White Spinach Lasagna
Sorry to interrupt the cookie making, but we all need to eat dinner don’t we?
I for one have been craving cozy, hearty dinners to balance the holiday confections, so this white lasagna was so perfect last weekend.
Something about the cheesy from-scratch white sauce, the thick, creamy spinach filling, and layers of noodles is just what I’ve been craving lately. (and it’s a great way to sneak some green veggies into Hugo’s diet so I can’t complain!)
This white lasagna is truly spectacular. It’s pretty easy to make, and yields a huge pan that lasted our family for 3 meals. (I loved it with a big lemony salad on the side.)
The spinach is sautéed with onions and garlic, mixed with a creamy ricotta mixture, and layered with the most decadent cheesy sauce filled with mozzarella and gruyere. I highly recommend getting the best cheeses you can, as the flavors really stand out and good cheese makes all the difference. Enjoy!
White Spinach Lasagna
- For the Spinach:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lbs of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- For the Ricotta:
- 2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 4 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less if you want a kick or not)
- For the White Sauce:
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
- 5 cups whole milk
- 12 ounces grated low moisture mozzarella cheese
- 12 ounces grated gruyere cheese
- For Assembly:
- 16-20 no-bake lasagna noodles
For the Spinach/Ricotta Mixture:
- In a large saucepan (I like using my big 5 qt dutch oven just to have a lot of room.) melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the garlic and onions and sauté until golden. Add the spinach and stir for a few minutes to marry all the flavors. Turn off heat and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add half the ricotta, the eggs, parmesan cheese, nutmeg and salt & pepper. Process for a few minutes until blended and smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. (don't wipe the food processor bowl out.)
- To the food processor add the spinach/garlic mixture and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the bowl with the ricotta mixture as well as the rest of the ricotta cheese. Stir until blended and smooth.
For the White Sauce:
- In a large saucepan (I like to wipe out the dutch oven a bit and use that again,) melt the 5 tablespoons of butter and then add the flour- whisking constantly until golden. Add the milk gradually, about a cup at a time, stirring well between each addition. When thick and bubbly, add 3/4 of the mozzarella and 3/4 of the gruyere. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- In a 9x13 lasagna pan, start by spreading a small amount of the white sauce onto the bottom of the pan. Top with a layer of noodles (I used 4 across for each layer,) Spread 1/3 of the spinach mixture on top of the noodles, followed by 1/4 of the sauce. Repeat 3 more times, noodles- spinach- sauce. Topping with a 4th layer of noodles, the last 1/4 of sauce and the remaining cheese.
- Cover tightly with foil, and bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
Recipe adapted from: Serious Eats
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We definitely need to eat dinner. Especially if it’s cheesy and full of spinach like this! Such a yummy looking pasta :)
This looks better than any cookie I’ve seen today! I’m seriously swooning over that gorgeous pan of lasagna, and I wish I had a big slice in from of me right now! Definitely going to have to try making this.
mmmm mmm mmmm we def. do need dinner and even I would be ok with taking a break from the cookies for some of this lasagna!
Made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful! I love that the spinach mixture goes in the food processor. It makes a much more delicate sauce. This is the best spinach lasagna I’ve ever made. Thank you for this recipe. This is definitely a keeper!
Thank you for letting me know!!
Hey Audra, here in Brazil I’ve never seen frozen spinach in the frozen vegetables section! Can I use fresh spinach? Thank you! Have a nice day!
I just made it with fresh spinach and it worked out fine–I always keep frozen spinach in the freezer, but I had a ton of fresh leftover from another recipe and wanted to use it up before it went bad. I threw it in the food processor after the onion and garlic, then added it to the pan when I was towards the end of sauteing them. You probably don’t need to process it, but I didn’t want long stems interfering when I cut pieces of lasagna. I probably used 6-8 oz but could have used more.
What is no bake lasagna noodles? I am anxious to make this but never heard of no bake noodles.
They are noodles you don’t have to cook before assembling your lasagna! They’re awesome- you can get them at pretty much every grocery store!
If I am planning to make ahead and freeze can I still use the no-bake noodles?
Hi my name is Taylor Tate 23 year old my mom she cook spinach lasagna eating healthy and dinner rolls
Hey Audra, I usually avoid the no-boil lasagna noodles, they always turn out a bit too “al dente!” I have even added lots of milk to help cooking, it but still gets a bit too crunchy no matter what. Any tricks?
Hey! I always use the no-bake when I make lasagna and I find that if I use enough sauce they are always perfect. I don’t go crazy but just make sure each layer is generous with sauce
When you say “no-bake”, I assume you mean “no-boil” and not some kind of fresh noodle?
My daughter has celiac disease and I made this w gluten free noodles and gluten free AP flour and it came out wonderfully! I am a pastry chef and have been spending my free time adapting recipes to gluten free for my grown up daughter. I was very glad to see this recipe because she doesn’t like tomatoes!! Thank you!!
Thanks for taking the time to comment- I’m so glad this recipe worked gluten free!
Hi! I made this for the 2nd time this evening! I LOVE this recipe!!! Thank you!! The only comment I would have is that I had to cook it covered for 40 min’s and then cooked 30 min’s uncovered. This was in a non-stick pan and an electric oven. Thank you, my family loves it!!!
Thank you for sharing this recipe. We made it last night, it was delicious and will definitely feed us all night 2 as well.
How is this with overnight or freezing? Any recommendations?
I made similar one for Christmas. I made it the night before it was a huge hit. I would add a little more white sauce because of the no boo noddles. It freezes well. I’m making it now with par boiled noodles. Didn’t have enough no boil. ♀️
Would like to know, too, if this can be made ahead of time and frozen.
Can I make this the night before? If so, how do I re-heat before serving?
Pros: easy to assemble, spinach with garlic and onions lovely, bechamel sauce was good
Cons: I did not like the texture of the spinach mixture, and I found the nutmeg overpowering. I had only used half of the recommended amount and it was still too strong. But I dislike nutmeg.
Hi Christmas 2020 I would like to know the answer to the same question that others asked, can I make it a day ahead of time? In México
yes! Make it and cover and then put in the fridge. Then bake the next day!
I would like to make some of this ahead of time and freeze it. Will the Spinach/Ricotta Mixture and the White Sauce get ruined? The only the other thing I am able to think of is to refrigerate the 2 of them and assemble with the noodles.
Your feedback is appreciated.
Hey Eric! I don’t think it should be a problem to freeze this!
I am a seasoned cook. This was the absolute best spinach lasagna I have ever made or tasted.
I made this on a whim for my birthday. Holy shit it was amazing. The recipe could have combined a few steps. It’s a labor intensive expensive recipe but SO GOOD!
Ours turned out more like a spinach souffle and it was too dry. I would recommend making sure your spinach retains some liquid when you make it. The layers also seemed to mush together. I was hoping it would retain more of a layered effect. Perhaps some straight cheese in the layers would help.
Can I use regular lasgana noodles that you boil? Will temp and cook time be the same?
Yes and yes!
The recipe sounds delish and want to try it but need help. Would someone please explain now to make a bechamel sauce with 3/4 amount of mozzerella (as the recipe states) and not have it sticky, stringy and thick?
Hi Kary. Are you hoping to reduce the cheese amount?
Hello! This turned out amazing! Will be making again!
Thanks so much for letting me know!
I plan on making it tonight. I have 2 questions:
1. Are you adding the spinach frozen to the mixture or thawing it first?
2. Have you ever added ground chicken to the spinach mixture? My family wants a little protein added.
Hi! Sorry for the late reply, you probably have already made this.
I definitely would add ground chicken to this recipe. Not sure what you did but I’d sauteé it with onion/garlic and seasonings and ad to spinach mixture.
I use thawed and drained frozen spinach or fresh.
I made this for Christmas Eve 2022. It was a hit! I served it with a smear of warm homemade marinara on each plate (great flavor combo and looked Christmasy) and garlic bread.
A couple changes I made:
-I left out the nutmeg
-I put the cayenne into the white sauce rather than the ricotta mixture (just because I figured it would be easier to distribute evenly)
-I accidentally processed all the ricotta instead of just part of it; this was still fine, but it made the finished lasagna a tad too creamy (still excellent though)
-I parboiled the noodles before assembly (followed the FoodWishes technique & boiled them about 4 minutes)
-I didn’t end up using about 1 cup of the white sauce during assembly, since it already looked adequately sauced (and it was perfect); I saved the sauce for another dish
Overall, time consuming but wonderful. High quality cheese is a must.
Thank you for your notes and I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
The refrigerated leftovers reheated great in the microwave.
However, I also froze a few pieces, and then I later thawed them in the fridge and microwaved them. These didn’t turn out great. They got a little muddy flavored and watery. So I wouldn’t recommend freezing this dish once it’s been baked.
I would like to make it ahead and freeze it. Do you recommend freezing it unbaked, half-baked, or fully baked?
Hi! Sorry for the delay.
You could really do either, but I’d probably freeze it unbaked. You may need to add a little cook time, so just check it to see!