Veggie lasagna seems an easy enough proposition.  Make your favorite lasagna, leave out the meat and throw in some veggies, right?  Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple.  While you certainly can do that, many vegetables hold lots of extra water and tossing them into a lasagna without first addressing that can make for a soggy mess.  Nobody wants that.  Thankfully the good people at Cook’s Illustrated worked their magic to create a veggie lasagna that makes use of the late summer harvest without compromising the taste or texture.

We enjoyed this last summer and I’ve been somewhat patiently waiting all year for these veggies to be back in season so I could make it again.  It is every bit as good as I remember.  It’s rich, filling and importantly, the veggies shine.  As you can see, my kitchen helper had a great time making his first lasagna.  With each layer he asked, “Okay Mom, what comes next?”  So cute!  I love cooking with my buddy.


12 lasagna noodles

For the tomato sauce:
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. red pepper flakes

For the cream sauce:
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1 cup whole-milk cottage cheese
1 cup heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper

For the filling:
1½ lbs. eggplant, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 lb. zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 lb. yellow squash, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
4 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme
12 oz. baby spinach leaves
12 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)


  • 01

    Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook lasagna noodles about 2 minutes shy of al dente according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside.

  • 02

    To make the tomato sauce, combine the crushed tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl.  Stir to combine.  To make the cream sauce, combine the Parmesan, cottage cheese, cream, garlic, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Stir to blend.

  • 03

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Combine the eggplant with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a large bowl.  Line a large plate with coffee filters and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Spread the eggplant in an even layer on top.  Microwave the eggplant uncovered until dry to the touch and slightly shriveled, about 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  Meanwhile, wipe out the bowl.  Remove the eggplant from the microwave and let cool slightly.    Return the eggplant to the bowl and stir in the zucchini and squash.

  • 04

    Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add half of the veggie mixture.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 7 minutes.  Transfer the cooked veggies to a bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of oil and the remaining veggies to the skillet, again cooking until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to the bowl with the rest of the cooked veggies.  Season with salt and pepper.

  • 05

    Return the skillet to medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon of oil and heat until shimmering.  Add the spinach to the pan and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes.  Transfer the spinach to a clean kitchen towel and let drain, about 2 minutes.  Add the spinach to the bowl with the rest of the veggies.

  • 06

    To assemble the lasagna, lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

    • Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in an even layer on the bottom of the dish.
    • Layer with four of the lasagna noodles.
    • Spread half of the vegetable mixture over the noodles.
    • Top with half of the cream sauce.
    • Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella.
    • Layer with 4 more lasagna noodles.
    • Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce over the noodles.
    • Layer with the remaining veggies.
    • Layer with the remaining cream sauce.
    • Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella.
    • Layer with the 4 remaining lasagna noodles.
    • Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top.
    • Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.

    Cover with lightly greased foil and bake until bubbling, about 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more until the cheese is lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack at least 25 minutes before slicing and serving.


  • Iglika

    Thanks for sharing! Wonderful idea, presented by the small chef!

  • Blog is the New Black

    Veggie lasagna is my favorite! I def prefer it to a meat lasagna. Looks awesome!

  • Sara

    OH, I am sooo excited to try this! Thanks for posting!!!!

  • Kristin

    Your photography is outstanding.

  • annieseats

    Thank you!

  • Emily B

    This looks amazing! I love veggie lasagna! My one problem is the cottage cheese. I am not a fan of the texture in lasagna. Do you have any recommendations for a substitute? Maybe feta? I would love your opinion! Thank you!

  • Love the look of this! And your little one is simply the cutest!!

  • Andrew is the best! What a perfect kitchen helper :) I’d probably be 3x more likely to cook if I had a little assistant like him!

  • annieseats

    I’m not a cottage cheese fan either but I don’t mind it in lasagna or baked ziti. Feel free to choose your own sub if you want to use something else. Enjoy!

  • leslie

    Love your helper!! and the lasagna looks scrumptious too

  • Jennifer Drummond

    Ohhh it sounds amazing!!! I have lots of veggies to use up, I must make veggie lasagna!

  • jana

    this looks amazing! i will try this out for two “boys” who were small a very long time ago! thank you for posting this. they will devour it. i am sure.

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

    Love it!!

  • Thank you for this awesome veggie lasagna recipe! :) I definitely have had some trouble with lasagna that is a little too watery. Just picked a ton of summer squash last week. Now I know what I’m going to make with it all.

  • Jessica

    What is your son standing on to help so nicely? My 2 1/2 year old daughter would love to help more, but I can’t find the right thing to get her to counter level- chairs are too high and step stools are too low :) Thanks!

  • annieseats

    It’s a two-step step stool. We got it from Pottery Barn Kids.

  • Jenn

    When I saw this yesterday it looked so tasty I just had to make it for dinner that very night. It was amazing! I loved the way the veggies turned out, not watery at all! It was just right =) Thanks for sharing this! I will definitely be making this often!

  • Amy

    Would it be possible to turn this recipe into stuffed shells? Or is the white sauce too thin to use for the filling?

  • Monica

    There is no need to peel the zucchini or squash?

  • Jenny

    This looks lovely, vegetable lasagne is one of my all time favourites.

  • Emily

    I’m a huge fan of this recipe! I’ve made it a number of times, and my husband (a HUGE meat fan) actually loves this. I have added browned sausage to the tomato sauce layer, which was yummy too.

  • annieseats

    Nope. Enjoy!

  • annieseats

    Feel free to experiment. I think it’s best as lasagna though :)

  • Flora

    Hi Annie, if I don’t microwave the eggplant, would popping the eggplant into the oven be an all right alternative? I’m assuming the microwave step is to get the water out. Am I right? Thanks so much for your delicious recipes.

  • annieseats

    I would assume you could do something analogous in the oven. You’ll have to experiment with the technique. Good luck and enjoy!

  • maryrym

    Do you think it would be okay if I assembled the lasagna one day and then baked it the next?

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried that so I can’t comment. You could try it and see. Good luck!

  • Angier

    Do you think I can assemble and freeze for later?

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried it. Good luck!

  • Darlene

    This was just so wonderful Annie and full of flavor. I printed out the recipe and my 9 year old and I tackled it together. We didn’t exactly clean as we went…..we had a good laugh at the mess we made, but it cleaned up quickly. I am going to try to freeze a couple of pieces. Thank you for your website, it is my go-to.

  • Stacie A.

    Made this tonight for dinner. Although it was delicious it was WAY too garlicy for our taste (and I love garlic). I even cut the amount in the veggies from 4 cloves to 2. Maybe it was because it was raw in the red and white sauces? I will make this again, just cut back on the garlic. Thanks for a yummy recipe!

  • Nina

    This was VERY good! I have even made it as part of a “food package” for a couple at my church that recently had a baby :) They loved it too. Thanks for posting Vegetarian options that are sooo dependably good!

  • Briar

    I used my oven since I don’t have a microwave and it worked well! Great recipe!

  • Ruth

    I don’t care for ricotta cheese so I substituted sour cream and it was the best lasagna I’ve ever had. We are a meat loving family and my kids don’t usually like many vegetables but they RAVED and have begged me ever since to make it again.