Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pumpkin Lasagna


We hope everyone is enjoying our very first Iron Chef Week! Each day this week, we're cooking up a different dish using our secret ingredient, which is...PUMPKIN!
Congratulations to our Iron Chef Week WINNER, MOLLY EBERT. She's won a $25 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. Molly gave us a terrific secret ingredient. Tune in, in December, to find out WHAT IT IS and how we will use it when we have our NEXT Iron Chef Week.We’re thrilled with the ideas from all of you and one of your ingredients may end up as a future secret ingredient, so stay tuned. Our next contest will be starting SOON.

Being an Iron Chef cook for the Mystery Kitchen is a pretty cool experience. We get a little bit more time to think about the recipe we’re going to use than our television counterparts, so the stress factor doesn’t really come into effect.

Plus we get to experiment with an ingredient that may not be something we ordinarily use every day. This time, it’s pumpkin.

Really, we all should be eating more pumpkin. I did a little background check on our secret ingredient and found that it’s rich in beta-carotene (which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.) It can reduce the risk of macular degeneration, lowers the risk of hypertension (via its potassium), and is rich with carotenoids which keep our immune system strong.

So woo-hoo for pumpkin!

Now y’all, when I told family members I was making pumpkin lasagna, I’ll admit they made some faces. The thing is, it’s good. But it’s different. It’s not a red sauce lasagna, so banish icky thoughts of tomatoes mixing with pumpkin. Also, be prepared for a sweet taste, which isn’t something that usually comes to mind when you make lasagna.

Pumpkin Lasagna

Pumpkin Lasagna

  • 21 ounces mozzarella
  • 1 (1 lb) box lasagna
  • 1 .5 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin (About 11/2 cans)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 t sage
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch white pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix mozzarella with the ricotta in a large bowl.

Melt butter over low heat. Brown the garlic, then stir in the pumpkin and the rest of the ingredients. Warm through.

Add the pumpkin mixture to the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish.

Layer three pieces of lasagna, then a layer of the cheeses, then a layer of the pumpkin mixture. At the end, you’ll have five layers.

Add remaining mozzarella to the top of the layers.

Bake covered for 35 minutes at 375. Cook uncovered an additional 5 minutes.

Enjoy a taste of fall!

Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig
Delicious and Suspicious (May 2010)—Riley Adams

Keep those suggestions for our next secret ingredient coming and you,
too, could win like out blog follower Molly Ebert. Her secret ingredient will
be revealed next month. So, stay tuned and all will be revealed...
Special thanks to our other followers for their suggestions.


  1. Yum...sounds like eating dessert for the main course!

  2. It really is! It's got a sweet taste, despite the garlic in there. :)


  3. Lasagna and pumpkin are not two things that sound good together, but with these ingredients they do. A new spin on an old favorite. A new dish for the family's Thanksgiving meal. Thanks.

  4. What an interesting recipe, Elizabeth! I could see this being offered at an upscale chi-chi pooh-pooh restaurant, couldn't you? Very cool and different. Thanks!


  5. The perfect dish for vegetarians at Thanksgiving! What a great idea, Riley!

  6. Mason--I'm thinking it needs to be renamed, actually! Glad you liked it.

    Julie--I *could* see it at a restaurant like that! They would have to jazz the name up a little bit and write it in Italian with no translation and then folks would order it! :)

    Krista--Thanks! I didn't think of it that way, but you do get the seasonal aspect without the meat!


  7. Riley, this sounds like a fun side dish. Almost like sweet potatoes with a twist. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Avery--It *tastes* like sweet potatoes! It really does. It doesn't even taste like pumpkin. Very sweet.


  9. In Italy, where I live, unsweetened pumpkin is a winter vegetable. You can buy a slice in the market. I usually nuke it in the microwave to avoid peeling it!. Italians are wary of pumpkin sweets like our pie. Ravioli or tortellini filled with pumpkin (not sweetened) are great, especially when topped with a gorgonzola sauce.

  10. Patricia--Now *that* sounds really good! I'm a ravioli fan anyway and that sounds really tasty with the pumpkin. Thanks for the tip!


  11. Elizabeth/Riley - An outstanding recipe! So creative! And I'm with Patricia. When I saw your pumpkin lasagna idea, I immediately smiled, thinking of how much I enjoy pumpkin ravioli (usually with no more than a sauce of melted butter flavored with sage).

    Iron Chef props and snaps to you!

    author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries

  12. A dessert lasagna. Unique, and it sounds really good!

  13. Cleo--I didn't even know about pumpkin ravioli! I'm going to have to check it out.

    Shel--Thanks! :)


  14. Another pumpkin favorite in Italy is Pumpkin gnochi (dumplings) made with pumpkin puree and flour. These are almost always topped with gorgonzola sauce.

  15. This sounds heavenly! I've made winter squash lasagna and loved that, so I'm sure this is great too.