This Vegetable Lasagna with White Sauce is a great way to incorporate a variety of vegetables into a pasta dish. The dish is rich without being too heavy and packed full of flavor. The vegetables really shine through, and the sauce brings it all together.
What vegetables are in this lasagna?
This lasagna is packed full of a combination of artichoke hearts, asparagus, zucchini and yellow squash. We chose vegetables that we love, and you can certainly choose your favorites as well.
The key is to precook the vegetables without overcooking them! The precooking will allow some of the water content of the vegetables to be cooked off, which prevents your lasagna from becoming “soupy” due to excess liquids. If you cook the vegetables all the way before cooking the lasagna, you will run the risk of having mushy vegetables that fall apart.
It also may seem counterintuitive that a raw artichoke heart needs the same amount of cooking time as a yellow squash or asparagus tip, but it works. The artichoke pieces will cook in the lasagna just fine and will not be hard at all.
White Sauce and Cheeses
The cheeses and béchamel are what makes this dish a tasty yet light lasagna and they all play an important role.
The béchamel is a pretty simple version with subtle flavors from the bay leaf and nutmeg providing the magic.
Pecorino is a sheep’s milk cheese that is a bit more pungent than Parmigiano Reggiano and has a completely different flavor. The combination of the two here give this lasagna a flavor without being too cheesy, heavy or overpowering. The real cheeses from Italy will have a massive effect on your dish, so seek out the real stuff!
Can I make lasagna in advance?
Yes! The great thing about lasagna in general is that you can make it in advance and either cover and refrigerate, or freeze, to make whenever you want!
If you choose to make ahead and refrigerate, you will simply remove from the fridge and straight to the oven. The lasagna may take a little longer to cook, but just look for the signs that it is done such as bubbling around the edges and browning on top. You can use an instant read thermometer in the center of the lasagna as well - 165°F is the goal.
If you choose to freeze the lasagna, you will remove it straight from the freezer to the oven. It will, of course, need additional time to cook if it is frozen. But in this case, we recommend that you cover it with foil for the first 30-45 minutes of cooking, then remove the foil for the final 10-15 minutes or until it is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown. Again, use a thermometer in the center if cooking from frozen.
We will always encourage you to make your own pasta, including lasagna sheets. If you have never made pasta at home before, check out our Homemade Pasta post for all the details and for our favorite multipurpose pasta dough recipe! The texture of homemade pasta is far superior in our opinion!
But this dish is just as delicious with store-bought dry pasta sheets. Just follow the directions on the box/packaging to ensure that you cook the pasta before assembling if needed.
Mangiamo in Italian means 'Let's eat!" And it also happens to be the title of our Italian cookbook! It is packed full of 60 of our favorite Italian and Italian-inspired recipes and we know you will love it too! Learn more HERE.
We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Vegetable Lasagna with White Sauce. If you give it a try, leave us a 5-star rating and comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine.
Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out:
- Creamy Pesto Pasta with Seared Scallops
- Marsala Mushroom Casarecce Pasta
- Seared Scallop Pasta with Vanilla Grapefruit Cream Sauce
- Baked Rigatoni with Tomato Herb Meat Sauce
Vegetable Lasagna with White Sauce
For the Lasagne Sheets
- 1 lb dry lasagna sheets, or 1 recipe Multi-Purpose Pasta Dough – rolled into lasagna sheets (*see note)
For the Béchamel Sauce
- 5 cups (1183ml) whole milk
- 2 small bay leaves
- 6 tablespoon (84g) unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup (83g) AP Flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the Vegetables
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 small zucchini (1 cup) (105g) sliced ¼” thick and halved
- 1 small yellow squash (1 cup) (105g) sliced ¼” thick and halved
- 1 ½ cup asparagus tips and stalks (150g) cut into ¾” pieces
- 1 ½ cups artichoke hearts, cleaned and cut into large dice (*see note)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup Pecorino cheese, grated
- ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat the bottom of your baking dish
- fresh basil leaves for garnish
- additional Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for serving
Make the Sauce
- Warm the milk with the bay leaf in a small saucepan to just under a simmer.
- In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour to the butter and whisk constantly to combine without browning the flour.
- Remove the bay leaf from the milk, then gradually add the milk to the butter and flour mixture while whisking until a smooth consistency is reached and there are no lumps. Cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, whisking or stirring often.
- Finally, add the salt, nutmeg, and pepper and stir to fully incorporate. Taste and adjust salt as necessary.
For the vegetables
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the vegetables and salt and gently cook until the vegetables soften but are not mushy – about 5 minutes. Stir the vegetables into the béchamel sauce with the Pecorino and Parmigiano cheeses until thoroughly incorporated.
Assemble the Lasagna
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Assemble your lasagna starting with a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Add a layer of pasta, then sauce/vegetable mixture. Repeat until your dish is full; the top being a thin layer of sauce.
- Sprinkle the top with more Parmigiano or Pecorino (or both) if desired. Place in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the lasagna is bubbly and the center is hot (an instant read thermometer should read 170°F in the center).
- Once done, allow your lasagna to sit for about 10-15 minutes before cutting into to allow it to cool slightly.
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