This is a light and fresh spinach lasagna. Layers of ricotta and mozzarella between an easy tomato basil sauce and packed full of spinach and mushrooms.
For the times when you just want a fresh veggie-based lasagna - this is your recipe. Lasagna does not have to be dense and heavy. This is my favourite vegetarian lasagna.
Vegetarian lasagna tends to be heavy and rich. Sometimes full of cheese or cream sauces, which can be good when that is what you need. Special occasions or whatever, but this is not that lasagna.
An easy mid-week vegetarian lasagna
This is more like Wednesday night lasagna. Make the layers the night before and bake for dinner the next night if you must. But this is not a very involved meal. Certainly not a 30-minute meal, but you can be done, start to finish in a little over an hour. So, no, not quick. But not an all-day affair either. And in my book, it's almost quick. And so that is when you make this spinach lasagna - when you want a fresh and light lasagna on a Wednesday. Or a lazy weekend.
Definitely crowd-pleasing, something you can through together before last-minute gatherings. Casual enough for potlucks or football watching.
This is fresh, easy and so full of veggies, you will feel healthy after dinner. Not like you need a nap. ...not that there is anything wrong with after-dinner naps....
How to make spinach lasagna
The trick to making lasagna easy is getting the components made first before you get the noodles out.
Start with the sauce. This is my go-to homemade tomato sauce. It's quick and just a few simple ingredients.
Keep this tomato basil sauce recipe for those times when you want a simple sauce for a bowl of penne. It's my kid's favorite.
There are three components to this lasagna:
- Start with the sauce
- While the sauce simmers, saute portobello's and wilt the spinach.
- Mix the ricotta, parm, garlic and lemon. Add a healthy dose of basil.
Layers: Once you have the above made, you can layer your casserole. I've used no-boil noodles in this recipe. Only 9 noodles... to keep this dish light. And saves you that extra step of boiling the noodles first.
Make ahead. Once assembled, the lasagna can be tucked away in the fridge for a few hours or overnight if needed. Or go ahead, and bake right away.
If you are making this ahead of time, add 10 minutes to the covered baking time.
Using no-boil noodles
No-boil noodles save time and a few pots and pans. "No-boil" or "oven-ready" noodles are basically precooked in the factory and then dehydrated. The resulting noodle is lighter and thinner than normal, need to boil, noodles.
The trick to using no-boil noodles is making sure you have enough liquid in the uncooked dish. Some people say you have to add water to the assembled lasagna before baking. I find this isn't necessary. Just a good saucy sauce and baking the dish covered with aluminum foil for at least 30 minutes is all you need.
Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna
- 3 cups Italiano cheese, shredded
- 8-9 no cook, dried lasagna noodles
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 tsp italian spices
- 1/2 tso chili flakes
- 1 796ml can whole tomatoes San Mazano are best
- 1 796ml can diced tomatoes no salt added
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
spinach and mushroom layer
- 1 small white onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed or minced
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 4 portobello mushroom caps, gills removed and chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 6 oz fresh baby spinach
- 650 mls ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp Italian spices
- 2 cloves garlic crushed or minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil
To Make Sauce
- In a large deep sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and added diced onion. Allow onion to soften - about 5 minutes. Then add garlic, chili flakes, and spices. Saute for another minute, then add in tomatoes sugar and salt. Allow sauce to simmer while the veggies cook, 20-30 minutes. Reduce heat if bubbling too much.
For Vegetable layer
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add diced onion. Allow onion to soften - about 5 minutes. Then add garlic, chili flakes and Italian herbs. Saute for another minute, then add mushrooms. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked through and tender. Add spinach. Toss and saute until spinch is completely wilted. Remove from heat. Set aside
For cheese layer
- In a large bowl combine ricotta and parmesan cheeses, lemon zest, Italian spice, garlic, salt and basil.
- At this point, if your tomato sauce is a bit on the thick side, add a 1/2 cup of water and stir it in so that it well incorporated and smooth. You want a nice thin sauce, chunky is okay, but it needs enough moisture to help the noodles soften as the lasagna bakes.
- In a 9x12 glass casserole dish, spread a 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom. Lay 3 noodles, lenghtwise across bottom on casserole dish. On top of noodles spread 1/2 of ricotta cheese mixture, top with 1 cup of shredded cheese and 1/4 of the tomato sauce.
- Layer 3 more noodles, 1/4 of the tomato sauce and spread spinach and mushroom mixture evenly. top with 1 cup of shredded cheese and remaining 1/2 of the ricotta cheese mixture.
- Drizzle 1/4 of the tomato sauce on top of cheese mixture, layer remaining 3 noodles. Spread remaining sauce over nooodles and top with 1 cup of shredded Italian cheese.
- Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 20 minutes or until cheese on top is bubbly.