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A delicious recipe for Spinach Lasagna filled with savory spinach-veggie mixure layered with a luscious Basil Spinach Sauce. Keep it vegetarian, or add chicken!
This Spinach Lasagna is full of summertime flavor. Basil and spinach are blended into a creamy, luscious sauce, and the filling is a highly customizable mix of veggies. Today we’ve used red bell pepper, corn, and wilted spinach- but mushrooms would be a great substitute in winter! Add chicken if you like, or keep it vegetarian. Vegans can easily adapt this recipe- see recipe notes!
Why you’ll love this!
- This lasagna is not tomato based! Great for those who can’t tolerate tomatoes’ acidity or are allergic to tomatoes.
- The filling is completely adaptable. Use what veggies you like- summer veggies like you see here or in winter, try mushrooms. Add chicken, or make it vegan.
- The Basil-Spinach sauce is to die for. You’ll want to drink it! It’s low in calories, and even though I use cheese in the recipe, I keep the sauce vegan with soy milk.
Spinach Lasagna Ingredients
- Lasagna Noodles: use fresh noodles, parcooked lasagna noodles to al dente, or use no-boil lasagna noodles.
- Veggies: Fresh or frozen spinach, corn, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.
- Cheeses: Shredded mozzarella cheese, full-fat ricotta (or cottage cheese), and pecorino or parmesan cheese ( or use vegan ricotta and vegan cheese)
- Fresh Basil: You’ll need 2 cups for the sauce.
- Milk- plant-based or real milk. I used soy milk.
- Garlic and Onion – fresh is best.
- Options: Add shredded chicken for more protein, or make it vegan with vegan ricotta and vegan cheese!
How to make Spinach Lasagna (steP-by-step)
Step one: Make the filling. Saute the onion and garlic, add the bell pepper and corn ( or other vegetables) in a large skillet, then wilt the mound of spinach. Let this cool. Mix with ricotta and cheese. Add the lemon zest. This could be made ahead.
Step two: Make the Spinach Basil Sauce. Place basil, spinach, milk, garlic, salt, and flour in a blender and blend until smooth.
Gradually stream in the olive oil while blending. Heat in a saucepan just to a simmer to thicken the sauce. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Set this aside. This can be made ahead!
Step three. Assemble the lasagna. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread a thin layer of Spinach Basil Sauce on the bottom. Add three lasagna noodles. Spread with a little more sauce, and half of the filling.
Add the second layer of lasagna noodles, cover with a little sauce, add the remaining filling. Top with the third and final layer of lasagna noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with parchment and tightly with foil. Save any extra sauce for touch-ups after it’s baked.
Step four: Bake! Bake covered for 50 minutes at 400F. Uncover, and continue baking 5-10 minutes until melty and golden. Use the leftover sauce to touch up any edges that have darkened too much.
Garnish with basil ribbons and chili flakes. Cut into 8, 9 or 12 pieces.
Lasagna is perfect for making ahead! Assemble and refrigerate for up to 3 days, then bring to room temp before baking. If baing from cold, add 15-20 minutes to baking time.
This is a personal preference. Cottage cheese is higher in protein and has a saltier flavor. Ricotta is traditional in classic Italian cooking.
Adding an egg to the ricotta cheese will add moisture, richness, structure and body to the filling, a nice addition, but not imperative.
Yes, make our tofu ricotta cheese, and use vegan cheese!
Lasagna is one of the best meals to freeze. Wrap tightly and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as directed below.
In spinach lasagna, use fresh spinach to get that bright green color for the sauce. In the filling, you can use either fresh or frozen.
After wilting the fresh spinach, this releases water. This must either be cooked off, or drained out to prevent the filling from becoming watery.
More recipes you’ll like!
A delicious recipe for Spinach Lasagna filled with savory spinach and your choice of veggies layered with a luscious Basil Spinach Sauce. Keep it vegetarian, or add chicken.
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- one onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 red bell pepper (see notes for alternatives)
- 1 1/2 cups corn or mushrooms (see notes for other options)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- optional: 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, or teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, or oregano
- 1 lb fresh spinach, chopped (minus 1 ounce or 1 cup for sauce). See notes for frozen.
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
Basil Spinach Sauce
- 2–ounce fresh basil leaves (2 cup packed)
- 1–ounce baby spinach (1 cup, packed)
- 1 3/4 cups milk (soy milk, whole milk, nut milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 fat garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon flour or cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta, or sub cottage cheese
- 1 egg, optional
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Make the filling. In an extra large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring, lower heat to medium. Add corn ( or mushrooms), salt, pepper, optional chili flakes and oregano. Saute 2-3 more minutes until the onion is tender. Add the chopped spinach, lower heat, and stir, letting the spinach wilt. Stir until all the spinach is all wilted and it is well combined.
- Stir in the lemon zest, taste, adjust the salt, turn off the heat. (You’ll need at least 4 cups; more is good.) Drain any excess liquid from the filling (especially if using zucchini or frozen spinach).
- Make the sauce: Place the basil, spinach, milk, salt, pepper, garlic cloves, and flour (or cornstarch) in the blender. ** Leave out the oil. Blend until completely smooth and there are no specs of basil. Add a teaspoon of oil, blend for 10 seconds, and while the blender is going, slowly stream in the remaining oil to emulsify the sauce. Blend for 15 more seconds on med-high. Place the Spinach Basil Sauce in a medium saucepan or medium pot, and whisk over medium heat just until it comes to a simmer; this will thicken it. Turn the heat off.
- In a large bowl, mix the ricotta with the egg. Fold in the cooled veggie filling. Stir in 2 cups mozzarella and 1/4 cup pecorino. Save the remaining cheese for the top. If not using pecorino, I would add another pinch of salt.
- Assemble: Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce over the bottom to lightly cover. Place the lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread half of the veggie/ricotta filling mixture overtop. Spoon a 1/4- 1/2 cup of the spinach basil sauce overtop. Add the second layer of lasagna noodles. Add the remaining filling. Spoon a little sauce over the top. Add the third and final layer of lasagna noodles, top with the remaining Spinach Basil Sauce- saving any extra for touch-up at the end. If there is room at the top of the baking dish sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons pecorino (if not, add when you remove the foil for final baking). Cover with a layer of parchment, then wrap VERY tightly with foil. ***You need to create a seal when using no-boil noodles so they cook through and the steam can’t leave – otherwise, lasagna will be dry and uncooked. So use a couple of layers if need be. And you really don’t want the foil touching the lasagna.
- No boil Noodles: Use the manufacturer’s direction on the lasagna noodle package. Or bake at 400F for 40-50 minutes, covered very tightly with parchment and foil (until noodles are tender) uncover, and bake 10 more.
- Fresh noodles and par-cooked noodles: bake for 35- 40 minutes, uncover, then bake 10 more mins. You can also bake at a lower temp: 350F for 45 minutes, uncover, 15 more.
Filling Variations: Feel free to add a little heat to this! A diced poblano in the filling is nice. Swap out bell pepper or corn with mushrooms, or zucchini or more spinach. Or add 1-2 cups of cooked shredded chicken to the filling. Be sure filling is not watery- drain.
An All Spinach filling: use two pounds of fresh chopped spinach or frozen spinach.
If using no-boil noodles- add the 1/2 cup sauce between the layers. If using parboiled or fresh pasta noodles use 1/4 cup; you’ll have some extra, for touching up.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 395
- Sugar: 5.3 g
- Sodium: 567.4 mg
- Fat: 18.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 8.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 38.1 g
- Fiber: 5.4 g
- Protein: 19.9 g
- Cholesterol: 64.5 mg
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