Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake

Lasagna is an all-time classic comfort food, but not exactly lite.

A pound each of mozzarella, ricotta, ground beef, sausage, and noodles doesn’t work for me.

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF) - This meatless & noodle-less lasagna is hearty, comforting & healthier so you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without worry!

This lasagna bake is meatless, noodle-less, gluten-free, and uses just 8 ounces cheese for the whole pan. Use vegan cheese to keep it vegan rather than vegetarian.

I won’t say it tastes ‘just like lasagna’ but for me, that’s okay. Lasagna is way too heavy and I’ve never like ricotta anyway.

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF) - This meatless & noodle-less lasagna is hearty, comforting & healthier so you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without worry!

If you’re looking for an easy family vegetarian dinner that’s lighter, ready in 1 hour, makes planned leftovers, and is also budget-friendly, this one is for you.

The leftovers are even better because the flavors marry and have more time to develop.

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF) - This meatless & noodle-less lasagna is hearty, comforting & healthier so you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without worry!

To make it, cook the quinoa on the stove, which takes about 15 minutes. I used white quinoa. Use your favorite.

Transfer the cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl and toss with your favorite jarred or homemade marinara sauce, shredded cheese, a tiny drizzle of olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. I used fresh basil, but dried is fine.

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF) - This meatless & noodle-less lasagna is hearty, comforting & healthier so you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without worry!

Transfer to a baking dish, bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is golden, and the edges are set.

Dinner is ready in one hour from start to finish. Love that.

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF) - This meatless & noodle-less lasagna is hearty, comforting & healthier so you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without worry!

It’s hearty and comforting, but in a lighter way so you feel full and satisfied, but not stuffed or in a gluten and grease coma, which can happen after traditional lasagna.

Serve it with a salad or steamed or roasted veggies, and you’re set.

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF) - This meatless & noodle-less lasagna is hearty, comforting & healthier so you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without worry!

My family loved this and I was happy knowing not only that it was healthy, but that I had leftovers to pack in lunches the next day.

It’s the simple things.

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF) - This meatless & noodle-less lasagna is hearty, comforting & healthier so you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without worry!

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF) - This meatless & noodle-less lasagna is hearty, comforting & healthier so you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without worry!

Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake

Lasagna is an all-time classic comfort food, but not exactly lite. A pound each of mozzarella, ricotta, ground beef, sausage, and noodles doesn’t work for me. This lasagna bake is meatless, noodle-less, gluten-free, and uses just 8 ounces cheese for the whole pan. Use vegan cheese to keep it vegan rather than vegetarian. It’s hearty and comforting in a lighter way so you feel full and satisfied, but not stuffed or in a gluten and grease coma. This vegetarian, family-friendly dinner is ready in one hour, makes planned leftovers for lunches the next day, and is budget-friendly, too.

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups dry, uncooked quinoa
3 cups water
2 cups marina sauce (storebought or homemade)
8 ounces shredded cheese (use your favorite cheese blend; lite/reduced fat/vegan cheese okay), divided
2 tablespoons fresh or dried basil, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa with water, and heat uncovered over high heat until mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Turn stove to low or simmer, cover, and cook until all the water has evaporated and quinoa has cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and test a bite.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, preheat oven to 375F and spray a medium/large baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. I used this pan and recommend a 9×9-inch pan for thicker lasagna, or 9×13-inch pan for thinner.
  4. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the marinara sauce, about two-thirds of the cheese (reserve remainder to be sprinkled on before baking), 1 tablespoon basil (reserve remainder), olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Turn mixture out into prepared baking dish, smoothing it lightly with a spatula and pressing it down gently.
  7. Evenly sprinkle with reserved cheese and reserved basil.
  8. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until cheese on top is golden and edges are slightly set. Baking times will vary based on the exact dimensions of your baking pan and personal preference. Serve immediately. Extra portion will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Only Eats

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79 comments on “Lightened Up Cheesy Quinoa Lasagna Bake”

  1. I would love to try this–my quinoa usually goes from saucepan to plate so this is just the change up I need. Fast and easy with leftovers…my kind of recipe!. I made something similar last month with spag. squash instead of quinoa and an egg mixed in to help it set. That beautiful red baking dish really caught my eye too!

    • Thanks for noticing the baking dish. I bought it for this recipe :) I mean I knew I’d make other things in it, but I figured it would be perfect for this one. And I remember you told me you had a stash of homemade marinara a few weeks ago and I had just gotten done making this!

  2. Did I miss where the marinara sauce gets mixed in?…

  3. Ooooh, I love this! We incorporate quinoa at least once a week in one of our dinners… This would be great new way to use it!

  4. Averie, can you please post something that we dislike so we can stop drooling around here :)
    We will surely try this yummy Quinoa Lasagna!

  5. What an awesome spin on quinoa! BTW, I love the red casserole dish!

  6. So crazy that you posted this – I just had a wild rice lasagna dish at someone’s house and was thinking, someone should try this with quinoa! Leave it to you to do it beautifully!! Can’t wait to try!

  7. This recipe is speaking my language! Quick and easy with planned leftovers. Yes, please. And a lightened up lasagna dish is just what I need right now: comfort food-ish but not a million calories. Perfect. :)

  8. That sounds really good. I’ve been making an eggplant lasagna w/ tofu ricotta and adding in quinoa. Initially it was to absorb some of the liquid, but turns out, it adds great texture too

  9. I’m a lasagna girl, I admit, but I have to say that this is calling my name!!! It looks incredible!!

  10. Oh my goodness, Averie, quinoa lasagna?! This is brilliant. Pinning and definitely trying ASAP. Love it. And beautifully enticing photos!

  11. Okay I’m totally making this! I think my husband would actually eat it. Love this!!

  12. LOVE this Averie! I’ve been making quinoa lots lately and am always looking for even more ways to incorporate it into our meals.

  13. I just love this idea! I’m Italian and therefore mildly obsessed with lasagna but only have it once in a blue moon because it’s just so dang heavy! I can’t wait to try this lightened up version. Thanks for inspiration!

  14. WOAH! I can’t wait to try this – I love cooking with Quinoa and using it in place of pasta from time to time! Can I just say I love how your photos are always so beautiful and bright!!

  15. Gurrrrrl, this is brilliant!! It’s definitely going to be dinner, real soon!

  16. Even though I am an absolute lasagna fanatic, this recipe has me intrigued … and drooling! The quinoa addition sounds so good. And the red dish – very pretty!

  17. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, but I would totally eat this. It looks amazing! Just as good, if not better, than regular lasagna. I like lasagna, but I agree, ricotta is not my favorite with it. Plus that red baking dish is gorgeous. :)

  18. This looks like a great hearty meal and I love that it’s lighter and healthier than most! I’ve never been a big fan of Ricotta either. Cute red pan, too. :)

  19. Um, WHOA. This is the most mouthwatering use of quinoa I’ve ever seen! Great recipe, Averie! So hearty and healthy.

  20. This is SO creative and amazing, Averie! I would happily skip the “real” version for two slices of this any night ;) xo

  21. I stayed away from lasagna for the same reasons! To finally feel full, I had to eat at least 2 servings, but then I felt greasy and gross for the next few days. Not worth it. Your version sounds so much better, especially with the fresh basil! It’s my all-time favorite herb, and I add it to everything I can (well, within reason… it’s my guy’s least favorite and he avoids it at all costs!). And as always, I love your photos. They’re so crisp and clean with bright cheerful colors! Where did you find that red serving dish? It’s so pretty!

    P.S. Pinning this now! :)

  22. Oh Averie this looks absolutely divine! I have yet to make a quinoa bake, and I’m definitely going to be testing the waters with this one! Thank you so much for sharing, your dishes (and photos) are always mouthwatering :) xo!

  23. I’ve been looking for new ways to make quinoa, so this is a must! I love that it makes good leftovers as well.

  24. I love the idea of a Quinoa Casserole. What a great dish!

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