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This homemade kale lasagna uses no-boil noodles to cut down on prep time, and cottage cheese for a twist on the classic ricotta filling.

Spicy kale lasagna
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Lasagna is one of those rare dishes that has it all. It’s comforting, but at the same time elegant. It’s substantial, yet also fairly economical. It can involve meat or easily stand on its own without. Basically, it’s the perfect versatile entrée to serve for guests or enjoy on a cozy night in (thank you, Italy!). It seems that many families have their own favorite recipe for this dish. For whatever reason it wasn’t a staple in my household, so Alex and I had to forge our way into new territory on this one. Three pans and a lot of research later, we’ve finally emerged with a recipe that we enjoy. This spicy kale lasagna takes a little over an hour to make, but it’s well worth the effort.

Other favorites? Spaghetti squash lasagna, vegan lasagna and vegetarian lasagna.

You can use either curly kale or Tuscan kale in this lasagna.

What makes it the best kale lasagna?

If you’re hesitant to add kale to your lasagna, we urge you to try this recipe! The kale is boiled first and then doused in cold water to prevent it from cooking further. Since kale is a fairly tough leafy green, boiling it first ensures that no chewy bits make their way into your lasagna. After you’ve boiled the kale, make sure to wring out all the water so your lasagna isn’t too wet.

The earthy flavor of the kale is complemented by the spicy red pepper flakes, creamy cottage cheese, and gooey mozzarella, making this dish hard to resist. You’ll also make your own tomato sauce using crushed tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Of course, if all of this still hasn’t convinced you to make this spicy kale lasagna, feel free to use spinach or another leafy green instead!

Lasagna noodles

Important: use no boil noodles!

To cut down on the prep time for this kale lasagna, use no-boil noodles instead of regular noodles. They’re a little strange to use at first, but once you’ve tasted the final dish you’ll be amazed you’ve never tried no-boil noodles before! The noodles are specially formulated to re-hydrate while they’re baked in the tomato sauce. Because of that: do not use standard lasagna noodles for this recipe! You’ll risk ending up with a watery pan.

How to serve kale lasagna

You’re welcome to sneak some extra veggies into this spicy kale lasagna, but I really don’t think anything extra is needed here. The combination of cheese, kale, and tomatoes is simple but satisfying, and the layers of noodles will certainly fill you up.

What’s the best side to serve with lasagna? We think it’s a simplest old standard: a green salad! And don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of wine! Here are a few easy salads we’d recommend:

This spicy kale lasagna recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten free, use gluten free noodles.

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Sides to go with lasagna

Spicy Kale Lasagna

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


This homemade kale lasagna uses no-boil noodles to cut down on prep time, and cottage cheese for a twist on the classic ricotta filling.


  • 1 1/4 pounds kale (around 3 bunches)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (with herbs if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 cups cottage cheese
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pound no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles (or noodles cooked according to the package instructions)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare the kale: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Roughly chop the kale. Boil the kale leaves for 2 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Using a towel, wring out as much water as possible from the kale. Chop it and season with kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Make the tomato sauce: Meanwhile, mince the garlic. In a cold saucepan, combine garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes (or less depending on your spice tolerance), and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to medium high heat, stirring as the mixture heats up. Saute for about 30 seconds, then add the crushed tomatoes. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Make the filling: Strain out all liquid from the cottage cheese (squeeze it in a strainer). Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper.
  5. Assemble the lasagna: Place a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking dish. Cover the sauce with a layer of noodles, then half of the cheese mixture, half of the kale, and half of the remaining sauce. Add another layer of noodles, the remaining cheese, and the remaining kale. Top with the remaining noodles, then the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Adapted from Vegetarian Times

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Looking for more vegetarian Italian recipes?

Outside of this spicy kale lasagna, here are a few of our favorite Italian recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Shikha says:

    Great recipe! After boiling and draining the liquid from the kale I sautéed the kale with some garlic and additional spices for added flavor. This will be a new family favorite!! Thank you

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t you people comment on the actual results of the recipe instead of how it looks? That would be the most helpful for intrigued but unsure prospective cooks like me.

  3. Lindsay Worswick says:

    Yum! It was a hit, just the right amount of spice and I had no issues with it being watery & I made the recipe exactly as written. The texture was perfect and the top was toasty which made it so good! Thanks, another great one that will be on repeat from you guys!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed :)

  4. Suzanne says:

    I absolutely loved the outcome. This was fresh and healthy tasting. I liked how it came out crunchy on the top and so did everyone else. I accidentally left it in a little longer and the cheese was browned on top. Yum! The only thing I changed was cutting the red pepper to half and I used a full three bunches of curly kale, and I removed the big ribs of the kale first. I’ll be making this again for Christmas. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed this, Suzanne! It would be absolutely perfect for Christmas. What a great idea! Thanks for making it!

  5. Sue says:

    I’ve prepared the filling tonight (I added the kale to the cheese mix for an easier assembly tomorrow). It tastes wonderful. I have a question on the Parmesan cheese amount. It calls for 3/4 cup. It didn’t say divide, so that is the amount I put in the filling (the Mozzerella didn’t state to divide, but I had read the instructions first and caught that). The final step says to sprinkle the remaining 1 cup Mozzerella and another 1/4 cup Parmesan on top. My question is then, should it be a total of 1 cup Parmesan, or 3/4 cup, divided. I realize this is an old thread, but I hope to get the answer. I don’t want to over Parm my lasagna ;) tomorrow if I should just omit the additional 1/4 cup to the top. This is looking to be a wonderful dish so far! Thanks

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Great question! I’ve updated the recipe to address what you noted — divided for both Parmesan & mozzarella. It should be 3/4 cup total Parmesan, so I’ve fixed to state 1/2 cup in the filling. However, over-Parming your lasagna would be a good thing! :) It will taste great. I’d still top with the 1/4 cup Parmesan — it will taste even better. Hope you enjoy!!!!

  6. B says:

    Great recipe! I just tried it out this weekend and absolutely love the flavours and the little kick the lasagne gets with the pepper flakes. Recommendable recipe and worth making many more times… Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. Sonja says:

      You are so welcome! So glad you enjoyed it.

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