While lasagna has traditionally been a gluten minefield, this gluten free lasagna recipe is delicious and easy to make. It also tells you how to pick the best gluten free lasagna noodles, the best way to handle leftovers, how to reheat them, and more. This recipe is nut free, soy free, and shellfish free, too. It can also be made meat free if you prefer.
9 minute read
Ah, lasagna. The multi-layer comfort food mountain of cheese, sauce, and pasta that lets you feed an impressive number of people with a relatively minimal amount of effort. It’s especially convenient for dinner parties, where you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until the perfect moment.
Alas, for the longest time lasagna was out of reach for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. Not anymore! Here you’ll find a delicious and easy to make gluten free lasagna recipe that everyone can enjoy.
- A brief history of lasagna
- History of the gluten free lasagna recipe
- Is there a good gluten free lasagna noodle?
- Can you boil oven ready gluten free lasagna noodles?
- Where to buy gluten free lasagna noodles?
- How to handle leftovers
- Can you reheat gluten free lasagna?
- Possible meal pairings
- Can you make gluten free lasagna in advance?
- The recipe
A Brief History of Lasagna
While most people know lasagna comes from Italy, they may not know that tomato sauce is a latecomer to the pasta party.
The word “lagana” refers to a dish that goes all the way back to Roman times. It wasn’t the lasagna we know, though. It was just a plain baked pasta dish.
By the 1200’s, the term “lasagna” was being used, with records showing cheese being added to it. Egg came in during the Renaissance.
Tomatoes first appeared in lasagna recipe from Naples in the 1880’s. The lasagna we know and love finally appeared and became popular in the early 1900’s.
History of the Gluten Free Lasagna Recipe
This recipe is one that my mom gave me when I first moved out on my own. She had gotten it from a magazine ages ago and then modified it until it fit our family’s preferences.
Her new and improved version was a staple of my childhood. I’ll admit I don’t have much interest in fancier lasagna recipes, as this one is easy to make and easy to love.
I’m not saying I have anything against fancier recipes, just that “easy, simple, and tasty” works well enough for me :-).
Is There a Good Gluten Free Lasagna Noodle?
Absolutely! Compared to even a few years ago, people eating a gluten-free diet out of medical necessity or personal choice have so many more options available to them. This extends to pasta.
Gluten Free Noodles of the Past
When I first learned I had celiac disease and had to go gluten free, brown rice pasta was the order of the day. Brown rice spaghetti. Brown rice macaroni and cheese. Or, to really shake things up, brown rice rotini.
Don’t get me wrong, brown rice pasta is a perfectly fine pasta substitute. If you’re eating it right away, that is.
In my experience, any leftover brown rice pasta dish turned into a solid uni-pasta when you pulled it out of the fridge later. I got a particular kick out of the first time I made a large dish of brown rice mac and cheese and portioned out leftovers to take to work for lunch. The next day in the break room I stuck my fork into the container, and the entire serving came out in one Tupperware-molded blob.
I actually rolled the dice once and made a lasagna with brown rice noodles, knowing that there would be a ton of leftovers.
It… was a disappointment.
Gluten Free Noodles Now
Nowadays, we have a lot of options. Blends of different grains and beans come together to make pasta that looks, tastes, and generally behaves like “real” pasta.
I still see brown rice pasta out there – frankly, I haven’t used it in ages, so maybe it’s improved. Let me know in the comments if it has – I’m genuinely curious.
For lasagna, however, I have two brands that I have used with great success: Barilla Gluten-Free Oven-Ready Lasagne, and Chickapea Organic Lasagne (apparently I’m the cretin for spelling it lasagna. Oh well).
The Chickapea noodles are also Certified Gluten Free as well as organic, Vegan, Kosher, Egg Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, and Shellfish Free. They are made from organic chickpea flour and organic red and yellow lentil flour. This option also adds extra protein. (this pasta has the curly edges you’re probably used to in your lasagna noodles, and it’s the pasta I used when making the lasagna I took pictures of for this post)
I thoroughly enjoyed the two lasagnas I made with both of these noodles, and I honestly don’t think anyone who did a blind taste test would be able to tell the resulting dish apart from its full-of-gluten version.
I’ve heard some people say they don’t like the flavor of lentil pasta in your simpler “pasta + sauce” type dishes, but I really don’t think they’d have a problem with it here.
I love the flavor of lentil pasta, actually, but I didn’t detect it in the lasagna. There’s so much going on with the cheeses and the sauce and the (optional) meat that the texture of the pasta matters way more than any muted flavors, and both these pastas have great texture and flavors that support the other ingredients instead of overwhelming them.
Can You Boil Oven Ready Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles?
While technically you CAN boil oven ready gluten free lasagna noodles, it’s not recommended. Put the noodles directly into your lasagna dish uncooked for the best results.
Where to Buy Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles
Many grocery stores carry gluten free lasagna noodles, and they also are available online. Specifically, in my area Barilla Gluten-Free Oven-Ready Lasagne, and Chickapea Organic Lasagne can both be found at Walmart, Kroger, Publix, and Whole Foods.
Online, Chickapea Organic Lasagne can be purchased directly from the Chickapea website in a 6-pack. If Amazon is more your thing, you can order Chickapea Organic Lasagne from there, too. Thrive Market has it, also, as a two-pack.
Barilla Gluten-Free Oven-Ready Lasagne has a nice feature on their website where they will show you the current local and online options for you to purchase their product.
How to Handle Leftovers
It’s lasagna, so unless you’re feeding a small army, there’s gonna be leftovers. Fortunately, gluten free lasagna made with the two pasta varieties mentioned above freezes remarkably well.
My go-to for freezing leftovers is Reditainer 8 oz and 16 oz Food Containers. I purchased packs of both of them 5 years ago and have been using them every since. I use them along with Scotch Freezer Tape to make single and double servings of leftovers which I label and then freeze.
The 8 oz size is perfect for holding a single serving of lasagna, so you’ve got your very own homemade frozen dinners.
Can You Reheat Gluten Free Lasagna?
Yes, you can. The keys to storing and reheating gluten free lasagna are to use the right noodles, to store it as individual portions, and to microwave it slowly and carefully.
Barilla Gluten-Free Oven-Ready Lasagne, and Chickapea Organic Lasagne are my two favorites (for the reasons I went into above). I have not had great success freezing and reheating lasagna made with plain brown rice noodles. The texture of the pasta changed dramatically and wasn’t exactly appetizing.
Also as mentioned above, I recommend using small freezer-safe containers like Reditainer 8 oz and 16 oz Food Containers to freeze individual portions.
As far as the actual reheating goes… I’ve mentioned in other posts my personal tried-and-true method for reheating frozen foods to make them pretty much as good as new. Well, it works here too.
For a single portion of frozen gluten free lasagna, put that portion into the smallest microwave-safe bowl that will hold it. Add a little water to the bottom (maybe 1/4 inch deep). Then take a piece of paper towel big enough to completely cover the top of the bowl. Soak it in water, then drape it over the bowl and lasagna (it’s fine if it’s touching the lasagna and sagging down around it).
Microwave it all at about 50% power for 3 minutes, then check to see how thawed it is. Repeat as necessary. If you notice the water has disappeared before the lasagna is completely hot and ready, add a little more.
Once it’s heated to your desired temperature, take it out, discard the paper towel, and drain any water that’s left at the bottom. Honestly, there probably won’t be any.
I know this takes a little more effort and time than just sticking it on a plate and nuking it on high for a couple minutes. Trust me, though, the results are worth it. Your lasagna will be evenly heated and moist and pretty darn close to its original form.
Can You Make Gluten Free Lasagna in Advance?
Yes. Using the noodles mentioned in this post, I have made gluten free lasagna up to a day in advance. I covered it and stored it in the fridge until I was ready to bake.
While I’m always a fan of things being as fresh as possible, I’m also a fan of practicality and time-saving. After baking, I didn’t notice any great difference in the final product.
Possible Meal Pairings
I find this lasagna goes really well with a salad or a side of roasted vegetables. If you need quick and easy, I recommend the salad route.
A small side salad of mixed greens or spinach topped with a gluten free salad dressing is definitely quick and easy. More and more salad dressing brands are offering gluten free options, too. One of my favorite brands is Marzetti’s – I love their wide variety of gluten free dressing options.
For bread on the side, garlic bread is the classic choice – and it’s a great one. However, it can be difficult to find gluten free baguettes or French bread. Or, if you can find it, you’ll likely pay an arm and a leg for it. Premade gluten free dinner rolls are equally difficult and expensive.
A non-traditional alternative option that was very popular in my family was my mom’s famous Gluten Free Pecan Mini Muffins. They’re small but highly addictive, so be sure to make enough for people to come back for seconds. And thirds. And… 😉
Gluten Free Lasagna
- 13" x 9" Baking Dish
- 1 lb Ground Turkey (OPTIONAL)
- 32 oz Marinara Sauce
- 1½ lbs Ricotta Cheese
- 4 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded (Reserve 2 cups) Part-skim works fine
- 2 Eggs
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (Reserve 2 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp Parsley, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 16 oz Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles I prefer Chickapea Organic Oven-Ready Lasagna, but Barilla's Gluten Free Oven-Ready works well, too
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- OPTIONAL: Brown turkey in large skillet, then drain any fat. Add marinara sauce and simmer 5 minutes or until heated through. Set aside.
- Combine the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, the eggs, 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese, the parsley, the salt, and the pepper in a single large bow. Mix well, then set aside.
- Spread ¾ cup of the marinara sauce (or meat + marinara sauce) over the bottom of the 13" x 9" baking dish.
- Make a layer of noodles (if using Chickapea, use 3 noodles. If using Barilla, use 4)
- Spread about 1¾ cup of the cheese mixture and then ¾ cup of your sauce over the noodles.
- Repeat this (layer of noodles, then cheese, then sauce) twice.
- For the last layer, put the last three noodles, then top with whatever sauce is left followed by the reserved 2 cups of mozzarella and the rest of the parmesan cheese.
- Cover, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
- Remove the cover, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until bubbly.
- Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.
One Last Bite
Gluten free lasagna doesn’t have to be a stodgy, second-rate substitute for the gluten version. People with gluten intolerance or celiac disease can use this recipe to make a delicious and quick equivalent to the “real” gluten-ful variety.
As an extra bonus, the gluten free lasagna noodles we recommend also have more protein and nutrients than many “regular” noodles! It’s a win-win!
With the right gluten free noodles and our gluten free lasagna recipe, you can have a quick and easy gluten free lasagna. It’s delicious, too, so it’ll make everyone happy whether they have to eat gluten free or not. Also, you can make it ahead of time so it’s a great choice for get togethers or week night family dinners.
If you’d like more recipes for these same specific dietary issues, head to these pages for all our gluten free recipes, soy free recipes, nut free recipes, and shellfish free recipes. For our full list of recipes, please visit our complete recipe list. For our full list of reviews of allergen free food and related products, please visit our review page.