Monday, November 21, 2011

Spinach, Mushroom, & Pesto Lasagna

Stretchy pants. Nap time. Food coma.

Three things that are either necessary, or going to happen on Thanksgiving. While stretchy pants and naps do happen to be awesome, the whole food coma due to a crazy amount of food intake... that I can pass on.

How about some comfort food that doesn't require those three things? Okay, well, stretchy pants are always optional. Always.

Don't worry. You won't notice that all those calories are missing. In fact, you'll think this cheesy creamy lasagna is full of them. Good thing it's not true.

And shhh... don't tell. It's vegetarian. Not to mention hubby approved. True story.

Spinach, Mushroom, & Pesto Lasagna
Adapted from: Hungry Harps

9 lasagna noodles
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups 1 % milk
1 1/2 cups half & half
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons basil pesto
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together spinach, ricotta, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onions and red pepper flakes until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic, cooking until mushrooms release their moisture and most of it cooks off, 5-7 minutes. Whisk in flour, coating vegetables. Cook 1-2 minutes. Pour in milk and half & half. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent milk from burning. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup pesto.

In the prepared baking dish, spread the remaining pesto across the bottom. Place 3 lasagna noodles across the pesto, topping with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture. Add 1/3 of the pesto sauce followed by 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat twice more for a total of three layers. Sprinkle the top of the final layer with Parmesan.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until top is bubbly and golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves: 12

We are so used to regular lasagna, that the pesto cream sauce really added a great different dimension to the dish. I might have suggested adding in sausage or chicken to this dish, and we both agreed it would actually take away rather than enhance the dish. Let's just say that the leftovers weren't left sitting in the fridge for over a week only to make it into the trash. Nope, pretty sure the entire casserole dish was gone much much faster than that. Which is saying something for only 2 people.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 244g
Amount per serving
Calories 372Calories from fat 147
% Daily Value
Total Fat 16.3g25%
Saturated Fat 8.8g44%
Cholesterol 78mg26%
Sodium 389mg16%
Total Carbs 35.0g12%
Fiber 1.2g5%
Sugars 4.2g
Protein 21.7g
Vitamin A 57%Vitamin C 15%
Calcium 44%Iron 7%


  1. This looks like the ultimate comfort food. Love the idea of using pesto rather than tomato sauce.

  2. Oh i love lasagna and this one looks so delicious and creamy.

  3. This looks wonderful! I love that you have pesto in here. That is one of my favorites!

  4. love the idea of pesto in my lasagna! :)

  5. Looks incredible. I love lasagna. I could eat it every day. Fabulous idea putting pesto in it.

  6. Love lasagna! I've never made a "white" version before. I love the addition of pesto though. Looks cheesy and delicious!!!

  7. This looks and sounds amazingly delicious! But can I still wear stretchy pants AND take a nap?? It's vacation time, happy Thanksgiving!!

  8. I made it in my crockpot, needed review all weights but, I did! Veeery yummy, time of coocking: 7hours. I used savoy cabbage in place of spinach, because in North Italy in this season is a "must" richest of vitaminC and excellent in every plate/cooking.

  9. Im so far behind - but pesto? In lasagna... Have I told you lately that I love you???

  10. You don't pre-cook the noodles? Going to make it tonight, would love to double check!



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