No amount of eggplant, squash, or tomato can lighten the hefty 1½ pounds of béchamel sauce, a butter-and-milk-based sauce, that blanket the buttery noodles of a vegetable lasagna, which packs over 700 calories and 22g sat fat into just one slice. The challenge: Re-create this dish to highlight the vegetables but still keep plenty of creamy, cheesy, layered goodness.
For a lighter take on this classic, we substitute hearty butternut squash for butter, which becomes velvety and creamy when blended with garlic and milk. Whole-wheat noodles serve as a sturdy bed for sautéed greens and mushrooms. Our saucy lasagna packs more than 2 cups of vegetables into each slice, is overflowing with melty cheese, and has half the calories of the original.
Classic 730 calories 22.3 grams sat fat 1057 milligrams sodium
Makeover 363 calories 6.3 grams sat fat 584 milligrams sodium
In addition to the 3 cups of squash "hiding" in our sauce, we pack a cup of buttery Swiss chard and meaty mushrooms into each slice.
3 of 5Photo: Ditte Isager
Tip #2: The Béchamel
Creamy, silky butternut squash replaces the classic butter-, flour-, and milk-based béchamel to save 90 calories and 6g sat fat per serving.
4 of 5Photo: Jennifer Causey
Tip #3: The Pasta
Lasagna needs a strong noodle to separate layers. Whole-grain not only does it best but also adds an extra 2.5g fiber to each slice. We love Bionaturae for its neutral profile and its sturdy frame for saucy layers.
5 of 5Photo: Randy Mayor
Tip #4: The Cheeses
Gruyère and melty mozzarella balance the sweet butternut sauce, ricotta lightens between layers, and Parm adds a salty pop on top, saving 149 calories and 6.4g sat fat per slice—a four-cheese punch that trims a whole pound off the original.