What we love about this vegetable lasagna with white sauce
- This recipe is great for veggie lovers, or anyone who has an abundance of zucchini growing in their garden. It provides a hearty and filling alternative to a meaty lasagna, but it is still a satisfying and flavorful meal.
- You can mix and match a wide variety of vegetables in this recipe, try swapping a layer for artichokes or sliced eggplant. The sauce and ricotta mixture will pair great with most veggies.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
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Ingredients you might need to pick up
- Summer squash
- Spinach leaves
- Ricotta cheese
How to make this vegetable lasagna
Make the white pasta sauce
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour to make a roux. Slowly whisk in milk and allow the milk to warm before adding the parmesan cheese. Then, whisk in parmesan cheese and grated nutmeg. Lower heat and simmer until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the ricotta cheese mixture for lasagna
In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, chopped spinach, egg, parsley and salt and pepper. Using a rubber spatula, stir until well combined and set aside.
Layer the lasagna
Start with a layer of white sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish followed by a layer of lasagna noodles and gently spread a layer of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
After that arrange zucchini and squash slices, slightly overlapping and alternating colors and top with a layer of white sauce. Add another layer of noodles and spread more ricotta mixture gently over that layer of noodles.
Sprinkle broccoli florets and top them with a layer of white sauce. Finally add the last layer of noodles and spread any remaining white sauce then top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake the veggie lasagna with white sauce
Once the lasagna is layered, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350˚F, or until the edges are bubbling and the cheese is melted on the top. Allow the lasagna to rest before slicing.
Everything you need to know about white lasagna
Most commonly recognized as lasagna, or what some would call traditional, typically includes ricotta cheese with a tomato or marinara sauce rather than a white béchamel sauce. Lasagna is prepared differently in different regions of Italy where it is more common to include a bechamel sauce. Variations such as this white lasagna use bechamel sauce to enhance their flavors or textures making it more creamy and richly flavored.
White sauce, also known as bechamel sauce is a milk based sauce, thickened with flour and flavored with a pinch of nutmeg. Bechamel sauce, though flavorful does not have a specifically distinct flavor making it a perfect building block for many dishes.
Alfredo sauce is a cheesy cream based sauce while bechamel is a lighter smoother, milk based sauce. Alfredo sauce tends to have a rich thick texture with a buttery taste while bechamel will offer a smooth, creamy texture with a subtle nutty flavor.
Sauce is spread on the bottom of the baking dish when preparing lasagna to prevent the lasagna noodles from sticking to the bottom of the baking dish but it also allows the bottom layer of pasta to have enough moisture not to bake into a hard crunchy layer of pasta.
If your white sauce is not thick enough, you can continue simmer the sauce for a bit longer until it thickens to your liking. Be sure to lower the heat and continue to whisk to avoid the sauce burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Alternatively, if the white sauce becomes too thick, add a small amount of additional milk and whisk until it thins properly. Keep in mind the sauce with thicken slightly on its own as it cools.
Adding egg to your ricotta cheese mixture for lasagna will give each bite a bit more texture and creaminess. The egg also lends a hand in keeping the structure of the lasagna intact when slicing and serving, since it acts as a binding agent and will set up slightly when cooked.
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Other vegetable pastas you should try
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For the lasagna:
- 1 16 ounce package oven-ready lasagna noodles
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup mozzarella
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the white sauce:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the ricotta mixture:
- 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups fresh spinach, washed and chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make the white sauce. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and whisk in flour to make a roux. Slowly whisk in milk. Stir in cheese and season to taste. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, mix ricotta with parmesan cheese and egg until smooth. Stir in spinach and parsley. Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Set aside.
To layer the lasagna, spread a thin layer of white sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan then layer as follows: noodles, ricotta, zucchini, white sauce, noodles, ricotta, broccoli, white sauce, noodles.
Top with mozzarella cheese
Bake at 350˚F covered for 45-55 minutes, or until the sides are bubbly.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Category: Lasagna
- Method: Baking
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