Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna

…with hidden zucchini but SSHHHHHHHHH!

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna – because warmer days still require lasagna but let’s make it lighter. And by lighter I mean let’s add lemon to it. Creamy lasagna all dressed up for sunny days. Made entirely in one skillet with a no-cook creamy ricotta sauce and a bright and zesty lemon pesto with zucchini (that I promise is completely undetectable).

To be honest friends, I’m not sure if this actually qualifies as “light” eating (in fact I’m 97.3% sure it does not) but I’ve taken the meat out, added lemon (zest AND juice!) and even added zucchini to it and that’s the best I can will do.

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna

I’ll invite you to take a quiet moment to just look at the photos of this heavenly dish. Imagine digging into this baby… a bubbling, browned cheese shell that covers layer after layer of creamy ricotta cheese, gooey mozzarella and bright green super flavourful pesto. I am telling you… every time I make this I feel like I want to take the skillet up an down the street to let everyone have a bite because they need to know what they’re missing out on. But I don’t because I fear the neighbours would be knocking on my door every single night demanding another spoonful. What’s that? Direct them to my site so they can make it for themselves you say? Genius. You are genius.

What makes this lasagna so easy? No cooking. Well, there is cooking… we do have to bake these unless you like your pasta on the crisp side. But no standing at the stove making a roux or stirring a bechamel for longer than you care to. The white sauce is simply stirred together in a bowl and it’s ready to go. The pesto sauce is mixed in another bowl and the two are gloriously combined in the creamy, cheesy layers of this scrumptious lasagna.

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna

An incredibly easy one-skillet lasagna loaded with bright lemon flavour, herby pesto and creamy ricotta cheese. It’s also got hidden zucchini in it but no one will ever know.
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box oven ready lasagna noodles

For the ricotta layer:

  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • S&P
  • 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan

For the lemon pesto:

  • 2/3 cup pesto
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup zucchini grated

For assembly:

  • 2 1/2 cups mozzarella grated

Instructions
 

Make the ricotta sauce:

  • In a medium bowl combine the Ricotta cheese, cream, milk, cream cheese, egg and garlic. Season with S&P and mix well.
  • Fold in the parmesan cheese.

Make the pesto sauce:

  • In a separate bowl combine the pesto, lemon zest, lemon juice, zucchini and a pinch of salt. Mix well.

Assemble the lasagna:

  • Butter or spray a heavy 12” skillet.
  • Spread a thin layer of the ricotta mixture on the bottom of the skillet and then top with an even layer of lasagna noodles (break them if you have to – it won’t matter).
  • Add another layer of the ricotta mixture and dollop all over with some of the pesto zucchini mixture. Spread lightly with a spoon to distribute the pesto. Top with a layer of mozzarella.
  • Repeat again – noodles, ricotta, pesto, cheese, ending with mozzarella on top.
  • Cover the skillet with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake another 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest 10-15 minutes to firm up before serving.
Keyword Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna
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Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna with Zucchini

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna (with Zucchini) Recipe ingredients, tips, substitutions:

Pasta – oven ready or no-boil lasagna noodles are a life saving invention that I always have on and and are what I use in this recipe.

Ricotta – whole milk ricotta cheese. No need to drain it.

Pesto – you can use store bought or make your own. I’m using basil pesto but feel free to get adventurous here.

Parmesan – the real deal preferably.

Milk and Cream – I’m using whole milk and heavy cream because that’s what I keep on hand. Other varieties may be too watery, but feel free to experiment.

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna (with Zucchini) Recipe Variations:

Spicy Version – add a big pinch of red pepper flakes to the ricotta mixture.

Extra veg Version – add a handful of chopped baby spinach or thawed and drained chopped frozen spinach to the ricotta mixture.

Artichoke Version – stir a can of drained and chopped artichoke hearts into the ricotta mixture.

Lemon Pesto Ricotta White Lasagna

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna (with Zucchini) recipe, how to make it…

Get your oven preheated to 375 degrees and butter or spray a heavy 12″ cast iron skillet.

Mix together the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, cream, milk, egg, garlic and a good pinch of S&P. Stir well until completely combined.

In a separate bowl stir together the pesto, lemon zest, lemon juice and grated zucchini. Mix well.

Add a thin layer of the ricotta mixture to the bottom of your prepared skillet. Top with an even layer of lasagna noodles. This will take approximately 3 noodles and feel free to break them up to cover the whole pan. It won’t make a difference to the finished dish.

Spread an even layer of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles and then dollop some of the pesto mixture all over the top. Use a spoon to gently spread the pesto mixture around. Sprinkle with a layer of grated mozzarella and repeat all of these steps again, finishing with a top layer of mozzarella cheese. If you want to add a little extra cheese at this point go ahead and grate a bit more for the top I’m not stopping you.

Cover the lasagna with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Take the top off and cook another 15-20 minutes. If you want an extra brown top you can also throw it under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

Take the lasagna out of the over and – listen to me – let is sit! Don’t touch it for about 10-15 minutes so it has time to set up before digging into it. Put that spoon down and come back in 10-15 minutes!

Ok, hi. NOW you can dig in. Good isn’t it?

Lemon Pesto Ricotta Lasagna

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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