Air Fryer Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach and Ricotta (no onion, no garlic, no egg)

This ultimate air fryer vegetarian lasagna with spinach and ricotta is my all-time favorite comfort food. Pasta loaded with vegetables, a creamy layer of spinach and ricotta, and pasta sauce make a hearty and comforting food to enjoy.

Lasagna is our family’s favorite comfort food. This veggie-filled lasagna tastes delicious, easy to make, and saves you a lot of time when air-fried.

The air fryer vegetable lasagna recipe is very adaptable. You can use any vegetables you have in your fridge and use them to make lasagna. The star ingredient in this recipe is ricotta and spinach. The ricotta and spinach layer gives this recipe a creamy and rich taste.

lasagna slice in a white dish with basil on top

When cooked in the air fryer, it saves you half the time compared to when cooked in a convection oven. There are only a few things that you need to be careful about when cooking vegetable lasagna in the air fryer.

My air fryer vegetarian lasagna recipe is tried and tasted. I have included all my tips and tricks to make perfect vegetarian lasagna in an air fryer in 30 minutes.

This recipe is vegetarian and made without onion, garlic, and eggs.

Can you cook Lasagna in Air Fryer?

Lasagna is a perfect dish to cook in the air fryer. You can use any bakeware that fits into your air fryer basket. First, start layering your lasagna in bakeware, and then place the pan/backware in the air fryer for cooking.

You can also air fry lasagna in an air fryer basket. For today’s recipe, I have layered lasagna in the air fryer basket directly.

If you are wondering, why cook lasagna in an air fryer?

Lasagna is traditionally cooked in the oven. Once you assemble the lasagna in a pan, it goes into the oven to cook. In a convection oven, it takes about 1 hour to cook lasagna.

When air frying lasagna, you can turn this recipe into a one-pan dish, and it takes less time to cook than when made in a convection oven.

Ingredients used in making Air Fryer Vegetarian lasagna with ricotta and spinach

This air fryer vegetarian lasagna consists of four-layer: Lasagna pasta, roasted vegetables, ricotta-spinach mixture, marinara sauce, and lots of mozzarella cheese in between. Here is the ingredient list and substitute suggestion.

Lasagna Pasta – I have used dried pasta for this recipe. First, boil the dry pasta until tender, and then make air fryer lasagna. Alternatively, you can use a no-bake lasagna pasta sheet, so you do not have to boil the pasta before cooking.

Vegetables – I have used bell pepper, zucchini, and broccoli for this recipe. You can add or skip any vegetables you like. For example, lasagna usually does not have broccoli, but my kids love them, so I included it in this recipe. Likewise, you can add mushrooms instead of broccoli if you like.

Spinach – Fresh spinach works best for this recipe. You can also use frozen spinach if you do not have fresh on hand.

Ricotta – I have used whole milk ricotta cheese. It adds creaminess and flavor to the recipe. Alternatively, you can use feta cheese.

Herbs – Fresh basil or dry basil, dries oregano or Italian herb mix

Marinara sauce – Use homemade marinara sauce or pasta sauce for this recipe. Jarred pasta sauce will work as well.

Jalapeno pepper –  If you like heat to your lasagna, add jalapeno peppers (optional).

Salt, black pepper – Add salt and pepper to taste

Mozzarella cheese – Use freshly grated mozzarella cheese

And, of course, an air fryer. Any model of air fryer works – basket or oven for this recipe. You also need a pan to boil for lasagna pasta.

You also need an air fryer crisper tray and aluminum foil.

How to make Air fryer Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach and Ricotta

This vegetable lasagna with spinach and ricotta is a three-step process. It does take some time to assemble lasagna, but all your hard work is worth it when you take a bite of this vegetable lasagna.

Here is a step-by-step process of making vegetarian lasagna in the air fryer

Boil dried pasta for lasagna

If you are using a dried pasta sheet (one with a ridge) for lasagna, then follow the direction on the box to boil the pasta. Or follow the direction below.

uncooked and cooked lasagna pasta
  • Fill a large pan with water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add salt and olive oil to the boiling water.
  • Add dries pasta and parboil for 5-6 minutes.
  • Once cooked, drain water and let it cool.

If you want to avoid the step of boiling pasta, use a no-bake dry pasta sheet for making lasagna. I had dried pasta with a ridge on hand, so I used them for this recipe. But you can certainly use a no-bake dry pasta sheet to save time on boiling your pasta.

Air Fry vegetables

Wash and pat dry vegetables.

cut vegetables - yellow bell pepper, spinach, zucchini, ricotta-spinach mixture
  • Thinly slice bell pepper, zucchini, and jalapeno pepper lengthwise, and cut small flowrates of broccoli.
  • Add cut vegetables and jalapeno pepper into the air fryer basket and olive oil, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  • Air Fry your vegetables at 400° for 4-5 minutes.  
  • Do not overcook your vegetables. Once they soften, turn the air fryer off. The rest of the cooking will be done when the lasagna is cooking.
  • Transfer semi-cooked vegetables into a bowl.

PS – You do not need to wash your air fryer basket after air frying vegetables. Later you can use the basket to assemble your lasagna.

Alternatively, you can season raw vegetables with salt and pepper without roasting for lasagna, but you will need to let them cook more once you assemble the lasagna in the air fryer.

Spinach and Ricotta mixture

  • Wash the bunch of spinach under running water.
  • Let the water drain completely and dry the spinach with a kitchen towel.
  • You do not want extra water in your spinach that could make runny lasagna.
  • Cut the spinach into small pieces and mix it with ricotta cheese.
  • Season the mixture with Italian seasoning.

Many people like to sauté spinach before mixing it with ricotta cheese. The sauteing will wilt down the spinach, and you can then remove extra water from the spinach to prevent the release of water while cooking lasagna.

If you like to sauté spinach, you can sauté them in butter. If your diet allows, you can add garlic, onion, and spices to spinach while sauteing.

Once cooked, transfer them to the sieve to drain any excess water from the spinach.

Then add ricotta cheese with cooked spinach and add salt and water as needed.

How to assemble vegetable lasagna with spinach and ricotta

I have a Gourmia air fryer with 6 qt nonstick basket. The basket holds 3 ½ boiled pasta in one layer. So, you will need 10 boiled dried pasta with ridge for this recipe. It is the perfect size for 2-3 people and left over for lunch the next day.

If you do not want to cook directly in an air fryer basket, you can assemble lasagna into a 7-inch round cake pan. It fits nicely into the air fryer basket. It will make a round lasagna.

Let’s assemble the lasagna in an air fryer basket

First, take marinara sauce and make a thin layer of sauce at the bottle on the air fryer basket so the pasta does not stick to the bottom. It will also keep pasta moist while cooking.

step of assembling lasagna in air fryer basket

Next, add a layer of boiled pasta sheets. If your air fryer basket is 6 qt, it will take 3 ½ pasta to cover the bottom of the pan. You can cut the pasta sheets to fit the air fryer basket.

On top of the pasta layer, add semi-cooked vegetables. Spread vegetables equally over the pasta.

Then sprinkle on mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella cheese will act as a binding factor in the absence of an egg.

Next, add another layer of boiled pasta to cover and vegetables.

step of assembling lasagna in air fryer basket

Add a thin layer of pasta sauce.

On top of the pasta and sauce layer, add spinach and ricotta mixture. Spread the mixture evenly over the pasta.

Then sprinkle on mozzarella cheese.

Add a final layer of boiled pasta.

Top with tomato sauce to cover the pasta.

Add mozzarella cheese (as much as you like) for a cheesy top layer.

Air Frying Lasagna

Once it’s assembled, you can air fry them immediately or place them in a refrigerator for later cooking.

air fryer vegetarian lasagna with spinach and ricotta in a basket and one with crisper plate on basket

When ready to air fry, take an air fryer crisper tray and cover the bottom of the crisper plate or whole crisper plate with aluminum foil (more on it below).

Place aluminum-covered crisper tray on top of air basket with layered lasagna.

Ensure the crisper tray does not touch the top cheesy layer of lasagna.

(when you cover the crisper tray with aluminum foil, it won’t fall inside your basket because of an aluminum foil bulk at the edge of the crisper tray)

cooked air fryer vegetarian lasagna with spinach and ricotta i

When ready, place the basket in the air fryer and air fry lasagna at 360°F for 25 minutes.

Once 25 minutes is done, take out the crisper tray with aluminum foil and cook for 5-8 minutes for the top layer to brown up. 

Once it is cooked, let it sit for 15-20 minutes for lasagna to set before you dig in.

Tips for success

  • Do not overuse marinara or pasta sauce for this recipe. Because pasta is parboiled, you do not need more marinara sauce on each layer. If you use more sauce, your lasagna will be runny.
  • Vegetables release water while cooking, so make sure to drain released water after air frying vegetables
  • Ensure to drain and dry spinach well before mixing it with ricotta cheese.
  • To prevent the top part from burning, you need to use aluminum foil to cover the lasagna while cooking.
  • As shown in the picture, I have used an aluminum foil-covered crisper tray to cover the lasagna in the air fryer basket. If you don’t have a crisper tray, you need to use a pan that goes into the air fryer basket.
  • Air fryer lasagna is covered and cooked at low temperatures to prevent the top from burning.  

Recipe Variation

This recipe is adaptable; you can make them vegan, use different vegetables or avoid them altogether. Here are some suggestions.

  • You can use homemade pasta sauce instead of jarred sauce.
  • Use a no-back lasagna pasta sheet so you do not have to pre-boil before assembling the lasagna.
  • Use arugula, kale, or other greens with spinach instead of spinach.
  • You can altogether avoid vegetables and layer your lasagna with spinach and ricotta. Divide spinach and ricotta in half, and instead of a roasted vegetable layer, make a two-layer of spinach and ricotta. Only ricotta and spinach lasagna will be too heavy, so I like to add a layer of vegetables to keep it light and hearty.
  • Replace any vegetables with whatever you like. For example, add sauteed mushroom, onion, and garlic.
  • Replace ricotta cheese with feta or cottage cheese.
  • For air fryer vegan vegetable lasagna, use non-dairy cashew ricotta or tofu ricotta instead of whole milk ricotta.

Do I have to use Aluminium Foil in an Air fryer?

For air frying any casserole dish in the air fryer, you need to use aluminum foil in the air fryer. Covering with aluminum foil helps even cooking and protects the top layer from burning.

When you are air frying lasagna in an air fryer basket, it may seem hard to cover the lasagna with aluminum foil, but there is work around this.

Most of the basket model of air fryer comes with a crisper tray. You can wrap the bottom part of the crisper tray with aluminum foil, as shown in the image below. Then place the aluminum foil-covered crisper tray over the lasagna in the air fryer basket.

air fryer crisper tray wrapped in aluminum foil

The extra bulge of aluminum foil at the edge of the crisper tray won’t let it fall on the top layer of lasagna. Therefore, if your crisper tray doesn’t hold above the top layer of lasagna, place it in a slanted position inside the basket over the top of the layered lasagna. By doing so, you will have only one part of aluminum foil touch the cheese layer of the lasagna, which is more manageable than cheese ticking to aluminum foil rather than your lasagna.

If you do not want to use aluminum foil, you may have to cook everything – roast vegetables, cook spinach before mixing with ricotta, and use warm sauce when assembling the lasagna. Then, when you have everything ready to eat, you do not need a long time to cook the lasagna in the air fryer.

To make this recipe without using aluminum foil, pre-cook all the ingredients before assembling and air frying at 360°F for 8-10 minutes. Do not cook more than that without aluminum foil; otherwise, the top layer will be burned.

How long to cook lasagna in an air fryer?

Air fryer lasagna temperature varies depending on the model you have. But the rule of thumb when cooking lasagna in the air fryer is – to air fry them covered at low temperature.

The time for cooking also varies depending on whether you have started with raw ingredients or cooked ingredients. For example, if you have used roasted or sauteed vegetables, warm sauce, and sauteed spinach, you do not need a long time to cook lasagna in the air fryer as everything is ready to eat. In that case, you need to cook lasagna at 360°F for 15-20 minutes covered and 5 minutes uncovered for the cheese to brown on top.

I have used roasted vegetables, raw spinach and ricotta mixture, and warm sauce, and it took me 360°F for 30 minutes covered and 5 minutes uncovered to cook my lasagna.

Can you freeze air fryer vegetable lasagna with spinach and ricotta?

If you assemble your lasagna in an air fryer basket, you want to cook them right away as you can not freeze it as the basket is too big to go in your freezer. But if you are planning to air fry lasagna the next day or later, you want to assemble them in a pan that fits into your air fryer basket.

When using a pan to assemble vegetable lasagna, refrigerate them for 24 hours for cooking the next day. When ready to cook, take them out from the refrigerator, cover them with aluminum foil and cook them at 360°F for 30-35 minutes.

You can freeze assembled air fryer lasagna with spinach and ricotta for cooking at a later date. Layer your lasagna in a pan that fits your air fryer basket, wrap them tightly, and freeze them.

When you are ready to cook, uncover them, cover them with aluminum foil, and air fry at 360° for 40-14 minutes.

FAQs

Why is my Air Fryer Vegetarian Lasagna watery?

The common reason why your air fryer vegetarian lasagna is watery could be – too much sauce, vegetables releasing water while cooking, wet cooked pasta, moisture from ricotta, or not cooling lasagna before slicing.

If you are cooking ingredients outside before assembling the lasagna, drain excess water and do not use too much sauce while layering your lasagna.

Why did my Air fryer lasagna turn out dry?

If you air fry lasagna without aluminum foil, it will dry, and the top will be overdone. Instead, cover air fryer lasagna with aluminum foil for 20-25 minutes and then uncover it for cheesy to brown up for the last 5 minutes.

Should frozen lasagna be thawed before air frying?

You should never thaw frozen cooked food before air frying. For example, frozen lasagna should be directly cooked in an air fryer without defrosting. When cooking frozen food, make sure to add additional cooking time to the air fryer.

What can I replace ricotta cheese in lasagna?

You can replace ricotta cheese with cottage cheese or feta cheese. Cottage cheese has a similar mild taste, fewer calories, and less fat than ricotta cheese.

For vegan vegetable lasagna, you can replace ricotta cheese with cashews ricotta or tofu ricotta.

Other easy Air Fryer recipe

Keto Air Fryer Eggplant fries

Keto Vegan Rice paper Dumplings

Potato cheese balls without breading (Gluten-free)

Cassava Fries (not keto)

Air Fryer Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats (Vegan, Keto)

Air Fryer Zucchini Pizza boats (Gluten-free)

Air Fryer Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach and Ricotta (no onion, no garlic, no egg)

Recipe by PiaraCourse: DinnerCuisine: Italian
Servings

3

servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

55

minutes

This ultimate air fryer vegetarian lasagna with spinach and ricotta is my all-time favorite comfort food. Pasta loaded with vegetables, a creamy layer of spinach and ricotta, and pasta sauce make a hearty and comforting food to enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 10 lasagna dried pasta sheets with a ridge (parboiled)

  • 1 medium-size bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup broccoli florets

  • 1 medium-size zucchini, thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped

  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers (thinly sliced or chopped)

  • 15 ounce (454 gram) Whole milk ricotta cheese

  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 1 tsp Italian herb mix (or dries oregano and basil to season vegetables while air frying and spinach and ricotta mix)

  • Salt to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 3/4 cups marinara sauce or homemade pasta sauce

  • Water to boil pasta

  • Olive oil

Directions

  • Boil dried pasta for lasagna
  • Fill a large pan with water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add salt and olive oil to the boiling water.
  • Add dries pasta and parboil for 5-6 minutes.
  • Once cooked, drain water and let it cool.
  • Air Fry vegetables
  • Wash and pat dry vegetables.
  • Thinly slice bell pepper and zucchini lengthwise and cut small flowrates of broccoli.
  • Add cut vegetables into the air fryer basket and olive oil, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning.
  • Air Fry your vegetables at 400° for 4-5 minutes.
  • Do not overcook your vegetables. Once they soften, turn the air fryer off. The rest of the cooking will be done when the lasagna is cooking.
  • Transfer semi-cooked vegetables into a bowl.
  • Spinach and Ricotta mixture
  • Wash the bunch of spinach under running water.
  • Let the water drain completely and dry the spinach with a kitchen towel.
  • You do not want extra water in your spinach that could make runny lasagna.
  • Cut the spinach into small pieces and mix it with ricotta cheese.
  • Add Italian herb mix to season the mixture.
  • Assemble the lasagna in an air fryer basket
  • First, take marinara sauce and make a thin layer of sauce at the bottle on the air fryer basket so the pasta does not stick to the bottom. It will also keep pasta moist while cooking.
  • Next, add a layer of boiled pasta sheets. If your air fryer basket is 6 qt, it will take 3 ½ pasta to cover the bottom of the pan. You can cut the pasta sheets to fit the air fryer basket.
  • On top of the pasta layer, add semi-cooked vegetables. Spread vegetables equally over the pasta.
  • Then sprinkle on mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella cheese will act as a binding factor in the absence of an egg.
  • Next, add another layer of boiled pasta to cover and vegetables.
  • Add a thin layer of pasta sauce.
  • On top of the pasta and sauce layer, add spinach and ricotta mixture. Spread the mixture evenly over the pasta.
  • Then sprinkle on mozzarella cheese.
  • Add a final layer of boiled pasta.
  • Top with tomato sauce to cover the pasta.
  • Add mozzarella cheese (as much as you like) for a cheesy top layer.
  • Air Frying Lasagna
  • Once it’s assembled, you can air fry them immediately or place them in a refrigerator for later cooking.
  • When ready to air fry, take an air fryer crisper tray and cover the bottom of the crisper plate or whole crisper plate with aluminum foil (more on it below).
  • Place aluminum-covered crisper tray on top of air basket with layered lasagna.
  • Ensure the crisper tray does not touch the top cheesy layer of lasagna.
  • (when you cover the crisper tray with aluminum foil, it won’t fall inside your basket because of an aluminum foil bulk at the edge of the crisper tray)
  • When ready, place the basket in the air fryer and air fry lasagna at 360°F for 25 minutes.
  • Once 25 minutes is done, take out the crisper tray with aluminum foil and cook for 5-8 minutes for the top layer to brown up.
  • Once it is cooked, let it sit for 15-20 minutes for lasagna to set before you dig in.

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