A low-carb pumpkin lasagna with spinach and meatza noodles. The pasta noodles in this dish have been replaced with pre-baked seasoned ground beef.
While driving home from work this week, I’ve noticed that it’s really starting to look like fall outside. The leaves on the trees are a multitude of shades from red to green and the leaves are beginning to fall along the road.
I was thinking to myself what a pretty time of year it is right now in New England. I really enjoyed the summer weather, but I am looking forward to the change in season. It’s hard to believe that the holidays are fast approaching.
As you may or may not have noticed, I really like pumpkin. We did attempt to grow these gourds one year in the yard, but the plants didn’t like the spot we picked out for them.
I think the soil conditions just weren’t right as there was plenty of sun in that part of our yard. Maybe we will try planting some pie pumpkins next year so I can freeze a supply for my fall and winter baking.
Savory Pumpkin Recipes
The first thing that comes to mind when you talk about pumpkin as a food is usually pumpkin pie or some other sweet dish. However, I came across a recipe for pumpkin lasagna a couple weeks ago that I really wanted to try.
I have made a pumpkin soup previously. But, other than that; I haven’t really used pumpkin in a main dish.
Why use meatza?
Low carb lasagna noodles are available, but I have started to get away from using wheat products as I believe there are many benefits to eating gluten free. Therefore, I decided to try a “meatza” layer in the lasagna in place of the noodles where I used meat part of Spinach Tomato Meatza Pizza Recipe.
I made a few other changes to the original recipe to suit my taste and lower the carbs. Since there aren’t any actual lasagna noodles in this dish, some may argue that it’s really a casserole versus true lasagna.
However, it looks and tastes like lasagna using a pumpkin sauce rather than the traditional tomato based sauce. Therefore, I have kept the title of this recipe as a lasagna rather than casserole.
How to make a savory pumpkin lasagna
Before assembling the lasagna, you'll need to have your meatza ready. To cook the meatza "noodles", I pressed a meatloaf mixture into a standard 18x12 jelly roll pan then baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Then, I cut the cooked meatza up in rectangular pieces which was enough for two layers in my 9x13 baking pan.
You'll also need the fresh spinach wilted down. To do this, I simply cooked it in a large pot with olive oil. (photo 1)
The pumpkin sauce is made next. It's just a blend of canned pumpkin puree, almond milk, and seasonings. (photo 2)
Once the meatza, spinach, and pumpkin sauce have been prepared, it's time to assemble the casserole. First, a half cup of the sauce in spread into the bottom of the pan. Then, it's topped with half the meatza pieces and half the remaining sauce. (photo 3)
The next layer is spinach. It's then topped with half the ricotta, half the mozzarella, and half the parmesan cheese. The layers are then repeated. (photos 4-8)
Finally, the lasagna is baked covered at 375°F for 30 minutes. Then the cover is removed and it's baked an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browned.
Notes on the recipe
I used a large bowl of washed and dried baby spinach which was about 6 cups fluffed up. It wilted down quite a bit after cooking in the hot olive oil.
The cheese was quite brown on mine because I did not have it covered at all during baking. I should have only baked it uncovered for about ten minutes at the end. So this was added to the final recipe.
Enjoy this delicious savory fall lasagna! And be sure to leave a comment let us know what you think if you do give it a try.
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Pumpkin Lasagna with Spinach
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ cups almond milk or half almond milk half heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- dash ground nutmeg
- 15 ounces whole milk Ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded or grated
- Prepared Meatza
Prepare the Meatza:
- Beat the eggs with the parmesan cheese and all seasonings. Add the ground beef and mix until well combined.
- Spread mixture out onto a jelly roll pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes in a 450°F oven.
- Drain off any grease after removing from the oven. Slice into rectangular pieces to fit into lasagna pan.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add spinach and stir until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
- Combine pumpkin, almond milk, sage, salt, pepper and nutmeg in bowl.
- Spread ½ cup pumpkin sauce onto bottom of 9×13 baking pan. Top with half of the cut up meatza.
- Spread ½ of the remaining pumpkin sauce on top of the meatza layer then cover with spinach. Top with half of the ricotta, half of the mozzarella, and half of the parmesan cheeses. Repeat layers. Cover with foil.
- Bake at 375 °F for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 401 [carbohydrates] => 5 [protein] => 27 [fat] => 29 [saturated_fat] => 13 [cholesterol] => 122 [sodium] => 850 [potassium] => 441 [fiber] => 1 [sugar] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 7350 [vitamin_c] => 5.7 [calcium] => 400 [iron] => 2.9 )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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I was apprehensive with the pumpkin....but this was great! Hubby loved it. Next time I will add more spinach and maybe mushrooms! This is a keeper! Thanks!
Could this be made ahead, cooked, and then frozen?
Yes. I usually freeze cooked leftovers if they can't be eaten right away.
This is perfect comfort food, yum!
That's a new way of doing it as most of the pumpkin/squash lasagne recipes I tend to see here in the uk replace the lasagne pasta (noodles) with thin slices of pumpkin or other type of squash e.g. butternut squash or even sweet potato. I think it's because the uk doesn't have that tradition of pumpkin or sweet potato being served sweet e.g. In a pie and so it's not such an alien concept for us using it as a savoury pasta layer just like you would in a traditional lasagne with the tomato-meat, white sauce and cheese layers staying true to the traditional recipe.
In the US, pumpkin is often used mashed which is why the canned puree is so popular.
Well, this is more adventurous than my usual menu, but we have enjoyed other your recipes, so it is in the oven! Cooking low carb takes a new mindset, and surprisingly many things that I would have passed by now are not just pleasant, but quite gourmet.
I am not telling them it is pumpkin until they taste it, though!
I can hardly wait for the lovely aroma to get them to the table.
Hope it was enjoyed by all!
When do you add the second meatza layer?
And when does the wilted spinach come into the recipe?
I added the spinach on top of the sauce. The second meatza layer was added over the first cheese layer.
What fat percentage ground beef did you use?
I use venison burger which is very lean, typically less than 5% fat.
Is it heavy cream, as stated in the procedure, or almond milk as listed in the ingredients?
You can use either or a blend, but I used almond milk.
Might I request if you could post more recipes that are dairy free or offer an alternative for those who don't take dairy. Thanks!
I've had a couple requests from readers who are looking for dairy free recipes so I will keep that in mind.