White Lasagna with Pesto
This is a hearty vegetarian dish perfect for fall that can be easily adapted to meat-eaters with the addition of shredded rotisserie chicken!
If you are not a cheese lover, this recipe is not for you. This hearty lasagna is comprised of a creamy white cheese sauce, pesto, no-boil noodles, several kinds of cheese, and is packed with veggies!
Serves 8; Pairing suggestions: Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay
2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 T butter
1 shallot, finely diced
3 large or 4-5 small cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
2 t dried thyme
1 t dried rosemary
chili flakes to taste
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 c flour
2 c whole milk
2 c vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you prefer)
optional: Shredded rotisserie chicken
2 1/2 c shredded Italian blend cheese
1 c grated parmesan cheese
1/2-1 c shredded mozzarella
1 c basil pesto, drained to remove excess oil (recommend either fresh, or jarred/refrigerated from Costco, do not recommend shelf stable pesto - however if you find one you like, that will certainly work for this recipe)
1 package (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 fresh zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/8-1/4 inch thick
1 fresh yellow squash, sliced lengthwise 1/8-1/4 inch thick
1 8oz package of sliced mushrooms
1 9oz box no-boil lasagna noodles
Chopped Italian parsley for garnish
Zucchini and yellow squash: Heat a swirl of olive oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. When quite hot, add slices in one layer and salt lightly. Brown quickly on both sides, working in batches. Layer between paper towels to collect excess moisture and cool. Set aside.
Mushroom: In same pan, on medium high, add another swirl of oil and cook down mushrooms with a little salt and pepper. Add another swirl of oil or a pat of butter if needed. Cool on a paper towel to collect excess moisture. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease a 9×13 inch dish.
In a medium saucepan, melt together 2 T extra virgin olive oil and 4 T butter. Add shallots, garlic, thyme, rosemary, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 min or until fragrant. Remove the garlic cloves and set aside.
Whisk in flour and cook for about 1 min. Add the milk and broth. Bring to a boil and stir for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Italian cheese blend and 1/2 c of parmesan. Stir gently until the cheese is fully melted and the sauce is smooth.
Spread 1/4 of the cheese sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with 3-4 lasagna sheets. Spread with 1/2 the pesto and sprinkle over some spinach. You may not need the entire box of spinach, depending on your taste.
Add another 1/4 of the cheese sauce. Place another 3-4 lasagna noodles on top, layer on the mushrooms.
Add another 1/4 of the cheese sauce, spread on the remaining pesto, layer zucchini on top. Optional: If using chicken, add a layer here.
Layer the remaining lasagna noodles and the yellow squash, then pour the remaining cheese sauce over top. Sprinkle on remaining 1/2 c of parmesan and mozzarella to taste.
Bake, covered, for 30 min or until cheese is bubbling. Uncover and bake another 15 min, until the cheese is browned. Let stand 10 min before serving.