The Washington Post

Kale and Mushroom Lasagna

Kale and Mushroom Lasagna 8.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Oct 6, 2019

More delicate than a typical tomato-and-meat lasagna, this vegetable-forward version is still rich and bursting with flavor. You could use a mix of cooking greens instead of all kale; just be sure you wilt them until quite tender, so the texture harmonizes with the other layers.

Make Ahead: The assembled lasagna can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw a frozen lasagna overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

Storage Notes: The baked lasagna can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (may substitute vegan butter, such as Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
  • 1 cup whole milk or reduced fat milk (may substitute non-dairy milk)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 12 ounces kale, thick ribs cut out, leaves cut into very thin strips
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta (may substitute vegan ricotta, such as Kite Hill brand)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • One (9-ounce) box no-boil lasagna noodles (may substitute gluten-free noodles, such as Capello’s)
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded smoked mozzarella (may substitute vegan cheese shreds, such as Violife or Daiya)
  • 2 ounces (1 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional; may substitute vegan Parmesan)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the flour, stir to make a smooth paste, and cook, stirring, so the raw flour flavor cooks out, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the broth and the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking to eliminate lumps. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of the pepper, taste, and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. (Remember that the store-bought broth might be salty.)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. When it stops sizzling, add the mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of the pepper, and cook, stirring and scraping the pan occasionally, until all the moisture from the mushrooms has been released and evaporated and they begin to brown and stick a bit to the pan, 10 to 12 minutes. Taste, and season with more salt, if needed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Wash the kale thoroughly, leaving the water clinging to the leaves. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. When it stops sizzling, add the red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the kale and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, tossing frequently, until the kale is wilted and very tender, about 10 minutes. You may need to add a few splashes of water along the way if the pan gets dry. Taste, and season with more salt, if needed.

In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta, lemon zest and egg, if using, until combined.

To assemble the lasagna, spread half the flour-milk mixture (called a veloute) in an even layer on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange the noodles in an even layer, breaking the noodles to fit as needed. Spread the mushrooms evenly over the noodles and then top with the kale, distributing it evenly. Top with half the smoked mozzarella.

Arrange a second layer of noodles, then top with evenly spaced dollops of the ricotta. Gently spread the ricotta, without disturbing the noodles, to make an even layer. Add one more layer of noodles, pour over the remaining veloute, and finish with the remaining smoked mozzarella. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and the juices are bubbling around the edges. Let the lasagna cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Recipe Source

Based on a recipe in “Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables” by Joshua McFadden with Martha Holmberg (Artisan, 2017).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 450

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 23g 35%

Saturated Fat: 14g 70%

Cholesterol: 85mg 28%

Sodium: 600mg 25%

Total Carbohydrates: 41g 14%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 22g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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