If you're looking for a hearty and delicious meatless lasagna recipe, Kale Lasagna is it! Made with a veggie-loaded tomato sauce, protein-packed cottage cheese, and no-boil noodles, this healthy recipe is easy to make and kid-friendly to boot. Perfect for a make-ahead meal but simple enough to pull together on a weeknight.
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What’s your go-to comfort food?
Lasagna is one of my favourites because it’s got everything I want in a comfort food, and it’s easy to pack in a ton of vegetables and a good amount of protein at the same time. This is lasagna, HNL style.
This Kale Lasagna ticks all the boxes. It’s a delicious meatless lasagna recipe that you can make in advance. It’s a freezer-friendly, kid-approved dish that will help take your weekday dinners to the next level, and it’s straight up delicious enough for a weekend dinner party too.
- Lasagna noodles –-> I use no boil. Ain't nobody got time for boiling lasagna noodles.
- Kale –-> Frozen, chopped kale is a huge time saver.
- Pasta sauce –->I used a whole batch of this Instant Pot Pasta Sauce because it's delicious and has a ton of vegetables in it, but your favourite jarred sauce is totally fine, too.
- Cottage cheese –-> I love the way this holds up in a lasagna.
- Parmesan cheese –-> Bringing the flavor.
- Mozzarella cheese –-> Is there such a thing as too much cheese? I think not.
And that’s it! It’s more or less pantry staples going on here.
You need a nice big casserole dish that’s deep and wide enough to hold the lasagna. I used this 9x12 inch rectangular casserole dish.
How do you make kale lasagna?
It’s easy, friends, and I’m going to talk you through it step by step.
Step 1: Prepare your ingredients. This is when you grate your cheese (if you haven’t bought pre-grated), and mix the cottage cheese and Parmesan together in a bowl.
Thaw your frozen kale, place it in a clean dish towel, and squeeze the bejeezus out of it to get out as much liquid as possible.
Step 2: Start assembling. Start with a generous layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of your casserole dish, followed by three lasagna noodles. They may not completely cover the bottom, but bear in mind that they’ll expand as the lasagna bakes.
Step 3: Top the noodles with half of the cottage cheese mixture, then another layer of noodles.
Step 4: Spoon pasta sauce over the noodles to cover, and then scatter half of the kale over top of the sauce.
Step 5: Repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of noodles, then the remaining sauce. Top the sauce with the shredded mozzarella.
Step 3: Bake! Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes until brown bubbly perfection has been achieved.
Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before you cut into it (this is the hardest part), and then serve!
One of my favourite things about lasagna is how endlessly adaptable most recipes are. Let's talk swaps and trouble-shooting below:
I can’t find frozen kale
If your grocery store doesn’t stock frozen, chopped kale, you’ve got a couple of options:
Option 1: Blanch, drain, and chop fresh kale instead. If you go this route you will need to start with about 2lbs of fresh kale (I’d use curly kale here).
De-stem the kale and drop it into a large pot of boiling, salted water for about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and then wrap in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the heck out of it. Give it a rough chop, and you’re good to go.
If you've got lots of fresh kale on hands, you can prep it and freeze it for next time (check out this post --> can you freeze kale for more details).
Option 2: Swap the frozen kale for an equivalent amount of chopped frozen spinach. That means this will be spinach lasagna and not kale lasagna, but oh well.
Where to find no-boil lasagna noodles
Check the pasta aisle of your grocery store, as no-boil lasagna noodles are pretty easy to find these days. Otherwise, you can use the same amount of regular lasagna noodles that have been boiled until al dente and slightly cooled.
Pro tip: if you’re using regular lasagna noodles, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet once you pull them out of the water so they don’t stick together in a messy clump.
Can I make kale lasagna in advance?
You sure can! You can assemble the whole thing and leave it tightly covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking.
You can also bake it, and then either re-heat the whole lasagna in the oven (this takes about 15-20 minutes) or individual slices in the microwave.
Can I freeze lasagna?
You can and you should. You can freeze the entire lasagna if you like, either unbaked or baked. Pro tip: if you're making Vegetarian Freezer Meals to give away, assemble the lasagna in a foil pan (these foil lasagna pans come with handy lids).
You can also wrap individual slices of lasagna in foil and throw them into the freezer. These are super handy for quick individual meals or packed lunches.
I don’t like cottage cheese
Feel free to swap the cottage cheese for an equivalent amount of ricotta or similar. You can also skip the cheese layer altogether and just add more veg, but your lasagna won’t be nearly as delicious.
My lasagna is liquidy
You’ll want to make sure you do a really thorough job of squeezing the liquid out of the kale to prevent a soggy lasagna. If your cottage cheese brand contains a lot of liquid, I recommend you drain that as well.
Sometimes with vegetarian lasagna it can seem like there is a lot of excess liquid when you first remove it from the oven. You’ll know it’s done when the noodles are soft, the cheese is browning, and the sauce is bubbling up around the sides.
As the lasagna stands to cool a bit, a lot of the excess liquid will be absorbed, and even more if you re-heat it the next day.
Want to add more protein?
Sometimes when I want to sneak extra protein into my lasagna, instead of using a batch of Instant Pot Pasta Sauce for the base, I use a batch of Red Lentil Stew. The lentils add a bit of extra texture but the flavour is essentially the same.
You can also swap out regular lasagna noodles for legume pasta such as lentil lasagna noodles if you want to add more protein. These have the added advantage of being gluten-free, if you’re looking to make gluten-free lasagna.
Looking for vegan lasagna?
Vegans, I see you. There's way too much dairy in this Kale Lasagna recipe to make many swaps, so I'm going to direct you to this Vegan Lasagna Recipe from Connoisseurus Veg, my go-to for vegan comfort food.
Other tasty recipes you might enjoy:
Kale Lasagna with Cottage Cheese
- 1 lb frozen kale defrosted, and liquid removed
- 4 cups cottage cheese I used full-fat
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups Instant Pot Pasta Sauce or your favourite jarred marinara sauce
- 12 no boil lasagna noodles
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pre-heat your oven to 375°F.
- Place the thawed, frozen kale in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze as much liquid from it as you possibly can.1 lb frozen kale
- In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.4 cups cottage cheese, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Spoon some pasta sauce over the bottom of a deep 9x12 inch casserole dish.4 cups Instant Pot Pasta Sauce
- Add three no-boil lasagna noodles.12 no boil lasagna noodles
- Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the noodles, and top with three more noodles.
- Generously cover the noodles with pasta sauce, and then scatter half of the kale over top.
- Repeat the layers until you have used up all of the cottage cheese and kale, finishing with a layer of noodles covered with pasta sauce.
- Scatter the top with shredded mozzarella cheese.2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Place the lasagna in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling up around the edges, the noodles are soft, and the cheese is golden on top.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- Lasagna can be assembled up to a day ahead of time, kept in the fridge and baked when you're ready.
- Lasagna can be frozen, either baked or unbaked, in a dish wrapped tightly with foil.
- To re-heat the lasagna, you can put the whole dish back in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or heat individual slices in the microwave.
- Individual slices of lasagna can be wrapped in foil and frozen.
This recipe was originally published January 9th, 2020. It was retested, edited, and updated on February 10th, 2022.