Lasagna is one of my ultimate comfort foods. But the classic versions are often too heavy for my taste. This recipe is the result of my search for a healthier, lighter lasagna that still tastes delicious. My version is creamy, herby, packed with vegetables and so delicious you’ll be licking your plate. The secrets are a lot of fresh herbs and a layer of sweet and spicy mascarpone in the middle. You won’t regret making this one!
This recipe is vegetarian and is one of my longer recipes, but still done in under 60 minutes. You can also make one large 13×9 pan or split it into two 8×8 pans like I did and freeze for a later date.
Serves 8 | Vegetarian | Less than 60 minutes
- 1 16oz box of classic lasagna noodles, boiled and drained
- 32 oz (1 1/2 jars) pasta sauce (I use Rao’s tomato basil)
- 1 16oz bag pizza blend cheese or mozzarella cheese
- For the vegetables
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 4 large carrots, sliced thin on an angle
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 1 tbsp minced garlic or two ramps sliced thin
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
- 1 large head of kale, chopped
- 4 cups spinach
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley + more for topping
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil + more for topping
- For the mascarpone filling
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, red pepper, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and a few cracks of black pepper and cook for about 7-9 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the water or broth, kale, spinach, and herbs. Cover immediately and let simmer for 2 minutes. Uncover and stir to combine, cooking until spinach and kale are fully wilted. Add more salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone, milk, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, honey, salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Stir to combine. Mixture should be spreadable. If too thick, add an extra 1/2 tbsp lemon juice.
Coat a 13×9 baking pan or two 8×8 in baking pans with cooking spray. Spread a small amount (about a 1/4-1/2 cup) sauce in the bottom of the pan, then layer on three lasagna noodles. Spread 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture on the noodles (it won’t look like much, but it will melt!) then top with 1/3 of the vegetables, 1/3 of the sauce, and 1/3 of the cheese. (Use 1/6 of each if dividing into two pans). Repeat three times, ending with a generous layer of cheese. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray to prevent sticking and cover the lasagna.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until edges are crispy. Let sit for 10 minutes then sprinkle with extra herbs before slicing and serving. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice if desired. Can freeze for up to three months.