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Easy Rich and Creamy Spinach Lasagna

by | Oct 24, 2023 | Recipes

Making Spinach Lasagna is a great way to sneak in some veg without sacrificing the cheesy goodness of a traditional lasagna. This recipe combines frozen spinach with ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, and Italian seasoning to create a rich, creamy filling that’s layered between a savory meat sauce, noodles, and a trio of cheeses.

Close up photo of piece of Spinach Lasagna served on a blue plate.

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A lot of recipes you’ll find on the internet for spinach lasagna call for making a white sauce (aka béchamel). A white sauce is one of the “mother” sauces in French cuisine. It sounds fancy and intimidating, but it’s much easier to make than you’d think. You simply cook flour in melted butter and then turn the paste into a sauce by slowly adding in heavy cream and seasoning with salt and whatever spices you like.

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INGREDIENTS    TIPS & TRICKS    HOW-TO    RECIPE

Spinach Lasagna with Meat Sauce

A lasagna made with white sauce is certainly tasty. But I always miss the heartiness of a savory meat sauce that’s signature to a traditional lasagna. So I started making my Spinach Lasagna with my go-to Italian sausage meat sauce. However, I still wanted the creaminess that you get in a typical spinach lasagna. So I began experimenting with the spinach filling.

I was able to strike the perfect balance of creaminess using a mixture of plain ricotta cheese and cottage cheese. Ricotta is has a thick consistency and is a blank canvas as far as flavor goes. Because of this, it pairs well with the looser consistency and tanginess of cottage cheese. The combination results in an indulgent, creamy filling that’s the perfect consistency to hold together in a lasagna.

I use a food processor to blend the two together. Then I mix in the frozen spinach and some Italian seasoning and blend again. I keep blending the mixture until it’s a silky smooth purée.

Close up photo of frozen spinach, ricotta cheese, and cottage cheese blended in a food processor.

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Ingredients For Spinach Lasagna

Overhead photo of ingredients to make Spinach Lasagna. Ingredients include meat sauce, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, frozen spinach, Italian seasoning, mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, and lasagna noodles.

…a few notes about ingredients and making this Spinach Lasagna…

I opt to use frozen spinach because it’s supremely convenient. Dump the spinach into a mesh sieve and let thaw. Once thawed, use your hand to press the excess liquid out of the spinach. No paper towels wasted; no kitchen towels stained.

One shortcut I always try to avoid when making lasagna is to stay away from pre-shredded cheeses. The anti-caking agents typically used to keep pre-shredded cheese from clumping together really messes with the meltability of the cheese. So, please for the love of God, use freshly grated cheese whenever you can!

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Pinterest pin for Spinach Lasagna recipe. Photo is of a slice of lasagna served on a blue plate.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a fork to break down the cottage cheese curds. Alternately, use a fine mesh sieve and push the cottage cheese through using the back of a spoon until everything’s broken down into a smooth-ish paste. Then, you just add everything together and stir until the cheeses, spinach, and seasoning are thoroughly combined.

Recipe Notes, Tips & Tricks

Ingredient Swaps & Variations – I truly think that the tang and saltiness of the cottage cheese here adds to the dish. However, if you can’t stand cottage cheese, then swap it out for additional ricotta cheese. A lot of folks use eggs in their ricotta mixture when making lasagna; this recipe does not. If you’d like a fluffier spinach filling, add in two eggs when blending everything in the food processor.

What Goes Well with Spinach Lasagna – Whenever I make lasagna, I tend to serve it with a side salad to lighten things up a bit since lasagna is a pretty heavy, hearty meal. These Rosemary and Garlic Croutons are always a hit on salad served with this lasagna. For a lighter side dish that isn’t a salad, I tend to opt for these Garlicky Green Beans. And when I want to go all out with the cheesy indulgence, I’ll serve this lasagna with Roasted Asparagus Parmesan.

Angled overhead photo of spinach filling, shredded parmesan cheese, meat sauce, lasagna noodles in foreground and lasagna dish in background that has a layer of lasagna in the dish.

How to Make Spinach Lasagna

Step 1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While your oven is preheating, begin making the spinach filling. Add the frozen spinach along with the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, and Italian seasoning to the bowl of a large food processor. Blend everything together until it’s a smooth purée.

Overhead photo of steps 1 and 2 for making Spinach Lasagna. Top image shows spinach in a food processor with a small bowl of cottage cheese, a small bowl of ricotta cheese, and a pinch bowl of Italian seasoning next to the food processor. Bottom photo shows spinach filling, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and meat sauce in individual bowls next to a sheet tray with cooked lasagna noodles and a lasagna dish with a layer of meat sauce in the bottom of the dish.

Step 2. Begin assembling your Spinach Lasagna by adding a few heaping spoonfuls of meat sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

Step 3. Next, add a layer of noodles by slightly overlapping each noodle as you work your way across the baking dish.

Overhead photo of steps 3 and 4 for making Spinach Lasagna. Top photo shows cooked lasagna noodles layered on top of meat sauce in a lasagna dish. To the left of the lasagna dish is spinach filling, parmesan cheese, and meat sauce in individual bowls. Bottom photo shows spinach filling being layered over the cooked lasagna noodles. To the left of the lasagna dish is spinach filling, parmesan cheese, and meat sauce in individual bowls.

Step 4. Then, add in 1/3 of your spinach and cheese mixture to the baking dish. Spread the mixture into an even layer that completely covers the lasagna noodles.

Step 5. Next, add your shredded cheeses. Use 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the shredded parmesan cheese.

Overhead photo of steps 5 and 6 to make Spinach Lasagna. Top photo shows shredded mozzarella cheese and shredded parmesan cheese being layered in the lasagna dish on top of the spinach filling. To the left of the lasagna dish is spinach filling, parmesan cheese, and meat sauce in individual bowls. Bottom photo shows slices of provolone cheese being layered in the lasagna dish. To the left of the lasagna dish is spinach filling, parmesan cheese, and meat sauce in individual bowls.

Step 6. Then, layer 6 slices of the provolone cheese into the baking dish.

Step 7. Next, you’ll add half of the remaining meat sauce and repeat steps 3 through 6 to create a second layer of the lasagna. Then, add the final amount of meat sauce and repeat steps 3 through 5 to create your third layer of the lasagna. Now the lasagna is ready to go in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and begins turning a golden brown color around the edges.

Overhead photo of steps 7 and 8 for making this Spinach Lasagna. Top photo shows a completed layered lasagna in a lasagna dish that is ready to go into the oven and bake. Bottom photo shows the baked lasagna.

Step 8. Remove the baked lasagna from the oven and let it rest for a minimum of 10-15 minutes. This will let everything “set” so that the lasagna firms up a bit and will stay together once cut into slices.

If you make this recipe, tag me in your photos on Instagram—I love seeing what you guys decided to make!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can leftovers of this Spinach Lasagna be frozen?

Yes, you can freeze any leftovers of this Spinach Lasagna. One note of caution though is that the filling will become much looser and a bit watery upon thawing. This means that lasagna won’t hold its shape as well when served, but it’ll still be just as delicious!

Can I use fresh spinach in this recipe instead of frozen chopped spinach?

Feel free to swap fresh spinach for frozen chopped spinach in this recipe. I’d recommend using two bags of fresh spinach for this recipe. I’d recommend wilting the spinach over medium heat in a skillet before adding it to the cheese mixture. Doing this will remove a great deal of the water content of the fresh spinach.

What cheese can I use instead of parmesan in this Spinach Lasagna?

The parmesan brings a lot of salt to this recipe. So you’ll want to swap it out with a similarly salty cheese. I’d recommend a pecorino or an asiago. Pecorino has a similar flavor profile to that of the parmesan and is a great sub. The asiago is not as salty and has a noticeable nuttiness that the parmesan doesn’t.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Lasagna

Yield: Serves 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Sneak in some veg with this rich, creamy, and oh so cheesy Spinach Lasagna made with a savory meat sauce and a trio of cheeses.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups meat sauce
  • 1 15 oz tub ricotta cheese
  • 1 16 oz tub cottage cheese
  • 1 12 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • 12 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While oven is preheating, add frozen spinach, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, and Italian seasoning to the bowl of a large food processor. Blend until mixture is a smooth puree.

2. In a 9x13 baking dish, add a few heaping spoonfuls of meat sauce and spread evenly to coat the bottom of the dish.

3. Place 4 lasagna noodles into the baking dish an even layer on top of the meat sauce, with each noodle slightly overlapping the next.

4. Add 1/3 of the spinach mixture (roughly 6-8 heaping spoonfuls) of the spinach mixture on top of the noodles. Spread the spinach mixture into an even layer.

5. Sprinkle 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the shredded parmesan cheese over the layer of spinach mixture.

6. Place 6 of the provolone slices in an even layer atop the layer of shredded cheeses.

7. Add half of remaining meat sauce to the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Repeat steps 3 through 6 to create a second layer of lasagna. Then repeat steps 3 through 5 to create the third layer of lasagna.

8. Bake lasagna for 45 minutes, or until cheese is melted and begins turning a light golden brown around the edges. Remove lasagna from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes to set before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 1033mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 30g

This nutrition data is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. Please keep in mind that your specific nutritional values may vary based on the brand of ingredients you use to make this recipe.

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Hey there! I’m Krystal, the sassy-mouthed, self-taught, home cook behind the content here at Sweet, Savory & Sassy. I have a deep love for sharing food with people and showing folks just how easy it really is to make dishes that will bring a little extra joy to those you love. There’s nothing like making something special for friends and family and seeing their face light up in delight during that first bite!
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