Mushroom Lasagna


Growing up in a very Italian family, I had eaten more than an entire town’s worth of lasagna before I was old enough to drive. My grandma made it often for Sunday dinners, and usually made multiple versions, catering to various tastes. Some of us didn’t like meat sauce (obviously, this was not me), some didn’t like chunks of onion in marinara sauce, some didn’t like anything green. My grandma wanted nothing more than to please everyone and was a more gracious woman than I could ever hope to be. While we had numerous types of lasagna (that were always delicious!), there were four constants that never changed: red sauce, mozzarella cheese, ricotta, and no vegetables. It wasn’t until much later than I realized lasagna could be made from so many different ingredients, ricotta didn’t need to be included, and the sauce could be white! This was a revelation to me, and although I have been bookmarking different types of lasagnas for some time, it wasn’t until earlier this week when pondering what to cook for dinner that my Chief Culinary Consultant mentioned a vegetable lasagna that he had at a wedding some years ago. I immediately remembered a recipe for mushroom lasagna that I saw in a magazine while on vacation in Florida, and I made it happen the next day. I’m so happy that I did – it’s absolutely fabulous and has opened my taste buds to a new world of lasagna!

While the lasagna preparation is fairly time-consuming, it is absolutely worth every single second that you’ll spend in the kitchen. There are three different types of mushrooms used in the recipe (portabello, porcini and white button), the combination of which adds a tremendous depth of flavor. Throw in a rich bechamel sauce infused with reserved mushroom liquid, Fontina and Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs, and you have an absolutely spectacular meal. It’s perfect for serving to company or for something a little extra-special any night of the week.

Even though my grandma served up the traditional version of lasagna, I think she would have been head over heels in love with this one!

One year ago: Beer and Brown Sugar Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
Two years ago: Pumpkin Pie Bars
Three years ago: Black Bean Mushroom Burgers
Four years ago: Apple Hand Pies
Five years ago: Sweet Dinner Rolls

Mushroom Lasagna

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time: 28 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours


2 pounds portobello mushroom caps, gills removed, caps halved and sliced crosswise ¼-inch thick
¼ cup olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1 cup water
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
2 pounds red onions, chopped fine
8 ounces white mushrooms, finely minced
4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
½ cup dry vermouth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3½ cups whole milk
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil, divided
¼ cup minced fresh parsley, divided
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
8 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1½ ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (¾ cup)


1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the portobello mushrooms with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the mushrooms until shriveled and all liquid released from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting. Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, microwave the water and porcini mushrooms in a covered bowl until steaming, about 1 minute. Let sit until the mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes. Drain the mushrooms through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter and set over a bowl. Reserve the liquid and coarsely chop the mushrooms.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the onions to the bowl with the roasted mushrooms.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the minced white mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and all moisture has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the chopped porcini mushrooms, 3 of the minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; reduce heat to medium; and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the vermouth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Stir in the butter and allow to melt. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly stir in reserved porcini mushroom liquid, scraping up any browned bits. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, then stir in the nutmeg and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook until the sauce has thickened and measures about 4 cups, 10 to 15 minutes. Off the heat, stir in ¼ cup of the basil and 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

6. Pour 2 inches of boiling water into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Slip the lasagna noodles into the water, one at a time, and soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with the tip of a sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove the noodles from the water and place in a single layer on clean dish towels; discard the water. Dry the dish and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

7. Toss together the shredded Fontina and grated Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl. Spread 1 cup of the mushroom sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared dish. Arrange 3 noodles in a single layer on top of the sauce. Spread ¾ cup of the sauce evenly over the noodles, then sprinkle with 2 cups of the mushroom-onion mixture and ¾ cup of the cheese mixture. Repeat the layering of noodles, sauce, mushroom-onion mixture, and cheese 2 more times. For the final layer, arrange the remaining 3 noodles on top and cover completely with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

8. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake until the edges are just bubbling, about 20 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through baking. While the lasagna is baking, combine the remaining 1 clove minced garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons basil, and remaining 2 tablespoons parsley in a small bowl.

9. Remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F, and continue to bake until the cheese on top becomes spotty brown, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Sprinkle the lasagna with the garlic-herb mixture and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

(Recipe adapted from Fall Entertaining from Cook's Illustrated)



38 Responses to “Mushroom Lasagna”

  1. Mimi @ Culinary Couture on October 11, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I’ve been looking for more ways to incorporate mushrooms into my diet–this looks wonderful! I LOVE bechamel sauce!


  2. denise on October 11, 2012 at 1:23 am

    I love this–and will plan on trying it out sometime soon ! I have a question. Perhaps you could spend a session on helping those of us who don’t drink alcohol, but do use it in cooking, the different types there are and what to use with what. I was at the store 2 days ago, and saw a Merlot and thought “Hmmm, now what or where did I see a recipe that called for that–and in what ? I think red meat…” you get my drift….anyway, my request…or email me personally for further enlightenment !! !


  3. Allison Day on October 11, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Ohhh, how I love mushrooms! This looks like an especially good use for them – your photos seriously have me salivating. One of these weekends, especially as the weather gets cooler, I’m definitely making this. ^_^


  4. Valerie on October 11, 2012 at 3:57 am

    This looks and sounds absolutely delicioso! I love lasagna. Howver, I am not exactly a fan of the traditional lasagna with meat sauce, so this recipe sounds like a great alternative, especially since I just love mushrooms. Thanks so much for the recipe, Michelle.


  5. Amy Feighery on October 11, 2012 at 4:26 am

    This looks absolutely gorgeous, I’d have mushrooms in everything if I could! Putting it in my weekly roundup on my blog and hope to make it very soon x


  6. Lori on October 11, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Wow! This looks amazing!


  7. Penny Wolf on October 11, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I made Ina’s mushroom lasagna some time ago and it was fantastic! I am sure this will be equally as good.


  8. Sues on October 11, 2012 at 9:09 am

    As a kid, I ate so much lasagna once that I couldn’t eat it for YEARS. So happy I’m over that now… love mushrooms and this looks delightful!


  9. bridget {bake at 350} on October 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Oh my gosh!!! I am SO making this ASAP! Everything about it looks and sounds amazing! Can’t wait!!!


  10. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough on October 11, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Seriously? Mushrooms?? Bechamel??? Fontina and Parmesan???? SO MUCH GOODNESS.


  11. Courtney @ Bake. Eat. Repeat. on October 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

    There is a general rule in our house. If it includes cheese and mushrooms, we will undoubtedly love it. Can’t wait to add another winner to our dinner line up!


  12. Cassie | Bake Your Day on October 11, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I much prefer vegetarian lasagna and this is right up my alley. Can’t wait to try!


  13. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on October 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Mmm love this take on lasagna!


  14. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on October 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Too funny – I’m working on a lasagna post too! I’ve always wanted to try a recipe for lasagna that wasn’t just the traditional kind. I’ll have to try this soon!


  15. Karen on October 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I am thinking of making this for a ladies lunch that I am giving. I won’t have time to prepare it on the morning of the lunch. Do you think I could prepare it the evening before and then just bake it right before lunch?


  16. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts on October 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I am all for traditional lasagna, but this looks amazing. I am a huge fan of mushrooms, so this has my name all over it!


    • Michelle on October 17th, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Hi Karen, Yes, I don’t see why you couldn’t assemble it the night before, cover, refrigerate, and then bake before lunch. Enjoy!


  17. Emily on October 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    This looks beautiful and sounds delicious!


  18. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on October 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Beautiful! A perfect vegetarian option.


  19. Laura Dembowski on October 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I have never liked red sauce but have always been intrigued by lasagna so this is right up my alley!


  20. Cari on October 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    This looks amazing! I am a huge mushroom fan and cannot wait to give this recipe a try! Thanks for sharing it!


  21. Georgie T on October 11, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    This dish is calling my name! I love reading your blog and hearing about your Italian roots. Having grown up in the western PA area, but living in MI for 15 years, I drool everytime you talk about the delicious Italian foods from your hometown area. I cannot wait until later this month when I come home to PA to celebrate my Mom’s 60th birthday; I always have a hitlist of places to visit, of course most of them revolve around the local food. I never appreciated the influence of Italian heritage until I moved away… the closest thing you can get to Italian in my area of MI is Olive Garden… and we all know that’s not the real deal. Keep up the GREAT work; I look forward to your posts daily.


  22. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on October 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    My mom is Italian as well, and she makes big Italian meals for all the holidays. I love the “non traditional” spin that you put on this…and I’m sure even if it’s not what they’re used to, our moms would totally approve!


  23. Jennifer on October 14, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I made this yesterday and then did not have a chance to taste it yet because it literally took 4 hours and 40 minutes to prepare. Now that I have prepared it once, I know to have all the chopping and mincing done in advance. Being the only one in the family who loves mushrooms, I divided the recipe into four loaf pans to freeze. This made perfect one-to-two person amounts. Will let you know how it turns out!


  24. kita on October 14, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    We never had lasagna. Im so jealous. It seriously only happened once every 5 years or so and came from a box from the freezer section. Now, I love me some frozen lasagna, but this mushroom lasagna sounds wonderful and creamy and perfect!


  25. Carolette on October 15, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Thank you for this recipe. I made this Friday and it was AWESOME. I froze half of it so we could enjoy it again this week.


  26. Samantha on October 15, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Bookmarking this recipe! Love mushrooms!


  27. Ericka on October 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I made this for my husband’s birthday over the weekend and it was positively delicious. Even though the recipe looked amazing (and I love mushrooms), I have to admit I was a little skeptical on whether this dish could possibly compete with one of my favorites – classic lasagna with meat sauce. Wow, did it ever! (And, it actually came out looking like the picture – not something I normally experience when cooking!) I only made 1/2 of a pan (since there were only two of us). Next time, I will make the entire recipe, as the leftovers we did have held up well in reheating. The only downside was the prep time – the recipe was definitely labor intensive, but so worth it – just make sure to start well in advance (even more than the recommended 1.5 hours unless you are a whiz in the kitchen).


  28. Noorie on October 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Just made it for dinner today!! Turned out amazing! Thank you for the recipe


  29. Angie @ Big Bear's Wife on October 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I’ve never thought about making a lasagna with a white sauce. Looks delicious!


  30. The Happy Glut on November 22, 2012 at 3:11 am

    This looks so delicious!! i can’t wait to try. i love your blog. I just tried the sweet dinner rolls recipe today and it turned out delicious!! thanks for posting it! 🙂


  31. Dovile on December 30, 2012 at 11:34 am

    This recipe was FANTASTIC! I just made it last night with my Mom since we’re both mushroom lovers. So good and worth some of the extra effort to make it. However, you might want to double the sauce recipe, we ran out after 2 layers. But, either way it was a scrumptious lasagna.


  32. Sidelines on July 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I made this recipe exactly, only with gluten free noodles and rice flour roux. I’m sorry to say it was exceedingly bland. It tasted like a somewhat messed up green bean casserole and while that isn’t exactly disgusting, it does not justify the time and ingredients. The different types of mushrooms and their preparations were indistinguishable and I felt really let down.


  33. Brooke M on July 29, 2014 at 7:47 am

    It took me a while to find comments from people who actually MADE this recipe! Most were from people who thought it looked good. Yes, it does look great. But it’s far more complicated than it needs to be. A friend of mine and I worked on it for FOUR HOURS! Once we were 2 hours into it, we couldn’t go back without wasting time, energy & expensive ingredients. Although the author warned that it was a complicated & time-consuming recipe, there were lots of other problems. It’s not explained or organized well. For instance, in one of the steps it says “Stir in the butter.” Stir it into what? We assumed it was to be stirred into the previous task. But no, it was a completely different part of the recipe! Therefore our “sauce” and the mushroom concoction became one and the same. I found myself washing bowls over and over again for yet another stage. It was delicious but I’ll never make it again unless I rewrote it with explicit instructions which isn’t worth it. There are simpler Mushroom Lasagna recipes out there. And just as delicious. BIG disappointment!


  34. Michael K. on July 29, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I was Brooke’s M’s co-chef on the mushroom lasagna experiment. I have to agree with her about the lack of “step by step” instructions. IF this recipe were more concise and written clearly a lot of time and mis-steps could have been saved and avoided. I will say the lasagna did turn out delicious, everyone loved it. But it was not worth all the time and effort. The recipe calls for an hour and half prep time. B.S.! Give yourself PLENTY of prep-time and then DOUBLE it and you may just have time to enjoy it the same day you baked it.


  35. Lisa in Canada on December 29, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I just made this for our family boxing day celebration….was told it was “exquisite”! Only took me an hour or so to prepare….popped it in the freezer uncooked and let it partially defrost before putting in the oven. Everyone wanted the recipe!


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