This dish was inspired by a few butternut squash recipes that we’ve made in the past (butternut squash lasagna and cheesy butternut squash stuffed shells). But I succumbed to internet peer pressure and used pumpkin in place of the butternut squash. The result was a comforting pumpkin lasagna with creamy basil sauce.
I used canned pumpkin in this because (insert myriad of reasons here: I was lazy, I’m scared of hacking into pumpkins, I didn’t have a pumpkin on hand but I had cans of it, me and canned pumpkin go way back…). But by using canned pumpkin along with pre-made tofu ricotta and cashew cheese and no-boil lasagna sheets, we had an amazingly rich and comforting meal with very little effort. And those are the kind of meals I love.
Creamy Pumpkin Basil Lasagna
- 1-2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 15oz cans of pureed organic pumpkin
- 2 tbs vegan broth concentrate (I used this stuff)
- 1/4 cup cashew cheese (recipe here)
- 2 tbs vegan margarine
- 3 tbs flour
- 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
- 2 tbs pumpkin leftover in can
- 1/2-3/4 cup of basil leaves
- 2-2 1/2 cups of tofu ricotta (I used Isa’s recipe in Veganomicon. Don’t have Veganomicon? Just google “tofu ricotta” and pick a recipe that looks good!)
- 5 square sheets of no-boil lasagna (I can’t remember which I used but it came with its own little baking tin)
- oil, salt and pepper
For the pumpkin filling, saute the garlic in a little oil until the garlic just softens over medium heat. Add in the pumpkin, broth concentrate and cashew cheese and stir to incorporate everything. Taste it and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat.
For the pumpkin-basil sauce, melt the margarine in a pot over medium heat. Then mix in the flour to make a roux to help thicken the sauce. Once the margarine and flour are incorporated (it’s okay if it’s a little clumpy), slowly whisk or stir in the non-dairy milk. The sauce should thicken (see this post for pics). Next, incorporate the pumpkin and salt and pepper to taste. Take about 1/2 of the sauce and blend it with the basil leaves. Pour this back into the pot with the portion without basil. Sauce is done.
Now just assemble everything. Make the layers however you wish. I think I did sauce, noodles, pumpkin, tofu ricotta, sauce. Just make sure to save enough sauce to pour on top, otherwise some of the no-boil lasagna edges might come out a little chewy. I also crumbled more tofu ricotta on top. Then follow the cooking directions on the no-boil lasagna. I think we baked ours at 400F for about 40 minutes mostly covered with foil until the end.
Layers upon layers of creamified pumpkin with sweet basil!