Traditional lasagna is delicious—nobody would ever deny that. But sometimes you want to do something more interesting than just heat up a Stouffer’s five-cheese lasagna or spend an entire Sunday assembling your Nonna’s classic mozzarella and meat sauce dish. Here are nine recipes for lasagna with inventive flavor combinations and unusual twists.
Photo and recipe of Vegan Lasagna from CHOW
Try out our vegetarian-friendly lasagna that combines red kale, Swiss chard, ricotta, and Parmesan for a satisfying and hearty winter dish. Somehow, this pasta dish manages to pack in two pounds of healthy greens, which in my book more than makes up for the heavy cream and crème fraîche.
Photo and recipe from CHOW
2. Squash and Broccoli Rabe Lasagna
Fresh sage, rosemary, lemon, crushed red pepper flakes, and Parmesan amp up the flavor in this butternut squash and broccoli rabe lasagna. Creamy béchamel sauce and a pound of mozzarella, in addition to a pound of whole-milk ricotta, makes this a showstopper dinner party dish.
Photo and recipe from Bon Appétit
3. Zucchini Lasagna
Try using zucchini ribbons instead of noodles for a lighter, pasta-free dish. This recipe from Aube Giroux cautions cooks to salt the zucchini and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. Along with zucchini, this recipe packs in mushrooms, Swiss chard, onions, and fresh basil for a bright, light take on lasagna.
Photo and recipe from PBS
4. Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Lasagna
Sweet potatoes are an unexpected addition to this squash-based lasagna, along with whole-wheat lasagna noodles. Mascarpone lends a creaminess to the dish and blends well with the cooked spinach. Topped with sage leaves that crisp up in the oven, this dish tastes as good as it looks.
Photo and recipe from Call Me Mrs. Rapp
5. Zucchini Bulgur Open Lasagna
“Open lasagna” is a creative and beautiful new take on the traditional dish. Bulgur cooked in red wine–tomato sauce and grilled zucchini are stacked in layers and sprinkled with Parmesan—you can make individual portions or one large pan if you’re serving a crowd. This is an incredibly simple recipe that looks impressive and can be made at any time of year.
Photo and recipe from Rice and Bread
6. Wonton Lasagna Stacks
This lasagna recipe practically serves itself. Wonton wrappers instead of noodles make it easy to serve a single portion, and pesto with marinara sauce keeps this dish safely in the Italian zone despite the wonton wrappers. The recipe comes together quickly and can be made with ingredients you already have in the pantry; it’s a great last-minute dish to have in your back pocket.
Photo and recipe from Live Love Pasta
Just because you’re making lasagna doesn’t mean you need to use red sauce. Basil, Parmesan, garlic, and pine nuts make a delicious pesto that pairs well with the pea and whole-milk ricotta cheese filling. As the recipe warns, there are a lot of components here but since none of them are cooked, this green lasagna isn’t as hard as it sounds.
Photo and recipe from CHOW
8. Lasagna Pie
Lasagna pie, also known as lasagna timpano, is an unbelievably dense rendition of lasagna that involves as many Italian ingredients as you can think of: salami, Alfredo sauce, pesto, Parmesan, provolone, and even ricotta. Don’t attempt this unless you’re serving a crowd—once you’ve constructed this masterpiece you’ll find that a thin slice is more than enough to serve with a side of sauce.
Photo and recipe from The Food in My Beard
9. Salmon Frying Pan Lasagna
Frying pan lasagna is versatile and fun to assemble; the salmon in this dish adds a ton of protein and an unusual twist. Fresh ricotta, grated lemon rind, garlic, and fresh basil pair well with the salmon, and you can use fresh fish or canned, whatever you have on hand.
Photo and recipe from Taste
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.