – 2 sweet corn cobs
1 fresh bunch spinach (approximately 150 – 200 grams cut, and uncooked)
For the topping:
1 cup of grated cheddar or matured cheddar cheese for the top
and / or feta cheese
Cream Cheese Sauce:
100 grams salted butter
100 grams all-purpose flour (I used Gluten Free flour)
3 1/2 cups full cream milk, plus extra if thickens too much. (I used a lactose free milk)
salt and pepper to taste
a good sprinkling or two of nutmeg
230 grams tub of plain, smooth cream cheese
Peel and dice up the butternut, place in an oven proof dish with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over some thyme.
Place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow to cook until done.
In the meanwhile, remove the main vein from the spinach. Chop and slice the fresh spinach. Wash and drain.
Cook spinach your preferred way, either by steaming, or a quick microwave. Do not over cook, to a wilted stage. Once done, remove and drain once again. (I usually place mine in a tea towel and pat dry to make sure all the water content is out as best as possible.)
Cook the corn, your preferred way. (I like mine to be cooked but still crunchy.)
Remember the lasagna is still going to get a cooking burst in the oven, so you don’t want to over cook your vegetables before they have even reached the oven.
Then, prepare the white sauce. Add the butter to a medium sized pot and allow the butter to melt. Then take the pot off the plate and add the flour, stir with a wooden spoon or spatula and mix well until the flour and butter collect together in a smooth ball stage.
Place the pot back onto the heat, and add one cup of milk, stir continuously until the sauce becomes smooth, it will be a little thick but that is fine. Add another cup and continue to stir until a thick-ish consistency and then finally add the third cup and stir continuously once again. At this point add the contents of the tub of cream cheese, stir in well.
Now stir in the cooked spinach.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
At this point, if you are wanting a more refined spinach content, like I did, I suggest you use a stick blender, and blend till you are happy with the consistency of the spinach.
If the white sauce is going to stand a bit before assembling the layers, you will find that the sauce does thicken up quite a bit, I suggest then adding a bit more milk, just to get a thick-ish but workable consistency.
As always this is the fun part. With an oven proof dish approximately 23 x 23 x 5 centimeters/ 9 x 9 x 2 inches in size, spoon a couple spoons of the spinach sauce on the bottom of the dish, top with a layer of lasagna sheets, top with a couple spoons of the spinach sauce, then roasted butternut pieces and a handful or two of the sweet corn, top with a little spinach sauce and repeat this method ending in a spinach sauce layer (I also managed to do three layers of lasagna in my dish)
Top with the grated cheese on the top and feta if using.
Place in a preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes, until the grated cheese is bubbly, and the lasagna nicely cooked through.
NB* I also have used baby spinach for this, and in that case I do not cook it, instead I just chop and add it to the white sauce.