Butternut Squash Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a Greek comfort food, usually made with lamb. This vegetarian version is every bit as delicious.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 40 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 1⁄2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 cups milk
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1⁄2 cup white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups crushed tomato
  • 8 oz. tube-shaped pasta (penne, rigatoni, or elbows), cooked


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss butternut squash with 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Roast on a lined baking sheet until just tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, stirring frequently. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and stir in the Gruyère, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts and set aside.
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Sauté until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, bay leaf and thyme. Continue to cook for about 1 minute or until very fragrant. Add wine and stir, scraping up any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Fold the butternut squash and pasta into the sauce. Pour into a greased casserole dish.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta mixture and carefully spread over the top of the dish. Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the edges are bubbly and the top is starting to brown.