Outstanding Spinach & Artichoke Lasagna Recipe With Easy Béchamel for Date Night by Jan Mostrom
My sweet husband Terry and I have been married for over 33 years and we recently decided to try some new things together. One activity we are trying is finding a new recipe (Terry's job) and making it together for a date night. Now, if you have kiddos around or prefer a solitary meal, I still love a new recipe. I don't know about you but I'm getting really tired the my current rotation of recipes and look forward to trying new things. (30Seconds is a great place to search and find any type of recipe imaginable!)
Enter this white sauce vegetable lasagna recipe Terry found it in the New York Times cooking app. We changed the vegetarian lasagna recipe a bit to make it ours. (Mostly just added a lot more vegetables and used 1/2 whole milk with the half and half.)
We were not disappointed in this pasta recipe! We had a fun hour putting it together and then chatted while it heated to a beautiful bubbly delicious feast. We added simple green beans blanched for 2 minutes with olive oil and seasoning to make our dinner is complete! If you're not carb avoidant try my delicious easy four-ingredient bread for a yummy addition.
We'll be back with more date night ideas and we're looking forward to hearing about your date night recipe adventures!
Prep Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes (less with a helper)
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped and drained
- 1 bag (6 ounces) baby spinach (stems removed if you like that)
- additional vegetables (optional)
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 sweet pepper, diced into small pieces
- 4 coarsely chopped garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or used salted and decrease the added salt)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups half and half (or 2 cups each whole milk and heavy cream or half and half)
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 12 dry lasagna noodles (10 to 12 ounces)
- 8 ounces cottage cheese (heaping 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
Here's how to make it:
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Boil a pot of water big enough for the lasagna noodles. While water heats put a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add the olive oil and artichoke hearts (and mushrooms/peppers if using) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the artichoke hearts fall apart, become jammy and start to brown at the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add the spinach and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and stir until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a large bowl and return the saucepan to the stove (no need to wash it out).
- To make the béchamel sauce, in the saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Still whisking constantly, slowly add the half and half. Raise the heat to high and bring to a simmer, whisking all the while, then immediately reduce the heat to continue simmering, now whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens to the consistency of gravy, 10 to 20 minutes. Season generously with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Add half of the béchamel to the bowl with the artichokes and vegetables. Stir to combine and cool slightly, for about 15 minutes. Add the cottage cheese, Parmesan and egg to the artichoke and vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- While the mixture cools, place the lasagna noodles in the pot of boiling water, turning off the heat below. Let them softened but not get soggy, about 15 minutes and drain. (To avoid noodles sticking together I criss-cross them as I put them into the water and it works great!)
- To assemble the lasagna, in an 8x8-inch baking pan or casserole dish, add enough béchamel to thinly coat the bottom. Put down a single layer of lasagna noodles, about 3 noodles, letting the ends rise up the edges of the pan. Spread half of the artichoke and vegetable mixture evenly over the noodles. Turn the pan 90 degrees and put down another layer of lasagna noodles, again pressing the ends up against the edges of the pan. Spread half of the béchamel evenly over the noodles. Repeat these layers once more with the remaining lasagna noodles, artichoke and vegetable mixture and béchamel, ending with the béchamel. Evenly sprinkle the mozzarella on top. (At this point, you can cover the lasagna and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours if not baking right away.)
- Bake the lasagna until the sauce is bubbling at the edges (especially in the corners of the pan), and the mozzarella and the exposed ends of the noodles are golden brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. (Add more time if baking directly from the refrigerator.) Let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing so that slices won’t collapse when transferred to plates.
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