I have a love affair with feta cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love all kinds of cheese, but there’s something about feta that gets me giddy. It’s soft, it’s salty, it’s mild, it’s creamy-dreamy like butter . . . it makes everything I add it to so much better. This lasagna is no exception. I served this at a dinner party recently and everyone loved it. Although it’s meatless, it is full of protein, and nutritional value from all the cheese, spinach and pasta. I layer it with a white sauce made with fat-free half and half and Parmesan cheese. More cheese? Well I just couldn’t help myself.
A serving size is smaller than most lasagna servings, about a 3-inch square, since I stack it three layers deep and because it is pretty rich. A 9 x 9-inch square pan should yield 9 servings. The yummy sauce and cheese taste so creamy and buttery although there’s less fat than you think since I use fat-free half and half and reduced-fat feta cheese. That saves a ton of calories right there. (Each piece is less than 300 calories. See nutritional information in recipe.)
I love the spinach sauteed with garlic and onions. Fresh spinach is amazing-so vital and nutritious. When eaten raw, an ounce or two fills your plate and tummy. But when cooked, a large 10-ounce container (like you buy at the grocery store) of fresh spinach wilts down to under a cup. This recipe calls for 20-ounces of fresh spinach, (that’s two of the large containers) which seems like a lot, but that will yield about a cup and a quarter of cooked spinach. You could also use a 10-ounce package of frozen spinach leaves, thawed and squeezed to remove the water, in place of fresh. This will yield about 1 1/2 cups which is close enough; no need to be exactly precise. If you’re a feta cheese lover like I am, I know you’re going to love this recipe.
- Feta and Spinach Lasagna
- 9-12 lasagna noodles (about 1/2 of a 1 pound box)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 20-ounces (2 large containers) of fresh spinach leaves, pre-washed and trimmed
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups fat-free half and half
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) reduced-fat feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and separate.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet placed over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until soft. Add spinach, 4-5 cups at a time and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- For the sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan placed over medium high heat. Add flour and blend together with a whisk. Gradually add the half and half, whisking constantly to remove any lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Sauce should be smooth and thickened. Add salt and Parmesan cheese; stir to melt and incorporate. Set aside.
- Arrange 3 to 4 lasagna noodles on bottom of prepared baking dish, trimming as needed to fit. Spoon 1/3 of spinach mixture over noodles, spreading to cover the edges. Sprinkle 1/3 of feta cheese over the spinach. Pour 1/3 of white sauce over the feta. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients ending with white sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese on top is slightly browned. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.
Per piece: 296 calories, 16 grams protein, 11 grams fat, 32 grams carbohydrate