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Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

October 15, 2021
This Fall-inspired Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna has classic lasagna flavors with a roasted tomato sauce and delightful pumpkin-ricotta filling!

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

There are so many pumpkin dessert recipes this season, but pumpkin is also great for savory dinner recipes! I love to add a can of pure pumpkin to the ricotta filling of my Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna, which are lasagna rolls that I layer between homemade roasted tomato sauce and lots of gooey cheese!

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

I’d like to formally welcome you to Pumpkin Week 2021

Pumpkin Week 2021 is a spooktacular celebration of all things pumpkin this October. As you may know, I love making themed weeks here on Orchids and Sweet Tea. It allows me to showcase my favorite recipes and ingredients while also enjoying the time of year. Last week was Apple Week 2021, and we are now continuing with pumpkin!

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

So, why is pumpkin such a fantastic ingredient?

I love pumpkin because it is such a versatile ingredient. You can use it in baking as a binder, in cooking as a flavor enhancer, and so many more applications. It just so happens that pumpkin season falls in October – one of my favorite times of the year!

This Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna uses pumpkin in a savory way. I like to add the pumpkin right into the ricotta filling because the cheese and pumpkin are a match made in heaven. The flavors and textures play so well off of each other – plus, cutting the cheese with pumpkin adds more health benefits to the dish!

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

It must be noted that this recipe (and most sweet or savory pumpkin recipes) calls for 100% pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling! Pumpkin pie filling is quite literally the sweet pumpkin custard that you find in traditional pumpkin pie. It already contains sugar, cinnamon, clove, and other ingredients that make a pie filling. 

Adding pumpkin pie filling to a dish that calls for 100% pumpkin puree will add an unwelcomed sweetness, essentially ruining the dish. Even if you are unsure of what type of pumpkin a recipe is calling for, go for the 100% pumpkin puree.

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

In its pure form, 100% pure pumpkin is cooked and blended pumpkin. That’s it! This is why it is considered a healthy ingredient to add to Fall dishes – it is pure without having to peel, seed, boil, and mash your own whole pumpkin.

Pumpkin contains rich vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is high in vitamin A, which may help protect your eyesight. Also, the high antioxidant content may reduce the risk of developing chronic disease or obesity. I can’t think of any reasons to not include pumpkin in your diet, especially in dishes like my Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna!

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Why Roasted Tomatoes are Worth It

When making lasagna, many opt for a store-bought tomato sauce to help save on time. While I also use store-bought, it is very important to add freshly roasted tomatoes as well in this Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna. The roasted tomatoes add so much depth to the jarred sauce, it totally transforms it!

I like to use fresh cherry tomatoes for roasting. They have a sweet, acidic flavor that caramelizes in the hot oven. The sweetness in the tomatoes plays with the pumpkin-ricotta filling so well, you won’t believe the flavor combination! 

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Ingredients in Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

For the Lasagna:

  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups plant-based ‘meat crumble’ or homemade vegan meatballs (like these Vegan Chickpea Meatballs!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups chopped + de-stemmed kale
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded organic Mild Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded organic Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups organic basil tomato pasta sauce + 1 cup

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

For the Pumpkin-Ricotta Filling:

  • 2 cups organic ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree (not pie filling!)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

How to Make Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

For the Roasted Tomatoes:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Add the tomatoes to the baking sheet (in a single layer) and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with a few pinches of salt + black pepper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until tomatoes are charred, wilted, and tender. Remove and let cool slightly. NOTE: Be sure to keep the oven on at this point!

COOK THE PLANT-BASED ‘MEAT’:

  • In a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil until heated. Add the onions and garlic, sautéing everything until translucent and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Next, add in the meat crumble (or meatball crumble) and stir until heated through and begins to brown. Add the garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and 2 cups of pasta sauce, stirring until combined. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes until “meat” has become tender and cooked through.

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Cook the Pasta:

  • Cook lasagna pasta according to the directions of the packaging with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (about 8-10 minutes) and drain (leaving aside 2-3 tablespoons of pasta water for later).

For the Pumpkin-Ricotta Filling:

  • In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined and smooth.

To Assemble:

  • To make things easier, lay out cooked lasagna noodles (fully open + flat) onto a clean surface or cutting board. Spoon 2 tablespoons of pumpkin-ricotta mixture, spreading it out evenly down the length of the noodle followed by sprinkles of chopped kale. From one end, roll the noodle upwards towards the other end until it looks like a coil. Place the roll seam-side down into the skillet with the meat + sauce, snuggling it into the sauce. Repeat until all lasagna rolls are formed.
  • Top with remaining 1 cup of pasta sauce and roasted tomatoes, tucking a few in between the rolls followed by mild cheddar + mozzarella cheeses, sprinkling them around evenly.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese has completely melted, lightly browned, and has become gooey.
  • Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes (about 5 minutes) before serving.
  • Serve with your favorite garlic bread or salad.
  • Bon Appetit!

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Other Recipes You’ll Love

If you love this Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna, you are sure to love these recipes, too!

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Meatless Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Serves: 6 servings
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Ingredients

  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 3 Tbsps Extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups plant-based 'meat crumble' or Homemade vegan meatballs (See Notes!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups chopped + de-stemmed kale
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt + black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded organic Mild Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded organic Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups organic basil tomato pasta sauce + 1 cup

PUMPKIN-RICOTTA MIXTURE:

  • 2 cups organic ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree (Not pie filling!)
  • 3 Tbsps vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch of sea salt + black pepper

Instructions

ROASTED TOMATOES:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Add the tomatoes unto the baking sheet (in a single layer) and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and season with a few pinches of salt + black pepper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until tomatoes are charred, wilted, and tender. Remove and let cool slightly. NOTE: Be sure to keep the oven on at this point!

COOK THE PLANT-BASED 'MEAT':

  • In a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil until heated. Add the onions and garlic, sautéing everything until translucent and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the meat crumble (or meatball crumble) and stir until heated through and begins to brown. Add the garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and 2 cups of pasta sauce, stirring until combined. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes until "meat" has become tender and cooked through.

COOK PASTA:

  • Cook lasagna pasta according to the directions of the packaging with 1 Tbsp of olive oil (about 8-10 minutes) and drain (leaving aside 2-3 Tbsps of pasta water for later).

PUMPKIN-RICOTTA MIXTURE:

  • In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined and smooth.

ASSEMBLY:

  • To make things easier, lay out cooked lasagna noodles (fully open + flat) unto a clean surface or cutting board. Spoon 2 Tbsps of pumpkin-ricotta mixture, spreading it out evenly down the length of the noodle followed by sprinkles of chopped kale. From one end, roll the noodle upwards towards the other end until it looks like a coil. Place the roll seam-side down into a the skillet with the meat + sauce, snuggling it into the sauce. Repeat until all lasagna rolls are formed.
  • Top with remaining 1 cup of pasta sauce and roasted tomatoes, tucking a few in between the rolls followed by mild cheddar + mozzarella cheeses, sprinkling them around evenly.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese have completely melted, lightly browned, and has become gooey.
  • Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes (about 5 minutes) before serving.
  • Serve with your favorite garlic bread or salad.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
  • BOILED PASTA WATER: Since ricotta cheese usually comes out a bit thick, the trick to the ultimate creaminess is in mixing in a bit of the boiled pasta water if you prefer not to use veggie broth.
  • HOMEMADE MEATBALLS: If preferred, you can make your own 'meat crumble' by mincing your homemade meatballs in a food processor until medium chunks have formed. For homemade Vegan Meatballs, check out this recipe

DID YOU MAKE THIS recipe?

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Shanika

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