A low FODMAP take on a beloved Italian classic, this low FODMAP Lasagna Bolognese is an amazingly-delicious, showstopper dish ideal for family gatherings during the holidays or Sunday dinner. Layered with mouthwatering, hearty low FODMAP Bolognese, velvety low FODMAP béchamel sauce, gluten-free brown rice lasagna noodles and mozzarella cheese (using lactose-free if needed), this low FODMAP lasagna is so flavor-packed and incredible that no one will ever guess it's low FODMAP and gluten-free.
If you're looking for an easier and/or lower carb but still tasty way to get your lasagna fix, try my Low FODMAP Low Carb Lasagna Soup!
- What is Lasagna Bolognese?
- Will this low FODMAP Lasagna Bolognese work in the Instant Pot?
- Is this an easy lasagna recipe?
- How to make this low FODMAP lasagna recipe easier
- Necessary Equipment
- Low FODMAP Lasagna Bolognese: Ingredients & Success Tips
- Serving & Storage
- Low FODMAP Lasagna Bolognese (Gluten-Free)
- Related Recipes
What is Lasagna Bolognese?
Lasagna Bolognese is a type of lasagna dish made with Bolognese sauce and béchamel sauce. "Regular" lasagna is typically made with ricotta cheese, but lasagna Bolognese uses béchamel sauce as a the creamy white layering element instead of ricotta.
When developing this low FODMAP lasagna recipe, I decided going the béchamel sauce route was the best route for a low FODMAP dish as a) it's easier to make low FODMAP béchamel sauce than low FODMAP ricotta cheese; and b) I've never been a big fan of ricotta anyway.
According to Monash University's Low FODMAP Diet App, ricotta is low FODMAP in servings of up to 2 tablespoons or 40 grams. I didn't feel this would be a sufficient amount for a large, 12-serving lasagna, so I went with lasagna Bolognese with béchamel sauce.
Will this low FODMAP Lasagna Bolognese work in the Instant Pot?
Nope. While the low FODMAP Bolognese portion of this lasagna can be made in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, the lasagna itself will be baked in the oven. I've made lasagna in the Instant Pot before, and thought it was a big hassle as the noodles don't fit, you have to get a special pan, and other drawbacks. While I LOVE the Instant Pot, I don't feel it's the right appliance to make the best lasagna imaginable.
Is this an easy lasagna recipe?
While I do think making each of the individual components of this low FODMAP lasagna Bolognese is relatively easy, the combination of having to make them all is a lot of work. Making this lasagna is a true labor of love, my friends, but believe me - it is completely worth every bit of the effort. Every. Single. Bit.
This is probably the most labor intensive recipe on my blog, so if you've never made any of my recipes before, just know - this is as hard as they get. Most of the others are relatively easy, in my opinion.
The thing with lasagna is that there are a number of ways that it can go wrong. While I'll include as detailed instructions as possible in my recipe, there are always things that will happen to people that I can't anticipate. That's why it's very valuable to me and this community that you rate and review the recipes after you make them with constructive feedback.
But - the first time I tested this recipe, I had only made lasagna a few times before, and the first test of this, while far from perfect as it was pretty soupy, was still amazingly delicious. So, even if things go sideways a bit, it's not the end of the world. It should still taste incredible.
How to make this low FODMAP lasagna recipe easier
- Make the Low FODMAP Bolognese sauce and / or the Low FODMAP béchamel sauce one day in advance of the lasagna
- On the day you plan on having the lasagna, make the Bolognese sauce in the slow cooker in the morning and the béchamel sauce and lasagna in the evening
The equipment I use to make this low FODMAP lasagna Bolognese includes:
- Electric or gas oven (I use convection)
- 9-inch by 13-inch glass baking dish
- Large pot (mine is 6-quarts)
- Pasta fork
- Cooling rack
- Paper towels
- Cheese grater
- 2 ladles
- 2 spatulas
- Baking sheet
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Knife and spatula, for serving
- Air tight containers (if making the sauces in advance)
Please note: this list only includes the equipment needed to assemble and bake the lasagna. See my Low FODMAP Bolognese and Low FODMAP Béchamel Sauce recipes for the equipment necessary to make those recipes. Also note that the Bolognese requires the use of a 6-quart Instant Pot, 8-quart Instant Pot (or a comparable electric pressure cooker) or a slow cooker.
Low FODMAP Lasagna Bolognese: Ingredients & Success Tips
To start this low FODMAP Lasagna Bolognese recipe, I first prepare and have ready my Low FODMAP Bolognese, which I make in either the Instant Pot or slow cooker, and my Low FODMAP Béchamel Sauce, which I make on the stovetop. Please see those respective posts for ingredients and success tips specific to making those recipes. I put those in separate posts as they are building blocks to making a number of recipes, including this amazing low FODMAP lasagna Bolognese.
Sauce Quick Tips:
- Have the sauces completely ready to go before you even begin to cook the noodles. That way, the noodles won't be sitting in the pot or strainer for too long, which causes them to overcook or stick together, respectively, which will create a huge ripping mess and be very frustrating. I speak from experience.
- As mentioned, to make things a bit easier the day you make the lasagna, make the sauces one day in advance. Or, you can make the Bolognese in the slow cooker the morning of and the béchamel sauce and lasagna in the evening.
- If you cook the Bolognese sauce in the slow cooker for a full 8 hours on low, it reduces to the perfect thickness for this lasagna. If you make it for less time in the slow cooker or in the Instant Pot, it may require additional reducing after cooking.
Preheat & Prepare Baking Dish
Once the sauces are ready, I preheat my oven to 375°F on convection. Then I spray a 9-inch by 13-inch glass baking dish with avocado oil cooking spray, but any cooking spray should do the job. Also, other types of baking pans of that size should work - I've only ever tested the lasagna with a glass baking dish.
Prepare Lasagna Noodles
For the lasagna noodles, I use Tinkyada brown rice lasagna noodles, which I highly recommend. I use this brand in my Low FODMAP Instant Pot Spaghetti One-Pot Meal and Low FODMAP Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo recipes as well. They have perfect texture and only contain one ingredient: brown rice, which is FODMAP-free. They can be found in the gluten-free aisle at some mainstream grocery stores, at health food stores, and on Amazon. Locally in BC, I find them at Save-on-Foods and Nature's Fare.
Other brands of low FODMAP gluten-free noodles could potentially work, but I have only ever tested this recipe with Tinkyada's brown rice lasagna noodles. Follow the directions on the package of noodles you end up using.
That being said, when I cook the Tinkyada noodles, I only boil them for 8 minutes instead of the recommended 10 minutes on the the package as I find them too mushy when boiled for that long, and they tend to fall apart easier the longer they're cooked. If you are using a different brand, you may need to play around with this cooking time until you achieve the optimal texture for your preferred lasagna noodles.
Noodle Quick Tips:
- Once cooked, drain the water with a strainer and then gently rinse the noodles with cold water.
- Once cool enough to touch, lay the noodles out on a cooling rack and gently blot them with paper towels. This is more work and more dishes, but it greatly mitigates the risk of the noodles sticking together in the strainer and then ripping when you pull them apart.
- You will most likely have some breakage, and that's not the end of the world. Just try to piece them together when you lay them into the baking dish. It's hardly noticeable once they're in the lasagna.
Prepare Mozzarella Cheese
While the noodles are cooking, I coarsely shred the mozzarella cheese with a cheese grater.
Cheese Quick Tip:
- To make things easier during assembly, I divide the shredded cheese into two ½ cup piles, which will go between the layers, and one, 2-cup pile, which will be spread on the top of the lasagna.
As the low FODMAP diet is not a dairy-free diet, I have chosen to include mozzarella cheese in my lasagna. If you are lactose-intolerant, lactose-free mozzarella is an option.
Assemble Lasagna: Quick Tips
I outline in detail how to assemble the lasagna layers in the recipe card below. Here are some quick tips:
- Use separate ladles / serving spoons and spatulas to ladle and spread out each sauce. This helps keep everything from just mixing together.
- If you make the sauces in advance and have them in the refrigerator, they will be a bit harder to spread out cold as opposed to just out of the pot. Instead of trying to pour them into the baking dish, ladle the quantity called for in the middle of the lasagna and gently spread the sauce out to each side with a spatula.
Baking & Cooling
Once the lasagna is assembled, I place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake the lasagna in the 375°F preheated oven on the center oven rack, uncovered, for 40-50 minutes. The baking sheet is there in case the lasagna bubbles over while baking.
Baking Quick Tips
- Some lasagna recipes will tell you to loosely cover the lasagna with foil for a portion of the baking time, but I find this can mess up the cheese. I don't find that the cheese overly browns when I bake it, so I just leave it uncovered the entire time.
- If the sauces are warm when they go in the lasagna, the lasagna only takes about 40 minutes to bake. If they go in cold having been recently in the fridge, I find it takes about 50 minutes for the cheese to evenly melt.
Once baked, I take the lasagna out of the oven and allow it to stand for 20 minutes. This is the hardest part of the whole ordeal as it smells amazing and you just want to eat it after working on it for so long! But trust me - allowing it to stand will greatly help it hold together upon serving.
Serving & Storage
Using a sharp knife, slice the lasagna into 12 equal squares and serve onto plates with a serving spatula. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Low FODMAP Lasagna Bolognese (Gluten-Free)
- A full batch of my Low FODMAP Bolognese, Instant Pot / Slow Cooker
- A full batch of my Low FODMAP Béchamel Sauce, the thick version
- 10 ounces 12 sheets brown rice lasagna noodles*
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese, lactose-free if needed, coarsely shredded, divided
- Avocado oil cooking spray, or your cooking spray of choice
- Fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped, for garnish (optional)
- Prepare Bolognese: Prepare Low FODMAP Bolognese sauce in the Instant Pot or slow cooker. If making it in the Instant Pot, reduce the sauce 8-10 minutes so that it is thick. The sauce can be made a day in advance to make things easier. If making it a day in advance, cool the Bolognese completely and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Remove Bolognese from the refrigerator to warm up when you begin to prepare the remaining lasagna ingredients.
- Prepare béchamel sauce: Prepare the thick version of Low FODMAP Béchamel Sauce on the stove top. This can be done a day in advance to make things easier. If making it in advance, cool the béchamel sauce completely and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Remove the béchamel sauce from the refrigerator to warm up when you start cooking the lasagna.
- Preheat: Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Prepare noodles: Prepare lasagna noodles according to your package instructions. If cooking the Tinkyada brand,* place a large pot (mine is 6-quarts) containing 4.5 quarts of water on high heat on the stovetop. Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water. Carefully add lasagna noodles, gently pressing them into the boiling water with a pasta fork every few seconds as the submerged ends soften until they are entirely submerged in water without breaking them. Boil for 8 minutes, promptly remove pot from stove, drain water through a strainer, and gently rinse noodles in cold water until cool. Quickly lay the noodles out individually on a cooling rack and gently blot dry with paper towels.
- Prepare cheese: while the noodles are cooking, coarsely shred the mozzarella cheese with a cheese grater on a cutting board. Separate the cheese into two ½ cup piles and one, 2 cup pile.
- Assemble lasagna: Ladle and evenly spread with a spatula 1 cup of Bolognese on the bottom of your baking dish. Then, add:Layer 1: 4 lasagna noodles, overlapping each other slightly1 cup Béchamel sauce1 cup Bolognese½ cup mozzarella cheeseLayer 2:4 lasagna noodles, overlapping each other lightly1 cup Béchamel sauce1 cup Bolognese½ cup mozzarella cheeseLayer 3:4 lasagna noodles, overlapping each other slightlyRemaining Béchamel SauceRemaining Bolognese2 cups mozzarella cheese
- Bake: Place baking dish on top of a baking sheet and bake uncovered on the center oven rack for 40-50 minutes, or until the cheese has evenly melted and is lightly brown around the edges. Let stand for 20 minutes before slicing into 12 squares and serving.
- Store: To maintain the best quality, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- The prep, cook, and total time reflect the time to make this low FODMAP lasagna Bolognese in its entirety: Low FODMAP Bolognese (in the Instant Pot) + Low FODMAP Béchamel Sauce + the remaining lasagna ingredients presented on this card.
- Nutritional information on this recipe card does not include information for the Low FODMAP Bolognese and Low FODMAP Béchamel Sauce. See those recipes for their respective nutritional information.
- Please note: While being low FODMAP, this recipe is high in fat, which can be an be an additional symptom trigger for people with IBS. Consult your doctor or dietician before making this recipes with concerns of how your body might react.
- *Tinkyada brand brown rice lasagna noodles: the instructions on the box say to cook the noodles in boiling water for about 10 minutes for lasagna; however, I found them too mushy when cooked this long. I found optimal amount of cooking time to be 8 minutes. This will vary depending on the brand of noodles you use, but keep in mind that they will continue to cook in the oven along with the rest of the lasagna.
- Sauces: Have the sauces completely ready to go before you even begin to start cooking the lasagna noodles. They tend to cook quickly, and you don’t want them sitting around too long once cooked.
- Making sauces in advance: If you make the sauces a day in advance, the lasagna may require more cooking time (closer to 50 minutes) and they will be a bit harder to spread as they are cold. However, making them in advance enhances their flavor and spreads out the workload over two days.