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This incredibly delicious Vegetable Lasagna is the definition of refined comfort food! It’s a masterpiece of creamy and cheesy goodness where layers of rich ricotta, velvety bechamel sauce, gooey cheese, and fresh veggies meet between tender noodles.
Best Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
Who can resist the comforting embrace of a hearty lasagna? But not everyone wants to indulge in the meaty version, and that’s where this vegetarian lasagna recipe truly shines! It combines all the best elements of the classic while omitting the meat and adding creamy bechamel sauce and layers of fresh veggies.
Why You’ll Love This Vegetable Lasagna
- Easy Recipe! This recipe perfectly combines simplicity and sophistication. With easy-to-follow steps, even a novice in the kitchen can master this delicious restaurant-quality dish.
- Vegetarian Delight! With layers of rich bechamel sauce, melty cheese, and flavorful veggies, this dish proves that vegetarian cuisine can be just as complex and indulgent as any meat-based counterpart.
- Crowd Pleaser! Vegetable lasagna is a universally appealing dish that every home cook should have in their culinary arsenal. It promises to be a hit for family meals, dinner parties, and special occasions.
- Olive Oil: Used to sauté the vegetables and add richness.
- Garlic: Adds a layer of pungent aromatic flavor. I always use freshly minced garlic cloves.
- Zucchini: Provides a contrasting crisp texture and a slightly sweet note.
- Yellow Squash: Similar to the zucchini, it adds a delicate crunch and a touch of natural sweetness.
- Red Bell Pepper: Gives the dish a pop of color and another layer of flavor.
- Frozen Spinach: Thawed and thoroughly squeezed dry, frozen spinach adds vibrant color and delicious earthiness.
- Oven-Ready Lasagna Noodles: These convenient sheets of dried pasta don’t require pre-boiling and provide the foundation.
- Ricotta Cheese: Brings a creamy, slightly tangy richness to the filling.
- Egg: Serves as a binding agent that helps to create a smooth texture.
- Salt and Pepper: Used to season the ricotta mixture to taste.
- Marinara Sauce: Adds some umami that complements the rich bechamel. You can use store-bought or homemade marinara sauce.
- Cheeses: Shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese form the gooey good top layer of the lasagna.
- Butter: Serves as a key ingredient that adds richness to the bechamel sauce.
- All-Purpose Flour: Used as a thickening agent in combination with the butter to create a smooth, velvety consistency.
- Milk: Provides the creamy liquid base of the bechamel. Keep in mind that lower-fat milk will produce a lighter consistency.
- Nutmeg: A pinch of nutmeg adds depth to the sauce by giving it a touch of warmth.
- Salt and Pepper: Used to season the sauce and develop the flavor.
What sets this recipe apart is the convenience it offers. From using oven-ready pasta that eliminates the need to boil lasagna noodles to straightforward steps that teach you how to make bechamel, this recipe is all about creating a gourmet dish with very little effort.
To begin, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Then grab a 9×13-inch baking dish and set it aside.
While the oven is warming up, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Then add the garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, and bell pepper and saute for a few minutes until the veggies are tender.
It’s time to create the velvety white sauce! First, melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Next, whisk in the flour and cook it for one minute while stirring continuously.
Then slowly add the milk while still whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Now, season the sauce with nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook the bechamel until it thickens up.
With your sauce ready, it’s time to focus on the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, drained frozen spinach, salt, and black pepper. Then whisk the mixture together until fully incorporated.
The next step is to construct your tasty masterpiece! To begin, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of your 9×13-inch baking dish. Next, layer the ricotta-spinach mixture, followed by some sautéed vegetables and a drizzle of the bechamel sauce. Then repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of marinara sauce over the noodles. Now, sprinkle the top of your lasagna with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese to complete the dish.
To bake, cover the lasagna in aluminum foil and then transfer it to the preheated oven to bake for an hour. Then uncover the dish and let it bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese becomes golden brown and bubbly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I add to my lasagna?
There are no rules for what you can add to lasagna! Some popular additions include mushrooms, butternut squash, thinly sliced roasted eggplant, and fresh herbs like fresh basil or oregano. You can even add meat if you like, experiment with different types of cheese, or use alfredo sauce instead of bechamel.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can assemble the lasagna a day ahead and store it in the frigid covered tightly with plastic wrap. Then when ready, remove the plastic wrap, cover with foil, and bake as directed.
How do you keep veggie lasagna from getting soggy?
To prevent your vegetable lasagna from becoming soggy, make sure to remove excess moisture from the sautéed vegetables and thawed spinach before using them as fillings. Additionally, use oven-ready lasagna noodles, as they absorb less moisture compared to traditional boiled noodles. Properly layering your lasagna with sauce, cheese, and fillings can also help maintain the right balance of moisture.
Why is my vegetable lasagna watery?
It’s likely due to the water from the vegetables. This is why it’s important to remove any excess moisture from the sautéed vegetables and thawed spinach before using them as fillings. Also, allowing the lasagna to rest after baking can help it set.
- Strain lumpy bechamel. Don’t worry if your bechamel sauce develops lumps during preparation. You can pass it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps before using it in your lasagna.
- Drain and dry the spinach. After thawing the frozen spinach, make sure to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Excess moisture can make your lasagna watery.
- Remove excess moisture after sauteing. Sometimes vegetables can release a lot of water during cooking. If this happens, just remove the extra liquid before building your lasagna.
- Allow the casserole to rest. After baking, let your vegetable lasagna rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This time allows the flavors to meld and ensures that the lasagna holds together when you cut into it.
To store, cover the vegetable lasagna with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container. To reheat, warm it in the microwave on medium power or in the oven at 350°F (178°C).
Discover More Vegetarian Recipes
- Pasta Primavera
- Fresh Spring Rolls
- Arugula Walnut Pesto Pasta
- Vegetable Tortellini Soup
- Pasta Pomodoro
- 2 talbespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 medium zucchini (thinly sliced)
- 2 medium yellow squash (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium red bell pepper (diced)
- 16 ounces frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
- 12 sheets oven ready lasagna noodles
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2½ cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, followed by zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Gradually add in the milk, constantly whisking to avoid lumps. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens.
- In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, egg, frozen spinach, salt, and pepper.
- In a 9×13-inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce. Add a layer of lasagna noodles. Next, layer with the ricotta-spinach mixture. Add some sautéed vegetables and drizzle a portion of the bechamel sauce over them. Repeat these layers, finishing with a layer of marinara sauce over noodles. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese on top.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Oven-Ready Noodles: Seriously, these are a game-changer, making this dish come together even quicker. If you’re using traditional lasagna noodles, make sure to pre-cook them according to package instructions.
- Squeeze That Spinach: Don’t skip squeezing the water out of the thawed spinach. Trust me, you don’t want a soggy lasagna!
- Bechamel Love: This sauce can thicken quickly, so keep an eye on it. If it gets too thick, just add a splash of milk to loosen it up.
- Cheesy Business: Feel free to mix up the cheeses. A blend of mozzarella, provolone, or even a touch of smoked Gouda could add some extra oomph!
- Make Ahead: This lasagna is a prime candidate for prepping in advance. Just assemble, cover, and refrigerate. When you’re ready, bake it to golden, bubbly perfection!
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.