Pasta/ Recipes/ Vegetarian

Portobello and Summer Squash Lasagna

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending an event in San Francisco for Michael Natkin, author of the blog Herbivoracious and the new cookbook of the same title. Michael cooks vegetarian food (duh) and at his event I wore hot pink pants and stuffed myself silly with his polenta.

It was fabulous.

This dude can COOK. Also, he was kind enough to give out copies of his cookbook to guests and I couldn’t wait to dive in! It’s a gorgeous book with beautiful photography and about 150 mouth watering veggie recipes.

I love a good vegetarian lasagna and was anxious to try out Michael’s version, stuffed with beefy slices of portobello mushrooms and strips of zucchini.

His secret? Sauteing the veggies before adding them to the lasagna so they don’t get watery or mushy. Genius. As a result though, there is a little bit of prep work that goes into this dish so I recommend making it when you’re not in a rush. I find slicing, chopping and sauteing veggies to actually be cathartic—I love turning on a sermon online or some music while chopping away.

I deviated from the original recipe just a tad while cooking and the lasagna came out perfect. It poofed up high in the oven and had a golden brown cheesy crust on top. I couldn’t wait to dive in…and so I did…even though it was only 10am on a Tuesday morning. Whatever.

I neatly covered the rest of the lasagna up tight and brought it over to my neighbor’s house in exchange for her watching Dexter while I’ll be gone this weekend. I think it was a fair trade, right?

I’m also assuming this freezes well (as most lasagnas do) so it would be a great dish to make ahead of time for those busy weeknight dinners!

Portobello and Summer Squash Lasagna

serves about 8

adapted just a smidge from Herbivoracious

Print this recipe!


2 tbsp of olive oil, divided

4 zucchini, sliced lengthwise very thin (about 1/8″), or summer squash

3 portobello mushroom caps, “gills” scraped out and sliced into 1/4″ pieces

1 15-oz container ricotta cheese

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 tsp minced garlic

2 28-oz cans marinara sauce

about 12 no-boil lasagna noodles

12 oz grated Mozzarella cheese + 3 oz Parmesan cheese

1 tsp sea salt, divided

1/4 tsp pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add single layer of sliced zucchini in the skillet and saute until well browned on both sides. Remove and place squash on paper towels while you saute the rest of the sliced zucchini. When all the zucchini has been browned, place the portobello mushrooms in the skillet and saute until tender. Place all vegetables in a large bowl and sprinkle generously with salt. Set aside.

Combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper and eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk together until well combined.

In the same skillet you cooked the veggies in, heat the remaining olive oil. Add the minced onion and garlic and saute for about four minutes. Add the pasta sauce and a little sea salt to taste. Stir well.

Place about a cup and a half of the pasta sauce at the bottom of a 9 x 13″ dish. Then on top, lay three no-boil lasagna noodles flat. Follow this with a third of the veggie mixture, a half cup of the ricotta mixture, a cup of marinara sauce and a sprinkle of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese blend. Lay another three noodles on top of that and repeat the process until all your noodles are gone. On top, drizzle remaining marinara sauce and the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Cover pan loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Let lasagna set for 15-20 minutes before serving.


1.5 hours

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  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated
    May 23, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Yum! I love vegetable lasagnas. And even though sauteeing the vegetables is more work, it’s worth it for the end product!

  • Molly
    May 23, 2012 at 4:08 am

    What online sermon do you listen to?

    • jenna
      May 23, 2012 at 6:44 am

      I listen to sermons online from a few different churches. I like Mars Hill’s sermons, Providence church’s sermons (they are in Austin) and Anthem church’s sermons (a new church we have started going to locally).

      • Stephanie @ Live Cook Love
        May 23, 2012 at 7:48 am

        I go to The Austin Stone (In Austin) so if you get a chance, you should check their podcast out! I love the message. Every week I walk away feeling refreshed and that I really learned something. My boyfriend and I are about to be come members too. Just wanted to share πŸ™‚

      • Katina
        May 23, 2012 at 8:37 am

        Wow! My brother goes to Anthem in Thousand Oaks (Souther California) any connection you think? Have you heard of Bethel? They are in Redding California. I listen to their sermons every week cause I live overseas and they are awesome! The Pastor there is named Bill Johnson. GOOD STUFF! Blessings!

        • Kate
          May 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm

          Funny you should mention Bethel! A couple in my home group (Bay Area) heads up there whenever they can to attend.

          • jenna
            May 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

            I’ve never heard of Bethel! I’m so also entirely sure if Anthem is affiliated with that church….this location is in San Rafael!

  • Beki
    May 23, 2012 at 4:17 am

    This English chef has a great veggie cookbook out after he did a TV series where he gave up meat + fish for 6months :

    I’m not a vegetarian but I don’t eat a lot of meat and this book has really opened my eyes to the possibilities of awesome yummy veggie food! You should check it out πŸ™‚ And that lasagne looks tasty!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    May 23, 2012 at 4:30 am

    So that’s why I was impressed with the very first picture of an absent pool of lasagna water on the plate!

  • Michelle P.
    May 23, 2012 at 4:32 am

    That looks so good! I’m pregnant right now and having a weird aversion to meat, so I need some good veggie recipes! Thanks for the heads up.

  • katie @KatieDid
    May 23, 2012 at 4:54 am

    sounds like a fun event to attend and a cool cookbook! Lasagna… I serve so much lasagna where I waitress, you might be appalled at the serving size but it’s the biggest hit in the restaurant.

  • Krista
    May 23, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Speaking of vegetarianism, have you seen the documentary Forks Over Knives? I can’t really explain it well, as I was waiting until today to watch it, but it discusses the effects that some people feel are caused by eating meat. There are a few “patients” that the cameras follow through their journey from obesity/diabetes, etc., to switching to a plant-based diet. I just started it (before, uh, I have to go to class, oops), and it seems pretty cool.

    • jenna
      May 23, 2012 at 8:24 am

      I did see it and really enjoyed it!!

  • alyssa - fashion fitness foodie
    May 23, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Vegetable lasagnas are my favorite! Cheese and veggies – you can’t go wrong!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    May 23, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Thanks for introducing us to this book Jenna! It’s another one I want to add to my collection (as is yours when it comes out!) This recipe sounds delicious. πŸ™‚

  • Katrina
    May 23, 2012 at 5:30 am

    I’ve been meaning to get that book! It sounds fabulous, and this lasagna has me wanting the book even more!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    May 23, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Oh that rose beautifully. I made a vegetarian lasagna once and it was so delicious. I didn’t even miss the meat.

  • jenna
    May 23, 2012 at 6:19 am

    a fair trade for sure! this looks delish!

  • Athena @ Fitness & Feta
    May 23, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Yum!! This looks awesome!

  • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    May 23, 2012 at 6:54 am

    This looks SO yummy! My dad’s very favorite meal is lasagna so he always requests it on his birthday.. I might try to sneak this veggie version past him although I think the pasta lover in him may notice. πŸ˜‰

  • Sara
    May 23, 2012 at 6:57 am

    This sounds awesome! I always try adding veggies but it gets too watery so this is a perfect solution! BTW… Where did you get your white plates?? They have pretty detail while still being neutral – love them!

  • Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    May 23, 2012 at 6:59 am

    This looks so good! I’m always wondering where else I can use squash so I’m very excited about this!

  • Valerie at The Year of Living Healthfully
    May 23, 2012 at 7:00 am

    I love the veggies in this recipe! I was thinking that you could even put them on the grill instead of sautΓ©ing them before putting them in the lasagna. This looks delicious and I will definitely be trying it soon. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Kristin @ FoodFash
    May 23, 2012 at 7:28 am

    I would have never thought to put portobellos in lasagna, but it makes so much sense! I’ll have to make this recipe when I have ample mouths to feed πŸ™‚

  • Heather
    May 23, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I love that you eat lasagna for breakfast….I’m not the only one haha. Quick question- did sauteing the veggies and then also cooking them in the oven make them softer than they would have been if you had only cooked them once through?

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    May 23, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I love Summer Squash. And I totally agree, chopping and peeling is very cathartic, especially with a good playlist.

  • Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables
    May 23, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I love vegetarian lasagna, this version looks delish!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    May 23, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Oh my, that looks AWESOME!! I am such a huge portobello mushroom fan, I’m sure I would love this! What a lucky neighbor you have :).

  • Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray
    May 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Ooh yum! I just got this book myself and can’t wait to try it. This lasagna looks delicious!

  • Moni Meals
    May 23, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Wow, my kind of cookin! Looks just so good. Might have to make this over the weekend. πŸ™‚ Love the veggies you used. Who does not love Portbello Mushrooms as well?!

  • Jenn
    May 23, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Do you eat the stuff you make for the blog regularly? It seems like it gets passed to the neighbors a lot πŸ™‚

    • jenna
      May 23, 2012 at 8:47 am

      I usually do but there’s no point in keeping a lasagna in my house when I’m about to go out of town for five days! I like to share the love.

      • Jenn
        May 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

        πŸ™‚ Where’s your next travel destination?

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    May 23, 2012 at 8:50 am

    This looks great! I love veggie lasagna – I love that it doesn’t feel quite as heavy as a regular lasagna (so I can eat more! πŸ˜‰ )

  • Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    May 23, 2012 at 9:03 am

    What a good idea to trade your neighbor lasagna for dog watching. Absolutely brilliant and sweet! The lasagna looks gorgeous, but then again everything you make looks gorgeous. Beautiful!

  • Minerva
    May 23, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Yum! Must make lasagna asap!

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    May 23, 2012 at 9:13 am

    OH yummy, I love lasagna that is filled with veggies. I also cook up some sausage on the side for the husband. Your first picture has me drooling a bit at lunch. I will have to check out that cookbook.

  • Kelly
    May 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

    This looks perfect for summer! (I also love chopping veggies!)

    Can anyone recommend a good, jarred/canned marinara sauce?

    • Jaime
      May 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      My personal favorite is the Tuscan Marinara sauce in the BIG CAN from Trader Joes. It is hands down the best pre-made sauce I have ever had, and its CHEAP too!!! Runner-up is from Trader Joes as well, its their regular Tomato Basil Marinara that comes in a jar. Hopefully you have a TJs close by or otherwise I am of no help. Good luck!

      • Kelly
        May 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm


  • Ashley
    May 23, 2012 at 9:38 am

    This looks delicious! I have a weird aversion to cooked mushrooms, what would you suggest as a substitute? (or just extra zucchini or yellow squash?)

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    May 23, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Sounds like a wonderful book and just looking at the cover, I bet the photos are great. Love cookbooks with great pics! And mmm, portobellos are a fave of mine!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    May 23, 2012 at 9:54 am

    This is the perfect recipe for the upcoming garden season when we always have an overabundance of zucchini and squash. Plus, portobellos are one of my most favorite foods.

  • Christina
    May 23, 2012 at 10:34 am

    OMGeez, this post makes me so hungry. Mushrooms nom nom nom!!

  • Jennifer S.
    May 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Yum! I love vegetarian lasagna & this one looks DELECTABLE!

  • Margarita
    May 23, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Jenna, this looks super delicious! Once I get some zucchini, this is on my to make list. By the way, did you mean 1 tsp or 1 tbsp of sea salt? πŸ™‚

  • Cait's Plate
    May 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Oh yum. That looks like the perfect lasagna for summer!

  • elizabeth @ chronic venture
    May 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    yuuu uuum

  • Ayesha
    May 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Can you make this without the noodles? If so, what changes would you suggest?

    • jenna
      May 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      hmmmmmmm well it wouldn’t be lasagna without the noodles!

  • Urban Wife
    May 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Absolutely love Mars Hill sermons!
    This veggie lasagna looks delicious, too. πŸ™‚

  • Lisa
    May 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Jenna, sorry for change in topic here but was wondering…when you first started doing power yoga, did your wrists bother you? Mine do at first then about 30 min into it, it goes away…just wondering if this is normal?
    Thanks friend πŸ™‚

    • B
      May 24, 2012 at 5:05 am

      I’m not Jenna, but I’ve been practicing power yoga for about 6 years, and I think this is pretty common. A lot of poses put weight through the wrists, especially side plank, and even down-dog. You may not be accustomed to this in your everyday life, so it takes time to strengthen your wrists. Your wrists WILL slowly get stronger as you continue to practice, and that discomfort will go away. However, as with any pain, if it’s real pain, back away from the pose and ease into it or modify so that you aren’t in pain.

      • Lisa
        May 24, 2012 at 6:47 am

        Thank you so much for responding to my comment! I was hoping to just ask anyone who has been practicing yoga for any length of time to help me out here πŸ™‚ I know Jenna may be leery about answering questions like this (responsibility issues) but really I just want someone who does yoga a lot to give their experience not have to act like a doctor… Thanks again B!!!

  • Beverly
    May 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Yummmmm! I’m not a fan of meat lasagna, so I can definitely get behind this recipe.

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
    May 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Love portobellos and summer squash. This looks gooey and amazing!

  • Lily O' Dare @ Candied-Life
    May 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    that instagram pic made my mouth water the other day! nothing like hot gooey cheese O_o

    at work (cooking and writing internship) i had corn tortilla quesadillas with butternut squash and manchego cheese yesterday for lunch. thinly sliced radishes with flaked sea salt rounded out the meal…it was bomb.

  • Jan
    May 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    That looks so insanely good!

  • Michelle
    May 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    oh this looks heavenly!

  • Danielle
    May 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    This looks fabulous! I always saute my veggies before building the lasagna. I recently learned the joys of no boil lasagna noodles. Lasagna is on the menu more often now!

  • Kelly Turner Fitness
    May 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Looks so good!!

  • Amanda
    May 23, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Hi!! Random question…what iphone do you have? I can’t decide between the 4 and 4s…suggestions? Thanks!

  • Sonal
    May 24, 2012 at 3:37 am

    Yummm! I love lasagnas πŸ™‚ I made your tofu shells in a lasagne style and it came out sooo good πŸ™‚

  • Liz
    May 24, 2012 at 7:05 am

    YUMM! This looks so good!

  • Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    May 24, 2012 at 7:40 am

    I discovered that if you roast your veggies first, it makes the lasagna taste like “second day” lasagna. And there is NOTHING better than that!
    I haven’t made lasagna for so long- and think I might have a new plan for tonight’s dinner. The fish can wait. πŸ™‚

  • Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac
    May 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Yum!! Will be making this! The recipe on the cover looks great too, are those herbed balls of goat cheese??

  • Rachel Cooks
    May 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Looks so amazing—wish I could get my husband to go vegetarian every once in a while.

  • Danielle J
    May 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Nom! Making this for book club next week πŸ˜€

    • Danielle J
      May 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Also would this be okay to assemble one day, keep in fridge and then bake the next afternoon?

      • jenna
        May 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm

        I would assume so–yes!

  • em @ simplypresent
    May 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Oh my goodness – looks like summer on a plate! Some of my favorite things all in one dish! I’ll have to try it out. Do you think that cooking in a slow cooker would work? If yes, how so?

  • Allison Altdoerffer
    May 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    There is only one word for this: YUM!

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    May 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    love this. I make something similar but without the lasagne sheets. Essentially it’s just a moussaka with loads of other veggies in it other than eggplant. The grilling beforehand makes it so good but yeah does take time! drinking vino helps. Need to get some lasagne sheets though, man I miss lasagne! Totally a fair trade, by the way. I’d be pumped πŸ™‚
    Heidi xo

  • Daisy
    May 25, 2012 at 6:32 am

    I met Michael when he was on his tour in Boston. We brunched with a group of bloggers and got cookbooks! I concur, great guy, awesome chef.

  • Hilliary@Brunch and Cupcakes
    May 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Lasagna is one of those dishes I have yet to master. Mine always turns out to watery! Any suggestions? This looks delicious!

    • Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee
      May 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      I’ve had that problem, and if you pre-cook the veggies that helps. Also, if you’re pre-boiling the noodles, don’t make them as tender as you would for a regular pasta dish. Have them very al dente so they can soak up extra liquid from the sauce to get to the perfect texture. Hope this helps! πŸ™‚

  • Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee
    May 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Mmmm veggie lasagna is the best! I just wish they had gluten free no boil lasagna noodles.

  • gliding calm
    May 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I die for lasagna! looks amazingggggg

  • Cindy Robinson
    May 29, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I made this last night for my in-laws, it was delicious! Today it was even better, I wish I brought a larger piece for lunch! It was not watery at all. My husband was not sure at first: “No meat?!” But he really liked ti. Ahhh, I love being the only cook in the house, I get to cook what I like πŸ™‚
    Thank you Jenna for sharing!

  • Annie @ What's Annie Making?
    May 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I love this idea!!!! What a perfect way to add some different veggies to lasagna. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Herbivoracious in the News Β» Harvard Common Press
    May 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    […] 5/23/12 Eat, Live, Run blogged about Michael’s San Francisco event and shared her rendition of his Portobello and Summer Squash Lasagna. […]

  • Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen
    June 4, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Ahhh love lasagna. I’m going to this event this Wednesday in Minneapolis. I can’t wait to meet Michael and dive into his delicious book.

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  • Blythe
    June 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was ah-mazing! Several in my family are big meat eaters, so I was interested to see how this veggie lasagna would go over. It was so flavorful and hearty that we didn’t miss the meat at all. Thanks!

  • The Mrs.
    June 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I saw this post last week and decided to make it yesterday. This was AMAZING!! So good!! Like Blythe noted above, we didn’t even miss the meat. I told my husband that if I hadn’t sliced all that zucchini myself, I would’t have believed it was a veggie lasagna. This is definitely going to get added to our usual rotation. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Chelsea
    June 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I made this today and it turned out simply scrumptious! Really…I’m horrible when it comes to using the oven (I always undercook or overcook, or my specialty: burning the outside while the inside is undercooked) but the flavor and texture of this is out of this world. I followed the recipe exactly as listed πŸ™‚

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  • Michele
    September 4, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Loved this lasagna. Sooooo delectable. I changed it a bit also. I grilled the zucchini, and added eggplant and yellow squash, which I also grilled. I got chopped portobello and sautΓ©ed. And the next day???? Even better. Thanks

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