Spectacular Spinach Lasagna

This isn’t a dish I make all that often, but every time I do, I re-resolve to pull it back into more frequent rotation. It’s so, so good.

The cons: It’s a little labor-intensive – not “difficult” at all; it just involves quite a lot of ingredients (none of which are expensive) and a bunch of different pots and pans. I hate cleaning pots and pans with a passion, so if I’m willing to clean four of them, that means we’re talking about a seriously delicious meal.

The pros: It makes children eat spinach. Like, request it. What?! (And it keeps really well in the freezer if you want to eat half now and save the rest for a day when you are too tired to do things like construct layered pasta dishes.)

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What You Need:

For the sauce:

1 24 oz can diced tomatoes

1 24 oz can tomato puree

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp summer savory (if you have it)

1 tsp sugar (optional)

1/3 cup water

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

For the lasagna:

1 lb. lasagna noodles

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup finely chopped mushrooms (whatever type you like)

3 eggs, beaten

2 bags (about 1 1/2 lbs) baby spinach leaves, finely chopped

2 lb Ricotta cheese

1/4 lb grated Parmesan

1/2 lb grated Mozzarella

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

tomato sauce

What You Do: 

1. Preheat your oven to 350F and bring a large pot of water to boil (for the lasagna noodles; you can skip this if you’re using no-cook noodles).

2. First, let’s make the sauce. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pan sauté the garlic and onion in some olive oil. When the onion is translucent, add the diced tomatoes, the tomato puree, the summer savory (if you want), the sugar (only if necessary; taste the sauce first to see if it’s sweet enough for you), the water, and some salt & pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 1/2 hour.

mushrooms and onions

3. Next up: the filling for the lasagna. In a medium saucepan, sauté a couple more minced garlic cloves, the second finely diced onion, and the chopped mushrooms until everything is tender.

spinach and cheese

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion/mushroom mixture with the spinach, ricotta, parmesan, and eggs, as well as a dash of salt and pepper.

5. Cook the lasagna noodles in the pot of boiling water until al dente (they’ll cook a little more in the oven, so it’s best to have them sliiiiightly undercooked at this point). If you’re using no-cook noodles, you can obviously skip this step.

making spinach lasagna

6. Now it’s time to construct your dish. Lay four cooked noodles in the bottom of a baking dish, placing them close together (no-cook noodles may not reach the sides of your dish; that’s totally fine, because they’ll expand in the oven). My pan fits three noodles lengthwise and one sideways; whatever works for you.

7. Layer on some of the spinach/cheese mixture, then a generous sprinkling of the shredded mozzarella, then tomato sauce, and repeat until you’ve used up everything except for 1/2 cup of mozzarella.

unbaked spinach lasagna

8. Finish off with a layer of tomato sauce topped with the remaining mozzarella.

9. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

waiting for spinach lasagna

(The waiting is the hardest part.)

homemade spinach lasagna

10. Let the cooked lasagna rest about 10 minutes, so that it settles. Cut into squares, and serve.

(There’s really no need for side dishes, but garlic bread is always good.)

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