The Best Vegetable Lasagna (no ricotta)

Learn how to make my family’s famous vegetable lasagna without ricotta cheese! It’s layered with rich marinara, roasted carrots & peppers, mushrooms, and spinach. A healthier version of one of my all-time favorite meals!

White baking dish with vegetable lasagna on wooden background.

I am truly the happiest when eating lasagna. What could be better than a stack of thin noodles layered with rich marinara, chopped vegetables, and melted cheese?! That’s right. Nothing.

One thing with lasagna, is you’ll find a lot of classic recipes have three cheeses involved – ricotta (or sometimes mascarpone), parmesan, and mozzarella. This recipe has two: parmesan and the mozz!

Why no ricotta? Over the years I’ve found ricotta to be a super heavy ingredient that I’m not always in the mood for in baked pastas. It can compliment a dish or it can overwhelm it. I’ve also found a lot of readers have enjoyed my baked ziti recipe because it’s one of the few that doesn’t call for ricotta.

This specific recipe is packed with small chopped vegetables that complete the “filling” without additional cheese. And I’m positive you will love it just as much as I do!

Everything You’ll Need

Here’s the full list of ingredients you’ll need for this recipe: lasagna noodles, pasta sauce, yellow onion, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, oil, peppers, mozzarella, parmesan, and fresh basil.

Ingredients for vegetable lasagna arranged on white background.

Lasagna Noodles: Boil or no boil?

When it comes to choosing the right noodles for your lasagna, I know it can be tricky to know which one is best. Over the years my mom has taught me her tips on choosing the right noodles and how to properly prepare them.

Blue boxes of lasagna noodle packages on white background.

Use oven-ready no boil noodles: these thin noodle sheets are ready to go and require zero, yes zero, preparation. All you have to do is layer, bake, and done – no boiling noodles required! These are fantastic if you want to save time and not have to fuss over a pot of noodles while prepping the rest of your ingredients.

Boiling noodles the traditional way (tips): Even though no boil noodles save lots of time, my mom always believed in boiling the noodles because of the authentic texture and taste. Since it can be tricky, I’m sharing some of her tips for the best practices with this method.

  • Noodles “made in Italy” is key: Not all noodles are created equal. We have found most (if not all) of the noodles we used that were NOT made in Italy completely fell apart after boiling. We recommend using Barilla to ensure success.
  • Keep prepared noodles from sticking together: once my mom is done cooking the pasta noodles, she carefully drains them and places them in a shallow dish with a little cold water to prevent them from sticking together. Shake off excess water when layering lasagna.

How to Make Vegetable Lasagna (step by step)

First, prep the veggies!
  • Preheat oven to 425F. Drizzle carrots and peppers with oil and toss with pinch of salt. Bake at 425F for 20 minutes (flipping halfway through), then lower oven and roast at 325F for 10 additional minutes.
  • While veggies are roasting, sauté onions and garlic, then add chopped mushrooms. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add spinach and cook until wilted.
  • Remove vegetables and let cool. Remove stems from mini bell peppers.
  • When cooled, chop peppers and carrots into diced pieces.
Next, layer and bake!

Layer in this order: sauce, noodles, sautéed and roasted veggies, chopped fresh basil, sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan. Repeat.

Preheat oven to 375F. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake uncovered for additional 20 minutes. Broil on HIGH in the last minute to brown the cheese.

spatula lifting slice of vegetable lasagna from baking dish.

Extra Tips to Remember

Types of peppers to use: we love using baby bell peppers in this recipe because they are so sweet and require little prep! All you have to do is remove the stem after roasting and then chop. You can also swap with regular bell peppers, but slice before roasting.

Use fresh basil – not dried: we love layer our family lasagnas with tons of fresh basil. We do not recommend using dried because it will not have the same fresh flavor.

Sauces to use: If you’re making homemade sauce for your lasagna we recommend using my family’s famous san marzano tomato sauce or use fresh tomato sauce! You can also save time and use my family’s favorite store-bought marinara.

More veggies you can use: we have used tons of different vegetables in this recipe. We love using cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, and leeks. Make sure vegetables are chopped very small when layering in lasagna.

How to Freeze Lasagna and Store Leftovers

Freeze after baking: you can bake the lasagna, then let cool. Wrap in several layers of plastic wrap and then tightly wrap in foil. Freeze up to 1 month. Remove and thaw at room temperature. Cover with foil and bake at 375 until hot.

Freeze before baking: Prepare lasagna, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for 1-2 months. When ready to bake, let defrost at room temperature. Then bake as recipe instructs.

Keep leftovers fresh: store leftovers in airtight container for up to 3-5 days in refrigerator. Reheat in oven until warm covered with foil at 375F.

White baking dish with vegetable lasagna on wooden background.

Lasagna is something my mom makes for birthdays, holidays, and especially Christmas eve. It is a meal that’s loved by all and brings everyone around the table!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

From my family to yours.
xoxo

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spatula lifting slice of vegetable lasagna from baking dish.

The Best Vegetable Lasagna (no ricotta)

5 from 2 votes

Learn how to make my family's famous vegetable lasagna without ricotta cheese! It's layered with rich marinara, roasted carrots & peppers, mushrooms, and spinach. A healthier version of one of my all-time favorite meals!

Servings 8 slices
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Tags: how to make vegetable lasagna, vegetable lasagna, veggie lasagna
Freezer Friendly: Yes
Calories: 374 kcal
Author: Bethany Kramer

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried oven-ready lasagne noodles (see notes for boiled noodle instructions)
  • 6 cups pasta sauce (2. 26 oz. jars)
  • 1 lb mozzarella
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Vegetables

  • 1 Tablespoon oil (divided)
  • 2 lbs sweet mini bell peppers (or 3-4 regular bell peppers, chopped)
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 pint white button mushrooms
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare vegetables: Peel skin off onion and dice. Cut off stem of garlic clove and finely mince. Leave skin on carrots (for flavor and nutrients). Cut off stem, slice lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch thick "sticks". Clean mushrooms with paper towel if needed, then roughly chopped in small pieces.

  2. Roast peppers and carrots: Preheat oven to 425F. Lay mini bell peppers and carrots on sheet pan, drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil and pinch of salt. Toss in oil, and bake for 20 minutes – flip halfway through. Lower oven to 325F and roast additional 10 minutes.

  3. Sauté vegetables: while other veggies are roasting, cook diced onion in a sauté pan with 1 teaspoon oil and pinch of salt. Cook 3-4 minutes or until soft, then add minced garlic in last minute. Add chopped mushrooms with pinch of salt to cooked onions & garlic, cook for 3-5 minutes. Add spinach leafs 1 cup at a time and mix into vegetables until soft and wilted.

  4. Chop roasted veggies: when peppers and carrots are finished roasting, let cool. Remove stems from peppers (if using baby bell peppers) then chop with carrots.

  5. Layer lasagna: Gather all of ingredients and layer in a 9×13 baking dish. Spread thin layer of sauce on bottom, then oven-ready noodles, several spoonfuls each of sautéed and chopped roasted vegetables, generous sprinkle of chopped basil, pasta sauce/marinara, mozzarella, then parmesan. Repeat until finished.

  6. Bake: Preheat oven to 375F. Cover baking lasagna dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Broil on HIGH for last minute to brown the cheese. Slice lasagna and serve with additional chopped basil and fresh parmesan. Enjoy!

Notes

Tips if using boiled lasagna noodles

  • Noodles “made in Italy” is key: Not all noodles are created equal. We have found most (if not all) of the noodles we used that were NOT made in Italy completely fell apart after boiling. We recommend using Barilla to ensure success.
  • Keep prepared noodles from sticking together: once done cooking the pasta noodles to an al dente texture, carefully drain the water. A tip my mom recommends is placing the noodles in a shallow dish with a little cold water to prevent them from sticking together. Shake off excess water when layering lasagna.

Nutrition Facts
The Best Vegetable Lasagna (no ricotta)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 374 Calories from Fat 74
% Daily Value*
Fat 8.2g13%
Cholesterol 16.2mg5%
Sodium 476.7mg20%
Carbohydrates 52.6g18%
Protein 21.3g43%
Vitamin A 69IU1%
Vitamin C 144mg175%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is a home cook, recipe developer, and dog mom. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  • Avatar for Andrew Charles Andrew Charles says:

    5 stars
    This is the real deal! I prepared this using your San Marzano sauce recipe, which is the best sauce I ever made. I followed the recipe to a tee, except I substituted vegan mozzarella for the real cheese. I stayed with real Parmesan, as I have never found a decent substitute. The only other thing that was different is that I couldn’t find Amore tomato paste at my local grocer for the marinara sauce and didn’t want to wait to buy it online. I am going to order some of it for future use.

    This was absolutely delicious! The flavors of those roasted small sweet peppers and carrots really came through. Also, adding the fresh basil, oregano and thyme to the sauce at the end really made it taste so fresh! Thank you for this great recipe. It is a 10 out of 10!

    • Andrew! This means so much. Thank you! I am so pleased you loved this recipe and the sauce! I have found the amore brand isn’t available at every store. I usually keep quite a few in my pantry for safe keeping! Very happy you enjoyed both recipes. 🙂

  • Avatar for Albertina Albertina says:

    This looks so good and delicious! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks, Bethany!

  • Avatar for Amy P Amy P says:

    Made this for our church small group and will definitely make again! I used store bought (Rao’s) sauce and I couldn’t find fresh basil so simply omitted. I did find I only had enough filling for two complete layers so I will double the filling for next time. Like the other reviewer said, the roasted pepper flavor came through absolutely beautifully (I used three large regular bell peppers). I tried this side by side with a traditional cheesy/ricotta lasagna and I found it to be so very heavy and unnecessary. LOVE this recipe! Thank you!

    • Thank you so much Amy!! I’m so thrilled to hear you loved it. 🙂 It’s certainly hard to go back to ricotta after having this version. And Rao’s is my absolute favorite store-bought sauce – so glad you could use that!

  • Avatar for Jenni Jenni says:

    5 stars
    My daughters are vegetarian and this is the first veggie lasagna we have all loved. The sweet bell peppers were perfect and we added leeks as well. Thank you for bringing lasagna back to the family dinner table!