Giada De Laurentiis’ Creamy Bacon and Mushroom Lasagna Is Well Worth the Effort

If you’ve ever made lasagna with its cheesy layers of lasagna noodles, cheeses, meat (if you like), and sauce, you know it can take time. Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis created a non-traditional lasagna recipe melding the earthy flavor of mushrooms with the smokiness of bacon for a lasagna casserole that is worth all the effort.

Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis
Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for NYCWFF

What you’ll need for De Laurentiis’ Bacon and Mushroom Lasagna

For the Giada at Home star’s unique spin on traditional lasagna, you’ll need to have on hand unsalted butter, flour, whole milk, kosher salt, dried bay leaves, olive oil, bacon, mixed and diced mushrooms such as portobello, cremini, or royal trumpet, diced onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, dried thyme, white wine, no-boil flat lasagna noodles, and grated Parmesan cheese.

If you’re looking for a restaurant-style lasagna that is a departure from “regular” lasagna, you’re going to love De Laurentiis’ recipe starring bacon and mushrooms.

How to put De Laurentiis’ recipe together

What sets the Everyday Italian star’s recipe (found on Food Network’s website) apart from conventional lasagna is the absence of ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and even marinara sauce. Her recipe features vegetables and rich and creamy bechamel sauce simply made with a generous amount of butter, flour, milk, salt, nutmeg, and a lot of stirring.

Once the bacon has been browned, diced, and set aside, it’s time to make the bechamel, “which is a white cream sauce,” the chef explained in the Food Network video for the recipe.

A stick of butter is melted in a sauce pot and to that the flour is added. This mixture is constantly stirred (“we want the flour to absorb all the butter”). To that, “slowly, little by little,” the whole milk is added. Using a whisk (“just so we don’t get any lumps”) continue to stir the sauce and add salt, a bay leaf, and nutmeg. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken.

The mushroom and other vegetables are salted and sauteed. As the other components are prepared don’t forget, De Laurentiis says, to keep stirring that bechamel sauce (“you can see around the edges how it’s thickening”).

The bacon is added to the skillet containing the vegetables and the wine is added at this point as well.

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De Laurentiis says the lasagna can be made in advance

Once the bechamel has thickened and the vegetables have softened, it’s time to layer the lasagna.

“What we want to do,” she points out, “is add some of the cream sauce to the bottom of our lasagna.” On the sauce, the lasagna sheets are placed, followed by more sauce. The mushroom filling is spooned on top of the sauce, followed by a generous amount of Parmesan cheese, and the layers are repeated. The top and final layer is bechamel sauce and Parmesan cheese.

The Eat Better, Feel Better author says the best part of this recipe is that: “This is the kind of thing you can assemble in advance.”

It’s a warm and hearty dish perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving and holiday season. Enjoy!