I am lucky in that many of my clients have become good friends. It makes for especially enjoyable client entertaining. During the holidays, I invited my pals from Revel along with my talented photographer friend for a dinner party. (side note: check out this yummy website I was lucky enough to help them with) Since one of the guests is a vegetarian, I decided to broaden my horizons and comprise a three-course vegetarian meal.

Deer in headlights.

How could I not have presentable vegetarian recipes in my dinner party repertoire?! I am a Midwestern girl born and bred on meat and potatoes married to a Greek who eats lamb on a spit but still, not one pretty, make-ahead main dish?! Disgusted by my limited range, I set out to devise a delicious vegetarian spread.

This vegetarian lasagna was the result of hours of internet searching and piecing together of tips and tricks from here and there. White vegetarian lasagna can be flavorless. I overcame that by infusing the milk with garlic before making the bechamel sauce and with very fresh organic vegetables and high quality Parmesan cheese.

The first course was a roasted tomato soup which was basically this sauce pureed with some vegetable stock.  I loved the contrast of starting with red tomato soup and then serving a lasagna without any. We ended the meal with these brownies.

This dish took about an hour to prepare and assemble but I made it ahead and put it back in the oven to reheat and it turned out very well. This recipe is not as “wet” as many lasagna recipes because I wanted it to stand pretty on the plate. The first notch in my vegetarian-dinner-party-recipes belt!

White Vegetarian Lasagna
Makes 8-10 servings

1 package thin, no-cook lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup vegetable broth
6 cloves garlic, cut in quarters
3 Tablespoons butter
5 Tablespoons flour
1 cup quality Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pepper and Salt
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large zucchini, cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 summer squash, cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 bag of baby spinach
4 oz (about 1 cup) sliced mushrooms
1 small yellow onion, diced

Place the no-cook noodles in hot water and set aside to soften. Be careful that they don’t stick to each other. Heat milk and vegetable broth in a sauce pan until simmering. Add the garlic, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.

To prepare for the layering of the vegetables, I sauteed each one by one and then put them in bowls to create a mise en place for easy assembly. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add the zucchini and saute a few minutes, turning with a spatula until al dente. Remove from pan. Add another tablespoon of oil and saute the summer squash in the same way. If needed, add additional olive oil and then spinach. Toss with a spatula until just slightly wilted. Remove from pan. Finally, add additional oil if needed and add onion and mushroom cooking for just a few minutes.

Remove the garlic pieces from the milk and broth mixture with a slotted spoon. In another sauce pan, melt butter. When melted, whisk in the flour. Slowly whisk the garlic-infused milk mixture into the roux. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. (Don’t be shy with the salt, I think it usually needs about a few teaspoons)

Assembly time! I used a 10 inch square pan but a 9 x 13 should also work. Spread about 1/2 cup of sauce over the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of noodles on the bottom. Spread the zucchini over the layer of noodles. Drizzle about 1 cup of sauce over it. Add another layer of noodles. Add the mushroom and onion mixture and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Add the next layer of noodles. Add the spinach and 1 cup of white sauce. Another layer of noodles. Finally, the spinach layer and 1/3 cup of Parmesan. Top with a final layer of noodles, the rest of the sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining 1/3 cup of cheese.

Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 or 15 minutes until top is browned. Let cool before slicing and serving. If you are making ahead, decrease cooking time by 15 minutes and reheat in the oven before serving.

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44 Responses to “White Vegetarian Lasagna”

  1. Kristi Rimkus Says:

    I don’t often make lasagna, but I prefer the white lasagna to the typical red sauce. Most of my friends have never seen a white sauce lasagna, so they always love it, but I agree it can be bland. I use fresh basil, and that really boosts the flavor, but I love the idea of fusing the garlic in the milk! I can’t wait to try your recipe. It looks delicious!

  2. All Recipes Says:

    Another great lasagna recipe to add to my collection.


  3. Ed SChenk@ Detroit Eats Says:

    Looks very tasty. I sometimes add carrot (cooked) to mine for color.

  4. Anna @ unsweetenedcocoa Says:

    That looks appealingly simple and delicious. I’m always on the lookout for good vegetarian recipes because we try to eat to reduce our meat consumption. I also love make-aheads! Go weekend cooking.

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  6. Orlando personal injury lawyer Says:

    I really really really am craving this. For some reason from just looking at it, I can taste the cheese.

  7. Heather @ chiknpastry Says:

    It looks great. I’m like you though – very limited vegetarian options. I have a few friends I’d love to invite over for a “group” dinner party, but a member of one couple is gluten/dairy-free and the other is vegetarian. I can do them separately, but would have to really think long and hard to do them both! and to be honest, the vegetarian cooking (to me) is harder than gf cooking!!

  8. Carol Egbert Says:

    Roasting the vegetables is another way to add flavor. Great post . The tomato soup is a great starter.


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  10. Jennifer Says:

    You just revived my craving for white veggie lasagna. Many thanks!

  11. James Says:

    I’ve never tried a white lasagna, but this looks like a great way to start. Thanks

  12. bob Says:

    wow, look at that, I’m already drooling, great color, looks delicious

  13. Kristy Richardson Says:

    This looks fabulous, I’ll be adding this to my growing list of pasta recipes. Vegetarian cooking really isn’t as difficult as it initially seems, but you do have to rethink a little about “main course versus side dish.” My husband is a vegetarian, and I’m a “flexeterian” I guess is the closest term, where I eat mainly chicken and turkey. We eat vegetarian at home, and it’s really made me rethink how we prepare. We tend to pull from other cultures – Mexican, Asian, Indian, Italian, Thai, all have much better options then good ol’ traditional American.

    Anyways, it’s a beautiful choice, I like how it stands up on the plate too instead of falling over on itself like mine usually come out! :)

  14. chef renee Says:

    This is my favorite kind of lasagne I like it more ten the classic meat version!
    I have been reading your blog and enjoy your posts. I am passing the “Honest Scrap” Award, that was given to me. This is given from one blogger to ten chosen for their honesty,inspiration,passion and soul. Part of the award is to share ten honest things about yourself then pass the award to ten others details are on my blog.
    Thank you!

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  16. Monika@freshcutcook Says:

    Oh my, this looks lovely! I’ve never made lasagna before; this may just be the recipe for me to start with!

  17. Leslie Says:

    I just made this and I can’t wait to package it away for lunches & dinners. Thank you for sharing!!

  18. Kim Says:

    Just made this last week, simply delicious. Will definitely make again. Thanks

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  20. DeShield Says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. It was so creamy. I highly recommend it. However, I think that next time I will just make it with the spinach, mushrooms and onions though. That’s just a preference– nothing against zucchini or squash.

  21. Eve Says:

    I made this tonight, and let me just say…..there is none left. I had not previously enjoyed any of the white lasagnas I’ve tasted, but luckily was feeling adventurous tonight. I did however, add a little bit of Gouda sprinkled on the top layer. Thanks for this great dish!

  22. Luxe Catering Says:

    Try adding a layer of pesto on top… Then slice fresh tomatoes and lay them about one inch apart.

    Bake as normal.

    Before serving sprinkle with lemon zest and salted, toasted walnuts-
    Yumm Yumm!

    If you are feeling froggy, drop chuncks of goats cheese 10 minutes before the lasgna is done cooking…

    I love this simple recipe- just find a way to make it your own and you will have a million meals!!!

  23. Esther Says:

    I just made this dish tonight for my husband and my parents. I didn’t have any onions, so I just left them out. Not only was I able to use the last of the produce from our garden, I was able to make a delicious, nutritious dish for my family. I absolutely love the nutmeg flavor in every bite. Thanks so much for a well-thought out recipe! It was great!

  24. heidi Says:

    just a small typo. Spinach is listed twice in the layering process. no biggie. Also, can this be frozen for future use or will the cream sauce get funky? Should it be baked and then frozen?

  25. janet Says:

    wonderful! Just made it with a layer of slow cooked carmelized onions, garden zucchini,garden tomato and carrot. Roasting the veggies brings out HUGE flavor. White lasagna is the best, thanks for posting this recipe :)

  26. Carla @ Yorkshire Pantry Says:

    Such a good vegetarian recipe it looks great, is a little different and re-heats really well, so I can make it in advance. Perfect for my busy lifestyle.

  27. Louise Says:

    I’m about to make this – but where in the layering is the squash mentioned? Is it also “zucchini”? (English is not my native language…)
    Thanks :)

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  29. Lindsey Says:

    I must tell you that I made this lasagna for a birthday gathering this year and it was such a hit that I had several friends request the recipe… one served it at the rehearsal dinner for her wedding and one served it at a Christmas dinner. It was again a hit with both meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters! Thanks so much for sharing such a great recipe–it is absolutely delicious!

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  41. Camila Says:

    mmmmmm :) Very tasty! I never made a lasagna as well. I will try it tonight. Thanks for the recipe!

  42. Numerologia Says:

    lasagna! la favorita de gardfield!!1
    y la mia!!!
    se ve buenisima la voy a hacer
    luego os cuento

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  44. Arti Says:

    Lovely recipe, but I omitted the Parmesan cheeze, cause I think Parmesan can only be made using animal rennet,therefore not vegetarian. Instead I used a similar vegetarian cheeze from vbites.

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