Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Creamy Spinach Broccoli Lasagna

This is a recipe that I saw in an issue of Woman’s Day magazine, and because I love both spinach and broccoli, I knew I had to try it. One thing I love about this recipe is that, as with most, you can cut the fat and calories very easily by using low fat or fat-free ingredients. The original recipe called for part skim ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, which I used, but also whole milk and regular cream cheese. I used 1 % milk and Neufchatel cream cheese, which saved 3 g. fat and 30 calories per serving for the double recipe I made, cutting it into 12 servings.

Before we start, I'm letting you know there are a bazillion pictures for this! That's because when I tried this recipe, I had one photo to go by, the finished pan of lasagna. While I've been cooking for decades, including in restaurants and nursing homes, I had never made this particular recipe before and for many steps in the recipe, I had know idea if I was even doing it right. I just had to wing it. You're not going to have to blindly wing it. ;) Also, keep in mind that the directions are using the amounts for the doubled batch. If you make the single batch, just halve the amounts it says in the step-by-step instructions.

So, let’s get cooking!

First, you’ll want to thaw out the spinach and broccoli. I simply put them each in bowls and set them to cook in the microwave for about 5-7 minutes each. Keep in mind that I was making a double batch. The original recipe serves 4, and we have 6-8 in the family, depending on who‘s home to eat at a meal. Leftovers are always welcome also.

Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic. In a skillet, sauté the onion in the oil about 5-8 minutes until tender. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

While the onion and garlic are cooking, mix together the ricotta, 2 c. mozzarella, and ½ c. romano (or parmesan) cheeses, along with 1 c. of the milk.

After you have drained the broccoli and squeezed out any excess water in the spinach, add to the cheese mixture.

Add 2 c. milk, ½ c. romano cheese (or parmesan), and cream cheese to the onion and garlic in the skillet.

With a whisk, mix over medium heat until slightly thickened (do not boil),  about 2-3 minutes. Add the pinch(es) of nutmeg and stir.

Spread 1 c. of the sauce on the bottom of a 13 X 15” baking dish. Top with 4 of the no-boil lasagna noodles going along the length of the pan, and one noodle going the width, breaking off a little at the end of the noodle to make it fit.

Spread 1/3 of the remaining sauce (about 2/3 c.) over the top of the noodles. Spread on about 1/3 of the ricotta/veggie mixture, evenly (about 2 2/3 c., I eyeballed it) on top. Repeat twice, doing the noodles, then sauce, them ricotta/veggie mixture. End with the layer of ricotta/veggie mixture, and top with the remaining 1 c. mozzarella cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350° oven for 40-50 minutes (check at 30 minutes to be sure). Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, until knife slides through noodles easily, indicating they are soft. *Note: For the smaller batch, cook for 30-40 minutes before removing the foil. Definitely check doneness after 20 minutes just to be sure. Enjoy! ~TMMF

*Note: The reduced fat and calorie counts for the smaller batch are: 4.5 g. fat and 45 calories. The reason the differences in these counts between the large and small batches are not halved, is because while I did double the recipe, I made it in a 13 X 15” baking dish and cut it into 12 servings, which seemed plenty, while the original recipe (half of my large batch) used an 8 X 8” baking dish and said it serves four people. Thus, the differences in fat and calories saved per serving. You can cut the fat and calories down even further by using fat free ricotta, which I’ve done plenty of times and the recipe still tasted just as great, but I would not use fat free mozzarella. I’ve been there, done that, and I recommend sticking with the part skim mozzarella.

 Creamy Spinach and Broccoli Lasagna                                                       
(double batch; serves 8-12)                                                  

2 Tbl. olive oil
1 small- medium onion
4 cloves garlic
2 10 oz. packages frozen spinach
2 10 oz. packages frozen broccoli florets
2 15 oz. containers part-skim ricotta cheese
3 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated romano or parmesan cheese
3 c. 1% milk
8 oz. Neufchatel cream cheese
2 pinches nutmeg
15 no boil lasagna noodles

*For the original batch, just halve everything. :)                                                  


  1. This sounds and looks fantastic. I love broccoli and spinach as well. I am going to give this one a try! I have been wishing they will make a whole grain oven ready lasagna!
    Hungry Holly!

    1. Awesome. :) This was actually the first time I had ever used no boil lasagna noodles. I've always used the regular ones. I think the trick with the no boil ones is to make sure you have enough liquid in the recipe and to make sure you cover it during most of the cooking to help keep the moisture in. :)