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Cheese/ Hearty Dinners/ Pasta

Epic Vegetable Lasagne

February 16, 2021 (Last Updated: October 14, 2023) by Chris Collins

This Veggie Lasagne is loaded with a delicious vegetable pasta sauce, a smooth and creamy spinach ricotta layer and copious amounts of cheese!

I know this isn’t your regular lasagne, but trust me when I say you won’t miss the meat. And that’s coming from a bloke who runs a blog called Don’t Go Bacon My Heart 😂. I’ve had a few vegetarian lasagnes in my time, but this comes out on top. Am I allowed to say that?! Too late. Follow me…

lifting lasagne from baking dish with cheese pouring down

Spinach Ricotta Lasagne

The spinach and ricotta layer is quite prominent in this lasagne. It adds a gorgeous creamy flavour & texture and balances out the rich, tomatoey veggie sauce so beautifully. I’m usually an ambassador of béchamel sauce in a lasagne, but we’ve already thrown the rulebook out the window so here we are. You’ll usually see recipes for spinach ricotta lasagnes OR vegetable lasagnes, but here we’re gonna combine the two. Here’s what you’ll need for the spinach ricotta layer:

Spinach Ricotta Ingredients

  • Spinach – Go for frozen spinach and thaw it. It gives a more intense flavour. Plus it’s less prep, which is always welcome in a lasagne recipe where there’s a fair bit of prep.
  • Ricotta – Opt for whole milk full fat ricotta for a bolder flavour.
  • Mascarpone – I like to sub some of the ricotta for mascarpone. It breaks up the flavour slightly and makes the layer go lusciously creamy. Highly recommend adding this!
  • Parmesan – This is where the bulk of the flavour comes from. Ricotta has a fairly subtle flavour, as does mascarpone. Parmesan adds a good punch of flavour to bring the layer to life.
  • Egg – Helps keep the layer intact and prevents it from spilling out the lasagne.
  • Seasoning – Nutmeg compliments the ricotta really nicely. Apart from that just a heavy helping of salt and pepper!

To make the layer I combine everything bar the spinach with a hand mixer, just until it’s nice and creamy. I then fold in the spinach (just so it doesn’t get caught up in the mixer). If you don’t have a hand mixer just beat the egg separately then stir it in.

Can I make this part ahead of time?

Yep! Just tightly cover in the fridge the day before. This is a great way to get ahead of prepping the lasagne.

Process shots: add everything bar spinach to a large mixing bowl (photo 1), combine with hand mixer (photo 2), remove hand mixer (photo 3), add spinach (photo 4), fold in with spatula (photo 5), place to one side until needed (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make spinach and ricotta

Vegetable Pasta Sauce

To counteract the creaminess of the spinach ricotta layer I like a tomatoey layer. To create this layer you’ll want to use tomato passata (pureed strained tomatoes) and a heap load of finely diced veggies.

Best vegetables for a vegetable lasagne?

In reality there’s a huge range of veggies that go great in a lasagne. The one thing I highly recommend is using carrot, celery and onion to create a Soffritto. This builds a base flavour for the veggie sauce. From there here’s what I usually go for:

  • Mushrooms
  • Red Pepper
  • Aubergiene/Eggplant
  • Courgette/Zucchini

Baby sweetcorn, broccoli, butternut squash & sweet potato all go well too. In all cases though I recommend finely dicing the veg. Not only will this create a ragu-like texture, but it’ll also allow you to sweat down the veg properly as they fry. This is important to remove as much moisture as possible, which in turn prevents the lasagne from coming out watery.

Can I make this part ahead of time?

You sure can! You can even freeze it, then thaw in the fridge and use as needed.

Process shots: add veggies to large pot with oil (photo 1), fry until soft/browned then remove (photo 2), add carrot, onion, celery, garlic (photo 3), fry then add in other veggies (photo 4), pour in passata and water (photo 5), add herbs and seasoning and simmer until thickened (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make vegetable pasta sauce

Vegetable Lasagne

Alongside the veggie sauce and spinach ricotta, to make the whole lasagne all you need is lasagne sheets and mozzarella (and some parmesan to finish). I always go for fresh lasagne sheets because I prefer the texture and the lasagne stays intact better. You can use dried just check the packet instructions to see if they need soaking or not.

Can I prepare this ahead of time?

Yup! Just make sure you let the sauce cool down, or it’ll start cooking the pasta and make it go mushy when it bakes. You can tightly store in the fridge or freezer (thaw in fridge before baking).

How do you keep vegetable lasagna from being watery?

If you’ve ever tried your hand at making a veggie lasagne before you may have noticed it came out slightly watery. Which isn’t surprising as veg is packed with so much water. However to prevent this happening I recommend the following:

  • Spinach – Ensure you squeeze as much moisture from the spinach as possible once it’s thawed, otherwise it’ll release into the lasagne as it cooks.
  • Frying – Really ensure you fry the veg until it’s softened/lightly browned. Get as much moisture out as possible.
  • Sauce – Make sure you thicken the sauce to reduce down as much water as possible.
  • Resting – Allow the lasagne to rest for 10mins before serving. This helps it retain its shape and soak up the final bit of moisture before you slice.

6 step by step photos showing how to make vegetable lasagne

Serving Vegetable Lasagne

What’s a lasagne without garlic bread? (or cheesy garlic bread or cheesy pesto garlic bread for that matter).

Can I save leftovers?

Yes – store in the fridge for 2-3days or freezer and reheat in the oven at the same temp until piping hot through the centre (if freezing thaw in fridge over night then bake).

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this vegetable lasagne shall we?!

lasagne served on white plate with garlic bread blurred in background

How to make Vegetable Lasagne (Full Recipe & Video)

lifting lasagne from baking dish with cheese pouring down

Epic Vegetable Lasagne

This Veggie Lasagne is loaded with a delicious vegetable pasta sauce, a smooth and creamy spinach ricotta layer and copious amounts of cheese!
4.86 from 7 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 8
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Calories per serving: 606kcal
Cost per serving: £3 / $4

Equipment:

  • 8x12" Baking Dish (or similar size)
  • Large Mixing Bowl & Hand Mixer (for spinach ricotta)
  • Large Pot & Wooden Spoon (for veggie sauce)
  • Fine Cheese Grater (for parmesan)
  • Serving Spoon
  • Spatula
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board

Ingredients (check list):

Spinach Ricotta

  • 3x 9oz/250g tubs of Ricotta
  • 1x 9oz/250g tub of Mascarpone
  • 10.5oz / 300g Frozen Spinach, thawed (weighed whilst frozen - see notes)
  • 1 cup / 80g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Veggie Sauce

  • 4 cups / 1kg Tomato Passata (pureed/strained tomatoes in US)
  • 4 cups finely diced Veggies, here I used mushrooms, red pepper, courgette/zucchini & aubergine/eggplant (see notes)
  • 2 ribs of Celery, finely diced
  • 2 small/medium Carrots, finely diced
  • 1 large White Onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 1 small bunch of Fresh Basil, finely diced
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp EACH Salt, Sugar, Chilli Flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil, as needed

Lasagne

  • 12oz / 350g Fresh Lasagne Sheets (see notes)
  • 3 cups / 300g Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan

Instructions:

  • Veggies: Add a drizzle of oil to a large pot over medium heat and add mushrooms, courgette/zucchini, aubergine/eggplant and red pepper. Fry until soft right through and starting to char, then remove to a side bowl. Add a drizzle more oil then add carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Continue frying until they soften/begin to brown then add back in your fried veggies and mix everything together.
  • Veggie Sauce: Pour in tomato passata, swill out the jar/cartons with 1 cup/250ml water and pour that in too. Add basil and oregano, then add sugar, salt, chilli flakes and pepper (all to taste). Allow the sauce to simmer on low for around 20-25mins, or until it turns nice and thick. If it's too watery just continue simmering for another 5 or so mins (see video for ideal texture).
  • Spinach Ricotta: Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl add ricotta, mascarpone, egg, parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Combine with a hand mixer until smooth, then fold in thawed spinach with a spatula until evenly incorporated.
  • Lasagne: In an 8x12" baking dish (or similar size) add a couple of spoonfuls of veggie sauce to the base of the dish. This is so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom. From there your layers will go as follows: Pasta Sheets, Veggie Sauce, Spinach Ricotta, Mozzarella. The last layer will be Pasta sheets, then Spinach Ricotta, then Mozzarella and Parmesan to top. That's 4 layers of pasta, 4 layers of Veggie Sauce (including very bottom layer), 4 layers of Spinach Ricotta and 4 layers of Mozzarella.
  • Bake & Serve: Pop in the oven at 350F/180C for 30-40mins or until crispy and deep golden on top. Allow to rest for 10mins before serving (this is important or it will be too liquidy). Serve up and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Spinach - I find frozen spinach has a slightly more intense flavour than fresh spinach. Plus you skip the step of having to cook and chop the fresh spinach, which is always welcomed in a recipe like lasagne where there's already lots of steps. You can thaw the spinach either in the fridge overnight, or at room temp. Or, you can thaw in the microwave. Make sure you squeeze as much moisture out as possible, or it'll release into the lasagne as it bakes and mess with the texture. Roughly chop once thawed if it's not already pre-chopped.
b) Veggies - You can use different veggies if you like, just make sure you keep the carrot, onion & celery for the base flavour (Soffritto). 1 cup finely diced veg is roughly 3.5-4oz/100-120g. Butternut squash, sweet potato, baby corn & broccoli all work well here. In all cases though it's important to properly sweat down the veg and remove as much moisture as possible. If the veg is still undercooked by the time you stack the lasagne it'll release moisture as the lasagne bakes and leave it watery. Finely dicing all the veg helps with this (and also gives you a ragu kind of feel to mimic a 'proper' lasagne).
c) Lasagne Sheets - I always go fresh (find in fresh pasta section in supermarket). I prefer the texture and the lasagne stays intact better (not so wavy). If you’ve got dried then check the packet to see if you need to cook before hand. If you don’t need to cook them then don’t reduce the veggie sauce so much (the dried sheets will suck up more liquid than fresh).
d) Can I prep this ahead of time? - Yep, just make sure you cool the veggie sauce before stacking or it'll start cooking the pasta and turn it soggy once the lasagne has baked. Prepare and tightly store in the fridge for 2-3days or freezer for a month. Preferably bring close to room temp before baking or add on another 10mins or so to baking (otherwise the centre won't cook through properly).
e) Calories - assuming 1.5 tbsp olive oil used. Whole recipe divided by 8, calories for 1 portion:

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Epic Vegetable Lasagne
Amount Per Serving
Calories 606 Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value*
Fat 39.96g61%
Saturated Fat 22.506g113%
Trans Fat 0.168g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.057g
Monounsaturated Fat 12.192g
Cholesterol 160mg53%
Sodium 1159mg48%
Potassium 779mg22%
Carbohydrates 30.32g10%
Fiber 5.6g22%
Sugar 8.1g9%
Protein 33.81g68%
Vitamin A 9223IU184%
Vitamin C 36.2mg44%
Calcium 710mg71%
Iron 3.44mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

For more veggie loaded recipes check out my Veggie Pasta Bake or Roasted Veggie Soup!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

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Recipe Rating




32 Comments

  • Reply
    Debbie Fisher
    May 4, 2024 at 11:47 am

    5 stars
    Delicious! Easy to make too! I played fast and loose with the quantities but it still turned out really well! And u definitely don’t miss the meat, either!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 4, 2024 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks so much for the review, Debbie! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Lorraine
    April 13, 2024 at 7:32 am

    5 stars
    Made for friends – challenge nut free, gluten free, vegetarian and soft texture that everybody would enjoy – great success loved by everyone. Will make again. Video really helpful.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 13, 2024 at 11:04 am

      So pleased to hear it went down well! Thanks so much for the review, Lorraine 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Emma
    January 16, 2024 at 12:23 am

    I added rainbow chard and fried tofu

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      January 16, 2024 at 10:52 am

      Great idea! C.

  • Reply
    Kamie
    November 10, 2023 at 12:41 am

    Holy mother of veggies this was AMAZING!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 11, 2023 at 12:21 pm

      So great to hear, Kamie! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Diamondisis
    October 9, 2023 at 1:33 am

    5 stars
    I added Grilled Tofu to the recipe

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 9, 2023 at 10:43 am

      Thanks for the review! 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Jodi p
    August 27, 2023 at 11:56 pm

    Delicious. My zucchini skin was very thick so it was still tough but that was no fault of the recipe. The recipe is perfect. Love the mascarpone cheese so creamy and yummy. Lasagna sheets game changer. How would you recommend freezing it and reheating?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 29, 2023 at 2:22 pm

      Great to hear this went down well! Just tightly store in the fridge (I usually go up to 3 months). From there I recommend thawing in the fridge, then either blitz individual portions in the microwave until piping hot. Or, bring it to room temp, cover in foil and bake in the oven at 180C/350F until piping hot right through the centre again. C.

  • Reply
    Jodi
    August 27, 2023 at 2:40 am

    If using fresh lasagna sheets do you have to boil?directions for sheets say boil 3 mins.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 27, 2023 at 3:05 pm

      No need to boil them, they’ll cook with the liquid from the veggie sauce 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Carmen
    March 6, 2023 at 7:15 am

    5 stars
    I didn’t follow this recipe exactly but used most of it to create my own and it worked out great! I didn’t have ricotta so I made a white sauce and added cheese and spinach to that.
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      March 6, 2023 at 6:24 pm

      Great to hear it went down well, Carmen! Thanks so much for the review 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Yolanda
    January 4, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    4 stars
    Definitely yummy! All the flavors came together too make this epic. Will make again! Thank you

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      January 6, 2023 at 10:48 am

      Great to hear, Yolanda! Thanks so much for the review 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    December 26, 2022 at 2:09 am

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe sooo much! Made it for Christmas dinner. The mix of sweet and a bit of spicy was perfect. I used no boil noodles and it came out perfectly.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      December 26, 2022 at 3:34 am

      That’s so great to hear! Thanks so much for the review and hope you had a lovely Christmas 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    April 7, 2022 at 2:29 am

    Delicious! This is my new favorite veggie lasagna.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 7, 2022 at 10:02 am

      Great to hear, Nicole! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tracy Rosemont
    March 8, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe. I ended up using a high-end store-bought spaghetti sauce. I used celery onions carrots mushrooms zucchini spinach garlic. I did cover my lasagna for 35 minutes with foil. Then I uncovered it turned up the heat to 400 and let it cook and get bubbly and brown for another 10 minutes. It came out amazing.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      March 9, 2022 at 10:35 am

      Tracy, so happy to hear the recipe went down well! Thanks for popping back for a review 🙂 C.

    • Reply
      Hollie
      August 16, 2022 at 5:25 pm

      I have just spent ages (and about £18 on ingredients) before seeing in the footnote that you cannot use fresh spinach. I’m not a cook by any means so rely on recipes which is my fault but it would have been really helpful for that to have been pointed out sooner as no doubt the lasagne will now end up in the bin.

      • Reply
        Chris Collins
        August 16, 2022 at 6:46 pm

        Hi Hollie! Sorry you missed the use of frozen spinach. It does specifically say it in the blog post, alongside in the recipe card itself, in addition to ‘see notes’ to it. Having said that, it’s certainly not a deal-breaker, so please don’t throw anything away! If you’ve already made the lasagne with fresh spinach, depending on how you prepped the spinach I imagine it’ll still come out just fine. If you’ve got the ingredients ready to go I recommend frying and wilting down the spinach, then once cool enough to handle squeeze out the moisture. Then roughly dice and combine with the ricotta etc. Hope this helps! C.

  • Reply
    Teresa Segura
    December 16, 2021 at 1:51 am

    In one place it says to cook for 1 hour 5 minutes, but in the instructions it says to cook for 30-40 minutes. Which is correct? This looks amazing!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      December 16, 2021 at 11:00 am

      Hi Teresa, the 1 hour 5 mins is total cooking time (i.e making the sauce as well), 30-40mins is just baking the lasagne. Hope this helps! C.

      • Reply
        Teresa Segura
        December 16, 2021 at 3:22 pm

        Thanks for the quick reply! I can’t wait to try this. 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole Howard
    August 24, 2021 at 8:58 am

    So excited to try this! Love your vegetarian recipes, your roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas are one of my favourites

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 25, 2021 at 12:08 pm

      Hope it goes down well!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Shilpa
    February 17, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Those layers in that last pic look a-MAZING! Must try

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