Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pumpkin Lasagna

Three things happened to make this the perfect recipe for me to make over the weekend. The first thing actually happened a few months ago when my 19 year old daughter announced that she was a vegetarian. It was really no surprise, although I have seen her wolf down an order or two of chicken nuggets. She has always preferred veggies, even when she was little, dipping her carrots in ranch dressing. Sounds a little like a Hidden Valley Ranch commercial, n’est pas? At any rate, it’s not a huge deal for me, except that now I was on the lookout for vegetarian recipes.

The second thing happened when my friend, Michelle Cadieux Tibbs, posted a pumpkin lasagna recipe on FaceBook. Her mouthwatering description of it on her status update prompted a comment from me and she was nice enough to provide me with the details.

Interestingly, the lasagna recipe was made in a crock pot, which brings me to the third thing: I won a brand new digital crock pot from the lovely Liz Brooks over at  Examiner.com. It arrived just about the same time I printed out the recipe! Karma. It had to be made.

Isn't it a beauty?

Truth be told, the original recipe was called Chèvre & Pumpkin Lasagna (chèvre being goat cheese, for the uninformed). My daughter might have tried goat cheese, but I knew my husband wouldn’t go for it, so that was my one modification. Here is the recipe as written:

Chèvre Pumpkin Lasagna

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 large onions, halved and cut into thin slices
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon dried ground sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon flour
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, divided
1 can (15 oz) 100% pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped pine nuts
¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
12 lasagna noodles, cooked and cooled in cold water
8 oz fresh chèvre, broken into small pieces (I used ricotta cheese)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Yum--I love onions.

Add the onions and cook slowly until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add three-fourths of the garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, ½ teaspoon of the pepper, the sage, thyme and flour and stir until the onions are thoroughly coated.

I mixed the flour and spices in a cup first.

Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the broth and stir until slightly thickened. Stir in the vinegar and half the parsley and set aside.

This is where I started whifting the smell up with my hands like they do on the Food Network.

Mix the pumpkin, eggs, breadcrumbs, pine nuts, 1/2 cup parmesan, and the remaining parsley, and garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium mixing bowl.

Coat the interior of the crock of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Spoon a fourth of the onion mixture over the bottom of the crock, top with 3 lasagna noodles, a third of the pumpkin mixture, and a third of the chèvre.

Spoon a third of the remaining onion mixture over the chèvre, top with 3 more noodles, half the remaining pumpkin, and half the remaining chèvre. Spoon half the remaining onion mixture over the chèvre, top with 3 more noodles, the remaining pumpkin, the remaining chèvre, and the remaining onion mixture. Top with 3 remaining noodles. Cover the crock with 2 kitchen towels and the lid. Cook for 3 to 4 hours on low. When the lasagna is done, the edges will be browned and the center will be barley set.

Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and cover until melted, about 1 minute. Remove the crock from the cooker and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 8 portions and serve.

Now here is where I goofed up. This new crock pot is awesome because it is digital--you can set the time and it will switch over to the warm mode when the time runs out. Well, the instructions call for 3-4 hours on "low" and this crockpot switches to "high" if you go under 7 hours. Of course, instead of just keeping it at 7 hours and manually turning it off after 4, I set it on high. The result was some pretty burned edges. Really, though, it didn't matter---it turned out fantastic! Both my husband and my daughter raved.

Now, only three more cans of pumpkin to use.....


  1. Looks wonderful and delicious! I'm so glad you like the crock-pot :)

  2. First, congrats on the crockpot...it IS a beauty, SCORE! Secondly, the lasagna looks fantastic and yummy!

  3. Oooo, nice crock pot. And a great recipe! What did you use instead of chevre?

  4. Liz--thanks again! I do like it!

    Thanks, DD!

    Hi Bob--I used ricotta. Boring, I know. The chevre would have added some good flavor.

  5. very creative, I love the idea of having pumpkin filling in this lasagne dish

  6. MMMMMM Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Lasagne? I would have though I had died and gone to heaven. That sounds and looks so completely delectable.