This ultra creamy White Lasagna with Spinach recipe is a comforting, delicious meatless meal that feeds a crowd. With layers of garlicky white sauce, pasta, fresh spinach, and cheeses, this casserole is packed with satisfying flavors. White Lasagna is quick and easy enough to make on a busy weeknight, but is decadent and beautiful enough to make for company too!
Spinach Lasagna with White Sauce – The EASY Way!
There are few meals that I can make where my family doesn’t miss the meat, but this vegetable lasagna is one of them! It was inspired by my favorite dish I ate on my epic food tour of Israel (check out my highlights on Instagram!) The traditional Turkish dish su boragi we tried on our tour of Hatikva market.
This was actually popularized in Israel by a renowned food critic that called the dish “the food of lust!” To me it tasted a lot like the most delicious white macaroni and cheese layered with spinach, so I decided I had to try to recreate something similar at home.
While this dish is in no way authentic, it does take some of the best flavors of the dish I tried in Israel and brings them into an easy to make, familiar vegetarian lasagna casserole, perfect for a busy weeknight.
I loved every minutes of visiting Israel and never thought the food would be so incredibly amazing! So many fresh flavors, so many different cultures for inspiration. The cities are largely beautiful, safe, and extremely clean. I loved staying in Tel Aviv, as it had Southern California vibes to me. It was beautiful weather, very urban, but still walkable to the beach, and lots of eclectic shops, restaurants, and entertainment around every corner.
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- It incorporates veggies (spinach) with familiar flavors (pasta and cheese) to help kids enjoy eating their vegetables
- This casserole is SO DELICIOUS!
- Can be made in advance
- Easy enough for a busy night, fancy enough for company!
- No one misses the meat!
- Homemade white sauce?! YOU GOT THIS! The idea of homemade sauce may seem intimidating, but I promise it is actually surprisingly simple and you will be so proud of the delicious (fast) results!
What to Serve with White Lasagna
Since this dish has the classic flavors of garlic, pasta, and cheese, it will pair well with many of your favorite Italian side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Side salad with creamy Italian dressing- Trust me, make the dressing YUM!
- Italian Roasted Vegetables – my go to side dish
- Garlic Bread – The secret is in the spread!
- Parmesan Cauliflower – quick and easy
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This White Lasagna recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few basic ingredients assembled for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks how to make this lasagna with white sauce recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Lasagna noodles– you will use about 12 ounces or 3/4 of a standard 1 pound box. You can add more noodles in if you like the dish heavier on pasta, or don’t want to have leftover noodles.
- Baby spinach– I use fresh spinach here because it has a better texture to me, but you can substitute frozen chopped spinach.
To make this substitution, thaw the spinach and wring as much liquid as possible from the spinach before adding to the casserole.
- Mozzarella– This give you that super ooey gooey cheesy texture!
For the white sauce:
- Butter– I use unsalted, however you can substitute salted and you won’t see much change in the flavor. If you are sensitive to salt, you may want to reduce the added salt by 1/4 teaspoon if using salted butter.
- Flour– all purpose
- Whole milk– This adds to the richness, however you can use any kind of milk with good results including low fat or skim.
- Garlic– you will see a difference using fresh garlic in this recipe so I recommend it!
- Whole milk ricotta– This adds to the super creamy white sauce. I highly recommend using whole milk ricotta here and not subbing for low fat. It will impact the flavor.
- Grated parmesan
- Salt and pepper
- Be patient with the sauce– While this sauce comes together quickly, the best way to get a super smooth and creamy sauce is to mix the milk in very slowly and avoid just dumping in large quantities all at once. This can take a minute to do and some coordination for pouring ad stirring at the same time, but it will be worth it for the most velvety cream sauce!
- WILT the spinach– I like to do this in the microwave as a short cut. You can do it on the stovetop if you prefer as well, but it is super quick and easy in the microwave. The perfect texture will be just starting to wilt, not completely wilted. This takes the volume out of the spinach which allows you to build the lasagna more easily but isn’t so done that it gets over cooked.
- Layer– You can create as many layers as you want, or rather, as your pan will hold, but I find that most standard pans will hold a layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom, add white sauce, spinach, cheese, and repeat twice until your casserole dish is pretty full! I always like to end with noodles, sauce, cheese (spinach all stays in the middle) because it cooks up well and makes it look really pretty out of the oven!
- Broil at the end if you want– This White Sauce Lasagna will get really yummy, gooey, melty, but doesn’t always result in a beautiful browned cheese top. If you want this look and texture for your white lasagna, it is simple! Just turn the oven to broil for the last couple of minutes. WARNING- Keep a close eye on it here. It will take 5 minutes or less and be pure perfection. It is easy to burn on a broil setting so pay attention!
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Premake the sauce– The white sauce for the lasagna can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Just make the sauce, let it cool, then place it in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use. You may want to reheat the white sauce a bit when you are ready to build the lasagna so that it is easier to spread and you aren’t lowering the starting temperature of the lasagna casserole when you start to bake it, which will make it take longer in the oven.
- Wilt the spinach– this can be done 2-3 days in advance
- Pre-assemble– This white lasagna can be pre-assembled with the spinach, then covered and stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours before baking. Once you are ready to cook, pop it into the preheated oven and add 10-15 minutes on to the bake time to account for the lower starting temperature.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- White Chicken Lasagna– Add a layer of shredded chicken on top of the spinach layer. You can use rotisserie chicken, any leftover chicken you may have, or make shredded chicken from scratch – I like to do it with my perfect baked chicken here.
- Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with White Sauce– Make a batch of roasted veggies, cutting them smaller than normal. Add a layer of the roasted vegetables over, or in place of the spinach in the white lasagna for another vegetarian twist on white lasagna!
- White Lasagna with Sausage and Mushrooms– Brown a pound of Italian sausage, and 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms. Add a layer of the crumbled sausage and mushrooms over, or in place of the spinach in the white lasagna.
Freezer Meal Instructions
Making this White Spinach Lasagna recipe into a freezer meal is simple! Follow the steps below and you can store this recipe in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Follow the recipe to assemble the lasagna casserole as directed.
- Allow to cool to room temperature if using hot ingredients.
- Cover the top with foil, then tightly wrap in plastic wrap.
- When ready to cook, thaw for 48 hours in the refrigerator prior to cooking.
- Bake as directed adding 10-15 minutes to the cook time.
White Lasagna Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making Spinach Lasagna, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious meal.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
More EASY Dinner Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- Creamy Beef and Shells
- Chicken Spinach Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce
- French Onion Pot Roast
- Creamy Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Chicken Tetrazzini
- 12 ounces lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces baby spinach
- 12 ounces mozzarella
For the white sauce
- 1/2 cup butter, (one stick)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 16 ounces whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- freshly chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Cook lasagna noodles to al dente per package directions.
- Place spinach in a micowave safe bowl, and heat for 30 second increments until it just starts to wilt. Set aside.
To make the white sauce:
- In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour and continue whisking until the paste begins to bubble and thicken, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in the milk, until it is fully incorporated and no lumps remain. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to low and continue to simmer until sauce has thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, salt and pepper, then mix in the ricotta and parmesan cheeses, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
To Assemble Lasagna
- Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Lay a layer of lasagna noodles over the bottom.
- Spread a layer of sauce on the noodles, and about half of the spinach, and top with mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of noodles, sauce, the rest of the spinach, and mozzarella cheese. To finish top off with a layer of noodles, sauce, and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 350˚F for about 40-50 minutes or until the lasagna is completely heated through and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let set for about 5-10 minutes.Optional- broil for the last 5 minutes to get the cheese browned on top.
- Garnish with parsley and serve warm.