Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cheater Spinach Lasagna #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: I've made plenty of stuffed shells in my day but never a lasagna. So with company coming and lots of work on my desk, I decided now was the time. This version is tweaked from the Mueller's pasta box, and I used spinach rather than meat sauce. The cheater part comes in because the noodles don't have to be pre-boiled. I did substitute fresh mozzarella for the packaged dried cheese, which is high in sodium. I had never tried this before and was not quite certain it would work…here goes...


24 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
24 ounce jar good marinara sauce (like Gia Russa Sicilian)
Two packages frozen spinach
Eight fresh basil leaves, if you have them
Fresh grated Parmesan
2 eggs
One package oven-ready lasagna noodles

Thaw the spinach and squeeze it dry. Shred the mozzarella. Grate the Parmesan. Snip the basil into shreds.

Mix the cheeses, the dried spinach, basil, and the eggs in a large bowl. 

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. In the bottom of the pan, spread one third of the sauce. Cover the sauce with dried noodles (about 3 1/2.) 

Spread one half of the cheese spinach mixture on top of the noodles. 

Top the cheese mixture with another layer of lasagna noodles. Spread one third of the sauce over those noodles. 

Add the remainder of the cheese mixture, top with more noodles, finish with the rest of the sauce and some grated Parmesan.

Cover with an oiled piece of aluminum foil. Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more. Let sit for 10 to minutes before serving with a green salad and fresh bread.

And the results were declared delicious by the guests--that's what counts, right? (And it didn't take all day...which is good, because I needed to be working on Food Critic Mystery #8!) And once again, while busy serving, I forgot to take a great photo of the finished dinner!

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Well done! A lot less labor intensive than stuffed shells.
    For me it's the cheesy part that's really important, anyway!
    My little granddaughter likes ravioli. She gums them apart to get to the filling! A girl after my own heart!

  2. LOVE the no-boil noodles, and I don't think it's cheating at all!

  3. I love the addition of the spinach. I will have to try that. I always use no-boil noodles--why not? I had to laugh because I've made lots of lasagnas but have never made stuffed shells!

  4. looks good will have to try the no boil noodles

  5. Thanks ladies! Yes, Libby, definitely less time intensive than shells, especially not having to cook ahead. Funny Peg:)

  6. Here's me with some of those lasagna noodles and some marinara in my cupboard! Will try this. Thanks Lucy/Roberta!

  7. Yum! This recipe looks amazing -- I can't wait to try it!

  8. Dumb question maybe but can you use fresh spinach instead of frozen?

  9. Thanks for the nice comments! MJ, you are always ready for everything:). Pat, you certainly could use fresh spinach. I always get discouraged because it cooks down to nothing!

  10. delicious, have to try your recipe.

  11. looks great. may try this one. thanks

  12. I've never used spinach but I have made lasagna with tofu instead of ricotta cheese and no meat. I also make my own marinara sauce that I let simmer for about 4 hours.