Butternut Squash Lasagna- CrossFit Series




I love lasagna!

I grew up eating Stouffer’s on occasion, mainly at pot-lucks and family gatherings. Then, while working my first restaurant job, I was charged with making the lasagnas as a prep cook and then later, serving them to the patrons while working the fry/bake station, my first position on “the line”.

I catered my own wedding and served lasagna there. Lasagna was one of my big “drop off meals” while working as a private Chef in Aspen, CO and, my boy, Jon Lipp and I cooked a lasagna for Lance Armstrong when his son, Max, was born.

Garfield is a huge fan of lasagna and, if you were going to make a fat cat who loved to eat, wouldn’t it make sense to make lasagna his favorite food?

When switching to the Paleo Diet, I basically saw lasagna as a thing of the past. I cannot even remember the last time I had a proper piece with traditional pasta. However, I recently created today’s recipe in an attempt to light the lasagna flame once again. This is a part of the Nick’s Zone series that is currently airing on CrossFit.com. I wasn’t sure that butternut squash would do the trick, but, once I had my first bite, Paleo persuasion took place. I now look forward to this meal perhaps more than any other and when you make it and stock your Paleo Bank Account, you’ll understand.

Don’t give up on Lasagna. If you love cheese, add some, but just remember that my Massie Mayo (as seen above) is probably a better option.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredient List:

  • 4 pounds butternut squash (shaft portion of approximately two squash), sliced to ¼” thickness
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Red Chile, to taste

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Prepare a meat sauce by heating an 8 quart stock pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the olive oil and garlic and stir until garlic is toasted, then add the onions.
  3. Season the beef with kosher salt and pepper, then push the onions and garlic to one side of the pan and place the beef, seasoned side down, in the other half of the pan.
  4. Season the top side of the beef with salt and pepper and add the Italian sausage to the pan. Break up beef and sausage into large chunks and fold the onions and garlic into the meat.
  5. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the meats are about 85% cooked, add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir to incorporate. Bring to a simmer.
  6. While the sauce is heating up, prepare your basil leaves by stacking them, rolling them and slicing into a chiffonade.
  7. Once meat sauce reaches a simmer, cut the heat and fold in the basil. Season one last time with salt and pepper keeping in mind that the sauce needs to be strong flavored because the squash is unseasoned.
  8. Add ground red chile if you prefer a bit of spice.
  9. To assemble the lasagne: oil the bottom of a 9” x 13” pan and add two cups of meat sauce.
  10. Spread sauce into a uniform layer, then top it with a layer of the sliced butternut squash.
  11. Add 2-3 cups of meat sauce, and then another layer of butternut squash. This time, alternate the direction of the squash “noodles”.
  12. Repeat steps one more time so that you have 3 layers of meat sauce and noodles. Then, top the lasagne with the remaining meat sauce.
  13. Place lasagne pan on a foil lined sheet pan and place in a preheated 375° oven for approximately 90 minutes, or until a butter knife easily inserts into all areas of the lasagne.
  14. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
  15. Portion out into 8, 3-block portions and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months. Buon Appetito!

“Keep It Paleo!”

(Zone Breakdown can be found in the video)


  1. […] When asked how she had heard of PaleoNick.com, she said “I think I first heard about Nick when I saw the tent at one of the Games or Regionals awhile back. I then knew he was coming on board for the Culinary Ninja Course so I began to follow his site and make some of his recipes etc. I think my favorite is the Butternut Squash Lasagna.” […]

  2. […] “I met Nick at the CrossFit Games in 2015, and saw him again at the South Regional this year.  I love being able to pull clean, balanced meals out of the freezer whenever I need them.  My favorite Paleo Nick recipes are the Pastel de Papa and the Butternut Squash Lasagna.” […]

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