Vegetable lasagna with white sauce is a creamy, cheesy lasagna that's packed with nutritious veggies. Lasagna noodles and sauteed veggies are layered with a velvety bechamel sauce and two types of cheese.
If you're looking for a lasagna without red sauce or meat, this vegetable lasagna is the perfect solution. A homemade bechamel sauce and two types of cheese make this lasagna so creamy and delicious.
Plus, I've got a few tips to guarantee your lasagna doesn't turn out soggy or watery! This includes sautéing our vegetables first as well as using no-boil lasagna noodles.
Today, our veggie filling is made with zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and spinach, but can easily be customized with your favorite vegetables.
Serve vegetable lasagna with white sauce for your next family meal. Leftovers reheat well throughout the week, making it a great meal prep recipe! If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy my zucchini mushroom pasta.
Ingredients and substitutions
- No-boil lasagna noodles - I recommend using a no-boil lasagna with wavy edges (but feel free to use your favorite brand). It's important to use no-boil or oven-ready noodles for this recipe because they help prevent watery lasagna. No-boil noodles have been pre-cooked and dehydrated at the factory. While baking, the noodles soak up moisture from the sauce and veggies to rehydrate.
- Olive oil - Can be substituted with any neutral cooking oil you have on hand.
- Onion and garlic - Enhance the flavor of your casserole and add bulk to the veggie layer. I do not recommend omitting the onion. Garlic can be substituted with garlic powder if needed.
- Vegetables - I used zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach for this recipe. If you don't like one of these veggies, it should be substituted with another vegetable rather than omitted. This recipe needs a good amount of vegetables to add bulk to your lasagna layers - otherwise it will turn out thin. Some good substitutes include small chopped broccoli florets, frozen corn, frozen peas, yellow summer squash, and bell pepper.
- Salt and pepper - Enhance the flavor of your lasagna.
- Butter and flour - These two ingredients serve as the base for your bechamel sauce. Butter and flour create a roux, which thickens your sauce. I do not recommend omitting or substituting these two ingredients.
- Italian seasoning - Adds depth of flavor to your lasagna.
- Nutmeg - Adds a hint of warmth and cozy spice to your bechamel sauce.
- Whole milk - I recommend whole milk for a thick and creamy bechamel sauce. However, it can be substituted with your favorite milk of choice, like 2% or almond milk. Keep in mind that a thinner, lower fat milk will make a less creamy sauce.
- Cheeses - Mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese should be freshly shredded from a block for best flavor and texture. Pre-shredded cheeses are often coated in anti-clumping powders that get grainy when melted.
The white sauce in this lasagna is a bechamel sauce, which is made with butter, flour, milk, and nutmeg. A bechamel sauce is a classic sauce, or "mother sauce" in French cuisine.
How to prevent soggy lasagna
One of the biggest issues with homemade lasagna is that it turns out soggy or watery. These are my "musts" when making this recipe - if you follow these tips your lasagna will turn out perfectly set without excess water or limp noodles!
- Use no-boil noodles - These noodles are pre-cooked in the factory and dehydrated, which means they'll soak up a bit of moisture as they rehydrate in the oven. Any excess liquid the veggies release in the oven is soaked up by the no-boil noodles.
- Sauté your vegetables - Raw veggies contain a lot of water. By sautéing them first, we're cooking off some excess moisture and par-cooking the veggies at the same time (raw veggies inside the lasagna will not cook through in the baking time listed).
- Uncover during the last half of baking - Take the foil off your lasagna during the last half of baking. This allows the cheese on top to brown and releases excess moisture.
- Let your lasagna rest - Don't slice into a hot lasagna straight from the oven. It's much like a steak - allow it to rest and redistribute all that moisture inside. Plus, a slightly cooled lasagna is much easier to slice into even squares. Give your lasagna 20 minutes of cooling time before slicing.
How to layer lasagna
Start with a lightly greased 9x13 casserole dish.
- Add a small amount of bechamel sauce to the bottom of the dish - just enough to lightly coat the bottom.
- Add one layer of lasagna noodles. Top with half of the sauteed vegetables. Add ⅓ of your remaining bechamel sauce, then top with ⅓ of the shredded cheese mixture.
- Repeat the previous step once, adding another layer of noodles, vegetables, sauce, and cheese.
- Top with a third layer of lasagna noodles, your remaining bechamel sauce, and remaining shredded cheese.
Here are a few vegetable variations you can try in your next vegetable lasagna with white sauce:
- Frozen corn
- Frozen peas
- Baby kale
- Diced carrots
- Red bell pepper
- Yellow summer squash
- Chopped broccoli florets
Want to add a protein? A shredded, cooked rotisserie chicken makes the perfect addition to this lasagna. Add two layers of shredded chicken over the veggie layers and then continue assembling as directed below.
Vegetable Lasagna With White Sauce
- 2 tablesoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 cups (681 g) whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles, quantity may vary based on size
- 2 cups (226 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup (100 g) grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven is preheating, prepare lasagna.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Add diced onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until edges begin to brown and onions begin to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Add diced zucchini and mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes, or until veggies have softened slightly. Add spinach and stir until wilted, about a minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk to create a paste. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in whole milk. Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and nutmeg and continue whisking until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until sauce thickens, stirring frequently, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Add a small amount (½ cup or less) of your bechamel sauce to the bottom of the dish and spread into a thin layer.
- Add 3 to 4 lasagna noodles (depending on size and shape) to the bottom of the pan. Top with half of the sauteed vegetables and spread into an even layer. Top with ⅓ of the remaining bechamel sauce and ⅓ of your shredded cheeses. Repeat this step once more, adding another layer of noodles, vegetables, sauce, and cheeses.
- Add a third layer of lasagna noodles, then top with remaining bechamel sauce and remaining shredded cheeses. Make sure to cover lasagna noodles completely. Cover casserole dish with foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes on the center rack of the oven, covered. Remove foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown across the top.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
- To prevent watery lasagna: 1) use no boil lasagna noodles, 2) sauté your vegetables (do not skip this step!), 3) uncover lasagna halfway through baking, 4) allow lasagna to rest before slicing and serving.
- Leftover lasagna will keep for 3-4 days covered in the refrigerator.