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Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna Recipe

Every couple of months I’ll go out-of-town, down to Lafourche parish to visit my family , without Jeremy.  Most of the time he comes along with me, but sometimes it’s just better for me to go on a Friday, when he’s at work.  When that’s the case, I like to leave him with something special for dinner.  Something like this mushroom and spinach lasagna recipe. Jeremy’s a huge fan of lasagna (aren’t most men?) and he prefers to eat vegetarian when it’s feasible so this was the perfect solution to all life’s current needs.

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
Besides the fact that a mushroom and spinach lasagna is cheaper to make than a regular meaty lasagna, I like that it’s also not lacking anything in the flavor department.  This recipe still uses the same amount of total ingredients that a traditional lasagna would have (read: lots of cheese), but I’ve substituted béchamel for red sauce and mushrooms and spinach for the ground beef and pork. I’ve even used mostly the same method here.

A slice of Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna

I know it’s very close to Christmas, and this would actually be the perfect thing to have for a house full of holiday guests. It keeps really well in the fridge and provides at least 10 dinner portions. Having this as leftovers might even be better than the first day it’s cooked. Funny how many things are like that. Things get better with age – makes sense.

So we start this recipe with three different types of mushrooms – shiitake, button and cremini (baby portobello). If you prefer a different mushroom mix, be my guest. If you want to use all of one type, that’s cool.  If you want to add in some oyster mushroom or sliced regular sized portobellos, go for it!  This was my mix, and one that made a fantastic lasagna.

Mushroom Varieties

After all of your ingredients are prepped up and you’re ready to go on the stove, the first thing you’ll make is the béchamel sauce aka “white sauce.” This is a lovely cream sauce with milk, a blonde roux and a touch of nutmeg.  You technically eat it when you eat mac n cheese and you’re definitely eating it when you have an Alfredo sauce.  It’s a creamy, delicious mother sauce – meaning a sauce from which many other sauces derive.

While that’s simmering, the next step is to make a spinach and mushroom mixture. Before you start, make sure your spinach is defrosted and drained of all water.  The last thing you want is a soggy lasagna.  Cooking this mixture is a few simple steps.  Once this is done, you will combine mushrooms and spinach with the béchamel as shown below. Pretty easy, right?

Spinach Mushroom Bechamel Sauce

The next and final step before baking is to build the lasagna layers.  I give pretty detailed directions below but suffice it to say you want to be mindful of how much of everything you’re putting on each layer.  Most pans can fit 4 layers of ingredients noodles, which means you’ll need to use approximately a quarter of everything on each layer.  Except for the ricotta cheese, which really only needs to be placed between three layers, since you don’t really put it on top of the lasagna.

Layering the lasagna

And that’s it.  While it does take a bit of time to prep up and another hour to bake, the steps for this lasagna are very easy.  Once you put in the work you’ll have a big beautiful dish to share with friends and family.  Or just to eat by yourself for a week!  Which reminds me, lasagna freezes really well.  You can wrap individual pieces in foil and then set them inside a freezer bag and have lasagna for months to come. I’d eat them within six months or so.  Probably could last a whole year but why wait?

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Alrighty, let’s get to that recipe!

Yield: 10 servings

Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna Recipe

This mushroom and spinach lasagna recipe is the perfect meal - it's loaded with spinach, mushrooms and three types of cheese. Reheats very well.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onions (about 2 onions)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 3-8 ounce packs mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, button), thinly sliced
  • 16 ounce bag frozen spinach, defrosted and drained of liquid
  • 1-15 ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-12 or 16 ounce box of "no boil" lasagne noodles
  • 6 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 ºF.

Bechamel Sauce:
  1. Melt butter over medium high heat then whisk in flour.
  2. Cook for about three minutes until roux is light golden brown.
  3. Whisk in the milk, salt and nutmeg, and allow mixture to slowly come to a boil.
  4. Immediately turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Sauce will thicken and the flavors will marry. Stir the sauce often with a whisk to prevent sticking.
  5. After 10 minutes, set aside for now. Reserve 1/2 cup separate from the rest of the batch.
Mushroom-Spinach Sauce:
  1. In a soup-sized pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion, kosher salt, and cayenne, and cook for about 10 minutes, until onions are softened and translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
  4. Next add the sliced mushrooms and cook about 3 minutes until mushrooms are softened, shiny and cooked down a bit.
  5. Add the spinach and stir very well to combine.
  6. Finally, add the béchamel sauce (less the 1/2 cup you set aside). Stir well to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
  7. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings if needed.
While those sauces are simmering:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, two eggs, and teaspoon of kosher salt. Set aside until ready to assemble.
  2. If needed, shred the cheeses and place in bowls. Keep the Parmesan cheese separate from the Mozzarella.
Assembly:
  1. In a large rectangular baking dish, line the bottom with the 1/2 cup of plain béchamel.
  2. Add a layer of pasta noodles on top. Cover this noodle layer with a quarter of the remaining sauce, a third of the ricotta mixture and a quarter of the mozzarella cheese.
  3. Repeat this process up to four more times ending with a sauce layer topped with remaining mozzarella and the parmesan cheese. (If you use a 16 oz box, you will likely have lasagna noodles left over).
Baking:
  1. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and place into oven. This will help catch any sauce overflow and also will make it easier to put the dish into the oven and remove it as well.
  2. Bake uncovered for one hour.
  3. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes to let the dish settle before cutting.

Prep:1 hour 20 minutes

Cook:1 hour

Total:2 hours 20 minutes

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