Versatile Pumpkin Lasagne in oven or air fryer

There are lots of pumpkin lasagne recipes online including this BBCGoodFood one. You can substitute the pumpkin for other vegetables, add a layer of spinach or other greens in the middle, or just stick with the tomato and cheese sauce.

This way of making cheese sauce with white beans (instead of the traditional bechemel sauce with flour and butter) adds extra protein and fibre to the dish. Any leftover cheese sauce can be used to make pasta carbonara, sag aloo, added to soup etc

You can easily make this recipe vegan by using non dairy cheese and milk.

See here for more ways to use up your pumpkin after Halloween.

Ingredients (makes 2 600ml foil containers)

  • approx 500gm raw pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 lasagne sheets
  • 175gm grated cheddar (you can include some parmesan if you like)

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed/sunflower/olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 carrot, grated (optional)
  • 1 tin brown lentils/ handful of dried orange split lentils (optional – adds fibre and protein)
  • dried/fresh herbs (eg oregano, basil) (optional)
  • 400g tin tomato
  • tomato puree

For the cheese sauce

  • 1 tin white beans (haricot, butter bean, canneloni)
  • handful of grated cheddar
  • extra flavour: Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast flakes, Worcestershire sauce (optional).


1. Place your lasagne sheets in a bowl of water (optional – pre-hydrating the pasta helps the lasagne cook through quicker but is not essential).

2. Finely chop onion and cook in oil. Stir to avoid burning.

3. Cut the lid off your pumpkin and carefully take out the seeds with your fingers, leaving the fibres still attached to the pumpkin so the seeds come out clean. Put seeds aside for roasting later.

4. Peel a section of the pumpkin and slice it into approx 3mm slices about 1 – 2 cms square (this small size will cook quicker). Toss with the oil in a roasting tin, season, then roast until tender. Optional to add sage or other herbs.  This can take up to 40 mins in oven, or 15 mins in air fryer at 180C.

5. Grate your carrot/pumpkin, slice your celery and add to the cooking onions with lentils (optional), finely diced garlic (or garlic puree) and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tin of tomatoes, dried herbs and a good squirt of tomato puree. Stir well and simmer for 30 mins. Stir from time to time. Season to taste.

6. While the pumpkin and the tomato sauce are cooking, make the cheese sauce. Open tin of beans and tip into a jug/tall container with their liquid (or drain the liquid and discard if you prefer and add more water). Grate your cheese and add a good handful to the beans with the flavouring. Blitz until smooth. The sauce needs to be thick but just about pourable, so add water if required.

7. When the tomato sauce and pumpkin is cooked it is time to assemble the lasagne. Start with a layer of pumpkin in the bottom then tomato sauce. Lay lasagne sheets on top of this, cutting them to fit if necessary (you don’t want any overlapping). Now cheese sauce, then lasagne, pumpkin, tomato sauce, more lasagne and a final layer of cheese sauce. Make some cuts in the top sheet of lasagne with a sharp knife to prevent buckling. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheddar (or parmesan if you prefer) over the top.

8.Bake for 40 mins in the oven at  200C/180C fan/gas 6 or 15/20 mins in the air fryer at 180C, or until the lasagne is golden and bubbling.



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