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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Spicy Kale Lasagna Cooking View

I don’t play around much with lasagna recipes.  I have a classic version that I love and I tend to stick to that.  Normally I am not even tempted to stray, but when I saw this new recipe for a kale lasagna on my friends’ blog, I couldn’t wait to try it.  For one thing, it is vegetarian.  I’m not planning on going veggie anytime soon, but I like to incorporate as many meatless meals as possible into our menus and am always happy to add a new one to the list.  Also, this uses kale which is available year round.  I’m not a strictly seasonal eater but I do my best so I was happy to make something featuring this hearty winter green.

We really enjoyed this lasagna.  I originally considered halving the recipe, but I also knew I was not likely use up the rest of the kale that week, so I made the full pan.  It ended up feeding us for multiple lunches and dinners, and I still wasn’t sick of it by the time we had finished it all.  There are multiple steps in this recipe to help remove excess liquid from the cheese, kale, etc. but despite all this the lasagna was still just a bit liquidy when it was fresh from the oven.  I let it rest a while but maybe I was just impatient, I’m not sure.  However, after resting in the refrigerator it really set up and absorbed all the liquid and the leftovers weren’t runny at all.  Also, for fellow cottage cheese-phobes out there, don’t be scared.  This really doesn’t taste like cottage cheese, just creamy and cheesy.  I think this could also be great with more vegetables added in and next time I may experiment with that a bit.  There will definitely be a next time.

Spicy Kale Lasagna
Yield: about 8-10 servings

Ingredients

1¼ lbs. kale (or spinach), stems removed
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, (preferably with herbs)
2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. lemon juice
4 cups cottage cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ tsp. pepper
16 no-boil lasagna noodles (or noodles cooked according to package directions)

Cooking View

Directions

  • To prepare the kale, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the kale to the pot and boil for 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle.  Wrap the kale inside a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much excess liquid as possible.  Chop roughly, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

  • To make the tomato sauce, combine the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a cold saucepan.   Heat over medium-high, stirring frequently.  Once bubbling, cook for about 30 seconds.  Mix in the crushed tomatoes, reduce heat and let simmer 5-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

  • To make the cheese mixture, strain all of the liquid out of the cottage cheese.  (I used a fine mesh strainer and pressed down to remove the liquid.)  Mix in ½ cup of the Parmesan, 1½ cups of the mozzarella, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.

  • Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  To assemble the lasagna, add a thin layer of the sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Cover with a layer of noodles, then half of the cheese mixture, half of the kale, and half of the remaining sauce.  Add another layer of noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, and the remaining kale.  Top with the remaining noodles, then the remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan.

  • Bake for 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned.  Let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

  • http://veggiegirlvegan.blogspot.com VeggieGirl

    I usually just put spinach or swiss chard in lasagna – the kale version sounds delicious!

  • http://blognewblack.com Blog is the New Black

    Yum! I love spinach lasgana so I know I’d love this. I love sneaking in veggies where I can. :)

  • http://keepitsweetblog.com Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    This looks delicious! I am always looking for new vegetarian dinner ideas.

  • http://highplainsdrifters.wordpress.com/ Steve @ HPD

    Lasagna might be the best way to get kids to eat veggies. You can put just about anything in there. Kale seems to be the veggie o’ the day … seeing it everywhere. Cheers!

  • http://lifeonfood.blogspot.com/ Emily @ Life on Food

    This looks so good. I am always trying to find new ways to incorporate kale into meals. I will definitely try this one.

  • http://warmvanillasugar.wordpress.com/ Katrina

    This lasagna looks amazing! I usually use spinach in my veggie lasagna, but now I’m super intrigued. Awesome.

  • http://erinkristine.blogspot.com Erin

    We made this a few weeks ago – half for us, and half to give to my sister-in-law with newborn twins and everyone, including my 1 year old baby girl, LOVED it!

  • http://theavidappetite.com Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    I love all Italian food! I never thought to add kale. This looks absolutely fabulous!

  • http://thekitchwitch.com TheKitchenWitch

    This sounds intriguing! And any way to get more greens in the belly is a good thing, right?

  • http://www.acouplecooks.com Alex

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. Beautiful photo!

  • http://palegirlinthecity.tumblr.com (Another) Annie

    I love the idea of a kale lasagna–comfort food goodness plus some great nutrients. For a fellow cottage cheese-phobe, is it all right to replace cottage cheese with ricotta cheese?

  • http://www.branappetit.com brandi

    I love kale with spicy red sauce – this looks great!

  • http://thepepperedpantry.blogspot.com/ holly

    This lasagna looks and sounds yummy-I especially like the sound of using kale:)

  • Annie

    I have no idea how well that would work, but my gut is not well. You can see my FAQ page for my feelings on substitutions :)

  • http://sweetebakes.blogspot.com Evan @swEEts

    We’ve been using kale a lot recently and this is just another dish to add to the menu! Sounds wonderful!

  • http://www.acouplecooks.com Alex

    When we made our version, we tried it 3 ways – all cottage cheese, all ricotta, and half of each – the all cottage cheese version had the best overall flavor and creamy texture…

  • http://www.sohowsittaste.com Leah (So, How’s It Taste?)

    I’ve never cooked or eaten kale before. This just might be the recipe to get me to try it. It looks so good and I like the spicy part of it.

  • Sapana

    Hi Annie!

    This is the perfect recipe at the perfect time. My roommate is on her surgery clinical rotation and, as you know, it’s no picnic. I’ve been looking for a vegetarian lasagna recipe with homemade tomato sauce since she literally said to me the other day, “You know what you should make? Spaghetti sauce”.

    I’ve been following your blog for some time now and simply love it. Keep up the great work!

    ~Sapana

  • Annie

    Ugh, that rotation is the worst. I hope she survives with her spirit intact :) I’m sure she would appreciate a nice home-cooked meal from you!

  • http://palegirlinthecity.tumblr.com (Another) Annie

    Thanks for all the info! I’ll definitely stick to the cottage cheese version.

  • http://www.acouplecooks.com Sonja

    So glad you enjoyed it — thanks for the shout out! :)

  • http://www.marriedinchicago.blogspot.com Married in Chicago

    Thanks for the great recipe! The last time I made veggie lasagna it turned out too watery, so this is helpful!

  • http://theblissfulbaker.wordpress.com Justeen @ Blissful Baking

    This lasagna sounds delicious! I have been looking for a good veggie lasagna, and I absolute LOVE kale, so this recipe definitely fits the bill!

  • Kathryn

    I’m definitely bookmarking this. Looks delicious!

  • http://www.j3nn.net J3nn (Jenn’s Menu and Lifestyle Blog)

    That looks delicious!! I’ve recently discovered how much I like no boil noodles; mainly because they are dryer, and I don’t like goopy lasagna.

    LOVE kale! I’ve had spinach lasagna quite a few times, never kale. YUM!

  • http://lessonsinfood.wordpress.com The cooking teacher

    Bought Kale for the second time this month, last week it rotted. This week I was determined to cook it the night I bought it. I wanted something new so I began to google and right before I did I said – lets see what’s Annie’s up to first – and theres my Kale recipe! You are the BEST resource :c)

  • http://www.healthyeatingforordinarypeople.com Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

    This looks great. I also make a classic spinach lasagna, but I do love kale too, and this looks like a great change. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://katshealthcorner.wordpress.com/ Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner

    Lagsana is one of mi favoritos!!!

    Annie, you have the BEST BLOG out there!!!!

  • michelle

    you might want to check that the parmesan you use is vegetarian- most use animal rennet as a thickener, and that is decisively NOT vegetarian0-friendly!

  • http://www.happywhennothungry.com Happy When Not Hungry

    Love the looks of this lasagna! Have never tried it with kale or with cottage cheese, but it looks and sounds delicious!

  • Jenny

    I made this for dinner tonight and my whole family ate it! They ate kale!! My two year old picky eater kept saying “This very yummy”. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Rachel

    I LOVE this recipe! I can’t get over how great it is. I knew I would like it, but I seriously LOVE it. We had leftovers tonight and even my husband (who hates leftovers) couldn’t stop raving about it!!

  • jeannette

    made this this afternoon….very easy prep and it smells amazing cooking in my oven on this rainy dreary evening ….can’t wait until dinner!….one thing I did differently was give my blanched kale a spin in my salad spinner…dry as a bone when I took it out…(wonder what would happen if I tried the w/the cottage cheese instead of pressing?) Anyway I can tell that I’ll be making this again …thanks for sharing !

  • thebookofarmaments

    This lasagna was DELICIOUS!! Thank you so much! My husband (who generally hates green things in his dinner) said it’s the best lasagna he has ever had. I will be making this a lot! Thank you!

  • Claire

    This was a hit at a recent dinner party; thank you! I added in some extra veggies with some provolone cheese. I appreciate the time you spend on your blog and all the wonderful things you share.

  • AEC

    Oh man, this is SO good!

    I decreased the proportions a little bit so it would fit in a square pan (I live by myself, so I didn’t want to make too much). I also just used a store bought tomato-garlic sauce instead of making my own. My lasagna was on the liquidy side, I think I should have reduced the tomato sauce. But, it still tastes amazing! Despite the fact that I wasn’t all that hungry tonight, I’m on my second piece :)

    I will definitely be making this again! I think it’ll probably be really good with some other veggies in there too

  • Wendy

    Just put this in the oven a few minutes ago – even uncooked this smells amazing! Can’t wait to taste.

  • Kristin

    Hi Annie: If I use spinach instead of kale in this recipe, is there anything I would need to do to the spinach leaves before adding them to the lasagna? I wasn’t sure if the process would be the same for spinach (blanching) as it is for the kale. Thank you!

  • Annie

    You know, I’m really not sure. I’ve only used kale. I don’t think you would need to blanch it, but then it would probably be really soggy because of all the extra water in spinach. Sorry, I just don’t know!

  • Kristin

    No problem – thanks for your quick response! If I end up trying the recipe with spinach I’ll be sure to update you with how it turned out.

  • jess

    GREAT RECIPE! I will make a few tweaks the next time around, will probably reduce the salt a bit and double the sauce recipe as I prefer a saucier lasagna. THANKS!

  • http://go-and-do.blogspot.com/ all8garden

    This went over pretty well at our house. I steamed my kale and then ran it through a salad spinner. Also added an 8oz can of tomato sauce and 1 tsp of Oregano to the sauce ingredients. There was almost no watery liquid after baking the lasagna. 5 out of 8 eaters finished off more than one plate. Good stuff. Will make it again.

  • Malena

    This is WONDERFUL! I LOVE this recipe! I really like that it uses almost no processed ingredients; mostly from scratch. For example, using crushed tomatoes instead of a jar of spaghetti sauce. Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and with lots of kale, you get a good serving of vegetable too – and green at that! I admit I did skip the lemon juice. Again, fantastic recipe.

  • EllaByNight

    This was great! I’m not a cottage cheese fan, but it worked well blended with all the other ingredients. Plus I loved the little bit of kick from the crushed red pepper.

    The only change I made was increasing the sauce by 50%. I like my lasagna a little saucier so this was a must for me. Even with the extra sauce I didn’t have a problem with the amount of liquid.

    Overall, a great recipe, and I’ll definitely make it again. Thanks for sharing!

  • carol

    i made this yesterday and also increased the liquid by 50%. no extra liquid after baking, so not sure if the original amt of sauce would suffice. i also roasted small chunks of butternut squash and onion and added w/ the kale.
    how in the world do you use 16 lasagne sheets? i used 10.5 and had plenty in the 3 layers :)

  • annieseats

    The original amount of sauce has been perfect for us. I’m assuming your lasagna noodles are a different size.

  • carol

    what kind of noodles do you use? i used the barilla dried no cook noodles

  • http://twitter.com/runningcate Cate

    WOW. I’ve made quite a few lasagna recipes but this is seriously the best! Definitely making it again soon

  • annieseats

    I can’t think of additional measures to remove liquid but one strategy that has worked well for me in the past is to fully make and bake the lasagna the day before I actually want to serve it. The next day when rewarmed, there is much less issue with the liquid/sloppiness, and it has the added bonus of the work already being done!