Spinach Lasagna Recipe

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
5 from 5 reviews

Casseroles Pasta Recipes Vegetarian

Cook time Cook time: 1 hour

Spinach Lasagna is made with rich marinara sauce, fresh lasagna noodles, spinach, and lots of gooey cheese. This is a great recipe for a cool fall or winter night or any night of the year. Unlike a traditional lasagna recipe, this one adds spinach to the dish to make it even better. 

Wondering what to do with the remaining noodles you didn’t use? Try our amazing Chicken Spinach Lasagna. Or just go with the classic Homemade Lasagna with a salad and breadsticks. For something different, our Ricotta Stuffed Shells are creamy and delectable with any side dishes. 

This is one of those easy recipes you can use when you want some comfort food on a busy weeknight. One of the best things about this kind of meal is that it gets the whole family together for a delicious meal.

If this is your first time making lasagna, do not be intimidated. It is an easy way to cook a bunch of your favorite flavors together. This recipe is so versatile and the best part is that you can adapt the cheese mixture to your own preference.

In addition, this is a budget-friendly recipe, it makes delicious leftovers and you can easily assemble it in advance and freeze it for later. This way you have a tasty freezer meal on hand to cook when you are out of time to make dinner from scratch.

The spinach cheese mixture is so incredibly good, and you can double it to make more pasta layers. Or you can use other types of cheese that you like. We enjoy mixing in some fontina cheese, swiss cheese, and also adding pieces of brie!

Ingredients needed:

Scroll down to get to our recipe card for the detailed directions. But here are the basic ingredients you will need:

For the filling:

  • Butter: Room temperature.
  • Fresh spinach leaves: Or the equivalent of frozen. Also, you can use other greens, we enjoy this recipe with kale as well.
  • Basil: Freshly chopped is best, as it adds so much flavor. 
  • Ricotta cheese: Or you can use cottage cheese for fewer calories and less fat.
  • Eggs: We used large eggs at room temperature.
  • Parmesan cheese: Fresh grated or dry store-bought in a can.
  • Mozzarella cheese: Freshly shredded or packaged.
  • Italian seasoning
  • Minced garlic cloves: Use your food processor for easy mincing. 
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

For Assembly:

  • Lasagna noodles: Fresh or boxed. 
  • Marinara sauce: You can also use spaghetti sauce, store-bought sauce, or you can make your own marinara sauce using this recipe.
  • Mozzarella cheese: Freshly grated or store-bought.
  • Olive oil: Or cooking spray.
  • Parsley: Freshly chopped.
  • Basil: Freshly chopped.

How do you make spinach lasagna?

  1. Preheat: To start, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9×13 pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. Filling: Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts. 
  3. Drain: Then, season with salt and pepper before squeezing out the excess water. 
  4. Combine: Next, chop and add to a large bowl with the basil, garlic, ricotta, eggs, parmesan, one cup of mozzarella, and Italian seasoning.
  5. Cook noodles: After, boil noodles in a large pot according to the package directions. Drain and move them to a medium bowl. 
  6. Layer: Then, spread a small amount of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Next, add a layer of noodles and spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over them.
  7. Repeat: Repeat layers of sauce, noodles, and cheese until you have the desired number of layers using the remaining sauce on top.
  8. Bake: Finally, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Then, uncover, add the other two cups of cheese, and cook for another 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and brown.
  9. Serve: Equally important is to let the dish cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle with basil and parsley, cut into slices, and serve.

Recipe variations:

  • Heat it up: For a spicy kick, add some red pepper flakes or dried jalapenos. Also, you can add a can of diced green chiles or some hot sauce into the cheese mixture.
  • Lasagna rolls: For something totally different, make spinach lasagna rolls. Boil lasagna noodles and top with the sauce and cheese. Roll and add more sauce on top with a layer of mozzarella before cooking at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. 
  • Make it white: Alternatively, try white sauce like alfredo instead of marinara. In addition, you can make your own Alfredo sauce from scratch.
  • Other sauce: Similarly, feel free to use one of your favorite red sauces. Search for Vodka sauce on the blow and try it in this easy recipe.
  • Cheesy: Add different types of cheeses to change the flavor. We enjoy this recipe with Romano, fontina, swiss, or cheddar cheese.
  • Even cheesier: Use lots of cheeses for an extra cheesy lasagna.
  • Meat: Another option is to add some meat to this recipe. You can add a layer of shredded rotisseries chicken, cooked ground chicken, ground turkey, or sauce.
  • Meat sauce: Also, you can make meat-based homemade spaghetti sauce and use it instead of marinara.

How to serve:

With this spinach lasagna recipe, you can have a delicious dinner on your table with just minutes of prep time and less than an hour of cooking time. Try out one of these great serving suggestions or one of your own.

  • Serve this with a fresh side dish like our sweet pear salad or crispy roasted cauliflower.
  • A glass of sweet and tangy homemade lemonade is the perfect beverage to wash down your meal. 
  • Or try a boozy glass of apple iced tea or a white Russian cocktail.
  • Cover the whole thing with a mix of cheeses for an extra cheesy dish.
  • A crusty slice of beer bread or olive bread would also be fantastic with your lasagna.
  • The perfect Italian dessert for this is our rich and creamy tiramisu cheesecake. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to cook spinach before adding it to lasagna? 

Although you do not have to cook it first, it is better if you do because fresh spinach shrinks a lot when it cooks. It also has a lot of moisture in it so if you do not cook and drain it, you may end up with watery lasagna.

Why is my spinach lasagna watery?

If you are using fresh spinach and did not cook and drain it first, the pasta will soak up the excess moisture and get watery. Alternatively, when using frozen lasagna, you have to thaw it and get rid of the excess water. Pat it with a paper towel to make sure it is dry.

Another reason for watery (greasy) lasagna is using ground beef that is not lean. Too much fat will turn to grease and make your lasagna seem watery too. Use 80/20 ground beef for best results. 

What is the equivalent of fresh spinach to frozen?

For recipes that call for cooked fresh spinach, one pound of fresh will give you about 10 to 12 cups of leaves, which cooks down to one cup. In contrast, a 10-ounce package of frozen spinach will give you about 1.5 cups after it is cooked. So, one pack of frozen equals 1.5 pounds of fresh. 

How to store leftovers:

  1. Store: First, before storing any remaining leftovers, make sure to first let them cool to room temperature. After that, leftovers will stay fresh in your fridge in an airtight container for up to four days.
  2. Freeze: If you have leftovers after a few days, put them in an aluminum foil pan and wrap them with plastic wrap. Another option is to wrap them in foil and place them in a freezer bag. Then, it will be good in your freezer for about 30 to 60 days.
  3. Thaw: When you want to reheat, you can bake it frozen or thaw it in the fridge overnight.
  4. Reheat frozen: If frozen, bake at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes.
  5. Reheat thawed: For thawed, bake it for about 15 minutes. Add ½ cup mozzarella cheese on top of the noodles when cooking.

More Casserole Recipes:

 

Cooking tips:

  • Use lean ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef for a lighter meal. 
  • Do not scrimp on the garlic. It really makes this recipe perfect.
  • You can also use garlic powder if you do not have cloves. 
  • Another thing not to scrimp on is cheese. Use the best cheese you can get so it melts well.
  • Be sure to drain the grease well after cooking the meat or you will have a lot of grease in your lasagna.
  • Use a 9×13 glass casserole dish for best results.
  • Try using fresh lasagna sheets from your grocery store instead of dry.  
  • Also, keep in mind to reheat really well any thawed leftovers, to ensure that they are safe to eat.
spinach lasagna slice

Spinach Lasagna Recipe

Spinach Lasagna is made with rich marinara sauce, fresh lasagna noodles, spinach, and lots of gooey cheese.
5 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 9 slices
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 24 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 14 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (plus more to taste)

For assembly:

  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil

Instructions

Filling:

  • Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add handfuls of spinach and cook it just until it wilts. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer the spinach to a bowl and let it cool slightly.
  • After that, squeeze the excess water and coarsely chop it.
  • Mix it with chopped basil, garlic, ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

Assembly:

  • Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions, aiming for al dente.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray.
  • Spread a small amount of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of noodles, then spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles.
  • Top the cheese mixture with 1/3 of the marinara sauce.
  • Repeat the layers, ending with the marinara sauce.
  • Cover the lasagna with foil, and bake it for 40-45 minutes.
  • Uncover it, then add the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and browned.
  • Sprinkle the lasagna with parsley and basil. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes, then cut into slices and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1148mg | Potassium: 806mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8383IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 567mg | Iron: 4mg
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Comments

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Amanda

This is a nice twist on a classic dish, I cannot wait to give it a go!

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Malissa

Delish! My kids adored it too – thank you tons.

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Beth

This is such a great family-friendly recipe. It's delicious, and it's a great way to get the kids to eat some veggies.

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Amanda Livesay

This is such comfort food! So delicious!

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Krystle

Hearty and filling. We love this recipe it is pure comfort food.

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Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

This Spinach Lasagna sounds healthy and delicious!

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