No, silly, I didn’t put dip in the lasagna!
What I did do is use almost everything you’d find in the dip including spinach, artichokes, cream cheese and mozzarella for a decadent, delicious twist on everyday lasagna.
First things first, you have to prep the spinach by wilting it in a frying pan with olive oil and garlic. Sixteen ounces seems like a lot of spinach but it cooks down.
It’s cooled and mixed into softened cream cheese and ricotta along with chopped artichokes and an egg to bind it.
You can use your favorite jarred sauce or homemade, and fresh or no-bake noodles. I prefer the fresh ones. You can find them in the refrigerated section alongside the ravioli and gnocchi.
So, the assembly is simply layering noodles with filling and alternating with a layer of sauce and mozzarella. There are six layers starting with the filling and ending with sauce and cheese on top.
That’s my favorite part – the assembly! I could seriously make lasagna all day long if someone prepped the stuff for me.
If this food blogging gig doesn’t work out there’s my new career. Just call me lasagna maker.
Or maybe lasagna piggy is more fitting. . .
Sorry-not-sorry I didn’t save you any.
In full disclaimer, this is two pieces stacked on top of each other.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 15 ounces fresh baby spinach
- salt and pepper
- 12 ounces bar cream cheese
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- 12 ounces jarred artichoke hearts, rinsed, blotted with paper towels and chopped
- sea or kosher salt and pepper
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 4 cups of tomato sauce (jarred or homemade)
- 16 ounces fresh or no bake lasagna noodles
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and as much spinach as will fit in the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
- As the spinach cooks down add more until it is all wilted. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Place the cream cheese in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 15 second increments until it is soft enough to stir with a spoon. Let cool to barely warm.
- Add the ricotta and stir until smooth and well combined. Stir in the egg.
- Stir in the artichokes, spinach, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Refrigerate 15 - 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9x9-inch square casserole or baking pan with high sides.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of sauce. Top with a layer of noodles, breaking them if needed, to fit.
- Spoon ⅓ of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and spread evenly. Top with another layer of noodles.
- Top with 1 cup sauce and ⅓ of the mozzarella. Layer more noodles on top.
- Repeat with ⅓ of the filling and more noodles. Top with 1 cup sauce and ⅓ of the mozzarella.
- Repeat again with the remaining filling and more noodles. Top with 1 cup sauce and the rest of the mozzarella.
- Bake about 45 minutes until bubbly around the edges. Cover with foil if the top gets too dark.
- Let it sit 5 - 10 minutes to set up then cut into squares and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Originally published in June, 2015.