⬇️ Table of Contents
This spinach lasagna is a delicious and easy way to get your greens! Layers of fresh spinach, cheesy ricotta, and tender pasta noodles come together in this classic Italian dish. Serve it with a simple salad and some crusty bread for a complete meal.
This spinach lasagna is a great option for a meatless lasagna Monday. It is packed with nutrients from spinach, and the cheese and pasta provide plenty of protein. This dish can also be made ahead of time and reheated for an easy weeknight dinner.
If you are looking for a heartier lasagna, you can add some cooked ground beef or sausage to the layers. You can also use frozen spinach in place of fresh in this recipe.
What is Spinach Lasagna❓
Spinach lasagna is a dish consisting of pasta noodles layered with cheese, spinach, and tomato sauce.
Guide To Making Spinach Lasagna
What to expect from our tutorial:
- Making Fresh Pasta
- Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- Bolognese Sauce
- Lasagna Filling
The key to a great spinach lasagna is using good technique. Each section covered below can be replaced in part by a store-bought item. This post aims to offer those that enjoy the complete experience of homemade, handmade lasagna a true culinary adventure.
- Mozzarella Cheese - 8 slices (Slice into large pieces)
- Parmesan Cheese - 1 ¼ cup (Add much as you enjoy)
- Swiss Cheese - 6 slices (Use what kind of sliced cheese you enjoy)
- Tomato Sauce - 24 oz (Selection: San Marzano Tomatoes)
- Lasagna Noodles / Dry Sheets - 1 box (Oven read dry pasta noodle sheets sold at the grocery store.)
Spinach / Cheese Filling
- Frozen Spinach / or Fresh Spinach - 2 cups (16 oz - Chopped Spinach)
- Ricotta Cheese - 3 cups
- Parmesan Cheese - 1 ¼ cup
- Black Pepper - ⅛ tsp
- Sea Salt or Kosher Salt - ¼ tsp
Sausage / Cheese Filling
- Sausage - 4 links
- Cottage Cheese - ½ cup (Option: Replace with additional Ricotta cheese)
- Ricotta Cheese - ½ cup
- Red Pepper Flakes - ¼ tsp (Up to 1 teaspoon depending on your desired spice level.)
Ever tried making homemade pasta?...
Making Fresh Homemade Pasta
Making your own pasta gives you the same sense of discovery as traveling to a new, distant location. The ability to make pasta on your own is tremendously empowering and opens up a huge range of potential applications.
The texture of eating fresh pasta is incredible!
Making pasta from scratch is a technique that has been around for centuries. The first recorded mention of pasta comes from the ancient Egyptians, who made a type of pasta called "maa'a". However, pasta, as we know it, didn't become popular until the Italians started making it in the 1300s.
There are many different ways to make pasta from scratch, but the most common technique is to mix flour and water together to form a dough. You can then use a variety of tools to shape the dough into different forms, such as noodles, lasagna sheets, or ravioli.
Making Homemade Ricotta Cheese
You only need to take a few easy steps to make homemade ricotta cheese.
Once prepared, let the cheese sit in the fridge for the night. The next day, the texture is amazing.
I will teach you how to make an Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese. Here's our link to the instructions and recipe.
About The Classic Old World Italian Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is a type of cheese made from the whey left over from the production of other cheeses. The cheese is made by heating the whey until it thickens and then adding a bacterial culture. The cheese is then drained and shaped into balls or loaves.
Ricotta cheese has a creamy texture and a mildly sweet flavor. It is often used in lasagna, ravioli, and other Italian dishes. Ricotta cheese can also be used as a spread on bread or crackers or eaten alone as a snack.
🧀Ricotta vs. Béchamel: Which is Best for Lasagna❓
When it comes to making spinach lasagna, some people prefer to use ricotta cheese, while others prefer béchamel sauce. So, which is the best way to go?
- Ricotta Cheese: Ricotta cheese is a soft, creamy cheese that is made from whey and milk. It is often used in Italian dishes, such as lasagna and ravioli. Ricotta cheese is a good choice for lasagna because it is light, fluffy, and blends well with spinach. It also has a slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with the tomato sauce.
- Béchamel Sauce: Béchamel sauce is a classic French white sauce made with butter, flour, and milk. It is a thick, creamy sauce used in many dishes, such as lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and soups. Some people prefer béchamel sauce in their spinach lasagna because it adds richness and depth of flavor to the dish.
Watch How To Make Spinach Lasagna
Step #1: Begin with the spinach; we need to remove the water, or the lasagna will not be a great texture. Microwave the spinach on high for 3 minutes. Then allow it to cool. Stick in the refrigerator. Place a cloth towel in the middle of a bowl. Add microwaved spinach in the middle and pull each towel corner together.
Watch a Demonstration of Removing the Water from the Spinach
The key is to squeeze/remove 80-90% of the spinach water. Take your time, this will ensure your spinach lasagna will not be soggy or loose. Instead, removing the water will allow it to set up and be sliced into nice pieces.
Add the water-removed spinach to the food processor and pulse a few times to start. Then, using a fork, move the spinach around to help the food processor. Add in the ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper, and combine until smooth.
Making the Sausage Filling Layer
Choose a sausage you enjoy. I used bratwurst. Remove the sausage from the casing and place it in a clean food processor. Add cottage cheese along with the remaining ricotta cheese. If you dislike cottage cheese, note that the texture will be very different once combined with the sausage. You might just enjoy it. Cottage cheese is made with only curds and whey, the same ingredients used to make mozzarella cheese.
Replace the cottage cheese with additional ricotta cheese. You can scale back the amount of ricotta cheese added to step #1, the spinach and cheese blend. Or you could buy more while shopping for the lasagna. The recipe can be changed slightly on the amounts of each cheese. A little more, a little less…
Making the Homemade Tomato Sauce
I take great pleasure in making tomato sauce. Using the best ingredients you can find would be my top piece of advice. Next is using the best techniques, which I walk you through step by step.
I have two methods for you to try. One is easy, the second takes a few hours.
Baking the Lasagna
Preheat your oven to 375 Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius.
- Cover the lasagna casserole with aluminum foil, and secure the top.
- Place on a cookie sheet to ensure no mess in the oven if your casserole bubbles over.
- Bake for one hour, then remove the cover and raise the oven temperature to 425.
- Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and delicious.
How Do You Freeze Lasagna❓
Lasagna can be frozen before or after cooking.
To freeze lasagna before cooking:
- Assemble the lasagna according to recipe instructions, but do not bake.
- Freeze the lasagna on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag.
- To cook frozen lasagna, bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- To freeze cooked lasagna, let it cool completely and follow the instructions above.
How To Reheat Lasagna❓
Place the lasagna on a baking sheet and bake it at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes or until it is heated through. If you are reheating individual pieces of lasagna, place them on a baking sheet and heat them for 10-12 minutes. You can also reheat lasagna in the microwave, but it will not be as crispy as if you reheated it in the oven. Place the lasagna on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 2-3 minutes or until it is heated.
Posts To Visit
📖 Recipe Card
- Mozzarella Cheese (Slice into large pieces) 8 slices
- Parmesan Cheese (Add much as you enjoy) 1 ¼ cup
- Swiss Cheese (Use what kind of sliced cheese you enjoy) 6 slices
- Tomato Sauce (Selection: San Marzano Tomatoes) 24 oz
- Lasagna Sheets (Oven read dry pasta sheet sold at the grocery store.) 1 box
Spinach / Cheese Filling
- Frozen Spinach (16 oz - Chopped Spinach) 2 cups
- Ricotta Cheese 3 cups
- Parmesan Cheese 1 ¼ cup
- Sea Salt ¼ teaspoon
- Black Pepper ⅛ teaspoon
Sausage / Cheese Filling
- Sausage (1 ½ cups minimum) 4 links
- Cottage Cheese (Option: Replace with additional Ricotta cheese) ½ cup
- Ricotta Cheese ½ cup
- Red Pepper Flakes (Up to 1 teaspoon depending on your desired spice level.) ¼ teaspoon
- Preparing the spinach is the first step. Use a kitchen towel and a large bowl, placing the spinach in the middle of the towel and squeezing out the water content. The more water you remove, the nicer the finished lasagna will slice to be plated.Microwave frozen spinach for 3 minutes, then allow it to cool enough to handle before removing the water. The key is to squeeze/remove 80-90% of the spinach water.
- Short How-To Video-Removing The Water
- The Lasagna Filling:Add the prepared spinach to the food processor and pulse a few times to start. Then using a fork, move the spinach around to help the food processor chop. Add in the ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese, pinch of salt and pepper and combine. Use red pepper flakes for an extra pop of spice.
- Learn how to make your own Ricotta Cheese
- The Sausage Filling:Choose a sausage you enjoy. I used bratwurst. Remove the sausage from the casing and place it in a clean food processor. Add cottage cheese along with the remaining ricotta cheese. If you dislike cottage cheese, the texture will be very different once combined with the sausage. You can, in place of the cottage cheese, use more ricotta cheese. The tip is to scale back the amount of ricotta cheese added to the spinach/cheese blend, or you could buy more while shopping for the lasagna ingredients. The recipe can be changed slightly on the amounts of each cheese. Little more, a little less...
- The Tomato Sauce:Using store-bought tomato sauce works just fine. Look for one with garlic and basil added or a simple marinara sauce.Now, if you're like me and love to make tomato sauce, I have the best possible technique ready for you to discover. Truly artisan culinary experience.Visit the post below in the notes section and learn how to make some great tomato sauce. For other tomato sauce recipes on our website, just use the search box at the top of your screen lookup tomato).
- Watch How-to Video on Tomato Sauce - Recipe link in the description
Making Spinach Lasagna
- Layer 1Using a casserole dish, begin with a layer of tomato sauce. You do not need to use a lot on this layer. Just enough to cover the base of the casserole dish.
- Layer 2Next, add a layer of noodles/pasta sheets. I often enjoy using store-bought, oven-ready lasagna sheets. Fresh will work. My suggestion is once you roll out the fresh pasta, allow it to air dry until it firms up some. Maybe even overnight. (If overnight, lay each pasta sheet flat).
- Layer 3 Add a layer of the spinach/cheese mix (use half).
- Layer 4Sprinkle on red pepper flakes (or not if you do not like a little spice), followed by a layer of 6 sliced pieces of swiss cheese (or select a cheese you like).
- Layer 5Add more pasta sheets & then a layer of the sausage/cheese filling.
- Layer 6Another layer of pasta, then more tomato sauce (be generous with the tomato sauce on this layer).
- Layer 7More spinach filling, this layer will make it thicker than the first if you have a lot of spinach still in your bowl. Something to pay attention to is perfect layers are a must.To achieve uniform layers, the amount should first be divided between two bowls before being divided between the two layers.
- Layer 8Finish the layers in this remaining order:1) Add more sliced swiss cheese2) More pasta sheets (4 sheets on the layer)3) More tomato sauce (try to keep some sauce for plating. Everyone wants more sauce.4) Grate some fresh mozzarella cheese and sprinkle it over the top layer of tomato sauce.5) Slice large/thick slices of the mozzarella cheese and place them on the top layer.6) Finish with sprinkles of parmesan cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit or 190 CelsiusCover the casserole dish with aluminum foil, making sure to secure the top.Place on a cookie sheet to make sure there's no mess in the oven.Bake for one hour, then remove the cover and raise the oven temperature to 425.Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and delicious.
- Presentation:Once out of the oven, allow the spinach lasagna to cool down. If you slice too soon, the lasagne slices will not look nice but will start to slide on the plate. I like to make this one day in advance to let the flavors develop. The presentation can be controlled by being able to make perfect slices from a cold lasagna straight from the refrigerator.If you decide to use your oven broiler to brown the top, it will only take a short few minutes for a beautiful presentation.