winter squash and spinach pasta bake

I am in awe of people who can make a meal plan, repeating many favorite dishes weekly or several times a year, knowing that they love what they love. Because I’m not: I like shiny new recipes. My favorite thing to cook will always be the last new thing I made. All attempts to be a responsible sort of person with a plan are consistently jettisoned by a sparkly whim that landed in my head in the last day or two, like a Big Apple Crumb Cake. Or, in this case, an Ottolenghi recipe from The Guardian I apparently bookmarked over three years ago and forgot about until this stunning image flashed across my screen a few weeks ago and all of my best-laid October plans were kicked to the curb. I haven’t a single regret.

sliced winter squashroughly chopped baby spinachmix with cheese, egg, waterhalf a pound of pastabroken noodlesready to bakefoil offfrom the oven

This is not a usual pasta bake. We do not boil the noodles. We do not make or buy a sauce. We do not roast the winter squash or even sauté the greens. We throw every single ingredient raw into a big bowl for mixing and pour that into a parchment-slung springform (or equivalently-sized pan) pan and bake it for 90 minutes. That’s the rub; it takes a long time to cook. But this time is entirely hands-off, save removing the foil midway. You won’t be scrubbing pots, as the sum of your dishes to wash will be a cutting board, knife, whisk, grater, and a bowl.

winter squash and spinach pasta bake

What emerges from the oven is savory fall decadence. The proportions are upended — depending on your perspective, this has either half the pasta or twice the vegetables of most pasta bakes of this size. The squash softened, the spinach perfectly cooked, the noodles tender in the center and burnished to a snatch-able crisp on top, and the fragrance of garlic and toasted cheese is everywhere I want to be.

winter squash and spinach pasta bake



6 months ago: Spring Asparagus Galette
1 year ago: Skillet Turkey Chili
2 years ago: Chicken Curry
3 years ago: Even More Perfect Apple Pie
4 years ago: Quick Pasta and Chickpeas and Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
5 years ago: Garlic Wine and Butter Steamed Clams, Baked Alaska, Indian-Spiced Cauliflower Soup and Skillet-Baked Pasta with Five Cheeses
6 years ago: My Old-School Baked Ziti and Cannoli Pound Cake
7 years ago: Better Chicken Pot Pies and Better Chocolate Babka
8 years ago: Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl and Purple Plum Torte
9 years ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
10 years ago: Apple Pie Cookies
11 years ago: Mushroom Lasagna
12 years ago: Quiche Lorraine and Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp
13 years ago: Majestic and Moist Honey Cake, Best Challah (Egg Bread), and Mom’s Apple Cake
14 years ago: Peter Reinhart’s Bagels and Peanut Butter Brownies
15 years ago: Lemon Cake


winter squash and spinach pasta bake

Winter Squash and Spinach Pasta Bake

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (250 grams) ricotta
  • 1 cup (100 grams) finely grated parmesan, divided
  • 1 cup (85 grams) coarsely grated fontina cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 grams) water
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (8.4 grams) kosher salt (I use Diamond; use less of other brands)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces (140 grams) baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thinly-sliced sage leaves or 1 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves (optional)
  • 1 1/4-pound (560-grams) butternut or another sturdy winter squash, peeled, seeded, sliced thin or 1 pound (455 grams) in prepared chunks, sliced thin
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) dried pasta (see Note), broken into pieces if large/long

Heat oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a 9-inch springform with 3-inch sides (see Note) with a sling of parchment paper, pressing it across the bottom and creasing the sides to get it to fit as best as possible. If the sides aren’t well covered, repeat with a second piece of parchment in the other direction.

Whisk egg and ricotta in a large bowl. Stir in half of the parmesan, fontina, water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, a few gratings of fresh nutmeg, lots of freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Stir in squash, spinach, and sage or thyme, if using. Add dried noodles and stir until everything is coated.

Pour into prepared pan and press gently so everything is in as even of a layer as possible. Sprinkle with second half of parmesan. Gently fold any parchment that extends over the rim of the pan into the center and cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake on a sheet (for extra security against drips) for 1 hour, then remove foil, reopen the parchment folded over the top, and drizzle the dish with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Return to the oven uncovered for 30 minutes. Pasta will be baked through and the top will be crisp. If it doesn’t have as much color as you’d like on top, you can finish it under the broiler for a minute or two.

Cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes before removing the springform ring, sliding the pasta bake by its parchment onto a serving plate, and cut it into wedges.

Do ahead: This keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week. Rewarm uncovered in a 350-degree oven. I haven’t frozen it, but would expect it to freeze well, tightly wrapped.

* Structural note: Like a lasagna, this is more wet and messy when it first comes out of the oven. I recommend a 30-minute rest at minimum (what you see here in the loose slices) but it will be cleaner to cut and more set the longer it hangs out. It reheats fantastically and keeps up to a week in the fridge. Last night, we reheated wedges from 6 days ago and they were (still) perfection.

* Pan size: I only tested this in a 9-inch springform but would expect it to also fit in a 11 to 12-inch ovenproof skillet and also, less glamorously, a 9×13-inch baking dish. No need to line with parchment if you’re serving it from the pan or not worried about leakage.

* Pasta shape: I am using a ribbon-shaped pasta called mafaldine or reginette. You can find it from many brands with slight variations such as: Anna (what I used), Sfoglini, Garofalo, Eataly. Classic ruffle-edged lasagna noodles broken into pieces will work too.

* Adaptation notes: I used Ottolenghi’s recipe as general inspiration, but not a literal guide. I skipped the tomatoes, pine nuts, feta, basil, parsley, and even the fresh noodles, instead using dried ones and adding more liquid so they could fully cook. I add some fontina for richness, a bit more parmesan, more salt, and sage.

* Salt [an update]: There have been so many comments about the salt level, I’m adding the weight of the salt and more guidance. As originally noted, Diamond brand kosher salt is much lighter than other brands of kosher salt so if you’re not using it, it’s a good practice to use half of any other brand when reading a recipe. More about salts here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

799 comments on winter squash and spinach pasta bake

    1. Daron

      As someone who can never cook the right amount of pasta for my family (use the whole box, way too much. Anything less and somehow there’s not enough. Is there a scientific explanation for this? Probably not), I’m wondering if this would work with cooked pasta. Maybe just back off on the water? I’ll give it a go and report back. Thank you for this inspiration!

      1. deb

        I didn’t test this with cooked pasta, but you’re looking at something closer to a classic baked ziti. It will not need the water, most likely (it’s to cook the pasta), but the pasta is likely to be overcooked before the squash is tender.

      2. Lisa

        Daron, try weighing the pasta instead of trying to figure out based on box size. I’ve been doing that with lots of ingredients lately and have had pretty good luck. I’m using my kitchen scale so much more and it’s so much easier for so many things.

      1. Joy

        This is a new family favorite, we’ve made it twice this week. So easy and so delicious. The store was out of ricotta, fontina, and fresh sage so we used cottage cheese, sharp pro alone, and dried sage. The second batch we substituted the full amount of water with 3/4 1% milk and 1/4 water. Both varieties were great. I also Microplaned the garlic since I had it out for the Parmesan.

      2. Laura

        This is so freaking delicious I can’t stop eating it, I’ll be too full to sleep tonight, hahaha. Made a few changes just because of ingredients I had that needed to be used up. Used cream cheese and sharp white cheddar instead of fontina and ricotta, kale instead of spinach, and added a little tomato paste and basil that would go bad soon. So. Amazing. Thanks!

      3. Shwillary

        I made this with sweet potato last night! It was simply ah-mahz-ing, easy, deloicious.
        I cut the sweet potato into girthy chunks a little bit bigger than recommended, and yes, they were probably a bit softer than most squash would be – but with the thyme, the rosemary, the cheese (I used gruyere, chef’s kiss), the PASTA! And oh yeah the spinach is in there too :)
        It ended up like a really filling, flavorful riff of a gratin. Tasted phenomenal with savory sweet potato, but I’ll definitely be trying it with squash variations. I tend to be wary of dishes involving uncooked pasta (the excitement often overwhelms the reality), but not here.
        I halved the recipe (yes, kept the whole egg), and it was DIVINE. Admittedly I baked it in a 9×9 pyrex so, unglamorous as it was, It Was Still So Good It Really Was.
        Can’t speak to leftovers because there were none, ahem, cough, cough, no shame.

    2. Betsy

      I made this tonight for supper and it is truly wonderful. I didn’t have fontina, so mixed together mozzarella, cheddar and feta (sounds like a weird combo, but I had it on hand and wanted a creamy bite.) It worked great.

      1. Jackie

        Delicious flavors, and super easy! I made it with chickpea rotini for fewer carbs/more protein, and it was very dry…definitely need more water if you’re using a non-standard pasta.

        Also, Deb is not lying about the tablespoon of salt…I tried it with less thinking that the cheese would be salty enough and it was under seasoned. That’s what I get for not trusting the master!

      2. Jay

        This is awesome. I had read the recipe, then the other day, I saw a nice sized butternut squash at the store. This was so easy. And clean up was a breeze. I had to swap the fontina for mozzarella cheese, but this is soo good. My wife even said it’s something you could just eat the whole thing. Thank you.

    3. I subbed the squash with sweet potatoes because my kids don’t like the former. In terms of flavor, it was delicious. I sliced them thinly (about 1/4″ thick) and they cooked up nice and soft and kept their shape. I do wonder, if the overall dish was a little drier because squash contains more water. Some of the pasta on the outside was not cooked. Perhaps more water should be added? 2 tbsps? You can’t go wrong trying. It could also have been a function of my leaky springform pan. In any case, ours was moist and delicious.

      1. Sonja

        I made this last winter and froze it in single serving pieces wrapped in wax paper then in a ziplock bag. To reheat I followed Deb’s directions. It was as good as the first day I made it. Currently making a pan with the first butternut squash of the season. One of my very favorite autumn dishes.

      1. Neven

        I haven’t made this yet but my plan is to leave out both the pasta and the water, because the water is there for the pasta to absorb. I plan to replace the pasta with a vegetable, like green beans because they’re kind of like macaroni.

    1. Emily

      I would think either would be fine! Goat cheese would add a nice tang, but cottage cheese might be more similar to the ricotta – might blend it a little so the curds aren’t as noticeable?

      1. Clara Bettencourt

        I made this yesterday…. so simple to make. And what came out of the oven was absolutely tasty! And the aroma wonderful. This is a great recipe for brunch, lunch or dinner. Thank you so much

        1. Charlene

          I made this for lunch and it was delicious! Took me an hour start to finish for prep. Used 1/2 tablespoon of Morton table salt bc I didn’t have kosher. Used a 13 inch cast iron skillet. Also used precut butternut squash from trader Joe’s and then used the food processor slicing attachment and it was perfect.

        2. Carol

          This was good. Needs longer to cook than recommended time. The next day I baked the leftovers until they got dark carmelized it was much better. I added halved grape tomatoes to cut all the richness. Make a day ahead if you can.

    1. Maggie Milano

      This already has plenty of cheese as well as an egg so an additional source of protein doesn’t seem necessary. I’d just accompany it with an interesting salad and good bread or focaccia.

        1. deb

          I’ve actually never made a pasta in the slow-cooker before but I don’t see why it would work. It would just take longer than one that began with cooked pasta.

    2. Jenn Congdon

      I’d add Italian sausage! You and I were thinking the same thing! I know it’s a vegetarian dish but I enjoy my meat and in a dish like this I think it’d be fantastic!

      1. Meaghan

        THIS WAS INCREDIBLE! Tasted rich and yet still light enough that I’m not knee deep in a food coma. Made the recipe as is and it was absolutely perfect. Thank you Deb for sharing! Everyone at the table was quite impressed

    3. Laryssa

      I’m considering adding a can of chickpeas when I make this weekend. If I don’t get any replies to dissuade me, I’ll come back with a report!

      1. alexis

        I haven’t made this yet – but my daughter and I adore butternut squash ravioli that I dress with spinach, chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, and grated pecorino or parm. I feel like that is a pretty close test run for how your addition would work. We love it.

      2. Laryssa Kurjewicz

        Added the equivalent of one can of chickpeas to the recipe as written, except I had over-cooked them in the pressure cooker so it was just chickpea mush – but super tasty!

        Actually tripled the recipe (had a big squash), used pureed fresh peeled tomatoes instead of water, didn’t bother chopping the spinach, mixed it literally with my hand in a giant stock pot, and put torn up proscuitto on top before baking it in two 9×13 pans – DELICIOUS!

    4. Yvonne

      I haven’t done it yet… but I think crumbled sausage would be delicious in this if you were looking for a meaty version which my husband and kids always like. Can’t wait to make this! Thanks for the recipe

    1. Barbara

      After reading the original recipe and then looking at Deb’s comments, you are supposed to add the water to everything else in the bowl. Hopefully she will see the questions and confirm this.

  1. Betty Isaacson

    Hi, This sounds amazing. One question though, when do I add the 1 1/4 of water? The water is not mentioned in the directions.

    Thanks, I love your recipes and have made quite a few.

    1. Lindsay

      Hi! I just gently pulled on the dry parchment and it slid right out. Getting it on a serving plate was a bit trickier, but I managed to slide it on with the help of a large spatula and another set of hands!

      It was worth all the prep – absolutely delicious!!

  2. Christina

    I don’t see where the water is added? Does it go in with the egg and ricotta or did I overlook it? It looks amazing, can’t wait to try it.

    1. Alissa Viscome

      After making your apple cake (twice!) this week, I will happily try any recipe you print… this looks amazing and I have all the ingredients in my pantry. Just confirming the water step and I’m in!

  3. Becky

    You list 1 1/4 cups water in the ingredients, but I don’t see how it is used in the recipe. Sorry if I missed it, but read through several times and don’t see it. It seems like a lot to just add to the mixture.

    1. Bridgit

      I love everything about this, especially because my spouse now works from home and often needs an afternoon break. I have tons of kale and I’m thinking to swap it in for the spinach. I was thinking I might add a couple extra tablespoons or even a quarter cup of water to compensate, since spinach has such a high water content. Do you think that’s necessary? I don’t relish the idea of crunchy noodles.
      Also, often when some thing is supposed to be covered with foil, we just stick a silpat on top to reduce the disposable factor. It generally works quite well.
      Kale, fontina and squash are one of my favorite combinations, so I am especially looking forward to this. I bet the summer veggie farro dish could also be adapted to this flavor profile as well. Thanks again!

    2. Alexandra Snape-Rogers

      Okay this looks amazing but I’ve currently got gestational diabetes so need to make a few subs. Planning to try with chickpea pasta (will up the water based on comments) and delicata squash. Any ideas on a different slide for the delicata, given it tends to roast more quickly than butternut?

      1. Z

        I regularly make it with thawed frozen spinach, and it turns out the same. I’d imagine the same to be true of thawed frozen squash.

  4. Emily

    This looks awesome, and I’m making it to put in the fridge now so I can toss it in the oven to bake while I’m in a meeting! But I missed where the water goes in – I assume with the fontina, etc.?

  5. Barbara

    This sounds so delicious and fairly easy to make ( which I love!) We’ve been eating more vegetarian meals and this looks perfect! I’m curious to know why you left out the tomatoes and pine nuts? I’m not a huge fan of feta so I like that sub!

    1. deb

      Didn’t want them here. I wasn’t very concerned with the original flavors, just liked the concept, and wanted to apply it to my idea of what an ideal squash bake would be.

    1. deb

      I didn’t test it with kale, so I can’t say for sure. I’d expect that 90 minutes will soften any greens, however, it just might be a bit more heaped in the pan before it cooks down.

      1. Valerie

        I substituted kale – chopped – and it was fine – used 3 different kinds of kale – no need to blanch. Made it 3 times so far and used more kale each time – all good. It cooks beautifully.

    2. Susan

      You could “blanch” the kale by putting it in a colander (in the sink), and pouring a kettle of boiling water over it. I think I’d chop it first, that way you wouldn’t have to wait for it to cool. If you pressed the water out of it afterwards, I don’t think you’d have to adjust the water in the recipe.

      As for cheese, I could see adding in some nuggets of blue cheese.

    3. Caitlin

      I also used kale. Didn’t blanch, but did chop it pretty well beforehand. Didn’t change anything else, and it came out great!

  6. katy

    This is exactly what I love about your site – every day ingredients combined in new and interesting ways to make something utterly lovely and family-friendly. It’s like you know exactly what I want to cook (and eat!!) before I know it myself. Making this tonight!

  7. Jennine M Quiring

    Thank you for the beautiful recipe. The photos were super also. I cook for myself and like something like this that I can reheat. I am 85 years old and do not eat as much at each meal anymore.. I can see freezing part of it. I am so excited and am going to put an order in for Walmart delivery for the items I do not have. Such a good service for housebound people like me.

  8. Karen Fritsche

    Hi Deb. Any thoughts on whether this would work with gluten free pasta? It looks SO AMAZING, I don’t want to miss out on it. Thanks, Karen

      1. Jennifer L

        Hi Deb, I’m hoping to use Tinkyada brown rice pasta with this. Its cook time is usually 14-15 min (compared to 10-ish for wheat pasta). Do you recommend leaving it in the oven for longer and if so, how much longer given the slightly longer stovetop cook time?

      1. Kim

        Was just reading and wondering if it would work with Jovial. Have done other one-pot pasta recipes that aren’t specifically gluten free and it has worked out.

    1. Sara

      I’m going to attempt basically this tonight. I made it last week as-written, but the store was out of ricotta. So I’m just going to make a lazy tofu ricotta by mashing up firm silken tofu & some nutritional yeast. And maybe a bit more salt and other seasonings than I used last time.

      I was going to decrease the oil, but I think with using tofu, I’ll probably keep it the same.

  9. Julia

    This looks great! Is there any reason not to use a Dutch oven and cover with the lid for the first half of the cooking time instead of foil?

    1. Anne Spellberg

      I just made a frittata in my dutch oven, please beware, anything with an egg or cheese will stick in the oven for 90 minutes. I buttered and oiled it, but you know eggs, they love to stick. It was le Creuset so it cleaned up beautifully but I bet you would still need the parchment. Just a thought, and my 2 cents.

  10. Layla

    This looks delicious! I feel so inspired and excited to try it with 20 lbs of winter squash I’m picking up from a local farm in a couple weeks. I wish I didn’t have to wait that long.

    1. deb

      I didn’t test it without the egg; it’s mostly here for structure since there’s so much vegetable and relatively less pasta. But I don’t think the dish will be ruined without it, just softer set.

    2. Kristen

      @Bekah I just made this and used 3 tbsp of Just Egg (well shaken) and it worked great. Maybe you’ve used it before but in case not, despite the name Just Egg contains no eggs it’s a mung bean vegan egg substitute. I also have an egg allergy and use this when eggs are used as a custardy binder in things.

  11. Kristin

    I can’t wait to make this! My israeli friend makes something similar with spinach. She makes it vegan using tahini- and she makes it in a loaf pan. It sounds delicious as you have designed it!

    1. deb

      There is a print icon that leads to a print template at the bottom of each recipe, where it says “DO MORE:” You can also click CTRL or ⌘ + P [on desktop] from any recipe post and it will take you to a streamlined print template.

      Other ways to print:
      File > Print on a Mac
      From the share button (the one that looks like an up-arrow coming out of a box) at the bottom of the Safari browser on an iPhone

    1. Amanda

      I used no-boil lasagne noodles and somehow forgot to add the water entirely and it pretty much ended up fine, with a few noodles poking up at the top being slightly excessively crispy.

    2. Alexis

      Just wanted to share that I used TJ no boil flat lasagna noodles (otherwise prepared as normal and used the amount of water suggested) and I found the noodles to be a bit underdone and kind of gluey? I think maybe they stuck together more than ruffled noodles might which could have been the problem. Happy to hear other suggestions as I’m hoping to try again since I have the other 1/2 of all the ingredients still in my fridge :)

  12. kelli

    I’m so excited to try this! It’s currently in the oven. I do have a question about the TABLEspoon of salt ???? I did put it in. I really really hope that is not a typo ???? I will let you know when I try it. I did use Kosher salt but still …

    1. Sandy

      Was it too salty? I’d like to make it today but a tbsp sounds like a lot of salt when there’s a good amount of cheese already.

      1. Lou Ann Brown

        Made according to recipe, but halved the salt. Absolutely delicious— perfect autumnal dinner served with arugula and pomegranate salad.

        1. Susanne

          I used 2 tsp regular salt and would try 1 1/2 tsp like you the next time. I only had 1/3 cup parmesan so substituted mozzarella for the rest. It would have been very salty if using regular salt and a full cup of Parmesan. It was yummy though. Definitely will make again.

      1. Leslie C

        Weighing the salt was a great idea. My Morton’s Kosher salt came in at around a half tablespoon for 8 grams. Seasoning was perfect.

      2. Sarah Carroll

        And this is exactly why recipes should list salt by weight, not volume. Thank you for pointing this out. If only I had seen it sooner.

        1. deb

          The issue with salt by weight is that almost no home scales weigh things reliably under 10 grams, and often up to 15 grams. So, were I to call for 8.4 grams of salt here, the weight of 1 tablespoon Diamond kosher salt, few would measure it correctly with other salts.

          1. Sarah

            That’s not an issue with salt by weight, it’s an issue with low quality scales. It’s true that many scales are not perfectly accurate at very low weights, but they are also not wildly inaccurate to the point where it would ruin the recipe. Even cheap digital kitchen scales do a good enough job of measuring 5 or more grams. Even if they were off by a gram, that would still probably be okay. We don’t need precision down to the quarter gram level for a recipe like this. Given the number of people who have had an issue with the salt in this recipe, it couldn’t hurt to just add the weight, especially since you have all the other ingredients by weight. Or perhaps add a recipe note? Thanks for the recipe and for considering this suggestion.

  13. This looks amazing and may be just the vegetarian dish I was looking for to serve at an upcoming dinner party. Any suggestions Deb, or fellow food community, on what else I can serve with this to bulk up the meal a bit more (since it’s a dinner party)?

    1. Tara

      This might seem minor but could be helpful, especially to NYC Fresh Direct customers/people who order ingredients online! The pasta reginette should be reginetti (w an I on the end). I was copying and pasting to look for it. Fresh Direct does carry it!

  14. Holly K

    This is delicious and super easy to put together! Followed the recipe as written, used delicata squash because didn’t have butternut. Everyone ate 2 helpings, even the 6 year old. Will definitely make this again.

  15. Lara

    This looks fantastic! I assume you’ve overcome your previous aversion to baked ricotta? ;) seems like this could be a blueprint for so many amazing flavors too – I’m wondering about a butternut-gruyere edition! Will report back.

    1. deb

      I seem to be coming along with it. I don’t want to be too difficult about ingredients, i.e. make people feel like they have to hunt down a lot of specialties to cook my recipes, but if you can find fina-style ricotta, that’s what did the trick for me. It’s not chunky like cottage cheese; and it’s thicker too. I’ve been using this brand (because I can get it from my grocery delivery service). I suppose running regular ricotta through a food processor or Vitamix would create something similar.

  16. Caroline Tauras

    Sick to death of people posting recipes…who drone on and on about their lives and thoughts. BIG NEWS! No one cares!!! Get to the recipe…which is the reason users clicked on your site. Keep your opinions to yourself. The world doesn’t need more self indulgent, entitled, self -appointed experts. Please share this content with every recipe blogger you know. Thank you.

    1. Omelette

      It’s always interesting to me how people who post comments to say “no one’s interested in your opinions” think everyone’s interested in theirs. Humanity is a vast tapestry!

    2. No. Recognize that different people enjoy different things and YOU can indulge your own preferences without bossing other people. I enjoy Deb’s stories and musings and will always read her posts even if I have no plans to make the recipe!

      1. alexis

        I rarely have time to cook much. I love the stories – they are reason I read this site! I skim the ingredients and use them to riff on my own creations when I do cook. But I have never been a recipe follower and am 100% here for the stories. I also only buy cookups that tell us the story of the grandmother who made something similar, or why farmers started finding uses for X product before it spoiled, I couldn’t care less about a tsp of this or a 1/4 cup of that.

    3. Emily

      Please remember that you are commenting on a real person’s post. If you met Deb in real life, would you say this to her face? I hope not. And I hope that you think more considerately and kindly about how you interact with people on the internet in the future.

      Personally I love Deb’s stories and would be very disappointed if she stopped writing and got right to the recipe. But if you don’t enjoy them, simply click “jump to recipe” which is at the very top of the page. Or if it is a recurring problem for you, I recommend the Chrome extension called Recipe Filter that will load up just the recipe in a pop up screen when you visit blogs or websites with recipes on them.

      Lastly, I think it’s important to note that many food bloggers write longer stories because of the way search engine algorithms work (and/or to optimize ad revenue – although clearly that’s not the case with Smitten Kitchen). If they didn’t write their stories, you might not see their recipes in your search results, or they might not have the extra little cash to buy the ingredients/equipment needed for their recipes.

      1. Karen

        I agree! I love Deb’s stories. For those who don’t, I would suggest unsubscribing or just slide down to the recipe. No need to complain for free recipes! Please don’t change, Deb!

    4. Heather W

      Imagine being so self-obsessed that you think others should change their art to fit your viewpoint. This is a blog, it’s not transactional. Deb owes you nothing. How nasty do you have to be that the nanosecond it takes to scroll down half a page is too much for you. You’re welcome to stick to AI-generated garbage recipes riddled with errors. The rest of us will continue to enjoy recipes from the heart.

    5. Lauren

      Um, you need some help. I suggest meditation. Maybe a walk in the woods. Therapy is probably a good choice. And a friend to give you a hug. All of the above is your best bet.

    6. Lily

      This is Deb’s blog. She’s allowed to post whatever she wants in it. Personally, I love hearing about her anecdotes and thoughts, and that’s the reason why Smitten Kitchen is my favorite blog. I regularly go back and read her previous entries.

    7. Julia

      Astonishing that you can’t see how Deb has created a community of readers who not only very much enjoy reading the stories and context that accompany the recipes and bring them to life, but also contribute so much of their own experience and ideas. These readers wouldn’t be here if they didn’t find value in how Smitten Kitchen works, stories and all. Go elsewhere if you aren’t interested—no need to crash a party where you’re not having fun.

    8. G

      That’s rude, you’ll take someone’s recipes and brag about the out one. Sounds like you have a not so nice life. Ugly people say and
      Do ugly things- definitely speaks who you are.

  17. Deb Y

    I’m an inefficient cook so this took a while to assemble. It’s now been in the oven for 15 minutes with many more to go. I’m hoping against hope that the instruction to use one TABLESPOON of salt isn’t another typo, especially since this isn’t a cheap dish if you use quality cheeses.

    1. deb

      The tablespoon of salt is not a typo. I tested it with 2 teaspoons, too, and it was way under-seasoned. Usually you’d cook each ingredient with salt — salt in the pasta water, salt when you roast squash, salt when you saute greens. Here it’s just done at once.

      1. Sarah

        This would have been very good, but it was WAY too salty. I’m so very sad about it, because it is so beautiful to look at, and I’m going to have to throw it all away. I want to cry. Let me say that I am a salt fiend, and almost nothing is too salty for me. I salt everything – I can’t even eat a piece of pizza without salt. I carry salt packets in my purse! This was just way too much. I should have looked up what Diamond salt is, I guess, and looked up a conversion like someone else did. I just kind of thought, “how different can one kosher salt be from another?” and used a scant tablespoon – maybe 1 tbsp less a quarter teaspoon. Nope, that was too much. Ugh, what a waste.

        1. Lindsay

          There is a HUGE difference in crystal size and consequently in saltiness between Morton’s Kosher and Diamond Crystal Kosher salts. My understanding is that most recipe developers use Diamond Crystal. Heartbreaking that it didn’t work out for you, but I’d encourage you to give it another try using Diamond Crystal. It’s a definite winner!

          1. Sarah

            With respect, I really shouldn’t have to use a specific brand of salt. The recipe should list the amount of salt required by weight instead of by volume and an imprecise direction to “use less.” Using the weight would allow people to use whatever brand of salt they prefer (in my case, David’s). It’s my fault for not reading the comments, I guess, and for not realizing I needed a conversion chart, but of all the things that warrant a recipe note, this is almost certainly one of them. In any case, it was otherwise delicious, so I probably will make it again, after I stop being mad 😂

            1. Lindsay

              I understand your frustration and agree that cooking by weight is the way to go, but I’m not sure that would work with Kosher salt? I honestly don’t know. But I was just trying to alert folks to the fact that if they see “Kosher Salt” in a recipe whether it’s from Deb or Bon Appetit or wherever, the recipe developer most likely used Diamond Crystal. I think there’s another comment that refers to a conversion chart at the King Arthur baking site which might be helpful.

            2. melinda

              First, if you’re accessing a recipe online, chances are you know how to use google. If “use less” is too unspecific for you, you should’ve done the unthinkable, opened a new tab on your already-open web browser, and googled it. It’s so so SO easy to figure out how much salt you should use considering what type you have.

              Second, the recipe does not say “use diamond brand kosher salt and ONLY diamond brand kosher salt OR ELSE,” it literally tells you what to do if you don’t have that brand. And if “use less” isn’t helpful enough for you, again, GOOGLE IT. See earlier point. You’re not helpless here.

              Third, you’re forgetting that these recipes are created by an individual person, not a company with recipe testers and a pantry of company-provided ingredients. Deb is using the salt she has on hand, providing the measurement for what she used, but she is even thoughtful enough to specify that “if you have a different brand, use less.” Do you want her to make this three times with three different types/brands of salt (paying for three recipes’ worth of ingredients)? Do you want her to hold your hand, or continue providing you with brilliant, thoughtful recipe inspiration?

              Fourth, give Deb the benefit of the doubt–she literally has a post about kosher salt brands on this site, which if you had bothered to google (which you should’ve, if you were so annoyed about the salt direction in the first place), you probably would’ve found.

              1. Sarah

                Wow. This is a truly disproportionate response to a reasonable and constructive piece of feedback on the recipe. If this were my blog, I would want this type of feedback to improve. For those of us who have never heard of Diamond Crystal (GASP! THE HORROR!) salt, providing weights or a note stating that it is literally about twice as salty as other salt would be helpful, because it’s a case of not knowing what you don’t know. I am an experienced cook, and in my 30 years of cooking, I have never encountered a brand of salt that is so drastically different from other salts. I have also never oversalted a dish before, although I guess that’s because I usually just salt to taste. But, having never heard about Diamond Crystal, it didn’t even occur to me to Google it because the direction seemed very clear at the time – use less, which is exactly what I did. I know nothing about this blog, having never heard of it before someone shared this recipe with me, but I do know that if I had a recipe blog, I would want to make the recipes accessible to everyone. I would want each recipe to stand alone, rather than requiring additional research for something as basic as salt. And, if even a few people were saying that they had to throw out a dish with all those expensive ingredients because of an instruction that I could easily make more clear (perhaps even by linking to my previous post on the topic of kosher salt brands, since, as you note, this is the internet, after all), I would do it. It’s not such a crazy ask, so please get a grip.

                1. Carlin

                  It’s clear people aren’t reading her notes about the salt. Any seasoned cook with over 30 years experience knows not all salts are the same. Gasp, one use iodized in a recipe like this. But, if you do use iodized and are such an accomplished cook, then one reads a recipe through entirely.
                  Deb Perelman is one of the most accomplished and experienced cooks I know. And her blog is legendary. Just sayin

                  1. Sarah

                    Obviously I know the difference between types of salt. I was referring to differences between brands of kosher salt. Say what you want, any good cook knows that measurements should be by weight, not volume. Sorry if your feelings are hurt by this, but it’s not really debatable.

                    1. Carlin

                      Feelings not hurt in the least. I’m a classically trained chef. People in the know realize Diamond Kosher weighs less. It’s become the salt of choice for seasoned and well known bakers and chefs/cooks spanning the globe… Hence Deb’s asterisk’d note for home cooks not in the know. Cheers

                    2. Sarah

                      I don’t live in the US. I don’t think we have that brand, at least I’ve never seen it. Please try not to be so ethnocentric, because I promise you that there are plenty of good cooks who don’t read the same blogs as you and don’t live in places where that brand is sold. I didn’t attack the blog or the recipe, I only pointed out that more specific information, either in the form of measurements by weight or else a more detailed note clarifying that “less” means about half a much, should be given. I did read the note and used less than a tablespoon, but not enough less. Where I live, we don’t have a wide variety of kosher salt brands and the brands we have are pretty similar. It’s a totally reasonable comment, and it’s bizarre to me that people are responding to me and implying that I’m not a good cook because I’m not up on all the American brands. If there is no room for constructive feedback such as this, why have a comments section?

                    3. Christy

                      I have literally never seen salt listed by weight, in any recipe, ever. A quick test on the scale shows why–for example, both 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt weight the same, according to the scale. It’s just too small an amount to weigh correctly. I just looked at the original Ottolenghi recipe for this dish, and it also calls for salt by the teaspoon (the parsley is measured this way too).

      2. Lucy

        Made this with Gluten Free Rice penne and it came together perfectly with the proportions of liquid to pasta.

        Except I unfortunately didn’t read the salt note carefully enough, threw in a tbsp, and it was waaaaayyyyyyy too salty. Had to throw half away :(

  18. Definitely making this over the weekend, any other ideas to sub out fontina? And do you think it would work with Banza chickpea pasta? Normally takes about 7-9 minutes to cook so thinking either less water or shorter cooking time? Thoughts? Can’t wait to make it!

    1. deb

      I haven’t tested this with gluten-free pasta but your hunch is probably correct — try a little less water. Actually not sure about needing less baking time, now that I think of it. This 90 minutes (but only 1/4 cup water) was called for in the original Ottolenghi recipe and he began with fresh pasta sheets (which need less water and cooking time).

    2. Rachel

      Hi Lori, I made this with Jovial gluten free pasta and used the same water and time. The noddles on the very top edges remained a little crunchy but otherwise very delicious and just as good as my first attempt with regular pasta. I’ve found that Jovial GF pasta behaves pretty similarly to regular pasta and lacks the mush of many others. Just my thoughts!

  19. DianaW

    90 minutes in an oven is a very long time, especially if there’s nothing else being baked or roasted there at the same time. That seems very wasteful of power.
    I’d use a big round and deep silicon dish for this and bake it in the microwave instead. Not ending up with a crispy top is a small price to pay for saving so much time and energy.
    Can you suggest an appropriate microwave cooking time, or should I just experiment? I’ve cooked lots of vegetables and an occasional cake that way but never anything this dense and bulky….

    1. Maggie Milano

      Holy cow! I can think of dozens of ways to make use a 350° oven for 90 minutes. While the pasta bake is cooking on one rack you can use the other to make: cookies, a quick bread, some baked apples, a quiche, a cottage pie, cupcakes, muffins, braised veggies (like broccoli or asparagus)… The key is to plan.

    2. Elcin

      I don’t think microwave would consume less energy if not more. My oven actually uses very little energy after getting to the temperature it is assigned to. On the other hand microwave should be working all time, and unit energy consumed is far more than an oven (esspecially if it has a good isolation). The vegetables also are not precooked, so this also saves some energy.

    3. deb

      I’ve not tested this in the microwave so I cannot give instructions for it. But most pasta bakes with already cooked pasta (think: stuffed shells or lasagna) take 40 to 45 minutes in the oven, but the ingredients go in already prepared. Here, you’d first have to boil the pasta in a big pot + sauté the greens and garlic in a skillet + roast the squash in the oven, which would easily eat up the 45 minutes you’d saved by not using this dump-and-bake method. This is actually the first pasta bake on SK with winter squash for that reason; every time I wanted to make one, I was put off by the number of processes and pans involved to do it well. When I saw this method, I knew it was the one.

  20. Karen

    I am literally drooling over this! It is nice to “meet” someone else who is easily apathetic about recipes and the next favorite one! Thank you–I am making this tonight!

    1. deb

      I didn’t test it with gluten-free pasta. Does it ever need less water? Or less cooking time? If so, those adjustments should be considered here. Otherwise, I’m sure it will be fine.

  21. Eileen L

    The only problem I have with this, is that it has veggies in it that are at opposite ends of the growing cycle. It is a first world recipe.

      1. Eileen L

        I’m speaking from the perspective of west central Maine, where local farmers just don’t grow spinach this time of year, even those with greenhouses. They would have to plant in late July, early August when it’s hot here and the spinach would bolt.
        Then we usually have a hard, killing frost by mid to late Sept. – but here we are, mid Oct. and no killing frost in this area yet. Strange, warm fall weather – tho we aren’t complaining!
        Farmers do have chard and kale now, ‘cause they are hardier than spinach, so are a good substitute.
        After I hit send, I also thought frozen leaf spinach would work well too.

        1. Valerie

          Have used combos of 3 kinds of kale and swiss chard – all perfect. In fact, I thought this was such a great dish b/c it used exactly what is up in my garden right now! Kale and squash

    1. Sara

      Also squashes store really well, and lots of leafy greens including spinach are locally available year-round (grown outdoors or covered or in un-heated greenhouses). I expect I’ll be able to cook this most of the winter with locally sourced squash, greens, garlic, herbs & eggs. And by local, I mean direct from the farm (or my balcony for the herbs).

    2. Lemon3378

      Um, it’s a lovely recipe and if using seasonal produce is your jam then make some modifications. Also, maybe start your own seasonal only blog. Jeesh, with the negative and critical comments.

    3. Brenda

      Ummmmm…. I’m in CANADA and I received squash AND spinach in my farm-share box. Grown locally, 10 minutes away. Why be so rude.

    4. stephZ

      Not true in the South. I work for an organic farmer in Atlanta and got both spinach and butternut squash from them to make this past week. They are both in season if you buy local…. at least here in GA

    5. Sabe

      I’m about to make this with winter squash and spinach from my zone 5b garden in western Canada. I would imagine you’re in a similar zone in west central Maine. I sow my fall greens in early/mid August. Spinach can tolerate quite a bit of frost.

    1. Sandy Mitchell

      I made this last night and found it wonderfully adaptable. Didn’t have fontina so substituted Havarti, used chopped fresh kale instead of spinach and only had about 5 ounces of lentil pasta with basil and spinach. As a result, I didn’t use the whole butternut squash and it was still delicious!! The most difficult part is waiting for it all to bake and be ready to eat! Are use the glass 9 x 13 pan, ungreased. Next time, and there will be a next time!, I will try it in a Dutch oven.

    2. Donna

      I bought the ready cut butternut squash at my market, it’s in cubes so I just cut into 4 thin slices, went very quickly and the recipe turned out perfect.
      It’s my all time favorite of Debs.

    1. Rachel

      I was also wondering if I could do this in the instant pot! I’ve only had mine for about a month, so I want to try everything in it! Please post if you try it and the settings. Thanks!

  22. Sharon

    I love the idea of this but…I hate squash. Have tried it a million ways to change my mind, but no. Any ideas of vegetables to use in addition to the spinach, to add the same amount of vegetal bulk? The method seems great, and I’d love to try it! Thanks, Deb!

    1. Nan

      Sweet potatoes would seem to be the easiest swap, if you like them. Or, the original recipe had tomatoes in it. That might be a nice flavor combination, but you’d have to adjust the liquid. I also think mushrooms would be good, but I’d be inclined to sauté them first. I’d be interested to know what you come up with.

    2. Sara

      Any hard veggies that take a long time to cook would be my instinct. Some of my first thoughts would need a lot of flavour adjustments (rutabaga, celery root, beetroot), but might be doable. Carrots could work, or maybe a combo of carrots and sweet potatoes?

      Cauliflower or broccoli might work but I would be worried they’d get over-cooked. A mix of mushrooms/leeks/onions might be nice, but would probably be best if pre-sauteed a bit.

    3. Amber

      Sharon – I don’t usually like butternut squash in recipes but the picture looked so yummy I went out on a limb and made it for dinner last night and it was amazing! Between the sage and garlic and nutmeg and cheese it all melds together that you can’t really taste the squash separate from everything else. I ended up buying precut squash (because that is all our lame grocery store had!) and sliced them much like Deb showed in her picture. Hope this helps! Alternatively you could pick out the pieces of squash if you have family members that like it…..

    1. Danita

      I used brown rice lasagna noodles broken into random sizes and it worked fine. I used the same amount of water as mentioned in recipe.

  23. Rachel

    This is delish! Mine is all done and ready to go at 1:30 PM, but dinner isnt’ until 5:30-6. Do you think I should refrigerate and then re-heat, or can/should I just leave it out for that time frame? Thanks and sorry for the rookie question!

      1. Lindsay

        I’ve asked this before but somehow my question keeps disappearing lol. If I make this in advance, what is the best way to reheat the entire dish? I’m assuming I’d leave it in the pan to reheat? Would love some guidance!


  24. Debby N

    Deb, I am always on the lookout for a vegetarian recipe for when my 15 year old granddaughter visits. This looks perfect, and I might make it for her while the rest of us are eating turkey next month. Thanks as always for a great recipe!

  25. JEG

    I am looking forward to trying this. My plan is to chop the spinach up small–Get the benefit of the spinach and pass it off to the husband. We love winter squashes.

  26. Sandy Lentz

    Well, it’s in the oven, and smells wonderful already. A quibble, however: it takes MUCH MORE than the15 minutes you list to prep. I do mise en place, especially with a first-time recipe. By the time I had gathered the pantry ingredients, grated two cheeses (suggest in a recipe update that fontina grates much more easily after a few minutes in the freezer) harvested and chiffonaded the sage leaves, peeled (ugh! My usual technique is to chunk the squash, steam, then put on my rubber gloves and scoop out the softened squash from the skin) and sliced a big hunk of butternut squash, lined my pan, peeled and sliced garlic, etc….it was nearly an hour. Mixing, pouring and foil-ing take 15 minutes, maybe, but putting the recipe together takes much longer. I’m sure it will be worth it; never had a recipe of yours fail, never.

    1. Sandy Lentz

      It was delicious! Husband had three helpings! Not too salty. Next time – thyme (fresh) in place of the sage, thinner pasta (I used up lasagna noodles, broken up. Too thick, and uneven so they didn’t cook evenly.) I didn’t like the really crispy (Too hard, actually) pasta pieces on top; will use a thinner noodle and be sure to bury them. Just a few tweaks to a really great cool-weather dish.

  27. Mandy

    Do you know if you can use a chickpea pasta , will it work the same? The cook time is similar to regular pasta when you boil it.

    1. Jenna

      Yes – I just made this with a box of Banza chickpea penne pasta and reduced the water to 1 cup (while using an entire container of ricotta and two eggs). Came out perfect!

  28. rrose

    I just made a vegan version of this and it’s in the oven. Pretty sure it will turn out great based upon the way it looked going in : ) I make my own vegan cheese and simply skipped the egg. If I used soy I would probably add a blended cake of tofu to simulate the ricotta but I’m going without it on my version – I’m pretty sure there’s enough ‘cheese’ to hold it together. Either way it will be tasty! Always looking for ways to use fresh sage from my giant shrub out back. Thank you!

    1. rrose

      @Doug, et al:
      It was VERY good haha. I’ve never had a “pasta bake” before so I thought it was going to be, “meh, lasagna variation, ok”. But it was actually very delicious – the fresh sage was key, I thought. (I also used a RED kabocha and it was the best kabocha I’ve ever used. They are the primary winter squash I eat because I love them. But first red one and wow – also delicious fyi. I’ve saved the seeds so I can grow my own.)

      Even without the egg it held together fairly well for being eaten right out of the oven and it went in quite wet between the extra water and the “cheese sauce” I came up with. I used an 8×8 glass baking pan but will be doubling this recipe in the future because I know I will want this for lunches the day after! It definitely converts to vegan!

      1. Lydia

        I’m going to make it vegan tomorrow with a couple different storebought vegan cheeses and a homemade vegan ricotta. I will let you know how it works out!

  29. Danita

    Wonderful recipe. I used brown rice lasagna sheets and broke them up. 1 5oz bag of power greens instead of spinach. I kept the water amount the same as written. I had to cook 135-140 mins total and run under the broiler a couple of mins as suggested. This will be a great make ahead meal for over the holidays.

    1. Kamilla

      Danita, what brand of lasagna noodles did you use? Were they the no boil kind? For example, Jovial makes one like that. Or were they the regular boil kind like Tikinyada? Planning to use a brown rice lasagna too so I would love to know!

  30. maria grasso

    This looks amazing! HOWEVER, I’m lactose intolerant and would love to know how to make this recipe without the cheese. Any suggestions?

    1. Elizabeth Greene

      This recipe looks yummy but it has SO MUCH CHEESE… it’s a real struggle for those of us who are lactose intolerant. It’s getting slightly easier to find lactose-free cheeses (though it’s a special trip to a special grocery). Green Valley Creamery makes LF cream cheese, yoghurt, & cottage cheese though they can be hard to find. Maria, have you tried sheep milk cheeses? I’ve found a parmesan-romano sheep cheese that’s digestible.
      FYI to Deb: we lactose intolerant folks would really appreciate more recipes that are LF– either vegan or not, just minus the dairy products!

      1. Janet

        I haven’t read the comments in SK’s recipes for a few years, and I do not remember this consistent level of criticism being directed at her. If there’s a cheese-heavy recipe and you’re lactose free, choose a different recipe and find some specific dairy-free blogs. If someone is mad that spinach and squash don’t grow at the same time in their region, either use non-local ingredients or make something else. If someone doesn’t like a story before the recipe, find another site. Sheesh. SK doesn’t exist to make every single person happy.

        1. Kristin

          I agree 100% Janet! Deb – keep doing what you are doing!!! I love your blog and have read every post for probably the last 10 years.

  31. Brenda

    Thanks for this delicious recipe, it was perfect – I doubled the recipe for a friend in need and for my family! Next time I will use half the salt, a tablespoon was a bit too much for us. This one will be going in my regular rotation !

  32. Rita Neal

    Wow! This is an autumnal delight! I made this for some friends last night for dinner. It is a stunning dish, way more than the sum of the parts. I highly recommend. Thanks Deb for tweaking this dish to perfection!

      1. Fleur

        Oh please let me know how it turned out! I want to make this tomorrow and was thinking of using Farfalle because my cupboard is already full of different pastas and they’re the “flatter” ones :)

  33. David

    Hi – ready to make for Sunday dinner tomorrow.
    2 questions:
    How many servings does this make (for big eaters!)
    Suggestion for a side dish? (Maybe a salad?)


  34. Donna Slack

    I’m gathering everything right now!
    I only have a 7” springform Pan, so safe to say I should bake it a little bit longer, correct?

  35. Mary

    In a word… DIVINE! Made it last night – as written. Will definitely add it to the rotation. Thank you for another delicious recipe!

  36. Amber

    Made this for dinner last night and it was amazing! I’m not usually a fan of ricotta. And I don’t usually like butternut squash mixed into recipes. But that picture was so beautiful and we have been in such a recipe rut in our house that I thought I would give it a try. I am so glad I did! The end product was so flavorful and all the flavors of sage, nutmeg, garlic, salt and pepper melded with all that cheesy goodness that the squash was not as noticeable. Served it with some rustic bread for a simple dinner. I like that this is vegetarian but think a grilled sausage on the side would be a good accompaniment if you needed a larger meal (two teenage boys in this house!) This one is definitely going in the rotation!

    1. Erin

      Same!! I’m not a ricotta fan. My husband’s not a butternut squash fan. My 6 and 8 year olds both complain about melted cheese (I know, I’m considering DNA testing) and casseroles in general. But it looked so good, we made it anyway, and everyone raved about it, even the pickiest eaters. We’re making it tonight for the second time. The only change I made at all is I had extra fontina so I added that to the cheese on top for extra melted goodness and I made it in a 9×9 pan which came out perfectly. Thanks so much for the new dinner recipe Deb!

  37. Tracy

    I made this pasta bake last night. It was amazing! I made it for friends and one of them is gluten free, so I even decided to try it with brown rice pasta. I was shaking in my boots that it would not turn out, and boy was I surprised. It was absolutely delicious! Thank you.

  38. Jess

    Made this last night- here are my notes in case they are helpful for others…
    -My large mixing bowl was not quite large enough. Readers, Deb is serious about using a LARGE mixing bowl!
    -Prep time took me much longer due to using a whole un-prepared squash. So all total it was a 3 hours from start to finish for me
    -I thought David’s kosher salt would be large enough crystals, but it was a smidge on the salty side after all with the whole tablespoon. So yes- Davids does qualify as another brand that Deb advises to use less of here.

    All in all, it was good, rich, and cozy. My toddler pretty much shoveled it in his mouth.

  39. Katie

    I’ve been on a kabocha squash kick, so I peeled one yesterday to use for this — I forget how hard they can be to peel!

    My husband can’t eat pasta due to issues with his esophagus. I’m assuming that no pasta = no water, but are there any other tweaks you’d recommend for a bake without pasta?

    1. deb

      Technically speaking, you don’t *need* to peel squash — the peel is edible — but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to eat.

      Re, no pasta — I think it would work well, although a very different dish. It might not need as much cheese without the bulk of pasta. It also might not need 90 minutes. Let us know how it goes!

    2. Taylor

      This looks amazing. Will this work with frozen butternut squash instead of fresh? If so, what adaptations would I need to make, it any?

  40. Linda O

    Made this today. The flavors and texture is spot on – delicious. It took longer to cook, used a pottery baking dish, and I was patient. Cannot wait for dinner. As always, Deb, you bring it.

    1. Hillary

      Has anyone constructed this the night before and baked it 24 hours later? Would love to eat this on a weeknight but prepare the night before to save time!

  41. Amy Fischer

    Absolutely delicious! Made this tonight with some precut squash from the supermarket and WOW was it good. This will absolutely go in my rotation for meatless meals and it’s also a great portable option for a potluck!

  42. Mary

    I just have t say how thankful I am for this site. The recipes are almost always delicious, Deb seems like such a sweet & funny person, and the comments are generally positive and supportive. So when someone is snarky here—and doesn’t “get it”—I feel very protective of Deb & this community. If you only want the recipe, that is fine, I guess. Cut & paste & cook. And feel free to adjust the recipe as you see fit. But please keep your arrogant, snide comments about the rest of us & our “inferior” opinions to yourself. We try to be friends here, not snobs.

    1. Fleur

      I made the recipe tonight and entered everything (having weighed all the ingredients) in MyFitnessPal.
      For 8 servings the macros are as follows:
      16.4g Fat
      30.9g Carbs (including 2.7g sugar and 1.9g fiber)
      15.4g Protein

  43. Sarah

    I made this tonight as written and it was amazing and beautiful to serve our company with a salad and chicken on the side. A total keeper!

  44. Sarah

    I substituted red kuri squash (no need to peel) and swiss chard from my fall garden, aged gouda for the fontina and gemilli pasta and this turned out wonderfully. My squash was nearing 3lbs whole so I doubled it and baked one in a cast iron skillet to eat now, another in a springform that I will cut in half and freeze did two meals later this winter.

        1. Claire Zulkey

          Noted! ;)

          I made this dish exactly as written (well, I had regular, non-baby spinach and just took off the big stems) and I loved it-. And if anyone can find the kuri squash, get it–the lack of prep work is totally worth it! I used campagnelle pasta and it was perfect.

  45. Joanne

    Wow. I made it with whole wheat lasagna noodles broken into pieces, so I added an extra half cup of water. Normally I play it fast and loose with recipes, but I tried this one exactly as written with the above exception. It worked perfectly. The T of salt was right (I use Jacobsens kosher).

  46. monica

    Spectacular! Made it last night. Was as beautiful when came out of the springform pan and absolutely delicious. Sage was perfect! A definite make again. I am looking forward to the leftovers!

  47. Dawna Eastman-Gallo

    Made this last night; even though I continue to be inundated with tomatoes, I wanted something autumnal. It was very tasty, and got the “make it again” designation from the husband. But, the prep took a LONG time- an hour, since I had to grate both cheeses, chop the spinach, peel and cut the squash and break up lasagna into pieces. I made exactly per the recipe but might add even a little more squash next time.

  48. DEG

    Forgot to ask this seemingly silly question. I grated my parmesan cheese by hand with a microplane, and weighed as I went along to get the 100 grams, which I used and seemed like the appropriate amount, but that was just over a cup of very tightly packed cheese. If I had just used the cup measure, I wouldn’t have packed it that tightly. So what’s the right way? Weigh a block of cheese first then grate?

    1. deb

      Most grated cheeses, especially parmesan, are impossible to get a consistent weight per cup of. I use a box grater or a food processor (chopping, not grating blade). While there isn’t a correct way although I advise against the Microplane rasp for parmesan; it creates puffy cheese clouds with little weight, so 1 cup won’t provide the same flavor. Measuring by weight will always be consistent no matter what you grate with.

    1. deb

      I think the biggest concern is that it might not “submerge” or mix enough that the top noodles will bake well. Add more foil-on time if needed.

      1. Rachel

        Already made this 4 times. We can eat this for dinner every night! Subbed cottage cheese when I ran out of ricotta and used frozen spinach. Was incredible.

  49. Lauren

    Delish! What a great idea and so easy. I made three small casseroles (one to devour, one to freeze, one for a friend!). I used cheeses I had on hand – I think that anything reasonably melty with the Parm would be good. I am going to consider other veg for a similar idea. The house smells divine! I used my biggest bowl, so I wouldn’t slop on the counter. I think I did, nevertheless. This took about 15 minutes to put together. Yum!

    1. deb

      You should check Ottolenghi’s original recipe in The Guardian (linked in the first paragraph and above the recipe). He adds two grated tomatoes. I didn’t test it with tomatoes because I wanted it to taste like this, not that, but I am sure it works wonderfully here.

  50. Charron

    Made this last night- really outstanding. I made a few swaps based on what I had on hand- Kabocha for the butternut squash, used rigatoni for the pasta and baked it in 3” deep Corningware-style oval dish. I used an extra wide Japanese mandolin for the Kabocha and garlic. So simple and delicious!

  51. Angela

    Oh my gosh, I made this this morning. It is absolutely delicious! Followed your instructions and recipe except I used the whole container of ricotta because I knew I wouldn’t use it again soon enough. Thank you so much!

  52. Devora

    What a great recipe! I made this yesterday and used mascarpone instead of ricotta, took it to a potluck, and came back with an empty casserole dish. The mascarpone melted right into the cheese, smelled all buttery out of the oven, and tasted very luxe. 10/10 would repeat!

  53. Lara

    ok, so even for a practiced cook, peeling and slicing the squash, grating cheese, washing and draining spinach, measuring and mixing all the ingredients and putting paper in the springform definitely takes more than 15 minutes. adding two hours of time before dinner is on the table, this does not really make for a weeknight dinner. BUT for this beautiful, sunny fall Sunday, this was a very lovely meal and the family loved it. And I am not surprised (Ottolenghi + Deb = double guarantee in my book). I’m already thinking of some options like broccoli, apple and chestnuts with goat cheese! Thanks for the inspiration.

    PS: Cooking it without salt makes it a great option for baby led weaning, by the way (the rest of us put salt on it afterwards) :)

    1. Kelly

      I loved this too. Some things that helped me speed it up in case it’s useful: I used delicata (no need to peel) for the butternut, used a bag of prewashed/chopped kale, shredded mozz for the fontina (I used just a little, prob 1/3 cup, but doubled the ricotta to just use the whole container) and did the whole thing in a dutch oven so no messing with the springform or parchment. It went quickly! And so delicious. Love your goat cheese and apple idea, omg.

    2. deb

      Good point! I was thinking that if speed was a concern, people might buy prepared (i.e. peeled and seeded) squash chunks, as I did the time I photographed this. I’m glad it was a hit!

    3. Lynn Lloyd

      There IS potentially a lot of prep here, so good place to use prewashed spinach, precut squash, preshredded cheeses, etc. if you have access to them. Delicata is probably the easiest squash to deal with, no peeling or large butcher required to cut it!

  54. Jaime Lilley

    Made this following the recipe closely, though substituting gruyère for fontina… Seriously: YUM. It was more or less instantly and fully devoured by four people. So, so good. Will be added to regular rotation. Thanks, Deb!

  55. Susan

    Can this be frozen? I would like to divide this up into 2 or 3 pans. Would I bake first then freeze? As an empty nester this is way too much food.

  56. Liz

    I had trouble with the noodles on the top not having enough liquid to cook. I add some more water after the first hour but they’re a bit on the inedible crunch side. The ones underneath cooked through just fine. Any tips for next time?

    1. deb

      You might want more foil-on time next time, just to ensure they soften enough before it begins to crisp on top. What shape did you use? (I wonder if a less flat shape needs more “submerged” time.)

    2. Nick

      Loved this but I had the same problem using the same mafaldine noodles. The top noodles were inedible. (The top squash was great.) I cooked this in a 12-inch nonstick skillet with a lid. Maybe the lid isn’t as tight of a seal as foil, so some water escaped during the first hour despite being covered? Anyway next time I’ll try 5m or maximum 10m uncovered and I think it’d be perfect.

      Or, adding sliced bacon/cheese on top at the uncover step would also prevent the crunchy noodle problem. In that case, probably go with 15m uncovered? Regardless 30m seems to be too much.

      1. Claire

        I also used a 12 inch skillet and had the same problem. I think this really needs to be cooked in a pan with smaller dimensions so that it’s thicker/higher.

  57. So first of all, I love everything I have made from you, even my husband has been on your sight to get cooking tips and he never does that.
    My question is not food based but rather technology based,does the print recipe option need an extension now? I can’t seem to print or save this recipe even after downloading the extension and probably getting on some list. BooHoo, I imagine I am missing something “ITish” about this all. I am not very good about keeping my phone/iPad open when cooking but I guess that is the backup. And another cookbook of course, but you are so prolific that a cookbook could never keep up!

    1. deb

      Thank you. Nothing should have changed in the way recipes are printed. You can print them a few ways from any post:

      * There is a print icon that leads to a print template at the bottom of each recipe, where it says “DO MORE:”
      * You can also click CTRL or ⌘ + P [on desktop] from any recipe post and it will take you to a streamlined print template.
      * File > Print on a Mac
      * From the share button (the one that looks like an up-arrow coming out of a box) at the bottom of the Safari browser on an iPhone

  58. Dana

    Made this today with some minor modifications and its delicious. Used slightly less pasta (6oz), so reduced the amount of water to 1 cup. Also, reduced the amount of parmesan by half. The kosher salt that I own is a different brand and 2 tsp worked well.

  59. Teresa

    This is sooooo good. The sage is really perfect for this dish. I used a larger grater for the butternut squash instead of slicing and it really meshed well with everything. True comfort food. The salt amount is perfect as long as you’re using kosher salt (Diamond brand ideally as the recipe states). I would think twice about dumping a TBS of table salt in for sure. I didn’t have fontina so I used what I had–the Kerry Gold dubliner brand. Thanks for a great recipe!

  60. Katie

    I want to eat this for every meal October-February. Easily the best pasta bake I’ve ever made. I subbed a rice & quinoa based GF pasta with no issues. Absolutely stellar!!

  61. Wendy

    Delicious! I subbed crumbled tofu for the ricotta to cut down on the dairy. Kept the fontina and parm. Baked in a dutch oven lined with parchment. Came out looking just like Deb’s. Fabulous fall dinner with salad.

  62. Mary Parr

    If I were to assemble this ahead of time, could I refrigerate it overnight and bake it the next day? Would that work? It looks delicious, but trying to figure out how to fit it in on a weekday!

  63. Nicole B.

    You have a real talent for knowing exactly what I want, even before I do, because every time you publish a new recipe, I realize I need it RIGHT NOW. This is not exception, and the results were amazing. Made almost exactly as written with mozzarella instead of fontina and herbs de provence in place of thyme or sage, because that’s what I had on hand.

  64. Emily

    Intent on finding fancy ruffled pasta to make this with, I impulse bought Sfoglini’s whole wheat reginetti (it was all they had at the store that was ruffle-y and more exciting than plain old lasagna) – I think the whole wheat flavor will mesh really well with the fall flavors of squash and sage, but do you think whole wheat pasta will take longer to cook from raw here than regular semolina pasta?

    1. deb

      I think you’ll be fine since there’s a full 1.5 hours in the oven, but I will say that I find that *all* of Sfoglini’s pastas take longer to cook than other brands, and longer than the package says.

  65. Sharon

    This does look delicious and a good way to use the squash from our garden. I can peel it easily after microwaving for a few minutes. Is there an easy way to slice it thinly? Has anyone done it in a processor, or would the squash be too hard? Or just to use my Chef’s knife an option also.
    Also, does the pasta shape have to be flat? Or can we use ziti or something else?


    1. deb

      I only tested it with flat pasta but I’d expect other shapes to work, just make sure they’re well coated and pressed in the sauce for the baking time.

      Although the peels are edible, for butternut or honeynut, I usually peel the squash 2x with a y-shaped peeler, then halve, scoop, and thinly slice it, flat side down — always.

    2. Sara

      I used penne and it worked great, just took a little pressing down/rearranging. And then having some overhanging parchment to cover the edges helped too, I think.

  66. Natalie

    I’m glad so many others loved this, but my finished product was a disaster. After trying a few bites, we threw the whole thing away and my husband is now out getting us a pizza. I’m a pretty experienced cook, and although I made a few small substitutions (delicata instead of butternut, a different kind of pasta and a casserole dish instead of a springform), I otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I should have trusted my gut when the proportions seemed off, but now I’ve wasted my time and a ton of ingredients. Beware, this recipe needs more testing.

    1. Julia

      Surprising that so many others seem to have had no problems—can you say more about what was wrong with it? What proportions were off? Thinking of making this soon so I’m curious.

    2. CK

      This didn’t work out for me either and is headed for the compost, so bummed. I even waited a day to try it again before giving up. The only thing I changed was to swap Feta for the Fontina (used in original recipe/by other reviewers) and cut back on salt per other comments & feta use. The flavors didn’t meld well and seemed dry – I didn’t use quite the full amount of pasta so don’t think it was the water/pasta ratio. It looked great and even my picky eater was excited to try. Would love for someone to make for me to see what I am missing out on. Did come together easily with the use of the food processor/adjustable slicer for squash slicing. Luckily I have more squash so going to try the Galette this weekend!

  67. Cara

    This was amazing. We have 2 gluten intolerant family members and I decided to leave out the pasta instead of using chickpea pasta. I subbed 3.5 c chopped butternut squash for the pasta (in addition to the squash already called for), added a little extra spinach, and left out the water. Added some Aleppo pepper as well as some chopped parsley. Texture was great, and it was full of flavor- like a firm vegetable gratin. I considered adding some chickpeas for protein but I am glad I didn’t. Next time I would sauté the garlic before adding it, or cut the amount in half. Recommend using a food processor to slice the squash to save time.

  68. Emily H

    Made this tonight with butternut squash, Trader Joe’s GF rice & quinoa pasta, and 1 c water and it turned out beautifully, although next time I’ll cut down on the salt. Used Diamond kosher salt and it was still too much for me. But the flavor is wonderful, especially with fresh sage.

  69. This was an excellent dish for a lazy, rainy day. Prep was super easy (I used delicata and honey nut squash). Just need to be patient, bake and rest according to the instructions. Delicious! The squash and noodles cooked up perfectly. Used pecorino & sage.

  70. Denise

    Made this last night, and it is terrific! Bonus: the house smelled terrific too, if ya like that sorta thing. Flavors are phenomenal. Takes a heck of a lot more than 15 minutes to prep, though – squashes can be dangerous and I’m not a fast cheese grater. But it was all worth it! Don’t be tempted to just use up that bigger squash or all the spinach in the bag, because there is no way it will fit in the pan, this recipe fills it up. Use amounts given, but sure, try subbing some ingredients, it’ll be yummy.

  71. Carolyn

    I made this for dinner last night – The only changes I made to the recipe was using Greyere cheese and adding a full container of ricotta (450 grams). It was amazing. The layers of flavours were superb – restaurant and company worthy. Thank you, Deb!

  72. Cathy Dellinger

    Absolutely fabulous. I subbed Swiss chard for the spinach. Served it as a side and have enough left over for another meal. Really good and fun to make. I did cheat a bit using precut squash. Too crazy to do battle with the whole butternut. Thanks Deb!

  73. Patti

    Made this yesterday. Easy to pull together. Ate a corner of it after the rest period and thought, meh. But then, I had some this morning for breakfast (don’t ask, lol) and WOW! The flavors really come together and it’s so, so much better the next day.

  74. Angela

    Delish! I added green onion, more fresh herbs, a little less salt and a little more cheese ;)
    Probably could add any extra vegetables to this and it will be amazing.

  75. Cheryle

    Someone made this recipe in a vegan version, and I’m wondering if they would share. There are dairy, soy, gluten issues in the family, and I’m wondering what cheeses were used. Thanks.

  76. Kathy

    I followed the directions mostly as written, only switching to kale from spinach and used gluten-free lasagna noodles. I baked it in a 9 x 13 dish and timing was perfect. Overall it was delicious, however it was much too salty. Next time I’ll use less or leave it out and add when cooked.

    1. Kamilla

      Kathy, Were your gluten-free lasagna noodles the no boil kind? What brand did you use? Thinking of trying gluten-free lasagna as well

      1. kathy

        I used the regular Tinkyada lasagna noodles. The very top was pretty crispy but tasted really good. The filling was fully cooked.

  77. Rosanna

    If I wanted to double this and bake in a casserole dish, would a deep 9″ x 13″ lasagna pan be big enough, and would the cook time increase substantially? Thank you!

  78. Alyssa

    Wow, this was delicious even though we made an error. My husband made it last night and forgot to add the water (whoops). He added it halfway. Towards the end, it still seemed wet but the pasta was done so he drained off the water and let it crisp. I was skeptical that the dish would be ruined but it was delicious. Will double next time. We used cottage cheese instead of ricotta and a generic Swiss block because that’s what we had. My picky toddler even at a few pasta noodles that still had a little spinach on them. Success!

  79. Lynn

    Made this Saturday – Delicious!! Definitely a do again in the recipe rotation.
    I used Mozzarella instead of Fontina and dried spaghetti.
    The bake time was perfect.
    Thanks Deb for another great recipe !!

  80. natalie

    Do you have a vegetarian substitute for Parmesan (animal rennet used in DOP)? Thanks!
    *I know of Twineham Grange but hard to find in u.s. (British cheese)

  81. Sue M

    I made a double batch yesterday in two 9×13 pans. My husband and I ate 3/4 of one last night (we were hungry!!) and I am bringing the second to a potluck tonight. It was DELICIOUS! So good, in fact that I am making it again the day after tomorrow to bring to a friend’s for dinner.

    You need a REALLY BIG bowl to mix all the ingredients. I had started the two recipes in two large mixing bowls but then had to dump the contents one at a time into my 6 qt Kitchenaid bowl to do the mixing.

  82. LindaJ

    Warning – if you ask the kiddos to break lasagna noodles into pieces you will have shards of pasta all over your kitchen!
    Lucky me, I had all the ingredients to make this in my fridge ( with chard in place of spinach). Everyone enjoyed it. Even the pickiest child said he liked it.

  83. Anne

    I don’t have a spring form pan. Which do you think would work closest (I am specifically wondering about cooking times as posted in your recipe) – an 8×8 square ceramic baking dish or a 9×13 Pyrex?

  84. KimS

    I made this last night (Sunday). Planning on this serving as dinner/lunches to help my week go smoothly. It tastes wonderful! I used rotini pasta and mozzarella because I could not find fontina. I did a scant tablespoon of salt because I was not sure where my kosher salt stood! I will say I was worried about the pasta being cooked enough—like another user who noticed that pasta on top didn’t seem to be cooked (kind of dried out). The pasta in the rest of the dish was perfect. I think the solution will be next time to push down the pasta such that it’s not directly on top (most of it was like this anyway!). Thanks for a great fall recipe!

  85. Carrie Junod

    I took a gamble and made this with gluten free shells (couldn’t find anything flat/lasagna like), and it turned out great, even for leftovers. Thanks for adding a new staple to our lineup!

  86. I made it this weekend and it was delicious! So good that 8 servings is extremely tempting to turn into 4 servings… I made it as described, except with 100g extra squash and with 1/2 T non-kosher salt instead of 1 T kosher. A few notes:

    -Took me longer to prep than expected (~45 minutes, but part of that time included running out to the garden for sage, washing a couple dishes, and rescuing the robotic vacuum, so probably ~30 minutes without distractions). Peeling and slicing the squash was the main time thief – I may try with larger chunks next time.

    -After cooling on the rack for 30 minutes, it was still a bit too messy to sit prettily by itself on a serving plate. Deb does note that 30 minutes is the minimum, so I was forewarned, but I wanted to reinforce her note. :-)

    -After those 30 minutes cooling, it was jussssst starting to transition from perfect warmth to a little too cool. If you are making this for a fancy meal, you may want to make it the day before so that not only will it look pretty, but you can also reheat it to the perfect temperature.

    -If you are on WW (Weight Watchers), 1 slice is 9 points on Green.

    Thank you, Deb, for delicious and healthy fall recipe!

  87. Jennie

    This looks fabulous. Has anyone tried it with whole wheat pasta? I’m wondering if it will need a parboil? Thank you so much for simplifying this dish!!!
    Can’t wait!! Makes the early dark more tolerable to eat squash.

  88. Cyndye

    Used a 9″ round corning ware dish with parchment paper & glass lid. Chose mini farfalle. It’s cute and it makes a crunchy crown around the outside edges which I may have eaten in the name of testing for doneness. Mine set up nicely in that 30min wait. Wedged beautifully with a serrated knife. It’s a really great dish. I hope to get a slice into the freezer to see if it “freezes beautifully”. I will make this dish again very soon. Thank you.

    1. Anne Spellberg

      I wonder if you used a pasta like orzo and heated the whole thing thoroughly in the microwave if that would get things going and not only speed heating time in the oven but would take less time since the past is tiny. You could heat the oven to 400. I wanted to try the broken lasagna pieces before I changed anything, but next time I am going to try orzo. Might need less water though. Just a few thoughts, it is worth the wait though. Really delicious.

  89. Cheryle

    I made this tonight—used rice noodles, vegan ricotta (cashew based homemade), goat cheddar, pecorino Romano, 1/2 T salt, used 3T lemon juice; used 1/2t. red pepper flakes. Also substituted aquafaba for the egg. It was excellent, and we decided it is definitely a repeat. Now I am hoping that it freezes well, because two of us could only eat about 1/4 of the recipe!

  90. Suzanne

    I made this and it was delicious. Might add some onions next time, perfect with a salad. And I bet it will be even better next time when I add the water :) I swear, it was still good without it!

  91. Libby

    Made this tonight as written. Wonderful, homey, cozy meal. NO WAY it would feed 8 people….maybe as a side, but not as a main. (Maybe if you added more pasta) It is in no way heavy, but delicate and delicious. I thought it was a hair too salty, but the rest of the fam loved it as is. Will def make again. Particularly good for folks who aren’t crazy about butternut squash.

  92. Avra

    Warning: squash must be cut very thin!! I apparently cut the squash too thick, because I had it in the oven for 2 hours and it still had crunch to it. Or is the squash supposed to maintain the crunch? I had assumed it was meant to soften completely which is how I would have preferred it. After 2 hours it was dinner time; we’ve just finished the dinner and I’ve put the leftovers back in the oven to see if I can completely soften the squash, so I can fully enjoy later tonight!

    The squash was my only complaint and my lesson is learned–next time, really try to cut the squash thin!! And I hope there will be a next time; we really enjoyed the dish!

    If anyone cares, I used 1 2/3 cup of frozen chopped spinach from a bag, 2 teaspoons table salt, cottage cheese (instead of ricotta), shredded mozzarella (instead of fontina), 1/4 t dried thyme (not sure how much that flavor came through) and whole wheat penne (plus extra water because of the whole wheat). I also kept it covered the whole time and skipped the extra parmesan and oil as a topping; I don’t need any crunch (notice a pattern?).

  93. B. Snyder

    I made this on Sunday and we ate it Monday night. Our only issue was with the hard noodles on top. Would covering the top with panko or another breadcrumb help the pasta on top cook and not dry out? I don’t mind the edges being a bit hard but it was the whole top. I used farfale, and the rest of it was thoroughly cooked. Thanks!

  94. Anne Spellberg

    Deb, Do you happen to know the brand/make of your springform pan? Mine leaked. It is new and from Williams Sonoma, but still not liquid proof. It wasn’t too bad, but I’m sure it would have been better had I not lost some of that moisture.

    This just came out of the oven and I can barely stop walking into the kitchen to pick at the top! Yummy.

    1. deb

      First, I would definitely return it, especially if it was advertised as leak-proof. My current one is this. I have replaced mine probably every 7 years or so entirely due to my own sloppiness with them — dropping them from high shelves and then the ring doesn’t fit tightly anymore. This is from 2017.

      1. Anne Spellberg

        Thank you! Just hit Buy Now on Amazon. Hope you get a little coin out of it. I wish I could return the WS pan. I bought it some time ago to make a basque cheesecake, also ensconsed in parchment, and had no problem. I suppose the water, although mixed with the cheese, etc., was just more than it could handle. I’ll look forward to trying again with this new one. It didn’t suffer however, it was delicious! I just mourn the lost ricotta that seeped out with the water. It wasn’t much really, but you know. Cheese. I went heavy on sage and I did not regret it at all. It was like a pre-Thanksgiving warm-up treat!

        Thanks again! Much appreciated.

  95. Katy

    I love your adaptations. I mean I also love Ottolenghi but I seriously value my time and fingertips way too much for anything involving “two plum tomatoes, coarsely grated”.

  96. CL

    This was outta this world. Used thinly sliced dino kale and kabocha squash, mix of long fusilli and broken lasagna sheets. Personally, I think the sage is key here, and 1 tbs of diamond was spot on for our tastes, even added some fleur de sel at the end. Deb, I think mine might have been even prettier than yours! Cannot stop thinking about it.

  97. Lee Ann

    Hi Deb. Long-time fan, first-time commenter. This looks amazing! Do you think this would work with kale? My CSA bin and garden are overflowing with it right now.

  98. Carolyn

    Made this last night with delicata squash and mixed greens from my CSA. The flavors were good and it smelled heavenly, it was just a little on the dry side for me for how much cheese was in it.
    I used part skim ricotta and only 2/3 of the water since I was using no-boil lasagna noodles, so not sure if either of those could have been the issue…could also be a personal preference. I may try again using a bechamel to bind everything together (like another Smitten favorite, sausage and broccoli rabe pasta bake!)

  99. Clare

    I made this and as I am not a fan of pasta so much I used farro. Used feta and parmesan cheese only and no egg but did put a scoop of mayo in the mix. Used one cup of chicken broth rather than water. I also added a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes (red and yellow) and a shallot. For the last 30 minutes I put some crispy fried onions on top too. Excellent! A real keeper and I see changing it up again and again.

  100. Lynn Lloyd

    This recipe is indeed a keeper, sort of glorified mac n cheese. I live in a small town where exotic cheeses and pasta shapes don’t exist. I subbed cheddar &jack for the fontina and used brown rice macaroni. It came out great. I used 2t. sea salt and it tasted a bit salty to my palate. And it fit into an 8×8, no parchment, smashed it down with my hands. It took about 60 minutes in a convection oven. Thanks for an easy weeknight recipe Deb!

  101. Kathleen

    I love this blog and Deb’s cookbooks, but this was not one of my favorites. It was… fine. We’ll definitely eat all of the leftovers, but it’s somehow less than the sum of its parts – kind of flat-tasting. It need something to give it a punch of flavor and maybe a bit of acidity – adding something like Italian sausage might help, or I might try the original Ottolenghi recipe, with its tomatos and feta and additional herbs. Or, I’ll go back to this recipe from the NY Times for Spicy Butternut Squash Pasta, which does not call for super-fine squash chopping and cooks in less than half the time (

  102. Lynn Lloyd

    There IS potentially a lot of prep here, so good place to use prewashed spinach, precut squash, preshredded cheeses, etc. if you have access to them. Delicata is probably the easiest squash to deal with, no peeling or large butcher required to cut it!

  103. S

    Overall, I like this, though it’s a little too salty and I will cut back if I make it again. But I struggle a little with 30 minutes of prep, 90 minutes of baking (needed every one) and 30 minutes of resting time — something that’s going to take 2 hours should be really special, and this was just…good? Decent? Tasty? But not special, and most things I make that are good / decent / tasty come together much more quickly.

  104. Emily S Rickers

    Would you have concerns about baking this in cast iron? Mine is about the right size and I’m not seeing anything that looks too acidic in the ingredients, but I thought I’d ask in case I’m missing something obvious to people other than me.

  105. Taza G.

    Trader Joe’s sells a 5-oz bag of Power Greens & that’s the only thing I did differently. Just removed the foil & it’s smelling amazing!

  106. Dale

    Substituted Kamut lasagne broken up and Swiss chard instead of spinach. Delicious! Made it in a 9 x 13 and as Deb said, it was less elegant, but still tasty. I’ll be making variations of this through the coming winter for sure.

  107. LS

    Rich and delicious. Note: I’m a fairly competent cook, but it took me 50 minutes, not 20, to assemble all the ingredients and get this in the oven. Chopping, grating cheese, etc. were all more time-consuming than I expected. But worth it!

  108. Joelle

    Very good. I used a large dutch oven. Had 5 cups of butternut. Replaced a few ingredients by what I had on hand; cottage cheese, an ounce of goat cheese, a small camembert cut up in chunks without the rind, leftover batches of farfalle and casarecce pasta. Left cover on for 1.5 h and then cooled uncovered for 20 minutes. Pasta was soft as i had pushed further in mix the ones sticking out on top. Thank you Deb for this wholesome dish. Looking forward to eating the leftovers tomorrow!

  109. Sarah

    This is absolutely delicious. A tip on reheating the leftovers: heat some olive oil in a nonstick pan over high heat, then throw a slice/slab of the pasta in the pan. Cover it and cook, never disturbing it, until the bottom gets brown, then knock back the heat to low and let it sit for a few minutes so the interior gets warm. If you worry that it’s burning, give it a little more time: the darker/more burned, the tastier the crust. I’ve used this method for lasagna in the past, but results are next-level with this dish.

  110. 1 tablespoon of salt was way too much. Inedible and I am a fan of salt. Also I did not like crunchy pasta. I tried this recipe twice. The second time I made adjustments and it still didn’t work. I think I would like it made with cooked pasta. Uncooked doesn’t cook evenly.

  111. Rebecca Carter

    This was truly amazing! I veganized the whole thing, and it impressed even the meat eaters in our group. It was reminiscent of lasagna made with a bechemel sauce that seemed to be all the rage in the 90’s. So good. For the substitutions- I omitted the egg (didn’t bother with an egg substitute), used Violife brand vegan Parmesan as well as their shredded cheddar. I also used Kite Hill ricotta (really good ricotta substitute!). For the pasta, I used ditalini, which I thought was perfect here. I didn’t add nutmeg as I didn’t have any fresh, but I definitely added the sage- really key for this dish, I think. I wouldn’t dream of making it without, now that I’ve had it with. I used precut butternut squash from the market as well, so the whole thing came together really quickly and easily. I ended up broiling it for about 5 minutes at the end as vegan parm isn’t as apt to browning as real parm. Truly a crowd pleaser- will be making this again soon! Thank you Deb, as always, for the inspiration!

    1. Meredith

      Thanks for this comment! Am about to try making a vegan version using the same brands of vegan cheeses, and I was feeling concerned about how it would turn out. So I searched the page for “vegan”, and now I can’t wait to get this in the oven! :)

  112. Isaac Mizrahi

    if only all of humanity worked this way…together…just to make something better… i’ve enjoyed the comments as much as i might enjoy this dish…thanks to you all…

  113. LitProf

    More delicious than anything this easy has a right to be! This was bronzed, crisp, gooey, and so flavorful that my family couldn’t stop eating it. One addition (fresh basil), one substitution (feta instead of fontina), and one mistake (forgot to drizzle the last tablespoon of EVOO on top towards the end of the cooking time). It unmolded beautifully from the springform pan and although it almost killed us to wait 30 minutes before slicing, we did and were rewarded with clean slices. Hats off, Deb!

  114. Babs

    This was excellent. We made it as written and could not have been more satisfied. Other than the cooking time, this wasn’t that time consuming. We would take this over lasagna any day.

  115. Judy

    Hi Deb
    I made this in a 9×13 pan and it turned out perfect. We waited the 30 mins to let it set up and it was easy to serve. Just as great for leftovers. Will definitely make it again. Thanks for your recipe magic
    …..your books are well used staples in our lives.

  116. Yvonne

    I, too, had trouble with the top (and some sides) being too hard/crunchy to eat. I used a glass baking dish, baked for an hour covered in foil, and then 30 minutes uncovered. I basically had to peel off the entire top layer. Otherwise, the flavors were good; looking forward to trying the leftovers!

  117. Nett

    My partner made this last night and it was…well, the reviews were mixed. I love the taste of the spinach and cheeses together. She wanted it to taste more like butternut squash. Both of us were disappointed by the inedible hard pasta on top. Seeing now that others had the same issue, we’ll probably just leave it tented longer next time. And use all the ricotta since we can only get it in two cup packages. But if we solve the noodles problem, and use the whole squash next time, I think it’s a keeper. If it sounds appealing to you, definitely give it a try. Just poke the noodles a bit when you go to take the foil off and make sure they aren’t hard. And PAY ATTENTION TO DEB’S SALT INSTRUCTIONS!

  118. Love this — a lot of work (especially because I made my own tofu-ricotta), but as Deb notes, way less work than pre-cooking a lot of the veg for a traditional pasta bake.

    My household is low-lactose — we’re fine with eggs, but avoid cow milk/cheese; we find that goat dairy products are much lower lactose. Substitutions I made, all of which I liked: Tofu-ricotta (tofu + lemon juice + garlic + salt + olive oil (I usually use firm tofu, but accidentally used silken this time, and it worked just fine); goat cheddar instead of fontina; goat mozzarella instead of parmesan (it browned and bubbled up nicely on top); lacinato kale instead of spinach (put it in raw; cooked up just fine); broken-up lasagna noodles instead of mafalde (though the specific pasta shape would have been more fun). Tasted amazing.

    I used the full recommended amount of salt. Since Deb noted she used Diamond, I used a fleur de sel I had whose crystals looked about the same size. It was just about the maximum amount of salt this dish could handle; next time I’ll cut it down by 1/2 t.

  119. Barbara

    I made this last night and the taste was sooooo delicious! I made it in a 9 x 13 metal pan. I felt that it was too thin and that the pasta wasn’t as soft as I like. Next time I will use either a deeper casserole dish or I’ll get a springform pan. The taste was wonderfully savory and just the right amount of salty-loved the garlicy flavor as well! It would make a great vegetarian dish for any holiday

  120. Lindsay

    I made this last night for four adults as the main dish with just a salad and we inhaled the entire thing! It’s definitely not large enough to serve 8 unless it’s meant to be a side dish. I followed the recipe exactly and the only thing I would do differently would be to amp up the spices – more nutmeg, crushed red pepper and sage. And I might add some halved baby tomatoes for additional color and flavor. But as I said, we consumed every morsel. Will definitely be making this again!!

  121. Jill

    LOVED THIS. I made this using torn up lasagne noodles and honeynut squash, I read the amounts a bit wrong so I used the amount of squash listed for whole squash but had already cleaned / trimmed my squash so prob used a bit extra. I also went a little overboard with the nutmeg. I also didn’t bother peeling the honeynut bc the skin is edible and I’m lazy. And I did not add an egg bc I didn’t have any, and as I mentioned already, lazy. I cooked it for the times instructed but let it sit for closer to an hour. It is amazing and I’ll be making it again immediately. Only addition is I may add onions but really – just amazing dish! Massively recommend!

  122. Emily

    I made this after a friend recommended. I roasted the butternut squash first for about 15 min at 425 before mixing it in with everything else (based on her reviews of the squash being a little under done) and used a regular swirly pasta shape. The nutmeg is fabulous, both my husband and I loved it. Will be making this again!

  123. Grace H

    Delicious! I used orecchiette, the only flat-ish pasta I had, and it worked great. Followed everything else as written. Will definitely make again!

  124. Claire

    I had a hard time getting this to fit in my 9 inch ceramic casserole dish, so I did a second batch. But then was a little thin… so next time I will just mound it up or use a 9×13. It still was absolutely delicious and my husband (who usually says he feels like he didn’t even eat if meat wasn’t served) really enjoyed it! This is a winner, can’t wait to try it again!

    1. deb

      Yes. Most flattish shapes will work — I suggest lasagna noodles, broken into pieces. Several commenters mention using farfalle/bowties, which sounds cute.

  125. elyse

    This was so, so, so good! I used kale instead of spinach and mozzarella instead of fontina because that’s what I had. Then used mushrooms instead of squash because my husband isn’t a huge squash fan. (Roasted it on the side for me though and then he ate it so next time, I’m making it as is!) Despite the changes, it was incredibly delicious and baked up perfectly.

  126. Claire

    I used a 10-inch Dutch oven for this with foil inside the pot lid during the first hour. Worked out well, everything is cooked and the texture is good. Very tasty! I used about 5/6 Tbsp Morton kosher salt and the seasoning is just right but I am wondering if the leftovers may become saltier in the fridge.

  127. Jean

    It was tasty but I was disappointed that where there was pasta on top, the noodles did not get enough moisture so cannot be eaten. Are too hard.

  128. mary j

    Who invented meal planning? That doesn’t leave any room for genius like this. Haven’t made this yet, and it won’t be in “the rotation”, cuz that is just too regimented, but it will be a star on our table soon.

  129. Yael

    This was definitely a sort of “ooh, I need to make this ASAP” situation. Didn’t stray much from the recipe, except for slight variations on ingredients by what was more available to me – used radiator pasta because that’s what I had at home, used kashkaval cheese instead of fontina because over here it’s mch easier to find and I felt it’ll work well with the other flavours, used something called “Gulliver spinach” which I found at the store because it seemed easier to handle than baby spinach (which I always hate cleaning) and after seeing in the comments that people successfully used kale as well. Baked it in an oval casserole pan just because I like it, but that also meant I didn’t need parchment paper. This is what counts as “sticking to the recipe” for me… :)
    Anyway, great success. I might have overdone it a bit on the sage (2 tbsp is a lot, or maybe I just packed them in there), but I like sage, so don’t mind that. Really like the radiatori in there, I’m sure other pasta shapes would work just as well but those little “ribs” crisp up really nicely when they’re at the top.

    Since my dad had to recently go on a low-carb diet, I’m now toying with the idea of adjusting this to use beans instead of pasta (probably start with canned beans and omit the water, and it might need a shorter baking time). Inspired by things like your “pizza beans” and such.

    1. Emily

      Please remember that you are commenting on a real person’s post. If you met Deb in real life, would you call her an idiot to her face? I hope not. And I hope that you think more considerately and kindly about how you interact with people on the internet in the future.

      Don’t like the looks of the recipe? Simple: don’t make it. Move on with your life, go find a recipe that you do want to make.

      1. Yael

        Absolutely agree, and also, there is nothing “unhealthy” about three cups of cheese, especially when they’re combined with pasta and vagetables to create a balanced dish. Eating a portion of this can definitely be part of a healthy diet (not to be confused with a “slimming diet”, which is a different issue altogether).

        1. Lindsay

          I agree. Why is it people feel a need to be so rude and unkind? Seems to be an epidemic these days. If a recipe doesn’t work with your diet or dietary needs, don’t make it! This recipe was amazing and one I will make again and again. Thank you Deb!!

      2. Donna M

        Also agree! Plus this makes 8 portions, and by total weight of the cheese used that works out to just under 2 oz per portion, which isn’t much. I made it Tuesday and it was delicious. I used farfalle for the pasta and gruyere for the cheese because that was what I had on hand. Will definitely make it again, and was thinking that it would make a great holiday do-ahead side dish.

  130. COHomeCook

    I made this last night and the flavors were great! The only changes I’ll make next time will be to find different pasta (I accidentally bought no-boil lasagna noodles, which cooked fine with the 3/4 c of water adjustment that Deb suggested but since they were flat some of them did kind of clump together in an unappealing way) and add a bit less salt (I think my salt crystals are smaller and I adjusted by about 1/2 tsp but should have used even less). My 2-year-old came into the room while it was baking and asked “pizza?” because it smelled so good.

  131. Mom

    I wonder how this would be with Kale? I am looking forward to trying this. I love to cook new recipes for my family. Thank you for this!

  132. nancy g visconti

    Made this yesterday. It was/is delicious! I used chicken stock in place of water.
    I baked in a 9×13 pan. I’ve ordered the springform pan today since I don’t own one. I think it would be better in the springform pan since it would be deeper & not so much crusty pasta.
    I trust Deb’s recipes. She hasn’t ever let me down. Many thanks. Nancy

  133. Deb Oswald

    I made this yesterday, and as many others did, I used a small delicata squash AND a small little butternut type. The noodles on the top when I baked it in a 9×13 were not quite crunchy, but close, and it seemed a little dry. I am thinking a bigger pan where everything is thinner needs less time with no foil. Maybe even no time with no foil. But the flavors are delicious

  134. Laura

    This was amazing! I made it according to the instructions except for the following: 1) I ran out of parmesan and made up the rest with pecorino (ended up being a 50/50 split); 2) for this reason, I reduced the amount of salt by a bit. I especially appreciated the inclusion of the weight (grams) for the cheese as it’s not always clear how much one should “pack down” when measuring. I opted for the sage (instead of the thyme) and it really augments the dish.

  135. Amsterdamveg

    Great recipe but, 15 minutes prep time?? Only if everything is bought precut and pregrated! The prep for this took me almost a full two hours plus two hours cooking. This was a serious undertaking.

  136. Evelin

    OMG, I just made this today and it’s deeeeeeeeee-licious! Thank you so much for getting me out of my cooking rut! Your recipes never disappoint and this is one I will be making again.

  137. Salomon

    Forgive me. I do see the egg right at the top. Nevermind! Some days you’re the bug, some days you’re the windshield. Today was my day.

  138. Elke

    This was delicious, like a really good vegetable lasagna without all the work. The whole house smelled divine and I loved the colors.
    I pretty much made it as written except for substituting Gruyere for the Fontina cheese. We even found the exact same type of pasta. :,)
    Next time – and there will be a next time! – I might make it in a closed dish instead of a springform and do away with the parchment, because it gets a bit soggy underneath

  139. Sandy Smith

    Would you be inclined to share the Grams per serving of (1) Protein, (2) Saturated fat, and (3) Kcals in the novel Winter Squash and Spinach Pasta Bake? Your nutrition calculations will be gratefully received by so many of your fans. Thanks for sharing your luscious and easy looking recipe!

  140. Jo

    Has anyone actually frozen/reheated this? thinking it would make an amazing pre-Thanksgiving dinner for the out-of-Towners but would love to hear of some experience with freezing…

    1. deb

      I really, really like it reheated, either as a whole or in wedges. You can skip the springform and just heat it on a baking sheet (lined with something) for better browning.

      1. Cara

        How long do you think it will take to reheat the whole dish? 45 minutes? Making this again for Thanksgiving because it’s so good and because I can make it days ahead of time.

        1. Terry

          I am wondering this too (reheating time for the whole dish, starting at refrigerator temperature). I don’t see it in any of the other comments. Did you ever figure it out?

          1. Terry

            Ok, I’ll answer my own question. I used a 9×13″ pan, and it reheated ok from refrigerator temperatures after about 35 min at 350 F.

  141. leeanne

    I wanted to love this because I have loved literally every recipe I have ever made from SK and every one has gone into the rotation (the chicken rice leek soup, OMG), but this was a bit of a fail for me. I used a smallish penne — I think that was a mistake. Noodles on top were so hard they were inedible, and the sauce was watery even after sitting for a half hour. And because it sits for a half hour, it’s only lukewarm when you eat it — the amazing flavours can’t really make up for a tepid dish with a runny sauce and inedible layer of noodles on top. I’d love to try something with the same flavour profile again, maybe a butternut squash, spinach and sage lasagna. The cooking method really intrigued me and maybe I wouldn’t have had the problem with a long pasta, so I really recommend NOT using penne.

  142. Allyson

    This was absolutely delicious. Even my 6 & 3 year olds, who saw and it said “yucky”, eventually tried it and declared they liked it. Will be making again soon. Thank you for another great recipe!

  143. MaryanneD

    I made this tonight and followed the recipe exactly. Unfortunately there were some problems – some of the squash was a bit crunchy and some of it was perfect. The same goes for the pasta. Also, there was a lot of moisture at the bottom of the dish as it was sitting for the final 30 minutes. Could the uneven cooking be due to a low temp oven? My oven was set at 350 but maybe that isn’t an accurate temp. Or did it just need more time in the oven? The flavor was excellent but next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll use the full tablespoon of salt.

  144. Milly

    Extremely YUMMY!!! I had to down size it for 2 and veganize it, but it came out delicious!

    Thank you for a lovely easy warming supper idea

  145. Miriam

    This was delicious! But any tips on how to get the paper out from under the food? The dry paper ripped off and I was left with wet paper under the casserole (I used a 10” springform pan). It made serving it a bit dicey because I was afraid people would get paper along with their slices. Thanks for the recipe!

  146. Theresa Z

    Amazing. Made it for a vegetarian friend, exactly as written except sub’d pecorino-romano for parmesan, reducing the amount by 1/3 (thank you, Cook’s Illustrated) Baked in an oiled Corningware casserole. Everyone demolished it and I looked like a better cook than I am.

  147. Susan

    Delicious! Made this for dinner tonight. My husband loved it and had seconds. I followed the recipe using my scale. Bought butternut squash already cut at Costco. Cut the cubes into thin slices. Used campanelle pasta although farfalle would work well and is always stocked at my local grocery store. Used sage but thyme would be tasty also. Had a few too crispy pieces of pasta on top. No big deal. Cooked up beautifully and will make again. Thanks Deb!

  148. Helen

    I made this scrumptious dish yesterday! I give it a 5-star review, although I did a little tweaking, due to what I had on hand. I used a compost pile volunteer that looked like a pumpkin on the outside, but acts like a spaghetti squash on the inside. I weighed more than your recipe called for, so I upped the other ingredients, as well. My store didn’t have fontina, so I substituted a good gruyere. I used two eggs, and gluten-free corn and rice based pasta. Other than that, I followed your directions, which are very good. Our household is looking forward to yummy leftovers today! Thanks for the inspiration in kitchen chemistry!

  149. Jessica Sherrieb

    I knew as soon as I saw this recipe that I was going to like it, and it did not disappoint. I tend to take artistic license with most recipes, but when baking raw pasta and butternut squash I figured that I should stick to the recipe. The proportions here were perfect. We really did enjoy the result, but the garlic still had a bit of a raw flavor. Next time I will bake it for a little longer to see if that helps. I gave mine a brief run under the broiler to brown and crisp the top and would consider this an essential step. Looking forward to eating the leftovers.

  150. Mary L.

    This was fantastic! I made it according to the recipe but didn’t have fontina so subbed feta. While the work is in the prep, once it’s in the oven it’s time to relax 🍷 😄
    I plan to keep this recipe in rotation over the winter, Great way to eat more veggies, too.
    Also, thanks for the adaptation – I enjoy looking at Ottolenghi recipes but I rarely make them because of long ingredient lists or complicated prep. Whew!

  151. EastWestGirl

    I love the combination of ingredients. This was delicious! My concern is about the color of the spinach. It cooks to an olive green or gray. Your photo shows a similar result. Its slightly off-putting. The pasta on the top bakes to a rock hardness so perhaps I need a little more moisture?

    Wouldn’t serve to guests but its fine with my regular old husband!

  152. John Baas

    Made this last night. I followed the directions exactly. I even went out and bought a 9″ spring form pan. The pasta (broken up lasagna) was not fully cooked. With the 30 min. rest on rack, there was way too much liquid under the food. I’m sure it was just her personal preference, but my wife said it was way too rich. For the amount of work involved I doubt I’ll try it again. Sorry to be a downer.

  153. Kara

    Made this last night as written, and I found the flavors rather meh. I didn’t have fresh sage or thyme, so I added a few dashes of dried, but still found it bland. I’d try again with carmelized onions, more garlic, and maybe a sharper cheese than fontina.

  154. Lindsay

    I made this the other night and 4 of us ate every morsel. It was absolutely delicious!! I’d like to make it again but do it ahead and reheat. What’s the best way to reheat the whole thing? Would you leave it in the springform pan?

  155. Donna

    Looks great!
    Do you thin it would work in the Instant Pot? Maybe on slow cook?
    My oven it disconnected during a kitchen remodel.

  156. Kelly

    This is a very specific question, but wondering if anyone has tried to modify this for altitude. I just went for it (I’m in Denver so a mile high) and have a soupy bottom after two hours baking at 350 (one hour with foil, one without). Thank you from an amateur!

    1. Paul G.

      I’m in Denver too. No problem with soupyness but I did use a 10″ cast Iron skillet so that may have had some effect. Did you use uncooked pasta? I used uncooked lasagna noodles but guessed at the quantity so may have been a bit more than the 8 oz. called for. Also, what squash did you use? I used a very fresh and very firm butternut so not a lot of extra moisture from that. Have you checked your oven’s temperature with a thermometer? I recently found mine was running almost 25 degrees low which was causing problems!

  157. Bonnie

    I loved this! All the comfort of mac and cheese but with more complexity, flavor and nutrition. Also nice that it can be cut into wedges and reheats wonderfully. I used really thick farfalle that normally take more than 12 mins to cook in boiling water so I parboiled it for 4-5 mins and it was perfect. I understand why you say to cut the squash into thin slices now – they make layers like lasagne noodles. I only had soft feta cheese and not ricotta but it turned out great. Cut way back on salt because of this.
    Thank you so much

  158. Anne S

    Absolutely wonderful! Easy to make, beautiful to look at, and delicious. I was fortunate to have a good butternut squash from a local farm, found mafaldine in the local grocery (Roche Bros in Boston), and used a grated cheese blend from Whole Foods (parmesan, asiago, and fontina). I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, and mine came out looking just like the picture. Thank you for this awesome recipe and inspiration!

  159. Ellen

    This was great! I cooked it in a ceramic pie pan (it made two batches), greased it first and then laid corn tortillas in the pie plate for a shell. Middle was one whole one, and then half-ones overlapping around the sides of the pan. Subbed havarti for the fontina, used two eggs and fat-free ricotta. Sprinkled finely chopped walnuts with romano on the top.

  160. Paul G.

    Great recipe! Used a 10″ cast iron skillet as we don’t have a spring-form. I forgot to put the fresh sage in the mix so I sprinkled it on top. Having held back half the fontina (misread the directions) I sprinkled the rest of the fontina on for the last 30 minutes. The sage was way too much that way. The fontina went a nice golden color. Making it again I’d probably use half the sage in the mix but would use half the fontina again in the same way and maybe sprinkle some pine nuts on first just to give it a bit of a different texture. I also used about 1 tsp. of Morton fine sea salt and that was just right to my taste.

  161. Diane

    I had mixed results with this. I used pre-cut squash that I then re-cut into thinner slices, but after the full cooking time, the squash was still a bit crunchy. I am not really quite sure how those thin slices of squash were still hard after 90 minutes in the oven! I also would pare back the amount of sage a little bit. But otherwise this was a nice dish to make on a weekend or a work-at-home day. I’ll just need to adjust the cooking times to make sure the squash gets fully cooked.

  162. Dusyt

    My first post! Thank you Deb and everyone else for sharing <3
    I followed the recipe pretty much exactly with the exception of:
    pasta choice: Tinkyada brand: brown rice shells
    and I added a tad bit more water to be on the safe side.

    I made sure to cut the squash like Deb's picture. I baked for 1 hour, removed foil, tasted pasta and squash for texture and they were on point, then decided to stir it up before leaving uncovered for the remaining 30 mins.

    We loved it! Leftovers the next day a bit mushy, maybe because of the GF pasta?
    Added peperoncinis on the side for zing!

    I have all the cheeses left over and more pasta, so I plan to make it similar minus the spinach and add broccolini. In the future I would like to adapt it to a Greek style bake, feta cheese, kalamatas, capers, roasted red peppers…endless ideas!

  163. Ca

    Made this tonight, and even my meat loving husband said “wow, we should make more vegetarian things.” Score one for me. I ended up subbing aged cheddar for the parmesan, which I was *sure* I had…and Monterey Jack for Fontina (close) it was delicious! Baked in my enameled cast iron pot lined with parchment, worked great. Next time I’m going to try using brown rice instead of pasta. It should work.

  164. Virginia

    Made this tonight for dinner. It was delicious. I used whole wheat lasagna noodles broken up. Because of the substitution I increased the water by 1/4 cup and first and second bakes by 15 minutes each. It turned out absolutely perfect in every way. Thanks for a great recipe. This will go into my “keep” file.

  165. Janet

    This was wonderful! I used a mandoline to slice the squash. Worked like a charm. I used farfelle pasta as that was what I could find around my area. Made it for company and it is a dish I will make over and over. Thank you!

  166. Elizabeth Greene

    I made this tonight. Such a mess it makes in the springform pan– a casserole dish would be much simpler! To me, it seems much TOO cheesy (and high-fat). I’d rather have more green vegetables in it. And it really does take closer to 45 minutes to an hour to grate cheeses, slice squash, etc, etc. Interesting to try, but not a keeper recipe for me.

  167. Rachel

    I first made this as is and it was delicious! For the second go round, I used the sad veggies in the fridge – eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, and spinach. I subbed a good handful of fresh basil for the sage and also used Jovial brand gluten free pasta. It was a little softer but still amazing. This is a solid base recipe to swap out veggies and experiment with fresh herbs. Another Smitten Kitchen recipe added to my dinner favorites!

  168. Ashby

    This was SO good. Made it as written (with broken lasagna noodles) except I didn’t have parchment so I lined my springform with buttered foil which worked great. Took a good hour and 10 in my oven but that happens. Definitely make this ahead of time if you can – it was good on day 1 but AWESOME reheated on day 2.

    1. Ashby

      I meant to say “10 extra minutes covered” – it definitely didn’t cook in an hour and 10! It was about 70 minutes covered, then 30 uncovered.

  169. Julie

    “I like shiny new recipes. My favorite thing to cook will always be the last new thing I made.”

    This is me. Can’t wait to make this.

  170. CathyB

    I made this today and found it was easy to make. I baked it in my LeCruset shallow casserole without the parchment paper. The flavors are amazing. My husband and I enjoyed this delicious dish very much. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers!

  171. Edith

    Somewhere I learned to crinkle up a sheet of parchment paper into a ball and open it to make it easy to tuck into the crevices of a pan. This trick is perfect for “pressing it across the bottom and creasing the sides to get it to fit as best as possible” easy!

    I’m ready to make this next week for my in-laws, with the help of my trusty mandolin.

  172. Susan

    Made this is the 12 inch skillet and it was perfect- so easy – I think I added too much salt..didn’t quite follow your comment and used an entire tablespoon… less next time but still so good and wonderful… I also used cheddar because I had a cup left over from another recipe. no Parmesan so I added Parmesan rinds and removed them before serving.
    Thank you for your wonderful recipes, I enjoy so many of them

  173. Rachel

    This was absolutely delicious! I cooked everything in my Dutch oven and it worked out great. I did sub cottage cheese for the ricotta and kale for the spinach, both swaps were perfect. I absolutely love the fall flavors in this, I will make this again for sure. Thank you!

  174. Nancy Becker

    This is a wonderful recipe! However, it took this experienced cook longer than 15 minutes to prep, (the squash takes a while to peel and slice) and you need a really big bowl to combine everything in! It would be helpful I think to quantify the amount of squash – 3 cups sliced squash? 4? more user friendly than a weight, I think.

  175. Megan L.

    I made this as written but with no-boil noodles and 3/4 cup of water, as suggested in the comments here, and it came out perfect. I loved how easy it was. A keeper, for sure!

  176. Nicole

    This came out amazing!!!! I love how it went from huge enough to fin in my largest mixing bowl to squished down in the spring form, that was fun. I used kale instead of spinach, and missed the part about mixing half the Parmesan until I had already put it in, but who doesn’t love extra cheese? Next time I would put some drained (or maybe not, just use the juice in place of some water) fire roasted tomatoes to lighten it up it a little. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  177. Abby Arnold

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I’m posting this note because the pasta was nowhere near done after an hour. I added an extra 1/2 cup of water and cranked up the heat to 400 for another half hour, then took the lid off and browned the top. Again, delicious, but it needed a little more water and heat. Perhaps it was the pasta I chose; it called for a 12 minute boil.

  178. Lauren Sandberg

    Unfortunately I did use a whole tablespoon of salt for this dish and it was inedible, even for me who loves salt. I know Deb said that she tested it with less salt and 1 tablespoon is the right amount, but it was really salty. Sad, because I could tell the dish would have been good and I hate to throw out food. I would cut the salt in half and add to taste later.

  179. Judy Lynn Williamson

    I made this yesterday and it was delicious! I followed the recipe exaclty but forgot the thyme and used a larger spring form pan because I thought the 9 inch would be over flowing. It was a little too moist.

  180. A Spiegel

    I made this yesterday, following directions exactly (well, I prepped butternut squash by peeling, cutting in half, deseeding, cutting squash into pieces that could be put into food processor with largest slicing blade so that I didn’t have to do that by hand). It turned out pretty good, but I just think that my preference for butternut squash is pureed in a soup, eaten roasted with some additions on top of glazing or toppings, but not accompanied by other good things that take away from silky-ness or roasted-ness. So basically it’s just a food preference, but recipe works great. And yes, I lessened the amount of Diamond kosher salt, and ended up adding some back in to finished dish, so Deb is right as always….

  181. Emily Budd

    I made this today. Used broken up lasagna noodles. No sage and just a little dried thyme. Also used mozz cheese instead of fontina since I couldn’t find fontina at the store. I let it rest for an hour after coming out of the oven. I tried a slice and I thought it was very delicious. I would recommend!

  182. Susan M Finnerty

    Loved it! I will be making this throughout the winter at home and to take to others. Use a big bowl. I underestimated how much the ingredients would add up to. I’ll probably add toasted pine nuts next time.

    1. Catharine

      I am also a member of the Should-Have-Used-A-Bigger-Bowl Club. I may try to account for it next time by changing to a smaller pasta shape (used gigli). I love the idea of pine nuts and have added it to my recipe notes. Thanks!

  183. Heather

    I made this as directed, and it was delicious! Given some of the negative reviews, I was a little worried, but I shouldn’t have doubted Deb. It came together pretty easily using a couple tips from other reviewers: slicer attachment on the food processor with pre-cut butternut squash chunks, shredder attachment for the cheese, and dutch oven sprayed with nonstick spray and covered in foil plus the lid (worked perfectly). Follow the recipe and you won’t be disappointed!

  184. Abby Arnold

    To add to my earlier comment, I used two and a half delicata squash, which has edible skin! I used a peeler to remove most of the skin, very easy (unlike butternut) and then ran it through my food processor on the slicing disk. It was perfect and super-easy. I weighed the squash after peeling and scraping out the seeds so the quantity was correct.

  185. Chris

    Made this today and three of us polished it off. It was perfect because I have an abundance of squash and spinach from my CSA. Earlier in the day I prepped the grated cheeses and one delicata squash which I peeled (issue for my husband) and sliced really thin. After reading comments about pasta not being done, I chose mini bow ties which cook in 5 minutes. I used 1 tsp of Morton’s kosher salt and it was perfect for our taste. I sprayed my Lodge dutch oven/casserole with cooking spray and baked covered for 1 hour and 15 min, then took the cover off for 15 minutes. I let it rest out of the oven with the cover on for another 15. It set up very nicely with some crispness on top and the edges, but it released easily from the baking dish. I served it with a nylon pancake turner but the wedges barely held together so I was glad I used pasta bowls for serving. Will definitely make again. A good combination of sweetness from the squash and a tiny bit of heat from the pepper. We’ve been trying to alternate meat and meatless dinners each week so this will be a great addition to our dinner table!

    1. Chris

      Made again with some frozen spinach which I had defrosted and squeezed out. I cut back on the water in the recipe a bit thinking the spinach would still be soggy but I should have just gone with the full amount. Tasted fine just not quite as moist. Also threw in some chopped basil since my aero garden runneth over.

  186. AMY Odefey

    Made this tonight with a small acorn squash from our CSA (maybe 1 lb total before trimming) as well as a good big bunch of chard (maybe 12 oz?). I added a little more ricotta, bc I had it and it needed to be used up. Thyme instead of sage bc that’s what I had from our garden. Super yummy. I love the hands off nature of the dish. Oh, and I didn’t have fotina so used a mix of sharp cheddar and mexican mix, just what we had on hand.

  187. Barbara Jones

    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. It was easy to throw together once the mise en place was completed. I will definitely make it again. I appreciate the weights included, as I like to be as exact as possible, except when it comes to cheese. Thanks for this great recipe.

  188. AnnaB

    I made this last night with GF elbow noodles, tofu for the ricotta, and vegan cheese replacements violife feta and miyokos mozzarella. I also used canned coconut milk instead of water to replace the fat and richness it would have with real cheese. The weight measurements are so helpful for substituting. It turned out beautiful, sliced well, and was SO yummy!

  189. Catharine

    This turned out beautifully. Don’t be like me — make sure you have a big enough bowl (and baking dish) for all of the things you want to squeeze into it. I may have dirtied half the kitchen by underestimating how much bulk there is to the initial mix. I am already thinking about all the things I could sneak into the next batch, like maybe a little bit of pancetta or another kind of squash. With a little more labor invested, I think you could add some caramelized onions and sturdier greens. It’s gorgeous as it is(and it feeds a zillion), but I think you could make a riff here and there if you have things you’d like to get rid of or if you just feel like being a fancy-pants. Cheers, Deb.

  190. Ella

    This is an excellent pasta bake. I used fusilli and Havarti, kept all measures the same. Came out perfect after 1.5 hr at 350F. Will make it again

  191. Alisa

    Hi Deb I feel like this is a stupid question but is wax paper an okay substitute for parchment paper in this recipe? I have no idea. Thanks :)

    1. deb

      No. It’s not for cooking with heat (the wax melts off). You should never feel like you can’t ask a question. If you don’t have parchment, try coating foil with nonstick spray (or use nonstick foil). Just be super-careful putting it in so it doesn’t tear. You can mold the foil over the back/outside of the pan first to get it in shape before lining the inside with it so it might be easier.

      1. Warren Linds

        Why is there no Print function for the recipes. All I see is some other app or you have to copy and paste to a Word document to print. Or am I am not seeing a Print function for the recipe only?

        1. deb

          You’re not, perhaps, using Firefox? We noticed an issue on it last week with printing and they should be putting a fix in as we speak. [Clearing cache should do the trick.] Let me know if you’re seeing this in another browser, if you don’t mind.

  192. Emily

    This was so freaking good! When I was mixing it together it really didn’t look like there was going to be enough liquid to cook the pasta. But trust the process — it came out perfectly. I used cheddar cheese and 2.5 Tbs of Diamond Crystal. Only other comment is that I used a 10 inch dutch oven, and it nearly filled it at the start — I think I would have had a tough time getting it all in a 9 inch springform? No way this was eight servings – it was all could do to stop at eating just under a quarter of it!

  193. Walter

    It was great. But it didn’t hang together like in the picture. What did I do wrong?
    Secondly, it says to slice the squash thinly. Slice by width or length? I did both…sliced it by length into long thin slices, then cut length wise and then some other slices by width of the squash. Your advice welcome as the directions aren’t clear. (I used half a butternut squash).

    1. deb

      It doesn’t matter what direction you cut it in, only that the pieces are flat. Did you cut it shortly after it came out of the oven? That’s why it might seem softer and not hold together as well. I talk about this in the “Structural note” right under the recipe.

    1. deb

      I used Fontina Aosta DOP, so slightly firmer and more flavorful, but I’ve absolutely also used inexpensive Danish fontina in pasta bakes and it’s delicious.

  194. Carolyn

    I made this and it was DELICIOUS! We’re thinking of making it again and subbing kale for spinach and sautéed mushrooms for butternut squash (precooking so as not to release water during the over cook, since we’ll have them leftover from cooking for another dish).

    Deb – what are your thoughts??

    1. deb

      I won’t know for sure without testing it but I suspect it will be good. The pasta gets cooked mostly from the water added. Sauteed mushrooms will absolutely taste better than those simmered in cooking juices only.

  195. Heli

    This is absolutely delicious and has been added to our pile of go-to recipes. I haven’t tried even one recipe of yours that I haven’t loved, btw. Please never stop cooking and baking!

  196. Brian

    This is a spectacularly versatile recipe. I substituted what I had in the garden, fridge and pantry: red Russian kale for spinach; delicata squash for butternut; cheddar cheese for fontina; rotini for pasta. I like to freeze meals ahead, so I doubled the recipe. Since I don’t have a springform pan (never mind two for the double recipe!), I baked half in a 9″ x 13″ pyrex and half in a 10″ Emile Henry dutch oven. They performed equally well.

    I suggest that you add one instruction: tell me how to stop eating it!

  197. Alyson

    This was delectable. I followed the recipe exactly (including the amount of salt—Diamond Crystal is the only way to go), and it was perfect. Plus, the 90-minute cooking time produced warm, autumnal aromas wafting throughout the house. Thanks, Deb!

  198. melissa montgomery

    I made this and used the full one tablespoon of salt. Whoa! Too much! But, I could see that this would be a great casserole if not so salty.

  199. Maria

    This was delicious [I used eggy pappardelle/delicata/chard] but my kids– who are pretty good eaters– weren’t fans of the intense garlic mouth. I’ll drop down to one clove next time.

  200. Gretchen

    Delicious! This is going to be a Fall/Winter favorite from here on out.
    I planned ahead with the cooking time (for once, but then again, I found the recipe this morning, so was able to get groceries just before school pickup), and it worked beautifully. With two of us with Type 1 diabetes, I added an extra egg for the protein. It was either that or use bone broth, and the egg wouldn’t change the flavor, just the texture. So, it puffed up a bit more than as pictured above, but we ended up with 28 g of protein per serving (we cut it in 6ths), so didn’t mind the extra eggy fluff. Both kids/teens devoured theirs: this was just the right balance of texture and flavor and yummy goodness. Thank you, Deb!

  201. Kristen

    So excited to make this! Question: the original recipe calls for a 1.5 hour bake, then an additional 30 mins for browning. Your version says a 1 hour bake, even though you’re using uncooked pasta noodles. Is the original bake time (with fresh noodles) to long, do you think?

  202. Natalie

    This was so delicious! I made a 1/2 recipe in a pie dish and cooked it for maybe 20 minutes less than the original cook time. It came out perfectly. If it’s helpful, I’ll note that I was multitasking and accidentally added 1/4 cup too much water; I stirred in a little extra ricotta and you’d never know the difference. This is going in the rotation!

  203. Meg

    This. Was. Incredible. I usually try to stay away from too much pasta, which is the beauty of this- it isn’t too much pasta! Hoping that if I keep making this eventually it will be a family fave. Darn kids wouldn’t even try it, they have no idea what they’re missing…it’s just toooo good not to keep trying!

  204. AMY

    Wow. I was so excited to make this! The comments have all been super helpful, too. I finally made it today.
    First of all, it’s BEAUTIFUL. Definitely holiday/potluck worthy. It definitely needed longer to cook through, and the pasta on top remained “crisp” but felt uncooked…even with an extra 15 minutes covered and another 10 uncovered.
    Still, the inside is delicious and balanced. I did use cayenne instead of pepper flakes, and added a bit of preserved lemon paste because I had it and thought it would work here–it does!–in lieu of the sage/thyme. I also used random greens–some raw lacinato kale, some frozen spinach straight from the bag–and both were fine. I used the full tablespoon of diamond crystal kosher salt, and it was not salty.
    I would love to make it again but trying to address the uncooked pasta on the top…maybe the trick is to reserve a bit of the mixture before mixing in the pasta, and use that as a final top layer?

  205. Carlin B.

    I followed this recipe to a T and chose to use fresh sage and farfalle pasta. It was so lovely and perfect. One of my dinner guests remarked after 2 servings he never really liked squash dishes and wondered aloud if it would be a good addition to our Thanksgiving sides this year. I bought prepared butternut squash cubes and sliced them into thinner pieces and used freshly shredded Fontina. Once you get everything prepped and measured out it’s truly a remarkably easy dish and perfectly seasoned. I used a heavy 1/4 chili flakes and a small pinch more. Truly a beautiful dish. It reheated wonderfully for lunches the next day. I can’t wait to make it again

  206. H Bolando

    This was very flavorful and satisfying on a chilly autumn night. My husband was skeptical when he saw me wrestling to stir all the raw ingredients in a big bowl, ricotta flying around, but the end result was a delicious deconstructed lasagna cake. I agree that a resting time of at least 30 minutes is key, and the leftovers the next day had set even better.

    Next time I would slice the butternut squash on a mandolin to get it as thin as possible. I used 2 tsp. of salt which seemed like plenty given all the flavors of the cheeses etc.

  207. Marie-Christine

    For once, I have to say meh. I really don’t think I forgot anything, but not much taste, no texture.. We’ll choke down the leftovers but this’ll be the last

  208. Eileen

    Wow! So delish. I’m trying to eat less meat so made this for dinner tonight. Followed the recipe as written (except didn’t have sage, threw in some fresh parsley and dried thyme), cooked it in cast iron skillet. Turned out perfect. This will be on my regular rotation for sure. Note, I agree with others that this is not 8 servings, but maybe because it was so good, my husband and I ate more than half of it!

  209. Mandy L Mikulencak

    This is phenomenal. I used chicken broth instead of water and it really enhanced the flavor. Already went out and bought ingredients for another batch.

  210. My husband and I loved this! In an attempt to better the odds that my kids would eat it, I subbed sweet potato for the squash. The effort was wasted, but the adults really liked it. The garlic cuts through the creamy cheeses and permeates the dish. It will join the rotation of fall/winter meals! Thank you for sharing it with us, Deb!

  211. I made this last night. I was out of parmesan (shocking!) so used a combination of feta, cheddar, and manchego. I used kosher salt but have a different brand, so used 2 1/2 t. For me the saltiness was a tiny bit high on bites that had no squash, but was perfect on bites that did have squash. I used 3/4 t each nutmeg and black pepper, and 2 t dried sage and 1t dried thyme, and upped the oil to 4T.

    It was delicious! Even my carnivore housemate liked it and didn’t say it would be better with meat as he sometimes does. To me this is the essence of fall flavors!

    I might up the nutmeg, pepper, sage and thyme just a bit next time. And my cheese combination was so good I may not go back to parmesan! I also noticed that when I cut a piece for seconds, it was firmer and easier to cut, so by then it had rested 45 min to 1 hour, so if I have time I may rest it more next time.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. I made this a second time 2 nights ago. This time I used a Honeynut squash, as that is what I had. I used a combination of parmesan, cheddar, manchego and feta cheeses (1/2 c ea). I added a 2nd egg and upped the spices to 1 1/8 t nutmeg, 1 1/8 t black pepper, 1/4 t red pepper flakes, 3 t dried sage, and 1 1/2 t dried thyme.

      Even with all those changes, SO delicious! I love how flexible this is.

  212. Jessica

    Made this tonight and really liked it! Just a bit different from the usual lasagna I’d make. I topped this with garlic butter toasted breadcrumbs, which added another flavor/texture that worked well. Also used Asiago since I didn’t have access to fontina and it made for a great substitute.

  213. I made this last night for lunches next week. I used farfalle for the pasta and a “spicy greens” mix from the college farm that has spinach, kale, arugula and mustard in it. I had peeled and cubed a butternut squash earlier this week, so slicing that up didn’t take too much time. I used a 13″x9″ Pyrex casserole and it came out very well. Couldn’t wait for lunch so had some for breakfast this morning. Very good! I think this would also be good if you subbed gruyere or swiss for the fontina.

    1. Patty

      I used farfalle too because I couldn’t find the other shapes and it was great. I parboiled the pasta for 4 minutes in salted water, then cut to 2 tsp salt. Dumped it all in a big soufflé dish with a round of parchment on top before covering and no trouble with undercooked noodles on top. Uncovered and broiled the parm on top at the end to get a crunchy lid. Love this recipe and will make again.

  214. Michelle

    Any idea if this would be awful if I didn’t add the cheese? We’re lactose intolerant and I generally sub most of the cheese with almond milk.

  215. Tammy

    Yum, made this last night and everyone loved it (even my child, who was less than enthusiastic about squash and spinach). I used Barilla precooked lasagna noodles.

    1. Tammy

      Meant to say gluten-free Barilla no-cook lasagna noodles, broken into pieces. Baked in an oval Le Creuset with parchment paper and the lid instead of springform and foil.

  216. Emma Cecil

    This was delicious & turned out beautifully! I didn’t have fontina or spinach so I used gruyere and arugula instead. I also used an acorn squash instead of butternut. Perfect dish for a cold rainy day!

  217. Kiera

    I made this, and while the whole family liked it, I didn’t. I fou f it heavy and a touch greasy, and I didn’t like the texture of the pasta.

  218. PinkPink302

    I have now made this twice. The 1st time it was ehhh. I made it as directed as used the same pasta which I broke into 3 pieces and all of the odd shapes made for a large volume of food. I tried to mix it together in my largest mixing bowl and I probably needed a bucket instead. I poured it into the springform pan and it could have easily filled 2 pans so I dumped it all into a 9×13″ pan and called it a day. It was ok not great. 2nd time was better. I used less squash and a shell pasta which all fit into the spring form pan. I also subbed vegetable stock for the water.

  219. Marie

    Hi Deb, I have been following your blog since 2009. First time commenter. Just wanted to say I have tried this recipe twice so far…first time with butternut squash and kale. Second time with pumpkin and spinach. I followed the recipe to the T and made sure all my past was covered by squash or cheese on the top. Also added lots of red pepper flakes since i like mine spicy. It was delicious and heart warming. Thank you.

  220. Melanie Sloan

    OH! MY! How quick can I make this again???!!! I admit I grated the garlic, didn’t cut the butternut in slices( cause I froze it in chunks& that’s how I thawed it) used extra sharp white cheddar. Plus, where I live pasta styles are limited and I used pappardelle.But my oh my this was divine! I followed everything else to a “T” and I believe it caused my husband to fall in love all over again! Thank you Deb!

  221. Julie

    I didn’t have butternut squash, spinach or fontina on hand but I did have honey nut squash, chard and Gouda. And wow. The result was fabulous. We especially liked the crispy cheesy pasta bits on top. It will definitely be in heavy rotation at our house this fall.

  222. Miriam Wolock

    Absolutely delicious, a real hit. Using Trader Joe’s crinkle cut butternut squash cut down on prep time with no sacrifice in taste or appearance. Thanks for a wonderful fall recipe!

    1. Mo

      Thank you so much for this comment. It was literally what I was hoping to find when I searched the comments for “Trader Joe’s”. I will use the crinkle cuts!

  223. Tania

    I finally got round to making this, and let me just say I’m so glad I did. I used gruyere in place of fontina, and approx 3/4 cup cottage cheese + 1/4 cup fresh goat chees in place of the ricotta. The results were fragrant, crunchy, gooey and divine. Just everything I want to eat on a chilly fall evening — the fam too, apparently, as the three of us (2 adults and one hungry 6 year old) devoured the entire thing in one sitting (8 servings?!!)

  224. Courtney

    I made this recipe (including the nutmeg) and thought it was great! Surprisingly flavorful and very comforting. Even better the next day actually after all of the juices were really fully absorbed. While the baking time is long (and that 30 min wait is painful for a hungry family), I appreciate that the prep is fairly minimal and it doesn’t require a ton of bowls or pans. I baked it in a 9×9 square dish and didn’t bother with the parchment and it was lovely. Thank you!

    1. SLR

      Thank you for posting this comment! I will be trying this recipe with a 9×9 square dish tonight. Fingers crossed it turns out as good as yours!

  225. Sara

    This was as good as everyone said! I love working from home now because I could chip away at the prep throughout the day and put it in the oven to allow for the long cook time before dinner. I used both thyme and sage, and pre-soaked the no-boil lasagna noodles for about 10 min before throwing in the mix.

  226. Sue C.

    As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. Just after purchasing the necessary ingredients, we lost power for 4 days following a storm. I had to throw everything out :( Finally, got to make this last night and it was worth the wait. I was blinded with excitement over a one pot dish. It took a little more prep time than I planned, but in the end it was delish! My BF was amazed by it – looks & taste. I followed the recipe exactly, using thyme instead of sage, and found the cook time to be accurate & perfectly seasoned. I will remake it with sage & maybe even try Ottolenghi’s version for a comparison. Thanks for the inspiration, Deb.

  227. Regina

    Delicious! I made it the first time with a honeynut squash (sweeter and more intensely orange than a butternut squash) and it was amazing. Made a second one to freeze for later.

  228. Bw

    Omg.. I have made this 3 times. Used mini bow tie and regular bow tie pasta. I also twice used big chunks of butternut squash because it was precut. This was amazing! I normally don’t give feedback but this one deserves it! I could live off this! Excellent recipe. I had figured out the water omission and added a bit over 1 cup. It is a keeper, I’m sharing and making it as long as I can get my hands on the squash! Thankyou!

  229. JP

    I made this last night and it turned out well. I used egg noodles and a few of them at the top were over browned and crunchy, but over all, noodles, plenty of cheese (I used Swiss for the Fontina), butternut squash. and spinach made a tasty combo. I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of regular table salt and felt it was not enough, but saltiness is such a subjective thing and I would rather add more at the table anyway if needed. I am mainly writing to say that I used a round, ceramic baking dish (3 qt) with a glass lid. As per instructions, I used the lid for the first hour and then uncovered for the last half hour of baking time. Let it sit out for at least another half hour and all was certainly baked through. I spooned it out so perhaps it was not quite as pretty a presentation, but that way I could avoid the parchment paper, the foil, the possible drips, etc. Plus, such an easy way to store the leftovers. I have a feeling this sort of casserole will be even better tonight once the flavors have melded a bit. Thank you for the recipe!

  230. Laura Heitsch

    Have now made this twice. It is delicious! If anyone is in the St Louis (MO) area, DiGregorio’s (on The Hill) has the pasta and cheeses for this recipe. Having read other comments, I think that the tinfoil covering is key – it steams (and cooks) the pasta on the top level. Also, the fresh ricotta should have little extra liquid (to avoid some of the soupy results others have mentioned). I have a countertop oven so the broiler function was not needed to brown/crisp the top after removing the tinfoil (adjust accordingly). If you were wondering, it DOES freeze well. I heated up single pieces at 350 for ~45 minutes (in the countertop oven).

  231. Suzanne Wheatley

    I made the Winter Squash and Spinach Pasta Bake for my Bodacious Book Club. I followed the recipe exactly. I couldn’t find a nice ribbony noodle so I broke up lasagna noodles like Deb suggested. It turned out wonderful!!! The house smelled divine, and the dish was beautiful and easy to serve. Also I made Deb’s endives with oranges and almonds, which is a repeat for me and is always flavorful and feels like a party. Both dishes were put together before the Bodacious ones arrived, so I was free to have a drink and visit. Thanks Deb. Love your work. Oh and BTW, my grandson LOVES your everyday Mac and cheese!

  232. SZ

    Made this for dinner last night – so yummy! I used gluten free dried lasagna sheets and cooked in my cast iron Pan lined with parchment. definitely had to add water and extend the cook time, lots of super dry bits on top. I probably wouldn’t have used my cast iron next time, I think it dried it out too much. Otherwise so yummy!

  233. Beth

    First ever comment on a recipe and I cook a lot! Time consuming prep, but gorgeous dish, very unique and delicious! I used buttermilk instead of water, added 1/2 pound of cooked, crumbled, drained, hot pork sausage, 10 oz of drained frozen spinach and a mix of shaved asiago, parmesan, romano cheese since it was in my fridge. Used chip/ribbon blade on spiralizer for whole butternut (then chopped roughly), since I don’t have a mandoline. Weighed my salt (Morton’s coarse kosher). Great recipe that allow all sorts of options with different greens, cheeses, meats, etc! Prep ahead and freezer friendly!

  234. Lindsay

    Hi – I’ve made this exactly as written and we LOVE it. I’d like to bake it in the afternoon and then reheat for dinner so it’s both set and piping hot. Any suggestions on the best way to reheat the entire thing?


  235. cookingdad

    I’ve made this twice and I LOOOOOOVE it, but I want to try it with farro or rice instead of pasta (I love filling grain dishes). How can I adjust the water/cooking time?
    Thank you so much–this recipe is the best!

    1. cookingdad

      Update: I precooked the farro and omitted most of the the water and it was perfectly good. But I ruined it by using arugula, which were the greens I had on hand–they made it just disgustingly bitter. Tonight I’m going to try it again with precooked farro, lots and lots of squash, and no greens.

  236. MaryL

    Made this today – kept the feta, and therefore did not add salt, used kale instead of spinach, and used bowties, since that was the pasta on hand. Baked it covered a little longer due to the bowties, it tastes fabulous. Thank you for posting this – it will be on repeat during the cold months!

  237. Sue

    I’m really glad I made it but am a bit regretful that I snarfed down two big wedges. I agree with another reviewer that it should cook longer. After the first hour, I didn’t see much progress or smell aromas so I covered it back up and let it go another 15 minutes. Next time I’ll try 90 mins for the covered bake. I used the pasta shape I had on hand, curly Cavatappi, which didn’t soften well and the ones at the top were beyond crisp so we just ate around those. Next time, I’ll get one of the flatter ones you note. My prep time, using a whole butternut not prepped cubes, took closer to 45-60 minutes but it was worth it. I’m looking forward to making it again.

  238. Wanda

    I made this last night and will be eating it all week. It might be my new favorite. It smells and tastes delicious. It is really easy to put together.

  239. Brynn S

    This was delicious, and I think the idea behind the recipe is brilliant.

    Now it has me wondering–can this all-at-once strategy be adapted to a regular, tomato-based lasagna? Although it is nice to have separate cheese and sauce layers, it all mixes and falls apart on the plate anyway… 1 1/2 cups thin tomato sauce instead of water? Maybe mushrooms, accounting for the added water?

    Someone please tell me if they’ve tried this!

    1. deb

      I’ve done it. For my Perfect Vegetable Lasagna, I actually just soak the noodles a bit. The ingredients are wet enough that it doesn’t need additional water. For more of a standard pasta bake, I use proportions like this, i.e. 2 to 2.5 cups water per pound of dry pasta, if the sauce isn’t particularly wet.

  240. Megan

    Long time reader, first time commenter. I loved this! I had a bag of funky pumpkin-shaped pasta that I used in this, and it was a cute way to use it in a fall-themed dish. Some changes: I soaked the pasta in hot water for 5 min before mixing it in with the cheese and veggies, used 3/4 cups of water in the cheese mixture, added more red pepper flakes (because we like spice), and didn’t have enough parm so used mozz on top. Baked it in a 13×9 inch pan, kept the foil on 1 hour and 20mins, and broiled for a few minutes at the end to get the cheese crispy :) It was perfect! Was able to participate in game night while it was baking, and minimal prep/cleanup made it feel way less work than a normal lasagne/other kind of baked pasta. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! It seems endlessly riffable with different kinds of pasta/veggies/cheese… can’t wait to play with it!

  241. Valerie

    This recipe is fabulous! I have made it 3 times already! I used Kale instead of spinach b/c have lots in the garden. I did not use a springform pan but just made it as a casserole – did not try to “unmold” it. I used pecco romano instead of parmesan b/c I like it better. Wondered how the pasta would cook and the squash – but it comes out perfectly!!! Squash is not mushy. Pasta is cooked. Just love it!

  242. Valerie

    Fabulous recipe! I have made it 3 times! Wondered how the squash and pasta would cook – all came out perfectly. Squash was no mushy, pasta was cooked. I used Kale instead of spinach b/c had lots in garden. Used pecco romano cheese instead of parmesan b/c I like it. Did not make in springform pan and try to unmold it – just made as a casserole. Got braver after made for the first time and used more greens and squash than called for and still great. Just love it!!

  243. Jen

    This. was. AMAZING. The only hard part is waiting 2 hours to eat it – 90 minutes cooking then 30 minutes to set. The tantalizing smell…
    Thank you for a great recipe!

  244. Betsy

    Love your recipes, but would like a printable format. Can you please let me know how to get that without copying and pasting into my own new document?


    1. Kimberly

      Just below the recipe, between the photos of other recommended dishes and the “subscribe” text boxes, is a section called “do more.” The last symbol in that line is a printer icon. Click there and a printable copy will pop up. 😉

  245. ShaunD

    I am the same!! My husband is often asking me when I will just stick to some tried and true recipes instead of always trying new ones. That said… here I am looking for yet another recipe. LOL! Happy to see I’m not alone!

  246. emily

    Made this and it was so good — now I’m thinking about whether there’s a way to try a version subbing mushrooms and leeks for the butternut…

  247. HH

    For those asking about freezing the dish: I froze it in the prepared pan, uncooked. I thawed it in the fridge for about 24 hours before baking as directed here. The meal turned out fine but wasn’t as good as the version I baked the same day I made. The ricotta, in particular, gets a little grainy in the freezing/thawing process. Next time I’d probably freeze it post-bake (or maybe just not freeze it at all).

  248. Samantha Chiquette

    This was delectable, Deb. Thank you for all of your beautiful recipes. I halved the salt & had no issues at all! Keep up the delicious cooking.

  249. Jordan

    I have a question I hope someone can answer! I’ve made this twice now, and I love it. I want to make it for Thanksgiving this year, but I’m going to make it the day before. Does anyone know how long I should warm it at 350? And also, it’s obviously hard to cut when warm, so do you think it would be possible to cut it cold and then rewarm it or is that a silly idea? Thanks!

  250. SLR

    I made this in a 9×9 square ceramic dish last night and it was phenomenal. I had to press down all the goodies in the pan…but it fit! Cooking temperature and times were spot on. Prep took me a little longer than anticipated but well worth it. Thank you!

  251. Annie

    The second time I made this, I used up some dried mushrooms and used the soaking liquid (150ml) and mushroom broth (200ml) in place of the water. First round (no mushrooms) was good, but second round (+mushrooms) was umamily scrumptious. Next time I’d add more of the rehydrated mushrooms or add some sauteed fresh mushrooms to the mix, as others have. I also used a generous hand with the sage, nutmeg, and pul biber/aleppo pepper. Om nom nom.

    1. deb

      Probably some time with foil on, some with foil off while you reheat. The balance will be about how crunchy it started and how crunchy you want to get.

  252. Amelia

    Lacking a 9″ springform, I stuffed a big square of parchment into my dutch oven. The lid negates the need for foil, and it baked like a charm. And yes, it works with kale.

  253. Kathy

    This recipe is fantastic. Followed the instructions to the letter, using broken up lasagna sheets, and it came out perfectly. The proportions of the squash, cheeses, spinach, and pasta are absolutely perfect as written. I agree with other posters that this recipe exceeds the sum of its parts.

    It is simple to make and requires no special technique as a cook, yet the result is high-impact. It is both homey and elevated. Could be served for brunch or dinner, packed in a lunch box, or served for guests.

    Others have mentioned that all the prep can take awhile. When I’m looking ahead to a recipe like this, I like to prep the ingredients throughout the week – sliced up the butternut squash two days in advance, for example – and it was a snap to assemble.

    This one is an absolute keeper. The toddler enjoyed it and my spouse asked me to put it in our rotation and requested to serve it during his parents’ visit, which is pretty high praise over here. Thanks, Deb!

  254. Lisa

    I made this two nights ago and followed the recipe exactly, using my scale. I had the other kind of kosher salt so only used 1/2 Tablespoon and though I like a fair amount of salt this was a bit too much for me in combination with all the parmesan. In the end though, it was the garlic that overpowered the dish and if I make it again i’ll just use one clove. I think I would also add something acidic like tomato to cut the richness. Used regular, broken up lasagna noodles and they worked great.

  255. Jenn

    Has anyone added beans? I’m thinking of trying it with some black eyed peas added. Would cook from dry maybe just underdone? Any suggestions?

  256. Hermine Levey Weston

    I made this yesterday for a pre Thanksgiving test run and it was super delicious and absolutely fun and easy to make. I needed to add 15 minutes to the bake because I was using a rather ancient oven. Thanks Deb! I am making this again for the holiday!

  257. Katherine

    This is a fantastic recipe on all fronts – taste, texture, aroma, presentation, nutrients, etc! It is a perfect dish for a dinner party.

  258. Kristi

    We absolutely loved this recipe! It was pretty straightforward to make, smelled amazing and was scrumptious!! I used fresh thyme and about twice as much. I think rosemary would be so delicious too! It will serve as a template for different ingredients. I love your recipes and have all of your books! Thank you for sharing your love of cooking!

  259. Megan A Callow

    Ok this was amazing, and was definitely better on days 2 & 3. By the time we reached the last quarter or fifth of the casserole I converted it into a killer frittata: chopped it up roughly, spread it out in a well-oiled/buttered pan, and then poured beaten eggs over it. Then heat over med or med-low until set, and finish it off under the broiler until browning and bubbly, just a minute or two. Highly recommended way to use up the last of this deliciousness!!

  260. CarolJ

    In brief: delicious and a beauty to bring to the table. I used gluten-free (corn) ditalini, which worked well. As a p.s.: this is the recipe that finally – after 50+ years of cooking and baking – to buy a springform pan. So worth it!

  261. Valerie

    Making now, and wondering if there should be enough liquid that all ingredients are submerged – specifically wondering if the top layers of pasta will cook if not submerged in the liquid. After combining all ingredients, I’m finding that there seems to be not much liquid for the pasta to absorb. Thanks for any insight!

    1. Hillary

      The liquid in mine came up about 1/4 or 1/3 of the height of the casserole and I *was sure* it would never work, but it was perfect. Per some other reviews, I did extend the covered bake a little.

  262. mjo

    This was easy and very tasty! I did it in a dutch oven with no parchment, *convection bake* at 350 for 45 min covered, then another 23 min uncovered, and it turned out great. I balked at the amount of salt – even tho I measured by weight it seemed like so much! So I only did around 6g. But actually I think it does need the full 8g. I did think it could use a lot more spinach, so next time I’ll do that, or maybe kale or chard.

  263. Linda C Hoch

    This was absolutely incredible! LOVED it and was skeptical at first because it looked like “mush” but the aroma as it was baking and the first taste reinforced by plan to make this a regular in our house. There are only two of us so it was reheated several times (and was delicious each time). The next time I plan to “halve” the recipe and bake in a smaller container … since it’s just the two of us ;-) Love this one, Deb!

  264. So – has anyone tried to do this in a crockpot? With that length of cooking in the oven, wouldn’t that work in a 4-6 hour crock pot? I’m thinking I get it all prepped in the morning and turn it on… Or would it be too cooked…

    1. Ellen

      I’d say don’t mess with success here! I am even hesitant to go to a 13 x 9 x 2 pan here. (Plus this is the most exercise my springform pan has had in decades)

  265. Vernon

    ¡Probé esta receta hace unas semanas y no podía esperar para volver a probarla! (¡Tengo que tener cuidado, porque NO es un artículo de Weight Watchers y tengo que mantener las porciones que como muy pequeñas!) Seguí la receta exactamente a excepción de los artículos que no pude encontrar aquí en la provincia centro-norte de Almería en España: usé requesón, una versión española de ricotta, Emmental rallado en lugar de Fontina, salvia seca en lugar de fresca, y una pasta rotini de verduras secas. También noté la cantidad de quesos y como estoy en una dieta baja en sal, omití la sal por completo. Además, me sobró un poco de caldo de verduras, así que lo usé en lugar del agua. ¡Resultó tan hermoso! Refrigerado bien, recalentado bien (así podría mantenerlo por más tiempo para acomodar menos por porción) y lo recomendaría con una ensalada verde de su elección, pan recién horneado (¡si no está a dieta!) y un vaso o dos de tu vino favorito. Buen provecho!

  266. LisaO

    First-time commenter, here to say that this was as delicious as it looks! I substituted what I had: delicata squash sliced thinly (no peeling!), a 5-oz bag of baby mixed greens (chard, kale & spinach), cottage cheese instead of ricotta, fresh tarragon instead of sage or thyme, minced garlic, and whole-wheat radiatore. Otherwise I followed the recipe. I assembled the dish, stuck it in the fridge over night, baked it the next morning and reheated slices in the microwave for dinner. It fit neatly into a 9″ springform pan, and the cooking times were spot on. Not crazy about crunchy pasta bits, so I tried my best to submerge the little radiators. I may try some of the vegan suggestions next time. Thanks, Deb!

  267. Emily

    For anyone questioning the amounts/ingredients/timing in this recipe, TRUST Deb! The first time I made this,
    I was so scared that the pasta wouldn’t cook through I made the worst mistake possible and added extra (boiling even!) water and my pasta turned to complete mush. Trust the liquid ratios and the time spent in the oven! It will work out! A few takeaways from my second attempt at this recipe that others may find helpful: if preparing your own squash, make sure to cut away any white/green ring just under the skin when peeling (unless you like crunchy squash, as I experienced the first time I made this and only peeled away a thin layer of the skin/flesh). I also used thyme the second time around for the herb – the thyme was a lovely accent whereas I found the sage to be overpowering, but that’s more personal preference. I used a 10” springform pan because that’s all I had and kept everything else the same, it all worked out! The salt level is perfect! Even with a ton of Parmesan, I found it to be seasoned just right and so absolutely delicious on a cold day. Trust the formula – you will be well-rewarded!

    1. That’s interesting, because I did NOT peel my butternut (I never peal it whatever I am making with it — I find the peel completely edible and delicious!). I did slice it very thin, and it came out perfectly tender, including the skin!

  268. Mary P

    Made exactly as written, including the springform pan and pasta shape. Used butternut squash sliced thin and cut into 1/2 inch-ish pieces. Weighed all the ingredients. It needed at least 30 minutes more. A bit of the pasta at the top was hard as a rock – not like pasta that was done and then got crispy, but just raw. I thought I had the foil nice and tight so moisture could not escape, but nonetheless had the undone pasta. Next time I would use a bit more water and poke any pasta near the surface down a bit.

  269. Eileen W.

    The frittata idea was brilliant! It was Sunday brunch so added finely diced slim ham slice to the rough-chopped casserole and a little bit of pecorino that was already finely shredded when it went under the broiler. I loved using all the odd bits of pasta shapes: elastici, tagliatelle, fettuccine and capellini in various layers. It all cooked fine following directions. My deviation was subbing some sweet potato because my honey butternut squash was small. Next time I’d amp up the herbs and the S&P and add more spinach. Husband enjoyed taking it for lunch.

  270. Jo B.

    I mad this yesterday afternoon and put it in the oven around 5pm. It was so great to know dinner was made and in the oven! I used broken up lasagna noodles. That was all I could find close to the samples you linked at my local grocery store. It was delicious! What a great veggie meal. I am already thinking about the leftovers. The only change I made was to use mozzarella instead of fontina as that’s what I had in the fridge. Deb, I appreciate you adding the weight as a measurement option for the ingredients. It made it so easy to throw the bowl on my scale and add without extra dishes to wash!

    1. Jo B.

      Oh, and hey, so glad I hung on to my spring form pan I haven’t used in years. My husband had never heard of one and was surprised when I pulled it out of the cupboard,

  271. Elaine

    I really want to make this, but can’t find the pasta locally* and don’t want to break large lasagna noodles. Actually, I can find the pasta locally, but only in gluten-free and whole wheat formats. I am totally biased against gluten-free pasta, so not going there. Would whole wheat work? Would it be a good idea to increase the water by 1-2 tablespoons?
    (*except on Amazon for $14-15/pound. Nope; not going there either.)

    1. deb

      You can use any kind of pasta you’d like here. I think something flatter might help it all stay locked down, i.e. orecchiette or bowties but it sounds like people are using even ziti and it works.

    2. Ellen

      To more easily break up the lasagna (and prevent little bits from flying all over the kitchen), I put whole noodles into a Ziploc then mashed it up. Then I measured to 8oz on my kitchen scale.

  272. Ellen

    I found this recently and have already made it 2x in 2 wks! I agree w other posters- lightening it with either baby tomatoes /chickpeas would be great.. either finding a way to mix in, or on the side. I had a nice side salad alongside the 1st time I made it- but instead of using spinach (since it’s already in the casserole), I’d make it w kale or romaine or something. Fontina is expensive so maybe next time I’ll sub mozzarella- hope it doesn’t affect the flavor. If you want to avoid crispy pasta bits on top, take a spoon and push any sticking-up pieces down, just before you put it into the oven. I used both fresh sage and fresh thyme and wouldn’t use dried for this. Fabulous!

  273. Mara

    I’ve made this twice now and it’s delicious. BUT, the pasta that’s at the top invariably ends up undercooked and crunchy raw. Any hints how to make cook it through? Thanks!

  274. Martha

    This was truly delicious. I used 3 large garlic cloves instead of just 3 regular-sized ones and it was too much. Will make again and use less. I used Farfalle and will go with the thinner ribbon next time. Truly great.

    1. Joanna

      I’m lactose intolerant so I substituted seasoned, mashed tofu for the ricotta and a vegan “smoked Gouda” for the fontina. I kept the parmesan. I thought it was good though I suspect the texture was a little different.

  275. Amy

    This was SO delicious! I made a 1.5 recipe and it fit beauti