This 3-cheese spinach lasagna recipe gives you Popeye Power!
STEPS 5 INGREDIENTS 11 TIME 60-70 MINS
The process of making it is really stress-free: fry up the spinach, mix it with no less than 3 different cheeses, stir up your creamy nutmeg-flavoured béchamel sauce, and get busy creating this baby’s layers!
That really is it. This is a spinach lasagna recipe any beginner cook can handle, so let's get to it…
0.75 litre/1.3 pints of semi-skimmed/half-fat milk
45g/2oz (or 3 tablespoons) of plain/all purpose flour
For the filling
600g/21oz frozen spinach
250g/8.8oz tub of Ricotta cheese
200g/7oz soft gorgonzola cheese
50g/2oz grated parmesan cheese
100g/3.5oz butter (cut into small 1cm-square cubes)
1.5 teaspoons of grated nutmeg (ideally bought whole and grated)
500g/17.5oz packet of lasagna sheets (spinach flavour for that nice green colouring)
Salt & Pepper
Small deep pan/skillet
Large frying pan
Large deep oven dish (I use a 30cm/12-inch oval) or lasagna pan (this Cuisinart is a great buy)
STEP 1 – First we’ll prepare the lasagna’s filling.
- Melt half the butter in your frying pan on a medium heat hob.
- When melted, throw in the frozen spinach. Heat this for 8-10 minutes – if the spinach is in ‘frozen leaf’ form, 8 mins will do. If it is in Euro-style ‘pellet’ form, you’ll need that bit longer.
Don’t worry, if may look like a ton of spinach in there, but it reduces as it defrosts and cooks.
Note: In terms of how to cook spinach, it’s useful to understand that the frozen stuff defrosts quickly and is therefore super-easy to use (which is why I use this). Whereas fresh spinach needs washing, de-stemming, and takes longer to shrink down.
STEP 2 – When the spinach is defrosted and warmed through, drain away any excess water and pop it in your mixing bowl.
- Add the ricotta, two-thirds of the nutmeg, 4 tablespoons of grated parmesan, a pinch of pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Mix it all well. Taste good?
- Cover this bowl with a cloth of kitchen paper, and we’ll make the béchamel sauce…
STEP 3 – Grab the milk and pour into your small deep pan.
- Fill the sieve with the flour. With one hand, gently shake this over the pan. With the other, slowly stir the milk forwards and back.
TIP: If any lumps of flour remain, squash these against the side of the pan with your spoon.
- If you can’t see any flour chunks you’re done.
- Put this pan on a maximum heat hob for just 2 mins to warm the milk, then turn down to a medium heat (it’s important not to boil the milk!).
- Pop in the remaining grated nutmeg, the rest of the butter, and 3 teaspoons of salt.
- The plan now is to slowly and continually stir the sauce until the butter melts and the sauce turns really creamy. This is the one dull bit of this spinach lasagna recipe and takes 15-25 minutes, so have patience or find yourself a kitchen helper!
Put simply, when the sauce drips slowly off your spoon rather than being a liquid, it is done.
STEP 4 – Mixture made and béchamel sauce ready? Then crank up your oven to 180C (350-degrees Fahrenheit) and we’ll kick off this spinach lasagna recipe's building stage.
- Pour just under half the sauce into the baking dish, to cover the bottom.
- Layer lasagna sheets over this. You want to fill all the big gaps but not overlap the sheets (or it will get too thick to chew).
- Throw on around 3 heaped tablespoons of spinach mixture and spread this across the layer.
- Sparsely add a quarter of the gorgonzola cheese, in squishy chunks.
- Add another layer of lasagna sheets and repeat until the spinach is used up. I usually manage between 3 and 5 layers altogether, depending on the dish.
Important: After you’ve added the final pasta layer, we reach the very top layer:
- Pour the remaining béchamel sauce over this layer, just thick enough to cover all the pasta
- Now throw on the rest of the grated parmesan (you want a fine covering). We’re nearly there...
STEP 5 – Fling this dish in the middle of your 180C oven for approximately 20 minutes.
To serve: After I take this lasagna out of the oven, I usually leave it to stand for 5 minutes. Not too long for it to really cool, but enough that the top starts to crispen slightly. A little crunch is good.
If you're like me, that first blue-cheese taste 'hit' will knock your socks off. Then it just gets more moreish the more you eat... enjoy!
Enjoyed this spinach lasagna recipe?
Feel free to let me know (or comment below).
And then try...
Made too much?
Read my freezing lasagna page and enjoy the rest later.
To make it even better next time...
Why not create your own succulent fresh pasta sheets (just remember to pre-boil these a little before building your lasagna).
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