Spinach Lasagna is a white lasagna with a delicate flavor and a creamy consistency, made with a mix of spinach, ricotta, béchamel and Parmigiano.
In spring, with tender and fresh spinach, it tastes even better! But you can also use frozen spinach, which they are great for this recipe.
Spinach together with ricotta create a green and creamy filling with an exquisite and delicate flavor. In fact, “spinach and ricotta” is a classic combination of many traditional Italian recipes.
In Italy, we usually use this filling for ravioli (Ravioli di Ricotta e Spinaci), to make Gnudi (a type of gnocchi made with spinach and ricotta) and also as a filling for many pies, one above all our Italian Easter Pie (Torta Pasqualina).
Spinach Lasagna is an excellent vegetarian pasta recipe, that you can serve on any occasion, from the most informal to the most important, such as Christmas Eve or Easter lunch.
You will have for sure a great success with your guests with our Spinach Lasagne recipe! Now let’s see how to make it!
Try other traditional Italian Lasagna recipes such as:
- Lasagna Bolognese
- Eggplant Lasagna | Lasagne alla Norma
- Fish Lasagna
- Pesto Lasagna with Green Beans and Potatoes
How to Make Spinach Lasagna Recipe
- Prep Time:20 Min
- Cook Time:30 Min
- Yields: 6
Doses for a 13×9 inch lasagna pan.
For Spinach and Ricotta filling
- 500 g (1,1 lb) of fresh spinach
- 500 g (1,1 lb) of ricotta
- 200 g (2 cups) of grated Parmigiano cheese
- freshly grated nutmeg
- fine salt
- freshly grated black pepper
For Lasagna Noodles
- About 12 lasagna: you can make fresh homemade lasagna noodles following our step by step recipe: here you can find out how to make Italian Homemade Pasta
- Or you can buy authentic Italian flat lasagna, oven ready (no cooking or boiling necessary), made with durum wheat (we recommend Tuscanini brand).
For Bèchamel Sauce
- 500 ml (2 cups) of whole milk
- 50 g (half stick) of unsalted butter
- 50 g (4 tablespoons) of all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon of fine salt
- freshly grated nutmeg
Make the Bechamel Sauce
Step 1) – In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour with the help of a flour sieve: in this way you are sure that there are no lumps. Mix quickly with a whisk, until the mixture is smooth.
The mixture of butter and flour is called roux and it should be a nice golden color.
Step 2) – Meanwhile heat the milk, without bringing to a boil. Pour the milk slowly over the roux, while stirring with a whisk. Season with salt and grated nutmeg.
Put the saucepan back on low heat. Keep mixing constantly, until you have a fairly thick consistency for about 10/15 minutes. The sauce is ready when it sticks to the back of a wooden spoon. Set aside.
For more information and tips about making Italian white sauce, see our bechamel sauce recipe.
How to Make Spinach and Ricotta Filling
Step 1) – Boil the spinach in a pot with very little salted water for a few minutes, until tender. If you are using frozen spinach, when water start boiling, cook for 5 minutes.
Step 2) – Drain and let them cool, then squeeze to remove excess water, finally chop with a hand immersion blender.
Step 3) – In a bowl, combine the chopped spinach with the ricotta, half of the grated Parmigiano, a pinch of fine salt, freshly grated black pepper and nutmeg to taste. Mix all the ingredients until you get a creamy mixture.
Spinach and ricottta filling is ready. Now you have to assemble your spinach lasagna.
Make the Layers of Spinach Lasagna
Step 4) – Place two or three tablespoons of béchamel on the bottom of a baking pan or a casserole, then lay down the first layer of lasagna noodles and cover them with the spinach and ricotta filling.
Step 5) – Now cover with some bechamel and finish with two or three tablespoons of grated Parmigiano.
Keep making the layers (lasagna noodles + spinach and ricotta filling + bechamel + grated Parmigiano) till you finish all the ingredients.
End the last layer with plenty of Parmigiano cheese to create a crispy crust during cooking.
Step 6) – Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C (350 F) for about 30 minutes, until the surface is golden. Let spinach lasagna cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
You can store cooked spinach lasagna in the refrigerator for up to two days.
If you prefer, you can prepare spinach lasagna even two days ahead of time, store in the refrigerator still raw, then bake and serve.
You can freeze Spinach Lasagna both raw or cooked. In the freezer, you can store lasagna for about a month in special food containers.
How do you Thicken Ricotta Cheese for Lasagna?
When you use ricotta cheese to make a lasagna, you need a Ricotta cheese very dry and firm. If your ricotta is too fresh and soft, it’s better to drain it in a colander for about two hours to make it lose the excess liquid. Thicker ricotta prevent a whatery lasagna.
Cow ricotta or sheep ricotta are both cheeses perfect to make the filling for spinach lasagna. But be careful that they have differt tastes, one stronger then the other. So it depends on whether you want a more delicate filling or a little tastier.
Spinach Lasagna with Frozen Spinach
You can use both fresh spinach or frozen spinach. Using fresh spinach is always better, but it takes longer to clean and wash them, in fact very often they have a lot of dirt.
Using frozen spinach sometimes is easier. Just dip them directly in boiling salted water. When the water start boiling again, cook for about 5 minutes. Drain, squeeze and they are ready to use. The squeezing is essential to have the spinach as dry as possible.
Spinach Lasagna, Some Variants
Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne has a delicate taste. You can enrich your spinach lasagna in many ways to make it tastier. Let’s see some of them:
Spinach Lasagna with Tomato Sauce
You can use the tomato sauce in addition to the bechamel or substitute the bechamel with it, according to your tastes. In the first case you will have a richer and very creamy dish. In the second case you will have a lighter vegetarian lasagna.
What Can I Substitute for Spinach in Lasagna?
If you don’t like the taste of spinach or want a different flavor, you can substitute spinach in Lasagna with chard, chicory or zucchini.
Vegetarian Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne Without Parmigiano Cheese
If you prefer not to use Parmigiano, you can safely not put it in the recipe. In this case, however, it’s better to use sheep or buffalo ricotta which are tastier than cow ricotta. In addition, to make the gratin on the surface of the spinach lasagna, you can replace the grated Parmigiano with grated salted ricotta or with some Bread Crumbs.