I rarely say something is the ‘best’ I’ve ever eaten but here goes. This is the best lasagna I’ve ever eaten.
And amazingly, married to an Italian as I am, this lasagna has no red sauce, no ricotta, and no mozzarella but boy-oh-boy is there incredible flavor. Savory bites of mushroom, creamy nutmeg scented béchamel (which is just a fancy name for white sauce), a hint of garlic and lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese. It’s not low calorie but it might just make you swoon. Plus, it freezes brilliantly if you have some left over. Which I sincerely doubt.
Mushroom Lasagna is the perfect vegetarian option for a dinner party or potluck. Rich and creamy and supremely decadent. Trust me when I tell you, the meat-eaters will ignore everything else on their plates but this.
If you’re not a mushroom fan, then try this more classic version, Lasagna with Meatballs, Spinach and Béchamel.
You’ll find the recipe incredibly easy to make but it will take a little time. I’ve adapted it from Ina Garten’s brilliant recipe from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Barefoot Contessa Parties.
There are 4 basic things you’ll do. First, boil the noodles, next make your bechamel. Next saute your mushrooms and finally, grate some cheese and put it all together and you have heaven on a fork. Seriously.
Now you can even make Mushroom Lasagna gluten free! See Kate’s Tips below.
Start with lots of mushrooms. I used a combo of portobellos, baby bellas and white mushrooms.
First layer of Béchamel, noodles, mushrooms and cheese. Two more layers to go!
All layered and ready for the oven.
Hot and bubbly and gorgeous. Let it sit for 15 minutes while you make a nice green salad with a simple vinaigrette.
Serves 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course
- Olive oil
- 12 dried lasagna noodles
- 4 cups organic whole milk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¾ cup (12 tablespoons or 1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, divided
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (I use gluten free all purpose)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ pounds cremini, bella, white or portobello mushrooms
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to boil with a tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil to help keep your noodles from sticking together as they drain. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Make béchamel: Bring the milk and garlic to simmer in a saucepan and set it aside.
- Melt ½ cup (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for one minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon.
- Pour in the hot milk, a little at a time at first and stirring until combined. Once you’ve added half of it, you can add the second half all at once, along with 1½ teaspoons salt, the pepper and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring or whisking frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick. Set aside.
- Prepare mushrooms: Discard portobello mushroom stems and/or trim the ends of the cremini stems. Slice mushrooms ¼-inch thick.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter in the bottom of the large, wide pot you used to cook the noodles earlier, or in a large sauté pan. Cook half the mushrooms with a couple pinches of salt for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender and release some of their juices, tossing to make sure they cook evenly. Repeat with additional oil and butter, and remaining mushrooms.
- Assemble lasagna: Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 12 or 9 x 13 baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top then more sauce (about ¼ of what remains), ⅓ of the mushrooms and ¼ cup grated parmesan. Repeat two more times then top with a final layer of noodles, your remaning sauce and last ¼ cup of parmesan.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. To freeze for future use, allow it to cool completely and wrap two to three times in plastic wrap before freezing.
- Use a big pot to boil your noodles and then use the same pot to saute the mushrooms.
- I love and adore these lasagna noodles because they’ve changed my life: Le Veneziane Gluten Free Lasagne Sheets. They’re made in Italy from corn flour so they’re not only gluten free, they’re also considered paleo. Can you even???
- If making this gluten free, use either rice flour to make your béchamel or a good gluten free all purpose flour like this one: King Arthur Flour Multipurpose Flour, Gluten Free
- Use whatever mushrooms you like. Portobellos are great but can be expensive. I’ve made this many times with regular white button mushrooms and it was just as delicious!
- Also, I often buy mushrooms that are already sliced to save a little time.
- This is a fantastic and rich side dish for grilled steaks or burgers. Kind of like a grown up, sophisticated version of Mac-n-cheese!
- If you’re not a nutmeg fan, try using thyme, about a teaspoon.