- Food: Vegetable Lasagna
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
I set out to make the finest vegetable lasagna dish I could think of. It’s finally here!
This vegetarian lasagna is stuffed with vegetables, spinach, and a basic tomato sauce, plus it’s cheesy (of course).
This lasagna will persuade any meatless-meal doubters in your life to reconsider. I’m certain of it.
This lasagna is inspired by my blog’s spinach artichoke lasagna and my cookbook’s roasted eggplant lasagna. I enjoy non-traditional vegetarian lasagnas.
Nonetheless, I wanted to provide a classic vegetable lasagna that would be appropriate for both holidays and weeknights, and this is it. Although the tomato sauce is the same in all three recipes, the vegetables differ.
To make this dish, chop the bell pepper, zucchini, and carrot into very small pieces and sauté them until brown on the edges.
Caramelization brings forth a whole new level of flavor. Then, to keep the spinach from being too mushy, add it to the skillet and simmer it down for a few minutes.
Lasagna with the Best Vegetables
This recipe has five reasons to adore it:
- The vegetables can easily be changed to fit the season or your cupboard (see recipe notes).
- The sauce is produced entirely from scratch using only the most basic ingredients. It takes only a few minutes to prepare.
- You won’t have to boil the noodles if you choose no-boil noodles. Just stack them on top of each other!
- Instead of ricotta, I prefer cottage cheese, which has more protein and flavor (trust me).
- This recipe can also be made gluten-free and/or vegan. Details can be found in the recipe notes.
The end product is a delicious, nutrient-dense, vegetable-packed lasagna. Although this lasagna isn’t the quickest evening choice, it is a straightforward meal that will satisfy your comfort food desires.
|Time to Prepare: 30 minutes
30 minutes to Cook
1-hour total time
Yield: 8 serves
The finest vegetable lasagna I’ve ever had! Bell pepper, zucchini, and carrots are sautéed till golden and soft on the edges in this lasagna dish. This recipe makes one 9-inch lasagna that serves 8 people.
Veggies and spinach
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 to 6 ounces of baby spinach
Tomato sauce (or substitute 2 cups of prepared marinara sauce)
- 1 large can (28 ounces) of diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil + additional for garnish
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups (16 ounces) of low-fat cottage cheese, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 9 no-boil lasagna noodles*
- 8 ounces (2 cups) freshly grated low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat to prepare the vegetables. Add the carrots, bell pepper, zucchini, yellow onion, and salt once the pan is shimmering. Cook, stirring every few minutes, for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the vegetables are brown on the edges.
- Add a couple of huge handfuls of spinach to the mix. Cook until the spinach has wilted, stirring often. Cook, stirring occasionally until all of the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and set the skillet aside.
- Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce as follows: Drain the extra juice from the tomatoes in a mesh strainer or fine colander for a minute. Then, pour the drained tomatoes into a food processor bowl. Combine the basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes in a large mixing bowl.
- Pulse the mixture about 10 times, or until the tomatoes are broken down and spreadable. Place the mixture in a bowl to be used later (you should have a little over 2 cups of sauce). Return the food processor to the machine after rinsing it.
- In a food processor, combine half of the cottage cheese (1 cup) and pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Fill a large mixing bowl halfway with the mixture. There’s no need to rinse off the food processor bowl this time; simply reattach it to the machine because you’ll need it later.
- Place the cooked vegetables and spinach mixture in the food processor’s bowl. Pulse 5–7 times, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until they are coarsely chopped (but not puréed!). Place the mixture in the beaten cottage cheese bowl. Add the remaining cottage cheese on top, then season with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. To blend, stir everything together. It’s now time to assemble the lasagna!
- 12 cup tomato sauce should be evenly distributed across the bottom of a 9″ by 9″ baking dish. 3 lasagna noodles on top (snap off the ends and/or overlap the corners as needed to fit). Half of the cottage cheese mixture should be spread equally over the noodles. 1/2 cup shredded cheese is sprinkled on top of 34 cups of tomato sauce.
- 3 more noodles on top, then the leftover cottage cheese mixture (we’re bypassing the tomato sauce for this layer). 1/2 cup shredded cheese, strewn on top
- Cover with 3 more noodles, then spread 3/4 cup tomato sauce equally over the top (you may have some sauce leftover). 1 cup shredded cheese, evenly distributed
- Wrap a sheet of parchment paper or foil around the top of the lasagna (keeping it away from the cheese). Bake for 18 minutes with the lid on, then remove it, rotate the pan 180 degrees, and cook for another 10 to 12 minutes, until the top is spotty brown.
- Remove the lasagna from the oven and put it aside for 15 to 20 minutes to allow it to sit and cool to a safe temperature. Sprinkle the top with more basil, then slice and serve.
- LASAGNA NOODLE RECOMMENDATIONS: DeLallo’s Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles (affiliate link) and Whole Foods’ 365 No-Boil Lasagna Noodles are two of my favorite brands. For gluten-free options, see the list below.
- CHANGE IT UP: Here you are free to experiment with the vegetables. You’ll need roughly 3 cups of chopped vegetables in total (excluding the onion). Mushrooms or butternut squash are possible options.
- TO MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE, use gluten-free lasagna noodles instead. If feasible, choose no-boil (oven-ready) noodles; if not, follow the package recommendations for cooking. (A word of caution: I tried using DeBoles brand no-bake lasagna noodles and they didn’t finish cooking in the time allotted.) Reheated leftovers, on the other hand, were fine.)
- TO MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE/VEGAN: Use 2 cups instead of the cottage cheese in my vegan sour cream recipe. Simply combine the spinach/veggies with the sour cream, skipping the stage when the cottage cheese is blended. For the final layer, omit the mozzarella and use all of the tomato sauce. Serve the lasagna with a dollop of sour cream or, even better, my basil pesto on top.