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Freeze-Ahead Lasagna Primavera

Layered with delicate veggies, a creamy sauce, and three cheeses, this lasagna captures the freshness of spring -- straight from the freezer.

  • prep: 40 mins
    total time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • servings: 8

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for foil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 1/2 pound carrots (4 to 5), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package (9 ounces) no-boil lasagna noodles (12 to 16 noodles)
  • 1 pound part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan

Cook's Note

To freeze: Prepare through step 3. Cover lasagna tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil; freeze up to 3 months.

To bake from frozen: Remove plastic wrap; cover baking dish with lightly oiled aluminum foil, and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil, and bake until bubbling and browned, about 30 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium; add flour and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes (do not let flour mixture darken); whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add spinach, peas, and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Set sauce aside.

  2. Step 2

    In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper.

  3. Step 3

    In the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of vegetable sauce. Layer noodles, half the remaining vegetable sauce, another noodles, half the ricotta mixture, half the mozzarella, and half the Parmesan; repeat.

  4. Step 4

    Cover dish with lightly oiled aluminum foil, and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes, uncover, and bake until bubbling and browned, about 20 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Source
Everyday Food, April 2008

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Reviews (35)

  • 2 May, 2014

    Quick question about the no-boil lasagna noodles: I've long been in the habit of pre-cooking my noodles before making a lasagna. One time I tried it without pre-cooking, (as per the directions) and the texture of the pasta was AWFUL!!! Does anyone else have a similar experience? Any thoughts or advice? cheat ninja saga

  • 3 Apr, 2014

    This is in the oven as we speak and I'm really excited to eat it. I made the recipe exactly as it is written, but if it turns out to be a hit, I will definitely exchange the veggies and get creative. The only thing I want to mention is that there was so much of the veggie sauce. I had a ton left over because using all of it would have overflowed the dish. I haven't read that anyone else has had this problem, but I would maybe only use 4 cups of milk next time.

  • 16 Apr, 2011

    I needed more flour to make the rue as well. Also, I used skim milk and it turned out great and was still extremely rich.

  • 30 Sep, 2009

    You can use well-squeezed reg cottage cheese or dry curd cottage cheese as a sub for the ricotta

  • 21 Aug, 2009

    agissing- I use the Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles. They will say on the package that they are no boil. They're great! So much easier than cooking them and the mess from them sticking together and breaking.

  • 26 Jun, 2009

    I have heard you can use cottage cheese instead of ricotta

  • 18 Apr, 2009

    Can I use something other than ricotta?

  • 17 Apr, 2009

    Quick question about the no-boil lasagna noodles: I've long been in the habit of pre-cooking my noodles before making a lasagna. One time I tried it without pre-cooking, (as per the directions) and the texture of the pasta was AWFUL!!! Does anyone else have a similar experience? Any thoughts or advice?

  • 14 Feb, 2009

    I think you need to at least double the ricotta. When you spread "half" it barely makes it across the dish. Also- directions could more clear when dealing with the final layer of noodles. The picture looks like there is cheese on the top layer. we'll see.

  • 4 Nov, 2008

    I thought this dish was horrible. My son (16 months) actually gagged on it. I wouldn't make it again.

  • 30 Oct, 2008

    This was a great dish! I had never cooked anything in my life before and it was quite entertaining and exciting to make. I felt like a real cook and the end results was amazing.

  • 6 Oct, 2008

    I will try this great recipe soon but I think it needs a little bit more flour to thicken.

  • 8 May, 2008

    Help! I made this recipe and was not met with a good result.... I could not get the milk mixture to thicken....I have made sauces before and never had any problem...

  • 21 Apr, 2008

    i thought this was good,

  • 14 Apr, 2008

    Really good.
    I also had doubled the recipe, which was a breeze, and such a good feeling to have a spare (unbaked) lasagna in the oven for another evening. It went together beautifully and we all enjoyed it. It did take about 45 minutes LONGER to bake than the recipe stated. I also made the garlic knots to go with, and doubled that as well, and froze some for later. Great way to get kids to eat veggies. :0)

  • 11 Apr, 2008

    this was a hit for my family - however the next time i make it, i will partially cook the carrots (they turned out to be really undercooked for some reason) and use a little less spinach. also, i'm planning on trying some different veggies (corn for one) just to switch it up. this was SO easy to make!

  • 8 Apr, 2008

    I halved this recipe and it turned out wonderfully for the two of us. It's great that the carrots don't get overcooked--even when I reheated the leftovers in the microwave.

  • 8 Apr, 2008

    GREAT ideas to add peppers, asparagus and chicken...I am not a big fan of peas and carrots!

  • 4 Apr, 2008

    Cmahon's comments are really absurd. Obesity is a problem in this country but it's not because people drink milk and eat cheese. It's because people eat too much (no portion control) and don't get any exercise. I eat cheese every day and eat dessert often yet I am only a size 4 still at age 40. It's because I am active and know the right portions to eat.

  • 3 Apr, 2008

    My whole family loved this. I added diced chicken breast and asparagus because I had both to use up. It was fantastic. It isn't nearly as rich or heavy as you'd expect with a white sauce.

  • 31 Mar, 2008

    I've never made veggie lasagna, this was the first time, IT WAS WONDERFUL!! I made a few adjustments. Less peas, less spinach and added three different colored frozen chopped peppers. It will be great for parties. Suggestion, use a DEEP DISH casserole for it, this way you won't have to worry about spills. LOVED IT!

  • 30 Mar, 2008

    This was one of the first lasagnas I've made that didn't ooze filling after being cut. I think the no-boil noodles (which I've never tried before) absorbed a lot of the liquid from the sauce. Very well received at my house.

  • 30 Mar, 2008

    Great! I did change it however. I eliminated the peas and the carrots and used two bags (16oz.) of frozen spinach instead. Instead of the whole milk I used 1 qt. of fat free, half and half. I also eliminated the salt. Sprinkled some parmesan cheese on the top layer of noodles. You can add marinara sauce at the table if you wish. Cooked and ate immediately. Cut remainder into serving pieces and froze those individually. Defrosted and cooked one piece in the microwave. Works well.

  • 26 Mar, 2008

    FABULOUS! Perfect w/ add'l minced garlic

  • 26 Mar, 2008

    I made this last week, halving the recipe. Even half made 6 huge servings with salad and the garlic knots. Definately a keeper.

  • 26 Mar, 2008

    Please read this easy article : http://www.marthastewart.com/article/tips-for-freezing-food?xsc=stf_MSLO...

    For 3 easy tips for Freezing!

  • 26 Mar, 2008

    i'd use ragu lowfat alfredo sauce instead of making a sauce from scratch and little or no milk, no egg or even parmesan to cut calories. romano is lower in salt and higher in calcium and my kids prefer it. go even lower with fat fat free cottage cheese or ricotta. i make seafood lasagna every christmas eve or for parties in the weeks before and would find the above too bland without any more herbs or spices, like green olive, capers, arugula or a little pesto of any sort.

  • 25 Mar, 2008

    I plan to make this next week and will add leftover or pre-cooked chicken. I may also substitute chopped broccoli for the spinach.

  • 25 Mar, 2008

    Magazine says: Per serving: 661 cal, 31.5g fat (15.2g sat fat), 41.1g protein, 54.3g carb, 5.8g fiber

  • 25 Mar, 2008

    Magazine directions say to prepare thru step 3 cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze up to 3 months. To bake from frozen, remove wraps and follow step 4 directions, baking at 400 for 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil and bake about 30 min. more. Let stand 10 - 15 minutes before serving. Hope this helps!

  • 25 Mar, 2008

    We're going to try to alter this one-dairy free. Seems like a lot of milk!

  • 25 Mar, 2008

    I have a recipe with noodles and I tried freezing it before I baked it and it was a disaster so I would definitely bake it first, wrap it tightly in foil, defrost in the refrigerator and reheat in a 400 degree oven until it is bubbly.

  • 25 Mar, 2008

    It seems like ALOT of milk!!

  • 25 Mar, 2008

    Do you freeze it after you assemble it and thaw it before you bake it? If you bake it first how long does it take to heat it through when you take it out of the freezer?

  • 25 Mar, 2008

    I would also like to have freezing and reheating directions. Do you have to thaw the frozen lasagna before reheating? Also, if you are going to freeze the lasagna do you have to use a foil lasagna pan? How would you seal or cover the lasagna before freezing?