This is the best recipe for vegetable lasagna with white sauce. Lots of vegetables, a creamy bechamel sauce, and cheese - a vegetable lasagna recipe can hardly get any better.
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I have been making this easy vegetable lasagna in white sauce for over ten years now; it's really a family favorite. I`ve never felt the need to change anything – it is that good! It’s comforting, aromatic, creamy, and cheesy– anything you could wish for in a lasagna.
Layers of lasagna noodles, perfectly cooked vegetables, smooth and velvety bechamel sauce, and plenty of cheese make this vegetarian lasagna with white sauce a true delight.
You will need a little more time and dedication to make this white lasagna recipe than when making spaghetti with tomato sauce, but the results are worth it! For us, this is the best vegetable lasagna with white sauce!
We have been enjoying many different lasagna recipes over the years. Check out a few of them: Roast Veggie Lasagna, Vegetarian Butternut Squash and Lentil Lasagna, Light Yogurt Lasagna, No-Noodle Zucchini Lasagna, or Thermomix Lasagne.
- No-boil lasagna sheets: I use 9 sheets of regular-size no-boil lasagna noodles; they are tasty and practical.
- Use more or less according to the size of your noodles; enough for three layers of pasta.
- If you only have noodles that must be boiled before assembling the dish, cook them according to the package instructions.
- Vegetables: This cheesy vegetarian lasagna recipe requires roughly 1.5 lb/ 750 g of vegetables (not including the canned tomatoes).
- Garden vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, peas, carrots, and broccoli.
- Frozen peas, mushrooms, shallots or onion, and garlic.
- Two cans of chopped tomatoes for the vegetable sauce.
- Dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, and oregano.
- You can add basil or replace the herbs with Italian seasoning, herbs de Provence, or another dried herb mixture you like.
- Tip: Add about ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds if you have them; I feel they make everything even better.
Ingredients for the white sauce (bechamel sauce):
- Butter: Salted and unsalted butter are both ok, but adjust the salt in the sauce accordingly. Don’t swap it with oil; you can’t make a white sauce using oil.
- All-purpose flour: It’s the thickener needed to make the creamy bechamel sauce.
- Whole milk is the best choice. Semi-skimmed milk (about 2%) is also ok, but don’t go lower than that, or the sauce will not be very creamy, and it might break during cooking.
- Spices: Nutmeg, fine sea salt, and ground black pepper.
- Mozzarella: Two balls of full-fat mozzarella cheese for stretchiness.
- Parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese for the flavor: Please use freshly grated Parmesan; it tastes much better and melts nicely. Pre-grated cheese contains additives that prevent it from melting properly.
- Remember that genuine Parmesan is made with animal rennet, and thus it is not vegetarian.
- To keep this recipe vegetarian, please use vegetarian hard cheese.
Other ingredients: Olive oil, granulated sugar, and lemon juice.
How to make vegetable lasagna with white sauce?
Prepare the vegetables:
- Chop the shallots and the garlic clove, and set them aside separately.
- Clean and chop the carrots, bell pepper, and zucchini into small cubes, and place them in a large bowl.
- Divide the broccoli into small florets and add them to the bowl. I often use only the stalk and keep the florets for a broccoli salad or another recipe.
- Defrost the peas. It’s enough to place them in a sieve and rinse them with hot water. Drain well.
- Clean the mushrooms with paper towels and slice them.
Cook the vegetables:
- Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from the skillet.
- Cook shallots in the remaining oil until golden; add the garlic and cook it shortly.
- Add the prepared vegetables and cook them on medium heat until they are softer, about 8 minutes (1).
- Add tomatoes and herbs to the vegetable mixture, stir well, and cook the sauce for about 10 minutes (2).
- Adjust the taste.
White sauce recipe:
- Melt butter in a small saucepan.
- Sprinkle the flour into the melted butter and stir for 1 or 2 minutes or until golden (3).
- Slowly add the milk while whisking all the time to avoid the formation of clumps; let the creamy sauce bubble gently for a few minutes until it’s thick and creamy (4).
- Adjust the taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Assemble the vegetable lasagna with bechamel sauce:
- Place a few tablespoons of white sauce into a buttered casserole dish and spread the sauce all over the dish (5).
- Add a layer of lasagna noodles (I always need three sheets per layer) (6).
- Cover the noodles with ⅓ of the vegetable sauce.
- Scatter ½ of the chopped mozzarella (7) and ⅓ of the grated Parmesan onto the vegetable layer (8).
- Continue this way: white sauce (9) + noodles + vegetable sauce + cheese (rest mozzarella and ⅓ of the Parmesan) and another layer of white sauce + noodles + vegetable sauce + white sauce + cheese (only Parmesan) (10).
- Bake the vegetable lasagna in white sauce in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is golden, the pasta is cooked through, and the sauce is bubbling.
- Rest the white vegetable lasagna for 10-15 minutes, allowing the layers to settle nicely.
- Cheese: Always use freshly grated cheese, pre-grated cheese contains preservatives meant to keep it from clumping in the bag. These preservatives also prevent it from melting nicely.
- Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian; please use vegetarian hard cheese to make vegetarian lasagna with white sauce.
- Feel free to swap the vegetables. How about cauliflower, eggplants, canned corn or white beans, fennel, green beans, pumpkin, butternut or yellow squash, parsnips, celeriac, or fresh spinach?
- No soggy lasagna: Cooking all the vegetables, including the mushrooms, before adding them to the dish is crucial. If they are not cooked, they will release water during baking.
- Resting time: Let the cooked dish rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving it. The white vegetable lasagna will have time to set, and you can cut nice slices that stay together.
A rich and creamy white sauce made with butter, flour, milk, and spices.
Not if you are using the no-boil, ready-to-bake ones I recommend. Otherwise, check the package instructions and cook the pasta as instructed there.
This recipe was only tested with no-boil pasta sheets; the other sort doesn’t exist where I live.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Reheat individual slices in the preheated oven (375°F/ 180°C) in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil for 10-15 minutes.
Microwave: 2 minutes, then check if it’s heated through.
Reheat the whole vegetable lasagna with white sauce, covered with foil, for about 30 minutes or until heated through.
Freeze uncooked lasagna: Assemble in a freezer-safe dish and wrap it (the whole baking dish or foil lasagna pan) with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months and defrost in the fridge overnight. Then, remove the wrap and bake as instructed.
If baking from frozen, add 20-30 minutes to the baking time.
Freeze the cooked lasagna: Let it come to room temperature. Wrap the leftovers in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze them for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Unwrap and reheat in the oven ((375°F/ 180°C) in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil for 10-15 minutes or in the microwave for 2 minutes or until heated through.
What to serve with vegetable lasagna with bechamel sauce?
- Salads: Green salad with low-fat yogurt dressing or raspberry dressing. Chopped salad (without the feta mentioned in the recipe), Cucumber Salad, or Spinach Salad with Strawberries.
- Bread: Yeast Rolls, Overnight Rolls, or Cheese Buns.
- Vegetables: Sauteed Asparagus, French Green Beans, Buttered Peas, or Baked Frozen Cauliflower.
More hearty noodle bakes
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Vegetable Lasagna with White Sauce
- Rectangular casserole dish of about 12x 8 inches/ 30x20 cm
- 9 no-boil lasagna sheets Note 1
- 3 shallots or 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 carrots Notes 2, 3
- 2 red or yellow bell peppers
- 1 medium zucchini
- ½ broccoli Note 4
- 7 oz mushrooms 200 g Note 5
- 1 cup peas defrosted, 200 g/ 7 oz
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes 400 g/ 14 oz each
- ½ cup water 125 ml
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup butter 60 g/ 2 oz + 1 teaspoon for the baking dish
- ½ cup all-purpose flour 60 g/ 2 oz
- 3 cups whole milk 750 ml
- a few gratings of nutmeg
- fine sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 balls mozzarella 125 g/ 4.4 oz each
- 3.5 oz Parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese, freshly grated 100 g, Note 6
- Peel and finely chop the shallots (or onion) and the garlic. Keep them separated. 3 shallots + 2 garlic cloves
- Prepare vegetables: Cut the peeled carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini into small cubes. Set them aside in a bowl. Divide the broccoli into small florets and chop the broccoli stem into small cubes. Add to the rest of the vegetables. 2 carrots + 2 bell peppers + 1 medium zucchini + ½ broccoli (or just the whole stem)
- Mushrooms: Wipe them clean with a paper towel and slice them thinly. Set aside in a different bowl. 7 oz/ 200 g mushrooms
- Defrost the peas. 7 oz/ 200 g frozen peas
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/ 180°C.
- Cook mushrooms: Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan and fry the mushrooms until golden and all the released juices are evaporated. Remove them from the pan.
- Saute shallots and garlic: Heat the remaining oil in a pan and cook the shallots until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the sugar and stir for another minute or until slightly caramelized. 2 tablespoon olive oil + ½ teaspoon sugar
- Add the chopped vegetables (except the mushrooms) and cook for about 8 minutes or until softer. Stir well a few times in between.
- Simmer vegetable sauce: Add the chopped tomatoes, water, dried herbs, and lemon juice. Stir well, bring to a boil, and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened. 2 cans chopped tomatoes 14 oz/ 400 g each + ½ cup/ 125 ml water + ½ teaspoon oregano + ½ teaspoon rosemary + ½ teaspoon thyme + 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Adjust the taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and a bit of extra sugar if necessary. 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt, pepper and sugar to taste
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir for 1 or 2 minutes until lightly golden. Slowly start adding the milk while whisking all the time to avoid the formation of clumps. ¼ cup/ 60 g butter + ½ cup/ 60 g flour + 3 cups/ 750 ml milk
- Simmer the bechamel sauce for 2 or 3 minutes while whisking or stirring continuously. Adjust the taste with nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.
Assemble the vegetable lasagna:
- Butter the baking dish with about 1 teaspoon of butter.
- Cheese: Chop the mozzarella into cubes and grate the Parmesan. Set them aside in different bowls. 2 mozzarella balls + 3.5 oz/ 100 g Parmesan
- You should have 3 layers of noodles and finish with a layer of Parmesan.
- First layer: Cover the bottom of the buttered dish with a few tablespoons of white sauce. Add a layer of lasagna sheets (they should not overlap). Cover with ⅓ of the vegetable sauce. Add ½ of the mozzarella and ⅓ of the Parmesan. Cover with ⅓ of the white sauce.
- Second layer: Lasagna sheets + ⅓ of the vegetable sauce + ½ of the mozzarella + ⅓ of the Parmesan + ⅓ of the white sauce.
- Third layer: Lasagna sheets + remaining veggie sauce + remaining white sauce +remaining Parmesan.
Bake vegetable lasagna:
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbling and golden. Check if the noodles are cooked through by inserting a fork into the lasagna.
- Rest for 10-15 minutes, cut into 12 squares, and serve.
- Lasagna sheets: I needed 9 sheets of no-boil lasagna sheets. Use more or less according to the size of the lasagna sheets; you should have 3 layers of noodles. If using lasagna sheets that need to be cooked before baking, boil them according to the package instructions. However, I have never tested this recipe with this type of lasagna sheet; they don’t exist where I live.
- Vegetables: About 1.5 lb/ 750 g vegetables, not including canned tomatoes.
- You can vary the vegetables according to what you have or like. For instance: eggplants, cauliflower, green beans, small fennel, parsnips, pumpkin or butternut squash, some celeriac, etc.
- Or use only broccoli stems.
- Cremini or white mushrooms. You can replace them with more of the other vegetables if you wish.
- Parmesan is not vegetarian. To keep the dish vegetarian, please use vegetarian hard cheese.