Pumpkin lasagna is a rich and appetizing lasagna recipe. It’s perfect for the fall season, when pumpkins are tasty and sugary.
Pumpkin Lasagna consists of layers of egg pasta noodle, pumpkin (such as Butternut Squash or Cabocha Squash), mozzarella, grated Parmigiano and béchamel sauce (white sauce). All flavored with sage.
This Italian butternut squash lasagna recipe has a really appetizing mix of flavors and textures. The soft, creamy and stringy interior is wrapped in a crispy gratin crust!
This recipe, like the more classic Lasagna Bolognese or Neapolitan lasagna, involves preparing the various ingredients, assembling them, and finally baking. It’s a quick and very simple recipe to make!
The secret for the best pumpkin lasagna you have ever had is to use fresh pumpkin. So cook the pumpkin, mash it to get a pumpkin puree then it to the bechamel sauce and make layers with the other ingredients!
Pumpkin lasagna is a great vegetarian recipe that you can serve for any occasion, from the most casual to the most important ones.
With our pumpkin lasagna recipe you are sure to have a great success with your guests! Now let’s see how to make it!
How to Make Pumpkin Lasagna Recipe
- Prep Time:20 Min
- Cook Time:30 Min
- Servings: 6
Doses for a 13×9 inch lasagna pan.
For Pumpkin filling
- 1 kg (2,2 pounds) of pumpkin pulp. We used Mantua Squash because it’s very common in northern Italy. You can substitute it with Butternut Squash, Buttercup or Kabocha Squash.
- 200 g (2 cups) of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 300 g (10,5 oz) of Mozzarella or Buffalo Mozzarella
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- fine salt
- some sage leaves
For Lasagna Noodles
- About 12 lasagna: you can make fresh homemade lasagna noodles following our step by step recipe: here you can find out how to make Italian Homemade Pasta
- Or you can buy authentic Italian flat lasagna, oven ready (no cooking or boiling necessary), made with durum wheat (we recommend Tuscanini brand)
For Béchamel Sauce
- 500 ml (2 cups) of whole milk
- 50 g (half stick) of unsalted butter
- 50 g (4 tablespoons) of all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon of fine salt
- freshly grated nutmeg
Make the Béchamel Sauce
Step 1) – In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour with the help of a flour sieve: in this way you are sure that there are no lumps. Mix quickly with a whisk, until the mixture is smooth.
The mixture of butter and flour is called roux and it should be a nice golden color.
Step 2) – Meanwhile heat the milk, without bringing to a boil. Pour the milk slowly over the roux, while stirring with a whisk. Season with salt and grated nutmeg.
Put the saucepan back on low heat. Keep mixing constantly, until you have a fairly thick consistency for about 10/15 minutes. The sauce is ready when it sticks to the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside.
NOTE: For more information and tips about making Italian white sauce, see our béchamel sauce recipe.
How to Make the Filling for Pumpkin Lasagna
Step 1) – Peel the pumpkin on a cutting board and remove the inner seeds. Then cut it into cubes. You will need to get about 1 kg (2,2 pounds) of pulp from it, net of scraps.
Step 2) – Place the pumpkin in a skillet with the oil, peeled garlic cloves, a few sage leaves and some salt. Let it season over medium heat for about 5 minutes while stirring.
Step 3) – Then lower the heat and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes. There is no need to add water or broth because the pumpkin will release its own water. The squash will be ready when it is very soft.
When the pumpkin is cooked, remove the garlic and sage leaves. Mash about 2/3 of it with a fork to make a pumpkin puree. Set aside the remaining chopped pumpkin.
Step 4) – While the pumpkin is cooking, cut the mozzarella into cubes and place in a strainer to remove as much liquid as possible.
Step 5) – When the pumpkin purée has cooled, add it to the béchamel sauce and mix well.
Make the Layers of Pumpkin Lasagna
Step 1) – Place two or three tablespoons of pumpkin béchamel on the bottom of a baking pan or a casserole. Then lay down the first layer of lasagna noodles.
Step 2) – Cover them with other 2 or 3 pumpkin béchamel, a few cubes of mozzarella cheese and some grated Parmigiano cheese.
Step 3) – Continue making layers (lasagna noodles + pumpkin béchamel + mozzarella + grated parmigiano) until you finish all ingredients.
Finish the last layer with plenty of grated parmigiano to create a crispy crust while baking. Add on top the cubed cooked pumpkin you set aside and a few sage leaves.
Step 4) – Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C (350° F) for about 30 minutes, until the surface is golden.
Let Pumpkin Lasagna cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. This will firm up the lasagna and make it easier to make portions.
How to Store Pumpkin Lasagna
You can store already cooked pumpkin lasagna in the refrigerator for up to two days.
If you prefer, you can prepare pumpkin lasagna even two days ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator while still raw, then bake and serve.
Can I Freeze Pumpkin Lasagna?
Yes, you can freeze pumpkin lasagna already baked or still raw.
Be sure to wrap it tightly in food wrap or keep it in a container suitable for freezing.
Thaw the lasagna at room temperature and then reheat it 5 minutes in the oven.
Pumpkin lasagna will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.
What Kind of Pumpkin Should I use to Make Pumpkin Lasagna?
For pumpkin lasagna, there is no ideal type of pumpkin. The only important thing is that the pumpkin is not too watery.
If it is, we recommend extending the cooking time a bit and allowing the liquid to evaporate well.
Or you can add a potato, which will make the pumpkin puree more firm.
The pumpkins most commonly used in Italy for this recipe are Mantuan pumpkin (more common in the north) and long Naples pumpkin (used in the south).
La Zucca Lunga of Naples, or “Cucozza Zuccarina” as they call it, is typical of the Neapolitan tradition.
It’s a long, green fruit with sweet yellow flesh, few seeds and very tasty.
It should be harvested in the summer months and will keep for a long time.
It’s very similar in shape and flavor to butternut squash, which you can confidently use in this recipe.
Another alternative is Buttercup and Cabocha Squash. They are similar in shape and flavor to Mantuan squash, for their sweet and nutty flavor.
Pumpkin Lasagna: Some Variants
The pumpkin lasagna recipe we showed you is a simple recipe that brings out the flavor of pumpkin.
However, if you prefer a more savory taste, you can make some variations.
For example, you can replace the two cheeses, mozzarella and Parmigiano, with stronger-flavored cheeses.
PECORINO ROMANO – The sweet flavor of pumpkin goes well with pecorino romano, which can replace all or part of the parmigiano.
SCAMORZA – To still have the tasty stringy effect but with more flavor, you can replace mozzarella with smoked scamorza.
GORGONZOLA – A few pieces of gorgonzola cheese between layers will also make the pumpkin lasagna richer and more flavorful.
Pumpkin lasagna web story