This recipe for vegetarian spinach lasagna was an instant hit with my family. We eat a meatless supper at least once per week for a number of reasons. Buying less meat saves money. Eating less meat is healthy and good for the planet. And perhaps most importantly, eating less meat encourages us to eat more of others things. We love getting creative in the kitchen.
I once heard a statistic that said the average family eats only a handful of meals over and over. There are so many things to eat that you could probably eat something completely different for several months. If you need some colorful inspiration, check out my post on how to eat a rainbow. We have made a game of eating the five color groups.
To create this recipe, I was inspired by this one from Weelicious for spinach lasagna rolls. I love this meal because it can be made from scratch or simplified with a few prepackaged ingredients.
Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna
1 recipe red sauce
1 pound fresh spinach
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
12 lasagna noodles (I prefer the oven-ready kind)
Step 1: Make the red sauce
Prepare the red sauce according to the recipe. This will take about 45 minutes, but it can be done in advance and the sauce will store in the refrigerator for a few days. You can substitute jarred sauce, but it will not have the same nutritional benefits or be as filling as this recipe, which has lots of fresh vegetables.
Step 2: Prep the spinach
While the sauce is cooking, wash the spinach thoroughly and remove the stems. The stems are woody and not good to eat. This is time-consuming, but necessary. I put Lil’ Wheezy (6) to the task and he enjoyed it. When the spinach is ready, roughly chop it into smaller pieces. Place it in a pot with about a cup of water. Bring it to a boil and simmer until the spinach has wilted. It will take less than ten minutes and the spinach will have significantly reduced in size.
Step 3: Mix the filling
When the spinach is cooked, allow it to cool. Combine it with 2 cups of the mozzarella and egg. (The other 1 cup of cheese will be used on top.)
Step 4: Assemble the spinach lasagna
Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread a small amount of the sauce. Place three noodles lengthwise in the dish. Spread about half of the spinach-cheese mixture over the noodles. Top with about 1/3 of the red sauce. Repeat the layers: noodles, spinach, red sauce. Add a third layer of noodle. Top that with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the reserved cup of mozzarella over the top.
Note: You can stop here and refrigerate the lasagna for about 24 hours or wrap it and freeze it for longer storage. Be sure to bring the dish to room temperature before baking or it may shatter.
Step 5: Bake
Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown the cheese.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing. This will feed 4-6 people.
We love eating a variety of foods. If you are playing the color game, this dish alone has red tomatoes, orange carrots, green bell pepper, celery, and spinach, and white onions. As my children would say, it sounds like you need to have blueberries for dessert.