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This past weekend I held the first official dinner party at my house. One of the guests was vegetarian, so I took the opportunity to try out this recipe that I had bookmarked in the latest addition to my cookbook library, Cooking With All Things Trader Joe’s.  The recipe called out to me because of its relative ease to put together and its unique fusion of Indian and Italian cuisines. It seems almost too logical, now that I’ve had the dish, to combine Saag Paneer and spinach lasagna since both have essentially the same ingredients: spinach and cheese.

I’d call this a "spinach lasagna with Indian flair." The dish was super easy to whip together, due to the no boil noodles and already prepared ingredients.  This was a mighty good thing since I also had to make a traditional meaty, cheesy lasagna to make everyone else happy, and two peanut butter pies for dessert. Yes, two pies. That’s the topic of another post!

I was actually surprised, since every single person was adventurous and tried the Saag Paneer Lasagna, except for Tony who won’t go within 6 feet of cooked spinach. No one spit it back on their plates, which is a good sign. I’ve been eating leftovers all week, and they’re quite yummy! It’s much lighter than the traditional lasagna, but still very filling. I’ll definitely be turning to this recipe again for a quick, easy, vegetarian-friendly, company-worthy meal.

If you don’t have a TJ’s near you, you could easily substitute another pre-made Indian spinach sauce or make your own.

Saag Paneer Lasagna

Adapted from: Cooking With All Things Trader Joe’s
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
1 pkg Fresh No Boil Lasagna Noodles
2 (15-oz) jars Trader Joe’s Punjab Spinach Sauce
1 (16-oz) bag frozen chopped spinach
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 (15-oz) container Traditional Fresh Ricotta cheese
1 (8-oz) bag Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray or wipe a 9×13-inch baking pan with olive oil. Spread a few Tbsp Punjab sauce on the bottom. Add a single layer of lasagna noodles.
  3. Thaw spinach, or place it in a colander under cool water until thawed. Drain well, squeezing out excess water with your hands.
  4. In a bowl, combine spinach, peas, and remaining Punjab sauce. Mix well.
  5. Layer 1/4 of spinach mixture over noodles, followed by 1/3 of the ricotta and another layer of noodles. Press down lightly to compact layers. Repeat layering 2 more times. Spread final 1/4 of spinach mixture on noodles and top with a layer of mozzarella.
  6. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and cook 20 minutes longer, allowing cheese to get bubbly and golden.

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