When you walk into any grocery store right now, and that obviously includes Trader Joe’s, you are inundated with Pumpkin this Pumpkin that. It’s almost too much to handle with so many new items. Many of the products come and go in a matter of a couple of weeks.
This is not a traditional American lasagna because there isn’t a tomato anywhere near this Butternut Squash Lasagna, it is just cheese and vegetables and pasta and some pumpkin seeds? There is no ricotta mixture or mozzarella cheese here, but a cheese called Provola an Italian cheese. I had to look that one up and Provola cheese is just actually, aged mozzarella. But in this case, it looks like it’s smoked cheese. Hmmm… this could be interesting!
What most home cooks do is use ricotta cheese when they make lasagna, but I’ve made lasagna from scratch by making a bechamel sauce (basically a white cheese sauce), but it looks like in this case, they made a butternut squash bechamel sauce. Yummy!
The other interesting thing that deviates from a traditional Lasagna is the use of egg pasta instead of straight pasta. Adding eggs to your pasta will definitely add richness to your pasta.
How To Prepare Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Lasagna
I wish I had more time to do this properly and bake it in the oven on a baking sheet because I think putting it in the microwave is definitely the second preferred method to make it. It takes 45 minutes in the oven so if you don’t have that kind of time, the microwave option isn’t all that bad. Just be careful when you serve it either way, it was very hot coming out and I had to let it sit for a good 10 minutes to cool it down.
Visually you couldn’t ask for a better looking dish. When I took it out of the microwave, you could see the pumpkin seeds and breadcrumbs on top, and below some of the orange butternut squash sauce was oozing up around the edges.
I took a stiff spatula cut it in half and put that chunk on my plate and the bechamel and butternut squash sauce oozed out of the layers and by the way it smelled wonderful. The smoked Provola cheese adds a hint of smokiness and one of my kids wandered into the kitchen when I was making this last night and wanted to know where the bacon was. I didn’t think it was that smoky but you can definitely smell it after you cook the lasagna.
Final Verdict on Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Italian Lasagna
With all the wonderful aromas coming up from the lasagna, I had to take a bite. It is definitely more on the creamy side than the traditional meat and tomato sauce lasagna. But it has a wonderful squash and cheese flavor. The topping of breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds gives it a nice textural element, although they don’t provide any flavor.
I really liked the noodles and the bechamel sauce with the butternut squash puree. The only weird thing about it was the pumpkin seeds on top. Mine were tough and chewy. Kind of like little pieces of rubber. Not sure it was a great idea, but I got through it. Maybe baking it would make it better.
The package is $4.49/16 Oz and is a lot of lasagna for one person. Probably better to split it and have a side salad and some bread to make it a meal. A serving size is half a container or 8 oz and is 320 calories so a full box is 640 calories.
If I wasn’t reviewing this for this blog, I would probably shave a little parmesan cheese on top and just a quick pour of really good olive oil on top to finish it off and maybe some cracked pepper and a dash of finishing salt to bring it all together.
I really really like it, except for the weird pumpkin seeds, I am going to give Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Italian Lasagna a glowing 9 out of 10 Bells. It might be a 10/10 if not for the weird pumpkin sees.
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUCE (BUTTERNUT SQUASH, WATER, CARROT, BUTTER [CREAM], WHEAT FLOUR, SALT, ROSEMARY, BLACK PEPPER, GINGER, CELERY)
- BECHAMEL SAUCE (WATER, SMOKED PROVOLA CHEESE [MILK, SALT, MICROBIAL ENZYME, NATURAL SMOKE FLAVOR], BUTTER [CREAM], SKIM MILK POWDER, WHEAT FLOUR, SALT, NUTMEG)
- PRECOOKED EGG PASTA (DURUM WHEAT SEMOLINA, WATER, EGG)
- SMOKED PROVOLA CHEESE (MILK, SALT, MICROBIAL ENZYME, NATURAL SMOKE FLAVOR)
- BREADCRUMBS (WHEAT FLOUR, SUNFLOWER OIL, YEAST, SALT, LEAVENING [SODIUM BICARBONATE, DISODIUM DIPHOSPHATE])
- PUMPKIN SEEDS
- SUNFLOWER OIL
- CONTAINS MILK, EGG, WHEAT.
- MAY CONTAIN SOY.