Layers of garlicky cheesy goodness in this easier no boil lasagna. Spinach-Mushroom Pesto Ricotta Lasagna feeds a small crowd and leftovers freeze with ease! vegetarian + gluten free with non gluten free option | See blog post for more tips and recommendations.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Gluten Free Lasagna, No Boil Lasagna, Vegetarian Lasagna
Fresh Basil or Parsley and Fresh Ground Pepperfor garnish
In a large saute pan add the olive oil and bring it to shimmering on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and allow to sear, stirring only occassionally for 7-8 minutes. Adjust heat to medium low as needed. Stir in the shallots, 1/2 Tbs of garlic and tomato paste. Cook on low for one minute. Stir in the pasta sauce, water, 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Taste for salt adjustment and add more if needed. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the ricotta, pesto, 1/4 C (55g) feta, 1/2 Tbs garlic, a generous few grinds of fresh ground pepper and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Stir throughly to incorporate. Set aside.
In the bowl of a strainer, press out as much liquid as possible in the spinach. Use a tea towel to give it a final squeeze or two. It should be very dry. Set oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 400F (204C)
In a 9"x9"x2 1/4" baking pan: a) Spoon in about 1 C of sauce, just to cover the bottom of the pan. Fish out any mushrooms and put them back in the with the tomato sauce so that the base of the lasagna layers lay flat. b) On top of the sauce, layer 4 uncooked lasagna noodles, snapping an end off to fit (if needed). If any noodles are broken, simply piece them together in position the best you can. c) Smooth 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top of the uncooked lasagna noodles. d) Evenly dot 1/3 of the spinach over the top of the ricotta. e) Sprinkle 1/4 C of the shredded Mozzarella blend over the spinach. f) Over the mozzarella, spread about 1/3 of the of the remaining pasta sauce. Repeat steps b-f two more times, finishing the top with the remaining mozzarella, feta, a good sprinkle of parmesan, a pinch of dried oregano and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
Tent a large piece of foil over the pan, making sure that the edges are sealed. If the foil touches the top of the lasagna it will stick so make sure the foil isn't touching the lasagna. Set the pan on a parchment lined sheet pan to catch any sauce that may spill over. Bake the lasagna at 400F (204C) for 45-55 minutes. Depending on type of noodle used (gluten free or not), bake time can vary. I start checking my lasagna at 45 minutes by gently pulling back the foil (be careful, it will be steamy!) and inserting a knife in the center. You're testing to see of the noodles are tender. If a sharp knife gives under gentle pressure, the noodles are done and you can move on to removing the foil. If the pasta doesn't give way to gentle pressure, the lasagna needs more time under the foil. Give it 5-10 more minutes. Reseal the foil being careful to tent it so that the cheese doesn't stick. Just do your best.When you're satisfied that the noodles are about done, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the lasagna is bubbly, and cheese on top is melty and golden. Darker edges are okay. Remove from oven and let stand at least 10-15 minutes before slicing and sharing. Run a knife around the edges of the lasagna to ease the edges, then cut into nine pieces.
Serve with more parmesan, pepper flakes, fresh parsley or basil and fresh ground pepper.
Cool completely before freezing. I freeze in individual cut pieces in a lidded container for easy dinners or in individual lunch portions. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes.
*If gluten free, I like Tinkyada and Jovial Lasagna . If not gluten free, try Bionaturae Whole Wheat Lasagna. **Parmesan Cheese: Look for vegetarian friendly Parmesan cheese (one that does not use rennet in production). BelGioioso and Organic Valley offer vegetarian friendly cheese. This comprehensive list shows brands who produce vegetarian friendly parmesan cheese. For more information, check directly with your preferred cheese maker. Disclosure: I received lasagna noodle samples from Jovial and Taste Republic. All opinions are my own.