Pumpkin Lasagna with Sausage, Kale and Parmesan


pumpkin lasagna 2

Oh. My. Goodness. If you can spare an hour of your day, don’t waste it on sleep or shopping or breathing. Cook this recipe, seriously! It’s glorious.

I was drawn to this Southern Living recipe at first because I love anything pumpkin, and to have it in lasagna would be combining two of my favorite things. There already is pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin gnocchi, but this dish is different. It’s completely unique where the pumpkin is mixed with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. This savory pumpkin mixture binds the lasagna layers together, making it even creamier tasting. There are two layers of cheesy pumpkin, one layer of Italian sausage and another layer of sautéed kale. To top it all off, there is a rich cheesy béchamel sauce in every layer coating the lasagna noodles and fillings. The best part about this recipe is that you don’t even have to cook the lasagna noodles first. The no boil lasagna noodles coated in béchamel sauce cook themselves perfectly in the oven.

Pumpkin Lasagna with Sausage, Kale and Parmesan


  • 19oz mild Italian sausage
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 qt. 2% milk (or 6 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 (29-oz.) can pumpkin
  • 1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles (you will end up using a box and a little of the 2nd box)
  • Vegetable cooking spray


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Squeeze thumb-size sausage out of casing into the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl and leave drippings in pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. Adjust heat to medium and add garlic, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp of salt, half of the kale and cook for a minute until kale wilts. Add remaining half of kale. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Now onto the béchamel sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until bubbling. Turn off heat. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute. Slowly add in the warm milk and continue to whisk here and there for 12 minutes until mixture thickens. Make sure the mixture is simmering slightly so that it will thicken. Turn off heat and whisk in 1 cup of parmesan, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, 3/4 cup parmesan, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper.
  6. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Layer lasagna noodles (I used 4 no-boil lasagna sheets per layer), pour 1 cup of béchamel sauce (be sure to cover all the noodles so they cook) over them. Place cooked sausage over them. Place another layer of lasagna noodles. Pour 1 cup of sauce over them. Spread half of the pumpkin mixture. Place another layer of lasagna noodles. Pour 1 cup of sauce over them. Top with cooked kale. Place another layer of lasagna noodles. Pour 1 cup of sauce. Spread the remaining half of the pumpkin mixture. Place another layer of lasagna noodles. Pour all remaining sauce over the noodles and letting excess drip off the edges. Sprinkle top with 1/4 cup of parmesan.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes. Let it cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

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