Outstanding Vegetable Lasagna Recipe Will Make You Forget the Meat by Ann Marie Patitucci
Lasagna is easily one of my family’s favorite meals. Unfortunately, I’m the only one who prefers vegetable lasagna to meat lasagna so I’m overruled. I knew if I was ever going to convince my family to eat vegetable lasagna, at least without all the moaning and groaning, I had to come up with the best recipe possible. It took a while, but I think I may have gotten there.
This vegetarian lasagna recipe has lots of cheese (a must!) is full of vegetables (that they barely notice!) and a delicious, light tomato sauce. I certainly don’t miss the meat, but they really don’t either. They just view this veggie lasagna as a different meal all together – one they really like!
This Italian recipe is easy to make and calls for simple ingredients. Feel free to make this dish your own. Add or substitute your favorite vegetables or the leftover vegetables in your fridge that you don’t want to go to waste. Another thing I love about this recipe: it includes an easy homemade sauce. It only takes about 20 minutes to make, but you can always make it in advance if you want to save time the night you make the lasagna. (If you need a real time-saver, of course you could use jarred marinara sauce.)
To make this lasagna recipe gluten free, use gluten-free lasagna noodles or vegetables in place of the lasagna noodles. For instance, you could substitute thin slices of eggplant (my favorite) or zucchini. You may want to partially roast or grill the vegetable slices first so they don’t add unnecessary moisture to the lasagna.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
- 14 lasagna noodles
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- large handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tub (15 ounces) ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ounces (about 2/3 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated
- 8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded
Here’s how to make it:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pasta water to prevent the noodles from sticking after draining. Drain, then lay noodles flat on a sheet of aluminum foil.
- In a wide skillet with sides, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, zucchini, yellow squash and just a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but still have some crunch, about another 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the roasted red peppers and crushed tomatoes. Stir. Bring to a low simmer and cook until liquid has thickened and reduced by half, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the basil. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Add additional red pepper flakes, if desired.
- While the sauce cooks, add ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese), eggs and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a medium-sized bowl and stir until blended. Toss the Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses together. Set aside.
- Spoon just enough vegetable mixture (about 1 cup) into a 13x9-inch baking dish to lightly cover the bottom. Arrange four noodles lengthwise and side by side to cover the bottom. (If the noodles don’t quite cover one end, feel free to cut an extra noodle and use it to cover the empty space.)
- Spread half of the ricotta cheese/egg mixture over the noodles, then sprinkle 1/3 of the Parmesan/mozzarella cheese on top of the ricotta. Next, pour 1/3 of the vegetable sauce on top. Add another layer of four noodles and spread the remaining ricotta cheese over them. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan/mozzarella cheese over the ricotta. Spread half of the remaining vegetable sauce on top. Continue with a third layer of noodles and the remaining vegetable sauce. Finish by sprinkling the remaining cheese over the top.
- Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 400-degree F oven. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese has crusted around the edges. To achieve golden brown cheese on top, put the dish under the broiler and set to high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Keep an eye on it to prevent burning. Let lasagna rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
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