This Easy Spinach Lasagna is my go-to vegetarian lasagna. Layers of sauce, no-boil noodles, spinach ricotta & cheese combine for a tasty meatless meal!
Easy Spinach Lasagna
I caught an episode of Cook’s Country TV one Saturday when they featured this Spinach Lasagna. Knowing any sort of spinach pasta would be a huge hit with my daughter, I printed off this easy spinach lasagna recipe while it was still available on-line.
To make the resident carnivore happy, I often tweak the recipe by sauteing some mild Italian sausages and added slices to half the tomato sauce. It uses no-boil pasta, so that decreases the dishes by at least one pot. But the food processor is needed to finely chop the spinach and mix some of it with the ricotta. Still, even with the usual array of dirty dishes, it was worth it for a dinner that all 3 of us enjoyed.
What Makes This An Easy Lasagna Recipe?
Well, you will have some dirty dishes and utensils, but there are a couple of reasons this is an easy lasagna. First, it’s a vegetarian lasagna, so there’s no need to fry up any ground beef or sausage. The tomato sauce is cooked, though, so there will be only one pan to clean.
Also, you’re using No-Bake lasagna noodles. If you haven’t tried them before, they absorb liquid from the sauce while the lasagna is in the oven, thus omitting the need to boil up the pasta.
Instead of chopping and steaming loads of fresh spinach, just defrost and squeeze dry three boxes of frozen chopped spinach. Easy as can be!
Tips for Making this Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe
- For the meat lover in your home, add some sliced sauteed Italian sausage to the sauce. I’ve made this recipe with half sausage and half without.
- Look for No-Boil lasagna noodles and that saves you the step and the pan needed to make traditional pasta. There’s enough liquid in the sauce to plump up the pasta as it cooks.
- Though you have to break out your food processor, it’s used twice. Once for finely chopping the spinach and again for mixing part of the spinach with the ricotta, etc.
- PRO-Tip: Grease one side of your foil so that the cheese will not stick as the lasagna cooks. I love non-stick foil as it saves a step, but spraying Pam on regular foil works well, too.
- PRO-Tip: If you don’t have fresh basil, you can substitute 1 teaspoon dried basil for each tablespoon of fresh basil.
How to Prepare the Spinach
As mentioned above, I defrost boxes of frozen spinach overnight in the refrigerator. It’s already chopped but does need to be squeezed dry. I’ve used my potato ricer to extract all the liquid, but the resident dishwasher complained about the tedious cleaning process. So now I get out a plastic strainer, add the spinach, and press down with a spoon or rubber spatula to remove as much moisture as possible. Then, I squeeze handfuls of the spinach with my scrupulously clean hands to eliminate any remaining liquid.
If you’re looking for an even easier lasagna, try this Easy Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna. These Lasagna Rolls with prosciutto are pretty terrific, too. For a classic lasagna with bolognese sauce, try this World’s Best Lasagna! And if you’re craving pizza, check out this pizza dough recipe. Plus, don’t forget to check out all my favorite Pasta Recipes in my recipe index!
What Can I Use Instead of Ricotta?
If you can’t find ricotta cheese or run short, you can substitute cottage cheese. In fact, the lasagna my mom used to make when we were kids, always had a layer of cottage cheese. Ricotta wasn’t so easy to procure in a small Iowa town in the 70s!!! Other suggestions include cream cheese, goat cheese, mascarpone, sour cream, and even tofu. But cottage cheese would be my first choice.
This recipe was first shared in January 2013. Photos and text were updated in 2020.
- 3 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
- 3 cups (24 ounces) ricotta
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
- 2 large eggs
- 12+ no-boil lasagna noodles
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella
- 3-4 mild Italian sausage links, sliced and browned, optional for a non-vegetarian version
- Preheat oven to 375º. Microwave spinach in covered large bowl until completely thawed, about 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Squeeze spinach dry, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. Pulse spinach in food processor until ground, 8 to 10 pulses, scraping down bowl every few pulses. Wipe out large bowl with paper towels. Transfer spinach to now-empty bowl; set aside.
- Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, ½ cup processed spinach, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in 3 tablespoons basil; set aside.
- Process ricotta and reserved spinach liquid in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add Parmesan, remaining 3 tablespoons basil, eggs, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and process until combined. Stir ricotta mixture into remaining processed spinach.
- Cover bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with 1¼ cups sauce. Top with 3 noodles and spread one-third of ricotta mixture evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup mozzarella and cover with 1¼ cups sauce and sprinkle with sausage pieces, if using. Repeat twice, beginning with noodles and ending with sauce. Top with remaining 3 noodles, remaining sauce, and remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
- Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil sprayed with vegetable oil spray and bake until bubbling around edges, about 40 minutes. Discard foil and continue to bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1218mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 24g