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Overhead close up shot of a casserole dish of lasagna with a corner piece cut

Pumpkin Kale Lasagna

This Pumpkin Kale Lasagna is everything you love about cozy fall meals. It starts with layers upon layers of silky cheese sauce, no-cook lasagna noodles, garlicky sautéed kale, and a creamy pumpkin ricotta mixture! It's rich, decadent, and the best kind of autumn comfort food. To top it all off, the lasagna gets topped with brown butter crispy sage leaves!

Course Main, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword easy pumpkin lasagna, kale lasagna, make ahead lasagna, pumpkin kale lasagna, pumpkin lasagna, pumpkin lasagna recipe, vegetarian lasagna, vegetarian lasagna recipe
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 -10
Author Molly | Spices in my DNA


For the pumpkin-ricotta mixture

  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta*
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

For the kale

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5-6 cups de-stemmed and chopped tuscan/lacinato kale (from about 1/2 of a large bundle)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the cheese sauce

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups freshly grated fontina cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the lasagna

  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 10-12 fresh sage leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 375℉. Lightly grease a 11x7 or 9x13 baking dish with softened butter. Set aside. Begin by mixing together the pumpkin-ricotta mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, pumpkin, parmesan, egg, garlic, dried sage, dried basil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until smooth. Set aside.

  2. Make the kale. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant (you don't want it to brown). Add the kale and cook for 1-2 minutes until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  3. Make the cheese sauce. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour, stirring constantly to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, and increase the heat to high. Continue to whisk until the milk comes to a simmer and thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the nutmeg and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gradually add the mozzarella and fontina cheeses, stirring well after each addition, until the cheeses have melted completely. Add the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low while you assemble the lasagna.

  4. Ladle 1/4 of the cheese sauce into the bottom of your baking dish. Next, place a layer of lasagna noodles on top. Next, spread 1/4 of the pumpkin-ricotta mixture evenly on top of the noodles. Sprinkle 1/3 of the kale on top. Repeat with another two layers of cheese sauce, noodles, ricotta, and kale, or until you run out of ingredients. To finish, evenly sprinkle the top with the mozzarella and parmesan. I like to place my lasagna on a baking sheet in case of any overflow. Bake for 45 minutes, or until top and edges are golden brown.

  5. While lasagna is baking, make the crispy sage leaves. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Once melted and beginning to bubble, add the sage leaves and fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute, lowering the heat if the butter starts to get too brown. Remove the sage leaves from the pan and let drain on paper towels.

  6. Once lasagna is finished baking, let cool for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve with crispy fried sage leaves on top!

Recipe Notes

*Make sure you use whole-milk ricotta, not part-skim. The part-skim has too much moisture in it, and will make your lasagna watery.
*To make this ahead of time, assemble lasagna as directed, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Uncover and bake as directed (you may need to add additional time depending on how cold your fridge is).