Our family loves sauteed baby leaf spinach, and we love lasagna, so this Sauteed Spinach Lasagna Recipe was bound to happen!
The instructions include using canned products, but by far the best way to go is fresh Roma tomatoes. I can't wait to get into the garden again, and this is definitely one of those recipes that (while I dread turning the oven on in summer) I look forward to making when I can use garden fresh Roma tomatoes and basil. I might even feel industrious and make the mozzarella too!
To make our sauteed spinach vegetarian lasagna recipe, I suggest using an 11 x 15 inch lasagna pan as they are much larger (and I suggest having a few extra lasagna noodles on hand so that you can layer them whatever way you like in the additional space).
This recipe will fill it to the brim, or make two smaller lasagnas.
Start out with making your sauce, as it really does best when it is allowed to simmer for at least an hour and preferably two hours.
In a deep cooking pot or Dutch oven, heat your oil to medium and add minced onion and garlic.
Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the onion and garlic are slightly browned, add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce.
Stir to combine and break down the paste, then season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp fresh basil.
Stir again before covering the sauce, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally.
When it's close to being time to assemble your lasagna, boil the lasagna noodles for 8-10 minutes then drain and rinse them.
Also, combine your ricotta mixture, mix the ricotta cheese, salt, fresh basil, and beaten eggs.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and lightly oil your lasagna pan or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt some butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the baby leaf spinach and stir to coat the leaves with butter. Saute for about 2 minutes or until the leaves are just beginning to wilt (add optional pinch of salt, if desired).
Remove from heat and set aside for assembling your lasagna.
Spread 1 ½ cups of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the lasagna pan and arrange the first 6 noodles across the width of the pan (they will be too short to layer them lengthwise in this longer pan).
Spoon your sauteed spinach over the noodles then spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of the spinach and top with ⅓ of the sliced or grated mozzarella cheese.
If you have extra noodles, add another layer on top of the cheeses, or spoon another 1 ½ cups of the tomato sauce on top of the mozzarella cheese.
Add a ¼ c of Parmesan cheese and repeat the layers (minus a second spinach layer).
Top the assembled lasagna with the remaining cheese and cover with aluminum foil.
Make sure that the aluminum foil has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray unless it will not be touching the cheese topping on the lasagna.
Bake the lasagna at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 minutes, then remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes.
The cheese topping will be completely melted and the sauce will be bubbling around the lasagna edges when it is done baking.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.
Sauteed Spinach Lasagna Recipe
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ c onion (minced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 14.5 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 12 oz can tomato paste
- 1 29 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ Tbsp each, salt & pepper
- 4 Tbsp fresh basil (chopped, reserve half for the ricotta mixture)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 16 oz baby spinach
- 12 lasagna noodles (cooked, drained and rinsed)
- ¾ lb mozzarella cheese (sliced or grated)
- ¾ lb Parmesan cheese
- 32 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- In a deep cooking pot or Dutch oven, add vegetable oil and cook onion and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Add tomato products (crushed or diced tomatoes, paste and sauce) and stir to combine.
- Add seasoning: sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, and 2 Tbsp fresh basil. Stir the seasoning into the tomato sauce thoroughly and cover. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Bring a large pot of water (lightly salted) to a boil, add lasagna noodles, and cook 8-10 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.
- Combine ricotta mixture in a medium/large mixing bowl, add ricotta cheese, eggs (beaten), the remaining 2 Tbsp fresh basil, and 1 tsp salt.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly coat your lasagna pan with oil or use a non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, and add the spinach. Stir to coat the leaves with butter and cook only about 2 minutes, just long enough for the leaves to begin to wilt (season with a pinch of salt, if desired). Remove from heat and set aside until assembling the lasagna.
- To layer your lasagna, start by spreading 1 ½ c of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the lasagna pan. Arrange six noodles across the width of the pan on the tomato sauce, then spread ½ the ricotta mixture onto the noodles. Top ricotta cheese mixture with ⅓ of the mozzarella cheese (sliced or grated), then spoon 1 ½ c of the tomato sauce over the mozzarella. After the tomato sauce layer add ¼ c Parmesan cheese and repeat layers. Once done with both layers, use remaining cheese to top off the lasagna.
- Cover with aluminum foil (use non-stick cooking spray on underside of the foil, or make sure that the foil does not touch the top layer of cheese). Bake for 25 minutes, remove foil and bake another 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling at pan edges. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!