This gluten-free vegetarian lasagna is super simple but bursting with flavors of fresh herbs and lots of cheesy goodness. Recommendations for gluten-free lasagna noodles (including oven-ready lasagna sheets) are included.
Be sure to check out more of my gluten-free dinner recipes including my comforting gluten-free shepherd’s pie with creamed corn and one-pot vegan chickpea stew.
Gluten-Free Lasagna Sheets/Noodles
There are 2 excellent gluten-free pasta brands that make lasagna noodles. Barilla and Jovial are my go-to brands for pasta. They cook up al dente and don’t get mushy or sticky. You should be able to find one in your grocery store.
Size-wise, I am a little puzzled. Just about every lasagna recipe uses a 9×13 inch pan yet the noodles don’t seem sized for one.
Barilla Lasagna Noodles
Oven ready noodles are dry and EXPAND as they cook. So they need some space around them to expand. The Barilla sheets are a little wide to fit 3 across and still leave space around them. So you can either overlap the long sides a little or trim 2 of them to make them narrower. Just pinch and break off small pieces.
The Barilla noodles cook up al dente and tasty. For the ease of use these are my preference.
Jovial Lasagna Noodles
I am puzzled by the size of the Jovial lasagna noodles. The box says to lay out 4 sheets per layer (in a 9×13 pan). The length of the sheets are not consistent and some are much shorter. This leaves much of the pan uncovered and they don’t break easily to trim and add pieces.
I generally like Jovial products quite a bit, but the inconsistency of the noodles is a kind of a deal breaker for me.
Marinara sauce – It is absolutely okay to use jarred marinara sauce. Making lasagna is a long process and I am all for making it quicker and easier. But I find that most jarred marinara sauces are way too salty. If you use a lot of prepared foods, you may be okay with this. If not, The Silver Palate makes an excellent low-sodium marinara sauce. It still has lots of flavor and a reasonable level of salt.
Tomato paste helps to thicken the marinara which can be too watery for lasagna.
Low-sodium broth – A little bit of broth helps to incorporate the tomato paste. Since lasagna has a lot of salt ingredients already, I recommend a low-sodium broth,
Ricotta cheese – If you have made lasagna before, you may notice that this recipe uses double the amount of ricotta than other recipes. With the usual 16 oz. of ricotta in a 9×13 lasagna, it turns out to be a dish that is mostly noodles with a little filling. I prefer more filling than noodles.
I tested this recipe with part-skim and whole milk ricotta cheese. There was definitely a big difference. The lasagna made with whole milk ricotta was richer, tastier and more satisfying. The part-skim version was lacking in flavor and more herbs didn’t make enough of a difference.
Mozzarella cheese – Unlike the ricotta, you can use part skim or whole milk. Either one will work. I highly recommend using store bought shredded mozzarella. It will make quick work of this recipe. The shredded mozzarella will be layered with the ricotta, sauce, noodles and parmesan.
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese – Both of these are dry cheeses with an awesome tangy umami flavor. Use whichever one you prefer. Some will mix in with the ricotta to amp up the ricotta. The rest will will be sprinkled on the layers,
Dried Italian seasoning adds concentrated herb flavor to the ricotta cheese mixture.
Lasagna is full of salty ingredients and needs a fresh element to it. So lots of chopped fresh basil is added to the ricotta mixture.
Just a little bit of salt and pepper bring out out all the other flavors in the lasagna.
Gluten-Free Vegetarian Lasagna (Noodle Recommendations)
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1/4 c low sodium vegetable broth (Imagine No-Chicken Broth recommended)
- 5½ c (about two 32 oz jars) marinara sauce, Silver Palate Low Sodium Recommended
- 2 lb (32 oz) ricotta cheese, whole milk highly recommended
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ lbs shredded mozzarella cheese, part-skim or whole milk
- 8 oz shredded or grated parmesan or romano cheese
- 15 large leaves of fresh basil
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp salt (use ¼ tsp if not using a low sodium marinara)
- 3 pinches black pepper
- 2 boxes Barilla gluten-free lasagna sheets
- Preheat the oven to 400℉. Grease a 9×13 inch pan lightly with oil – especially the sides and corners. Cheese is STICKY!
- NOTE: I prefer Barilla gluten-free lasagna noodles for their ease of use. Jovial GF Lasagna noodles can be used too, but I recommend parboiling them for 4 minutes and then trimming pieces to make it cover the bottom of the pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the tomato paste, broth together until smooth and combined.
- Add the marinara sauce and whisk to combine.
- Stack the basil leaves and roll vertically. Slice into thin ribbons (chiffonade).
- To another large mixing bowl, add the ricotta, eggs, 1/2 c of the parmesan cheese, the basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork until well combined.
- Spread one cup of the sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan
- Dry, oven ready lasagna noodles will expand during cooking. So it's best to leave some space around them.
- The Barilla noodles are a little wide and will need to overlap if used as is. You can lay them out as pictured below (away from the sides of the pan), or
- Gently break off some of 2 of the sheets to narrow them.
- Add a layer of noodles.
- Spread 1 cup of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
- Top with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella and 1/4 c parmesan.
- Spread 1 cup of marinara evenly.
- Place another layer of noodles on top and repeat steps 7-9.
- Add another layer of noodles and repeat steps 7-9 again.
- The final layer is a little different. Add one more layer of noodles, ricotta and sauce.
- Top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
- Cover the pan with tin foil. Be sure the foil is not touching the cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 15 minutes more.
- Remove from the oven and let the pan sit uncovered, for 15 minutes to rest before cutting and serving.
- This lasagna can stay fresh in the refrigerator for about one week.
- To freeze: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and foil – this will help prevent freezer burn. It can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw before reheating.
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