Warm and hearty, this simple Cheesy Spinach Lasagna recipe is perfect comfort food for any time of year!
Back in January, I reviewed one of America’s Test Kitchen’s newest cookbooks, What Good Cooks Know, and I mentioned then that I couldn’t decide between a couple of recipes to try. At the time I went with the bakery style lemon poppy seed muffins.
Well, this lasagna was the other recipe that I was really interested in trying. There’s just something about a steaming dish of lasagna that is the quintessential comfort food! So, if there’s an opportunity to try a new lasagna, we’re not going to pass it up!
That, and I was intrigued by the simple homemade tomato sauce that it used. As much as we would like to, we all don’t always have the time to chop a bunch of tomatoes and make our own pasta sauce completely from scratch!
This recipe starts with canned tomatoes and adds in onion, garlic, oregano, and a bit of red pepper flakes. I thought it needed a little more and added in fresh parsley, spinach, and more red pepper flakes to amp up the flavor.
I really liked having the bits of tomato to bite into instead of having a completely smooth sauce. Between that and the spinach, the flavor was a lot fresher than a typical lasagna using jarred pasta sauce.
I also used more cheese. Because, around here, we don’t skimp on cheese! I also really wanted to be able to taste the Parmesan on the top layer of cheese. That slight nutty flavor gives more flavor than just a plain mozzarella layer.
The end result was a hearty, comforting pasta dish that tastes like you spent more time on it than you actually did!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 4-6 garlic cloves (depending on taste preference), minced
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
- 5 C packed baby spinach
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 15 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1½ C grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- ½ C chopped fresh basil
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 14 no boil lasagna noodles
- 4½ C shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
- Combine olive oil, onion, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional minute.
- Stir in tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in spinach and parsley, cover, and remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, basil, egg, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Spread 1/3 cup of spinach tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. (Dish will be very full, so do not use a smaller baking dish) Lay 3 noodles over the top. (Break pieces of noodle to fill in the crack at the end of each noodle, if desired) Spread 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture over each noodle. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over the top. Spread 1½ cups spinach tomato sauce over the cheese.
- Top spinach tomato sauce with 3 noodles (filling in cracks, if desired). Spread 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture over each noodle. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over the top Spread 1½ cups of spinach tomato sauce over the cheese.
- Top tomato sauce with 3 noodles (filling in cracks, if desired). Spread 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture over each noodle. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over the top Spread 1½ cups of spinach tomato sauce over the cheese.
- Top with remaining 3 noodles (filling in cracks, if desired). Spread remaining spinach tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is browned and filling is bubbling.
- Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
This recipe is adapted from What Good Cooks Know.
This post contains affiliate links.