Monday, July 30, 2012

Meatless Monday - Four-cheese spinach artichoke lasagna

This is a little bit of a cheaty dish, I'm afraid - it almost makes itself (except for the bechamel), and does its thing in the oven while you go do something way more exciting (hopefully). The resulting delicious cheesy gooey mess actually tastes like you spent much more time on it than you did - and it makes wonderful leftovers. Sometimes I prefer it to vegetable lasagna, simply because the flavours are simpler, and for a cheese fan like me it feels a little bit more indulgent. And for a kid who grew up not eating a single bite of spinach (it was just never served at my house!) I cant' imagine a life without it now. Vastly different to Popeye's cans of green sludge, anyway!

Oh and if you like mushroom lasagna, like what's on this week's meal plan, stay tuned... I've got an awesome post coming up :)

lasagna sheets
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
4 cups milk
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 bag fresh spinach
2 cans artichokes, roughly chopped
100g ricotta
100g feta
2 cups grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan


1. Make the bechamel: Melt the butter over medium heat in a pan and add flour. Cook 2 minutes, gently. Add milk, salt and pepper and bay leaf and turn up the heat. Cook, stirring until boiled and thickened. Add frozen spinach and heat through.

2. Layer in a greased baking dish bits of feta, ricotta, fresh spinach, artichokes and grated tasty cheese with the bechamel on top, then add a layer of lasagna sheets. Repeat twice more, finishing with bechamel and the grated parmesan.

3. Bake in a 200C oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until cheese is golden and bubbly and lasagna is cooked through.

Linky bitz...
♥ The linky will be up every Monday morning, and will stay up until the following Sunday. It doesn't matter if you eat your meal on a day other than Monday - it's just an easy day to create the link.
 Grab the Meatless Monday button above and put it in your post, and even on your sidebar if you're feeling generous.
 Visit at least one other blogger and leave some love. This is so much more cool if we're in it together!Where it says "Name", you might like to add the name of your dish instead or as well. 


  1. I love pasta of all kinds in this weather - well all year round really! I am hoping for a bumper crop of artichokes this year to do some more experimenting with them. Have a great week.

  2.  Hi Stacey!

    Thank you for hosting, it is really hard to find foody (veggie) links. I really hope the meatless Monday thing catches on!  for me, everyday is meatless ((:



  3. Susan @ food.babyJuly 30, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    You had me at four-cheese! Great idea to use artichokes in lasagne, yum!

  4. Just lovely! Although I did think - hey, I thought you were making mushroom lasagna this week - looking forward to that too. Just wondering - did you use lasagna sheets that were fresh or dried?

  5. ... Parmesan Cheese is not Vegetarian, they use rennet to make it... rennet is the scrapings of Cow stomach, which makes it meat/animal.

    A great substitute for Parmesan would be  Italian Style Hard Cheese. Or Veggie Cheese.

  6. Thank you, yes I know. And I know what rennet is, and how it is made. I use a non-animal rennet Parmesan-style cheese but it's just easier for everyone to understand if I write Parmesan. Not all my readers are worried about rennet and most of them are educated enough to make their own Parmesan decisions!

  7.  Yes, I use the one that is Veggie also, and you are right not everyone knows what it is, but when folks want to be vegetarian/meatless, and they unknowingly eat the Parmesan with rennet, then they are eating something they have no idea about. I am all for education on this, as I know for me, when I found out just what was in it, I wanted to throw up.

    I was not questioning your recipe, only concerned that others who may not know, would eat it. if we can help each other learn, then our jobs are done. and welcomed by those who desire to be animal/meat free ((:

  8. I really, really should grow artichokes! They are so delicious braised I could just about eat them every day.

  9. If I'd had a fifth, I would have put that in too!

  10. Yes, I made this lasagna last week. There's no post for the mushroom one because I haven't made it yet! I use either dried or fresh, depending on what I have on hand at the time, either of them work well, but fresh is much nicer :)

  11. I see your point! I don't really see myself in the role of educator, though - I don't like to preach. I just provide the recipes and people can do with them whatever they like! I also only ever use soy milk, but for ease of understanding just say "milk", and people will naturally use whatever they're comfortable with. I have been thinking of making a page that explains what I use and why, so hopefully that will clear up any confusion and I don't have to keep re-telling it in every recipe! It's a shame we don't have as many alternatives in Australia, I really like the sound of your Italian-Style Hard Cheese. We just don't have anything like it here at all :(

  12. This looks awesome! And I love that you can make this with mostly freezer, pantry, fridge food that keeps for ages. A huge tick in my house where I avoid shopping with my two darlings and by the end of the week am getting low on veggies!  I'm going to get some frozen spinach and jars of artichokes ready for to make this! Which type/brand of artichokes would you recommend?xo

  13. I agree with other readers, four-cheese is a magic world in my vocabulary! This looks amazingly simple, with cheese sauce make lots of milk and flour for strong bones :) I'm making this tomorrow for dinner!

  14. Anything with a b├ęchamel sauce is fine with me. I like the mixture of spinach with artichokes.

  15. You had me at "four cheese"!

  16. haha if it's easy, it's usually a recipe of mine! I'm getting so much better at using up my kitchen stocks in meals lately. I use canned artichokes for this dish, and there's usually only one or two brands available in the supermarket - whichever one is fine. You can use the ones in jars but I find they're more expensive and they already come with flavouring - by all means use it, I'm just too lazy!

  17. Gosh, I adore cheese. The more the better.

  18. Yes I'd probably eat anything with a bechamel sauce!

  19. haha like I said before, if I'd had a fifth, I would have squeezed it in! Damn do I love cheese.

  20. Thanks Stace! I have tried the jar ones before and their strong flavour had put me off so I'll find the plain canned ones you speak of. Can't wait to make this!xoxo

  21. This looks sooooo great! I love your blog and recipes....I'll have to try this! 
    Thanks for sharing :-)
    Sarah xx

  22. hi Stacey hope you are doing well and getting lots of rest what a great group of recipes so far thanks for hosting have a great week

  23. Stacey, I couldn't say more.. You are very talented food photographer.
    We really can see the deep through the lasagna *drooling*

  24. Yes, they can be more herb and spice than artichoke! Fresh artichokes are best of course, but they're a pain to cook x

  25. Haha thank you, but it's not me... I just fake talent with a very good camera ;-)

  26. yummy in my tummy! i may have to go grocery shopping today now. thanks :)