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White Lasagna with pumpkin and mushrooms

14 October 2018 | Last Updated: 26 October 2019

Delicious vegetarian lasagna with sweet roasted pumpkin, flavorful mushrooms, plenty of cheese and a really wonderful mushroom bechamel sauce. It’s a variation of Italian lasagna bianca – white lasagna. This lasagna with white sauce is packed with flavor and makes a perfect fall dinner.

White Lasagna with pumpkin and mushrooms in a baking dish
a piece of White Lasagna with pumpkin and mushrooms on a plate

WHAT GOES INTO THIS PUMPKIN AND MUSHROOM LASAGNA (ingredients+substitutions):

-> 1. The mushroom layer:

Mushroom flavor is very pronounced in this white lasagna recipe. There are fresh, roasted cremini mushrooms, dried porcini mushrooms and also the porcini mushrooms soaking water is added to the bechamel sauce. Fresh cremini mushrooms are meaty and delicious but porcini mushrooms add extra savory mushroom flavor. Cremini mushrooms are more mild-flavored than porcini mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms need to be roasted to remove excess moisture from them. Also, browning in the oven adds extra flavor.

Substitutions: You can omit the dried porcini mushrooms if you can’t buy them and just increase the amount of cremini mushrooms by 2-oz/50g. Instead of cremini mushrooms, you can add button mushrooms.

-> 2. The pumpkin layer:

Pumpkin/butternut squash is roasted with the cremini mushroom. The reason is the same – we need to remove the excess moisture from the vegetable so that the lasagna is not too watery. The browning adds extra flavor.

Substitutions: You can use pumpkin, butternut squash or many other squash varieties. Out off the pumpkin season try substituting it for sweet potato.

-> White lasagna sauce (mushroom bechamel sauce):

Actually, I tried to make this lasagna with plain bechamel sauce first, but it tasted a bit bland and we just weren’t very excited about it. So I sauteed a small onion with butter, added mushroom soaking water and lightly beaten eggs. Then I seasoned the sauce with nutmeg and lemon juice to brighten it up. This was the game changer! This sauce is really flavorful and combines all ingredients into an amazing dish.

-> Lasagna noodles:

  • Dry lasagna sheets: You don’t have to pre-boil lasagna sheets! I never do that. It’s quicker, more convenient and the pasta is delicious this way. It soaks up the delicious sauce and not plain water. The only problem that you can encounter is when your baking dish has not square but round edges or is of a different size than your lasagna noodles. I usually just break the noodles to fit them into my baking dish. Some noodles break easily just where I want them, but some not that easily (it depends on the brand). Even if it’s not looking very good, after baking the lasagna it won’t matter, so just brake the noodles as you wish.
  • Fresh lasagna noodles can also be used. You can even make your homemade pasta.
  • You can also pre-boil lasagna sheets if you wish. Just cook them for 1-2 minutes, then take out of the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a chopping board apart (otherwise they can stick to each other).
  • Alternatively, if you don’t want to break dry lasagna noodles and you also don’t want to boil them you can soak the noodles! Soak them for about 30 minutes or just until pliable. Don’t soak them too long or they won’t have any bite to it (but it’s just a matter of taste).
  • My favorite method: I like using dry lasagna sheets the most. It just tastes the best for me and the noodles have more bite to it. The difference between all the other methods is not significant, though! With this recipe, the noodles will be cooked 100%. If you’ve used another recipe (or just tried to experiment) and your noodles weren’t cooked through, it’s possible that you’ve added too little sauce and it hasn’t covered all the pasta sheets thoroughly. This happened to me too in the past, and I was making these two mistakes.

-> The cheese:

I used mozzarella cheese but also grated Parmesan cheese can be used.

white lasagna with pumpkin and mushrooms ingredients

White Lasagna with pumpkin and mushrooms – step by step:

-> The mushroom layer

white lasagna mushroom layer preparation steps

STEP 1: Soak the dried porcini mushroom.

STEP 2: Roast the fresh cremini mushroom.

STEP 3: Strain the porcini mushroom (but reserve the liquid, it’s packed with flavor!!), and chop all the mushrooms.

-> The pumpkin layer

roasted squash preparation steps

STEP 4: Roast the pumpkin/butternut squash.

-> White lasagna sauce (mushroom bechamel sauce):

white lasagna bechamel sauce preparation steps

STEP 5: Make the white lasagna sauce: Cook the onion with butter. Whisk in the flour, add the milk and mushroom soaking water gradually, until combined. Season with lemon juice, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, then add in lightly beaten eggs and whisk. The sauce will be rather thin, that‘s ok.

-> Assemble:

white lasagna with pumpkin assembling steps

-> BAKE! 🙂

I really like making lasagna for dinner. It’s a lot of work, for sure, but if you’ll make a really big batch you could have dinner for the whole family and freeze the rest. You can also double the recipe and bake it in a 32×38 cm / 13×15 inch baking dish. We also love this zucchini and spinach lasagna.

How to freeze lasagna:

It’s best to cut it into servings, wrap each serving in plastic foil or put in tightly-closed containers. Freeze for up to 6 months. When you plan to eat it: place frozen lasagna pieces in an oven preheated to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3, no fan and bake until defrosted and warm.

Other fall dinners you make like:

White lasagne with pumpkin and mushrooms

Delicious vegetarian lasagna with pumpkin, mushrooms, plenty of cheese and a really brilliant white sauce
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 532kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

→ 16 lasagna sheets

    → dried mushrooms:

    • 0.7 oz dried porcini mushrooms (20g)
    • 1 cup boiling water 240 ml

    → fresh mushrooms:

    • 14 oz cremini mushrooms (400g)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
    • salt and pepper to taste about 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper

    → pumpkin:

    • 3.5 lbs butternut squash or pumpkin (1.5kg) with skin and seeds
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons dried / fresh sage finely chopped
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
    • salt and pepper to taste about 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper

    → white sauce:

    • 3 tablespoons butter 40g/1.5oz
    • 1 small onion
    • 4.5 tablespoons flour 40g/1.5oz
    • 2 cups milk 480 ml
    • 1 cup dried mushrooms soaking water 240 ml
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste
    • 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 large eggs lightly beaten

    → additionaly:

    • 7 oz ‘yellow’ low-moisture mozzarella cheese (200g) or 2 handfuls of grated parmesan cheese (about 120g / 4.2 oz)

    Instructions

    • Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in boiling water, set aside.
    • Wash the cremini mushrooms, cut into thick slices (about ¾ cm / ⅓ inch), mix with the oil and spices together. Arrange evenly on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
    • Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 400 °F / Gas Mark 6, no fan (you will need to bake the pumpkin and mushrooms separately) or 180 °C / 375 °F with fan (or using convection oven) (you can bake them at the same time).
    • Peel the pumpkin, using a tablespoon remove the seeds and fibers, cut into 1.5 cm / ½ inch cubes, mix with the oil and spices together, spread evenly on a second baking tray lined with baking paper.
    • Put the mushrooms and pumpkin in the oven (on separate baking sheets) and bake for about 25 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.
    • Strain the dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking water (important!), chop them finely.
    • While the pumpkin and mushrooms are in the oven – prepare the sauce.
    • Melt the butter in a medium pot, when it‘s bubbling, add the onion, cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the flour, whisk it thoroughly, add the milk and mushroom soaking water gradually, after each addition (about 150 ml / 2/3 cup) mix thoroughly with a whisk, so that there are no lumps, the sauce should also thicken a bit. Remove the sauce from the heat, season with lemon juice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Cool slightly, add lightly beaten eggs and whisk. The sauce will be rather thin, that‘s ok.
    • Remove the mushrooms and the pumpkin from the oven.
    • Finely chop the cremini mushrooms and mix with the porcini mushrooms together.
    • Decrease the temperature to 190 ° C / 375 °F / Gas Mark 5, no fan (if you have a convection oven reduce the temperature by about 20°).
    • Assemble the lasagna: Pour a little less than 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish (about 31×21 cm / 12 x 8 inch ). Place a layer of lasagna sheets on top, then arrange half of the pumpkin chunks, cover with another lasagna sheets layer, arrange evenly the mushrooms, pour the second 1/3 of the sauce, arrange lasagna sheets, then the rest of the pumpkin, then again lasagna sheets and pour the last 1/3 of the sauce. Sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese on top.
    • Cover with a piece of aluminum foil and bake for 30 mins, then uncover and bake for 10-15 min, until the cheese is golden.
    • Let stand for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into portions.
    • Enjoy!

    Notes

    1. Recipe substitutions:
    • Dried porcini mushrooms – increase the amount of cremini mushrooms by 2-oz/50g. Instead of cremini mushrooms, you can add button mushrooms.
    • Pumpkin/butternut squash – you can use pumpkin, butternut squash or many other squash varieties. Out off the pumpkin season try substituting it for sweet potato.
    • Lasagna sheets: You don’t need to boil lasagna sheets. I’m always using dried uncooked lasagna noodles. You can also use fresh pasta, pre-cook lasaga noodles for 1-2 minutes if you wish or soak the pasta for about 30 minutes or until pliable.
    • Cheese: instead of mozzarella you can use grated Parmesan cheese.
    2. How to freeze lasagna: It’s best to cut it into servings, wrap each serving in plastic foil or put in tightly-closed containers. Freeze for up to 6 months. When you plan to eat it: place frozen lasagna pieces in an oven preheated to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3, no fan and bake until defrosted and warm.
    3. The recipe can be easily doubled. Bake it in a 32×38 cm / 13×15 inch baking dish. 
    4. This recipe yields 4 big servings or 6 medium servings.
    5.  Calories count = 1/6 of the recipe (this is only an estimate).
    6. You can also bake the lasagna uncovered. The cheese at the top will be deliciously crunchy and golden but a little bit difficult to cut when eating the lasagna.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 532kcal
    Course dinner, Main Course
    Cuisine international, Italian
    Keyword pumpkin and mushroom lasagne, pumpkin lasagna, vegetarian lasagna, white lasagne recipe

    Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

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