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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Lasagna

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This super satisfying vegetable lasagna is a hearty, healthy version of the classic Italian recipe. Made with whole wheat noodles, fresh herbs, packed with veggies and a mixture of cheeses, this is a one dish meal that will soon become a favorite among your family and friends. 

Healthy Vegetable Lasagna served on a white plate

My whole family absolutely loves lasagna, I think it might be their favorite Italian meal. But we rarely order it at restaurants because most vegetable lasagna recipes are made with white pasta (no fiber, refined carbs), way too much cheese and extra oil (too much fat/calories), and barely any veggies (which makes it even more dense!)

So I decided to re-make veggie lasagna to be healthier than the original with all of the flavor and heartiness you’d expect from a traditional lasagna recipe. And I have to say: it was a hit! Every time I’ve made this: for parties, for meat-eaters, for the holidays, for my family — everyone loves this recipe! It’s a healthy vegetarian Italian recipe!

Kitchen Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Ingredients to make healthy veggie lasagna

How to make Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Lasagna – Step by Step

Directions – Noodles

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions (leave them al dente). Once they’re done, lay them flat on foil and set aside.

Directions – Vegetables

Quarter all 4 zucchini and thinly slice. Dice all 3 bell peppers and mince 3 cloves of garlic

Chopped onion, pepper and garlic in a pan

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat, saute the garlic, half the diced onion, all of the zucchini and all of the bell peppers together.

zucchini and red peppers added to the pan

Add the baby spinach at the end (when the zucchini/red pepper are almost done cooking), saute another 3 minutes until spinach is wilted.

spinach added to the pan

Sprinkle Italian seasoning, salt, and crushed red pepper to taste on top, stir, and let it cook a couple more minutes. Then remove from heat.

Herbs added to the pan

Directions – Sauce

  1. Mince 3 cloves of garlic.
  2. Spray a medium sized saucepan with cooking spray and lightly saute the garlic and remaining red onion until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes.
  4. Add Italian seasoning to taste, if your crushed tomatoes don’t have that already added.
  5. Once the sauce is heated through, turn the heat down on low.
Herbs being shaken into the tomatoes

Directions – Cheese

Combine 1.5 cups of the ricotta cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella in a bowl. Keep the Parmesan cheese (or Italian blend, if using) separate.

Ricotta and parmesan cheeses in bowls
Cheeses mixed together in a glass bowl

Assembly

Spray the bottom of a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Put a layer of sauce at the bottom of the dish (For every layer of sauce, I used 1/2 the self-made sauce and 1/2 the pre-made sauce.

Sauce in the bottom of a glass casserole to start laying the healthy veggie lasagna

Put a layer of the lasagna noodles.

Put another layer of the sauce (1/2 pre-made, 1/2 self made).

Lasagna and sauce layered
  • Put a layer of the veggies.
  • Take the cheese mixture, and put little crumbles of the cheese mixture all over the veggie layer (don’t try to spread it out, the little crumbles seemed to work well).
  • Put another layer of the lasagna noodles.
  • Layer of sauce
  • Layer of veggies.
  • Cheese mixture crumbles.
Vegetables and cheese crumbled on top of the noodles and sauce
  • Layer of lasagna noodles.
  • Layer of sauce
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese (or Italian cheese blend) all over the top.
Parmesan grated on top of the unbaked healthy veggie lasagna

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. Uncover and bake for 5 min. longer until the cheese has melted.

Baked Healthy Vegetable Lasagna in a glass casserole

What makes this Vegetarian Lasagna healthy?

With just a few healthy substitutions – this vegetarian lasagna is much more nutritious than the traditional version, but still tasty and full of flavor. Here are the swaps I made for this healthy vegetarian lasagna recipe:

  • Whole Wheat Noodles instead of white: Adds fiber and a healthy dose of whole grains which will keep you fuller longer.
  • Less Cheese, and lower fat ricotta: I used a mix of low fat and full fat cheeses in this recipe. I also used less cheese overall to keep the decadence of lasagna while lowering the total calories and fat. This lasagna is still very cheesy even with those changes!
  • Lots more veggies! This recipe is stuffed with veggies, Spinach, bell peppers, zucchini, and red onion increase the fiber and nutrient density of this dish.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Spinach is a superfood that has calcium, vitamins A and C, fiber, iron, and folic acid. It helps fight against cancer and protect against heart disease. Zucchini improves digestion and helps lower blood sugar levels, peppers give us B6 and folate and tomatoes provide both antioxidants and Vitamin C.

Will kids enjoy this Healthy Vegetable Lasagna recipe? 

Absolutely! Both of my kids (aged 2 and 5) devour this recipe every time I make it. It’s a great way to get some extra veggies into your kids since they’re wrapped in a cheesy-carby-lasagna-bow. If you have especially picky eaters, I’d recommend chopping up the veggies super fine and mixing them into the sauce. For SUPER picky eaters, you can puree the entire veggie mixture after sauteeing it, and mix that with the sauce.

Top shot of a healthy vegetable lasagna served on a white plate with a knife and fork

What vegetables go well in lasagna?

Spinach, zucchini, and bell peppers all work well in a veggie lasagna. Kale, mushrooms, summer squash, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and even carrots would work well in a veggie loaded lasagna. 

Can you freeze vegetable lasagna?

Yes, you can freeze veggie lasagna. There are two methods depending on if you’re freezing leftovers, or you’re freezing the lasagna before it’s baked. You might want to prepare the lasagna whole and freeze it for a busy weeknight meal, or you might have already served the lasagna and just have a few leftovers to freeze for individual meals to eat later.

Method 1: Pre-Baked Lasagna

Prepare lasagna in an airtight container. Assemble and allow the warm ingredients to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the freezer. This method helps retain the freshness of the dish than if you freeze after it is baked. Will last for 2-3 months in the freezer. When it’s time to bake it, pull it out of the freezer and pop it into the oven directly, following the baking instructions in this recipe.

Method 2: Baked Lasagna

Store in airtight container. Will be best if you store in individual servings to retain freshness and use as a quick go-to weeknight meal. WIll last for 2-3 months in the freezer.

A Healthy Vegetable Lasagna garnished with fresh thyme

What do you serve with Vegetarian Lasagna?

  • Whole Wheat Garlic Bread
  • Sauteed Spinach with Garlic
  • Roasted Vegetables such as Broccoli or Asparagus
  • A side salad with crunchy greens (like a ceasar or mixed greens salad)

Top tips for making Healthy Vegetable Lasagna

  • Salt water and cook lasagna noodles al dente (maybe about 4-5 minutes). They will continue to cook when you bake the lasagna in the oven – and that way you won’t have mushy noodles!
  • Lay the noodles flat on aluminum foil to prevent the noodles from sticking together. You can even spray the foil with olive oil spray to really make sure the noodles remain separated.
  • Thinly slice the bell pepper and then cut in half so your pieces are about the same size as your zucchini. 
  • Cook the zucchini, peppers, onion, and garlic until almost done before adding spinach.
  • A mix of fresh and dried herbs gives a bright and slow cooked flavor.
  • Spray or grease the casserole dish to prevent sticking.
  • Start with a layer of sauce using a combination of pre-made and self-made sauce.
  • Don’t try to spread the cheese layer. Crumble the cheese on top of the veggies.
  • Let the lasagna rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing it, that way it will hold together once you do slice and serve it.
Top shot of the Healthy Vegetable Lasagna in a casserole and a portion served on a white plate

Be sure to try these other healthy pasta dishes!

Side view of Healthy Vegetable Lasagna served on a plate

While this is not a quick weeknight meal (it takes about 2 hours including the baking/cooking time), it’s so worth it in the end! Despite the cooking time, it is a straight-forward and easy recipe. It makes for great leftovers, and is super freezer-friendly as well. I hope you enjoy this veggie lasagna as much as we did!

If you have tried this hearty and healthy vegetable lasagna recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Baked healthy vegetarian lasagna in a glass casserole
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Lasagna

This super satisfying veggie lasagna is a hearty, healthy version of the classic Italian recipe. Made with whole wheat noodles, fresh herbs, packed with veggies and a mixture of cheeses, this is a one dish meal that will soon become a favorite among your family and friends. 
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 260kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 box Whole wheat lasagna noodles uncooked
  • 4 Zucchini
  • 3 Yellow, Red or Orange Bell Peppers diced
  • 6 oz Baby Spinach roughly chopped
  • 1 Red Onion diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp Dried Italian Seasoning more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp Crushed Red Pepper adjust to taste
  • 3/4 tsp Salt adjust to taste
  • 28 oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes with Italian spices added–like basil, oregano, etc. if you can find that
  • 28 oz Jar of Pasta Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup Shredded Parmesan or Italian Four Cheese Blend
  • olive oil cooking spray

Instructions

Noodles:

  • Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions (leave them al dente).
  • Once they’re done, lay them flat on foil and set aside.

Vegetables:

  • Quarter all 4 zucchini and thinly slice.
  • Dice all 3 bell peppers and mince 3 cloves of garlic
  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat, saute the garlic, half the diced onion, all of the zucchini and all of the bell peppers together.
  • Add the baby spinach at the end (when the zucchini/red pepper are almost done cooking), saute another 3 minutes until spinach is wilted.
  • Sprinkle Italian seasoning, salt, and crushed red pepper to taste on top, stir, and let it cook a couple more minutes. Then remove from heat.

Sauce:

  • Mince 3 cloves of garlic.
  • Spray a medium sized saucepan with cooking spray and lightly saute the garlic and remaining red onion until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes.
  • Add Italian seasoning to taste, if your crushed tomatoes don't have that already added.
  • Once the sauce is heated through, turn the heat down on low.

Cheese:

  • Combine 1.5 cups of the ricotta cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella in a bowl. Keep the Parmesan cheese (or Italian blend, if using) separate.

Assembly:

  • Spray the bottom of a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Put a layer of sauce at the bottom of the dish (For every layer of sauce, I used 1/2 the self-made sauce and 1/2 the pre-made sauce)
  • Put a layer of the lasagna noodles.
  • Put another layer of the sauce (1/2 pre-made, 1/2 self made).
  • Put a layer of the veggies.
  • Take the cheese mixture, and put little crumbles of the cheese mixture all over the veggie layer (don’t try to spread it out, the little crumbles seemed to work well).
  • Put another layer of the lasagna noodles.
  • Layer of sauce.
  • Layer of veggies.
  • Cheese mixture crumbles.
  • Layer of lasagna noodles.
  • Layer of sauce.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese (Or Italian Cheese blend) all over the top.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.
  • Uncover and bake for 5 min. longer until the cheese has melted.

Notes

Top Tips for Making Healthy Vegetable Lasagna
  • Salt water and cook lasagna noodles al dente (maybe about 4-5 minutes). They will continue to cook when you bake the lasagna in the oven – and that way you won’t have mushy noodles!
  • Lay the noodles flat on aluminum foil to prevent the noodles from sticking together. You can even spray the foil with olive oil spray to really make sure the noodles remain separated.
  • Thinly slice the bell pepper and then cut in half so your pieces are about the same size as your zucchini. 
  • Cook the zucchini, peppers, onion, and garlic until almost done before adding spinach.
  • A mix of fresh and dried herbs gives a bright and slow cooked flavor.
  • Make the sauce in a separate pan from the veggies.
  • Spray or grease the casserole dish to prevent sticking.
  • Don’t try to spread the cheese layer. Crumble the cheese on top of the veggies.
  • Let the lasagna rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing it, that way it will hold together once you do slice and serve it.

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 28.1g | Protein: 17.4g | Fat: 9.3g | Sodium: 421mg | Fiber: 5.7g | Sugar: 6g

Posted In…

Italian Recipes ·

These recipes are sure to be a hit! Make a healthier pizza or a guilt-free pasta and enjoy the fresh flavors of Italy.

Many people think carbs and cheese when they think Italian, but there is so much more to appreciate: aromatic herbs, fresh ingredients, and bright flavors shine. Many of my Italian-inspired recipes are suitable for special diets, such as vegan ratatouille or gluten-free lasagna.

81 responses to “Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Lasagna”

  1. Just have to say I LOVE YOUR SITE!!!! I’ve made several of your creations via the mexican pizza and the latest being this veggie lasagna!! 🙂 Mhhhmmm!! GOOD!!! I added ground turkey since im not vegetarian but it was still delicious!!!!!! Thanks for this recipe 🙂

    • Wooohoo!! I’m so happy to hear that – and I think ground turkey is a perfect healthy addition for a meat-version of this lasagna recipe. So glad you liked it!! 🙂

  2. I want to make this for my “very pregnant” daughter due to deliver in about 3-4 weeks. She has asked for “healthy” vegetable lasagna. It sounds delicious! How does this freeze?

    • Oh great! (and congratulations to you and your daughter!) This freezes really well – you can defrost it in the oven or the microwave. I’m sure she will love it! 🙂

    • I don’t know the exact nutritional information, but I’d estimate that each serving (a pretty big square) is about 250-300 calories max. Hope that helps!

  3. I ended up making the cheese-free version tonight. It was really good, and we didn’t miss the cheese at all. I used whole-wheat lasagne and I upped the spice level a lot. In addition, I reduced the number of zucchinis and added an eggplant, as per someone’s suggestion in the comments. Thanks!

    • Oh nice!! I’m so glad it turned out well – next time I’ll try the eggplant/spice suggestion! 🙂

  4. ooooh this looks really good..:) I have made Lasagne before but it was too creamy. I will go healthy this time and try your recipe.

    • Yay! I promise you won’t miss any of the creaminess in this lasagna recipe! Hope you enjoy it!

  5. I had vegetarians over for dinner and I made an aubergine (eggplant) & 3 types of mushroom lasagna with vegetarian cheese (not all cheese are suitable vegetarian). I have to say they are very amazingly close to meat lasagna.

    BTW I don’t recommend ready-made pasta sause as they might add preservative, complex sugar or flavour enhancer. I believe if u make good vegetarian stock yourself and use in your homemade tomato sauce, then you would not need to use the ready-made pasta sauce.

    • Ooh and eggplant and mushroom lasagna sounds delicious! Great point about the cheese btw – for those who don’t know, some cheeses have animal rennet in them – which makes them not vegetarian (technically). If the ingredients say “vegetable rennet” – that cheese is veggie friendly! I totally agree with you about some pasta sauces having preservatives, sugars, or artificial flavors added. The sauce from Trader Joe’s is actually all-natural – no sugars, flavors, colors, etc. added. But it’s very important, if you’re going to buy a pre-made sauce, to check the ingredients to make sure they just include tomatoes, spices, olive oil (ingredients you can pronounce). Sugar should not be an ingredient in pasta sauce! Great tip also – when making sauce from scratch, vegetable stock adds great flavor. Thanks so much for your comment!

  6. Looks delicious! I think I’ll try the lasagna recipe with gluten free noodles. We’re a GF organic family. Keep the good stuff coming!

  7. This looks absolutely delicious! This will be the first thing I make once I get done with my new year juice fast. Thanks for the recipe and the pictures!

    • No problem! So glad you like it. Hope your fast goes well – this will definitely be a nice reward once you’re done with it! 🙂

    • You can buy whole wheat lasagna noodles at just about any grocery store: Whole Foods has them, Safeway has them, I bet Target / Walmart probably do too (although I haven’t checked). Just be sure to read the back of the box and if the noodles have 5-7g fiber you’re good to go!

    • Thank you! 🙂 I’ve always felt like it really is easy to be “picky” about what you eat – there are so many healthy options out there, it just takes a tiny bit of effort and you can totally transform your diet without losing any of the delicious flavors that make eating fun!

  8. I love that this recipe is FULL of veggies and not just full of cheese and redundant like you mentioned. Looks delicious, filling, and nutritious!

    • Thanks! So glad you like it. Adding a ton of veggies into the recipe was one of my goals in “making it over.” 🙂

  9. Hi! Your food looks incredible. I have to say I am somewhat of a picky eater myself and I have recently started my own blog to document my healthy living. I look forward to reading more of your delicious recipes in 2012!

    • Thank you so much! Love how we are both picky eaters 🙂 Let me know if you end up trying any of my recipes and how they turn out for you!

  10. Wow! These food list is really yummy! Now it makes me hungry! I’m lovin’ all of them because they are also healthy.

  11. Oh yum! I’ve never tried to make lasagna because for some reason I think it’s insanely complex but this looks amazing!

    It looks so good that I think I can even convince my meat-loving husband to love it too (I’m always trying to sneak veggies into his diet :P)

    Will try it 🙂

    • Thanks so much! And yes, I was always scared to make lasagna in the past because I also thought it was way too complex. But it’s actually super easy to make, it’s just time intensive. So as long as you plan ahead and follow the steps in order, you’ll be just fine! Oh and it’s a great vehicle to sneak veggies in – especially red peppers, tomatoes, red onions, etc. – because they blend in visually with the color of the sauce! I know you’ll love this recipe once you try it 🙂

      • Have friends coming over for dinner tomorrow and 3 of them are vegos so planning to make this alongside a Spanish paella for the meat eaters. Will let you know how it goes! 🙂

      • Oh awesome!! Can’t wait to hear how it goes – hope everyone loves it!

      • Made it last night! Actually had a chicken, mushroom and tomato risotto for the others, but everyone had the lasagne too – all gone!

        It was delicious – I changed it slightly by reducing the amount of zucchinis and adding mushrooms instead. Also a little bit of, ahem, chilli to give it a kick 😛

        Will definitely be making this again!

      • Woohoo! So glad to hear it! Great idea btw to add mushrooms and chili – I’ll have to make it with those additions next time!

  12. “How would I be able to make a healthy version of lasagna without cutting the flavor”? In my opinion, the most flavorful lasagna recipes include meat. And they can be just as healthy as a meatless version… But it is an adventure to incorporate rich flavors in a meatless lasagna!

    • Haha I agree that lasagnas with meat can be as healthy as a meatless version (e.g. using lean, organic meats in proper portions in the dish). My husband and I are vegetarian though – which is why this recipe didn’t have meat in it 🙂

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