The Best Vegetarian Lasagna You’ll Ever Sink Your Teeth Into

I never promised only to create healthy recipes.

I’ll admit, a lot of my recipes are geared toward healthier eating in general, but not all of them. Some of them are simply about eating delicious, creamy, cheesy food and never feeling an ounce of guilt.

This is one of those recipes.

A spatula removes a portion of cheesy vegetarian lasagna from a casserole dish.

I kind of had this goal to lose 5 lbs by the end of January. Everything was going great! Until this weekend.

Top down view of creamy ricotta and herb filling in a glass mixing bowl.

On Thursday night (pretty much a weekend night) AJ and I went and had dinner at a new-ish restaurant called Ember down in Arroyo Grande. They have a giant wood-fired oven right in their open-format kitchen and they serve the most amazing flavor combinations from every single part of their menu.

Top down view of sauteed mushrooms in a cast iron pan.

I found a pizza with local chantarelle and black trumpet mushrooms with truffled goat cheese. OMG. And AJ found one with squid and chorizo. WTF?! But it was soooo oooo ooo good.

Top down view of a casserole dish filled with a partially made vegetarian lasagna showing a layer of kale.

And then Friday we met AJ’s parents for lunch at Fish Goucho in Paso, where AJ ate a whole burro (as opposed to a burrito). And then we continued to eat and eat and eat all weekend and I’m pretty sure I’ll have gained 5 lbs by the end of January instead of having lost any.

New Years’ resolutions are for made for procrastination, right?!

Top down view of a unbaked vegetarian lasagna in a white porcelain casserole dish. Close up view.

So instead of jumping right back on the bandwagon of healthy-ness and skinny jeans, I’m pulling out the stretchy pants and celebrating with this lasagna. Yesss.

Top down view of a entire cheesy vegetarian lasagna in a white casserole dish on a black background.

This might look like your standard lasagna, with spinach and mushrooms and such – but believe you me, this guy has got some special stuffs going on. And it’s mostly all in the cheeses.

A top view of a baked cheesy lasagna in a white, porcelain casserole dish with a black background.

I wanted to use some interesting cheeses that aren’t generally associated with lasagna (namely, mozzarella and parmesan).

So I went to my local Whole Foods and talked to the cheese guy until I settled on some Raclette and Gruyère cheeses. The Raclette is kind of like a fontina (so he told me), but a little more complex, and makes for fantastic melting. The Gruyère reminds me of a pecorino romano, but also more complex.

A metal spatula lifts a cube of cheesy vegetarian lasagna from a white porcelain baking dish.

The combination of these cheeses was just mind boggling.

(But if you can’t find either of them then this will still be fantastic with fontina and pecorino romano, which are more commonly available)

A slab of cheesy vegetarian sitting on a white, porcelain plate with a black background.

This is a home-made lasagna, which means that it’ll take a little longer than most recipes on Foodal. But make it every now and then and the flavors are so totally worth it.

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A close up of a piece of cheesy vegetarian lasagna.

The Best Vegetarian Lasagna You’ll Ever Sink Your Teeth Into


  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minute
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x

Description

This vegetarian lasagna is comfort food at it’s best. Stuffed with herbed ricotta, mushrooms, and kale and topped with delicious melty cheese. It’s the perfect lasagna!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lasagne noodles*
  • 2832 oz marinara sauce
  • 12 oz baby spinach*
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 20 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup cooking sherry
  • 15 oz ricotta
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, optional
  • 2 cups shredded Raclette or Fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère or Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions

Prep the Layers:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325ºF. Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the kale in a steamer basket and lower into the water. Cook until wilted but still a bit crunchy, about 1 minute. Remove and drain the kale in a colander.
  3. Place the spinach in the steamer basket and lower into the water. Cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove and drain.
  4. Once the greens are cool, squeeze out all the water you can.
  5. Place the mushrooms in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring every now and then, until they release their juices and the juices have nearly evaporated. Add the cooking sherry, toss, and let cook until the sherry is almost evaporated, and then remove from the heat.
  6. Mix the ricotta, basil, thyme, and milk together in a medium bowl. Add the crushed red pepper if you want a bit of spice.

Make the Lasagna:

  1. Oil a 9×13″ baking dish. Line the bottom with a single layer of lasagna noodles going in the short direction (you’ll have to cut them). Use the back of a spoon to spread about 1/3 of the ricotta mixture across them. Top with about 1/4 of the marinara, using the spoon to spread it out evenly.
  2. Top the marinara with 1/3 of the kale, spinach, and mushrooms, spreading them out evenly.
  3. Add another layer of the noodles going the opposite direction (lengthwise) and repeat the layering, then repeat everything again. You should have 3 layers of noodles topped with filling.
  4. Finish with a final layer of noodles topped with marinara sauce and covered with the two cheeses.
  5. Cover tightly with foil (if necessary, use toothpicks to make sure the foil doesn’t touch the top) and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and turn on the broiler and cook for 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown in spots and bubbly.
  6. Cut with a sharp knife and serve immediately.

Notes

– I always use noodles that require boiling first because I hate when the no-boil ones never actually get soft enough. But if you’ve had success with no-boil ones then by all means!

– If you’re like AJ and prefer a really saucy lasagna, then I’d recommend using another half jar of marinara sauce. This is also a good idea if you are using no-boil noodles.

– You could also use a thawed bag of frozen wilted spinach instead of wilting it yourself. Drain well.

  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: vegetarian, lasagna, cheese, kale, spinach

What about you? Did you make this and love it as much as we did? If so, let us know in the comments below and please rate the recipe!

And if you love lasagna, then some of these recipes will definitely tickle your tummy:

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on December 14th, 2015. Last updated: January 30, 2019 at 10:19 am. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

42 thoughts on “The Best Vegetarian Lasagna You’ll Ever Sink Your Teeth Into”

    • I looooove this recipe! As a vegetarian its my new staple. I’ve made it for so many people vegetarians and meat eaters love it! I do add an onion and omit the mushrooms and I add cheese in the layers but its amazing! Thanks!

  1. These photos are really stunning! And it sounds delicious. Sometimes this time of year you just have to forget about the calories and enjoy food like it was meant to be enjoyed!

  2. Don’t know how I am just now seeing this, but it looks simply INCREDIBLE. I think you named it quite appropriately! pinned!

  3. We are going to have to make this for my parents who are finding it harder to cook from recipes. (now they are getting older) They love Lasagna, I will let you know what they think!

  4. Lawd almighty. Made this over the weekend. Joburg was being moody and we were forced to stay indoors and get fat. It honestly was the most epic lasagne we had ever made. We made our marinara from scratch, and due to a ricotta shortage, we did substitute half for cream cheese, still amaze. We were surprised at how easy the prep was, and good to know it’s a crowd pleaser. Thanks for the great recipe – will definitely make it again!

  5. Hi! I’m wondering if it would be equally amazing if I did every step before placing it in the oven and instead put it in the fridge until the next day. I’m
    Short on time the night we are planning to have guest.

    • Yep! That should work just great. It might need a tad bit longer in the oven because it’s starting out cold, but no more than 5-10 minutes.

  6. Wow, this was so good! I added garlic, salt, pepper, and an egg to the ricotta mixture but other than that, kept it the same! I did use the regular noodles and one and a half jars of sauce because my lasagna usually comes out dry. It was so perfect, we loved it and would definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I found this recipe way too much work, ie; cooking all of the veggies separately. The recipe didn’t specify how much Marinara, so I ended up not having enough, too many mushrooms, and it was kind of dry after I cooked it. Sorry, I really wanted to like it- but it was too much work and not too great in the end…… Also, isn’t there usually Mozzarella in the layers?

    • Sorry you didn’t like this, Jill – everyone has different tastes. I did update the recipe with a volume of marinara sauce to help others avoid a dry lasagne. As for the mozzarella, there is often mozzarella in lasagne, but not always. For this recipe I went without, but (for anyone else looking to make this) feel free to include it if you wish.

  8. Just made this recipe for the second time. I used a combination of Romano, Parmesan, and Fontina cheeses. My whole family loves this recipe- which is a shock because my parents are all about the meat. Thanks so much!

  9. Raquel.

    This is a fantastic recipe. I have made it twice for different groups and both loved it…and many asked for the recipe. The Fontina and Gruyere cheeses really make it…great flavors. Love the spinach and kale combo. Thanx for adding a new entry in my recipe folder.

    Jim

  10. Making my grocery list now. Planning to try this tonight. Looks delicious. Was considering a vegan alternative without the cheese, but I am feeling cheesy today! Namaste.

  11. My girlfriend made this tonight. It was very good. Highly recommended. We added extra marinara sauce and used mozzarella in place of the cheeses listed. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Raquel!

  12. Made an extra large pan of this and have to say it is fabulous! Mine came out a little soupy I think because I roasted zucchini, Bell pepper hoping to throw off some of the water.

    I sprinkled a little extra cheese on the layers in between and just used one of the pre-shredded Italian cheese packets.

    Doing the prep work the day before made assembly easier. You might want to dry off the lasagna noodles gently with a paper towel after storing them in water.

    All in all it is wonderful. Trying to think of other vegetables to add that aren’t so late with water.

  13. Made the lasagna this morning. Did prep work yesterday which made assembly easier today. Mine came out a little soupy I think because I added zucchini and Bell pepper‘s to the kale/mushroom mixture My pre-roasted all vegetables to eliminate extra water, but there is still a little more than normal.

    I would also pay dry the noodles if you cook them the day before (store them in a bowl of water)

    All in all it is delicious and the water mixes with the ricotta /marinara to make nice sauce.

  14. Just wanted to say your photos are really great.. Tiny critique: I found the serving shot looked a little flat and lopsided but then you did use a ton of cheese. I’ve always preferred a high stacked lasagne where you can clearly see several layers. I sometimes add a layer of sauteed eggplant slices along with red kale or even baby kale which is so tender you don’t need to pre-cook it.

  15. Hands down the best! This is the only lasagna I make now! My husband is a big meat and potatoes kinda guy and he asks for this for his birthday dinner! It’s my favorite

  16. Made this last night with whole wheat lasagna noodles. Everyone seemed to like it and the two 2 year olds were all over the mushrooms. I think next time is chop the mushrooms smaller rather than slice as some were really big, just a texture preference.

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