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A great vegetarian lasagne, which is so good that even meat eaters will love it. Enjoy with garlic bread, if desired.
103 people made this
IngredientsMakes: 1 20x30cm lasagne
- 685g lasagne sheets
- 900g ricotta cheese
- 4 eggs
- 80g grated Parmesan cheese
- 20g chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- ground black pepper to taste
- 125ml olive oil
- 250g chopped onion
- 125g sliced carrots
- 185g chopped green pepper
- 450g frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
- 750g chunky-style pasta sauce
- 225g grated mozzarella cheese, divided
MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1hr15min ›Extra time:15min resting › Ready in:2hr
- In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil and ground black pepper. Stir to blend; set aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Saute onions for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; add carrot slices and saute about 2 minutes, then stir in green pepper and broccoli. Stir everything together, reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape vegetables into ricotta mix and mix well.
- Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
- Ladle 250ml of pasta sauce into a 20x30cm baking dish and spread evenly over the bottom. Place 2 lasagne sheets in the dish, then spread about some filling over the pasta. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese over the filling; repeat layers.
- Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 1 hour; let stand about 15 to 20 minutes, to firm up, before serving.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(111)
Reviews in English (84)
Great recipe but we used spinach instead of broccoli. Will definitely make again with spicy passata-07 Jul 2015
by MARY DOMAZ
This is a good recipe with lousy instructions. For a 9x13 pan you will only need nine noodles, three layers of three noodles. On top of the first and second layers, put half of the cheese/veggie mixture. On top of the third layer (the top layer) put your last two cups of sauce. I actually used three cups of sauce for the top and sprinkled the top with extra mozzeralla and parmesan. Other adjustments I made: less onion, added garlic, added mushrooms, used fresh broccoli, and LESS oil. There is no way you need a half cup of oil. That really ups the fat content of this recipe. I sprayed the pan with PAM and used one tablespoon of oil. I sauteed on medium and it worked great.-21 Sep 2006
The end product was DELICIOUS, but we had to make a lot of adjustments to the proportions so I can't give this 5 stars. Namely, we used 1/2 of a 16 oz box of noodles which is 9 noodles. Also 1 lb of ricotta cheese and 2 eggs was plenty of filling for a 9x13 pan. I agree with another view on sauteeing the veggies in much less oil, abt 1 T is plenty! Will definitely make this (adjusted!) recipe again :-)-19 Nov 2006
Recipe: Cheesy Vegetarian Lasagna
When one has fresh tomato sauce, homemade ricotta, and a huge haul of vegetables in one’s fridge, a hearty lasagna is really the only possible course of action. If it doesn’t yet feel quite autumnal enough to justify a plate of cheesy lasagna, that’s fine — sneak a slice now and freeze the rest for meals to come.
If your memories of lasagna are of rubbery edges and soggy layers of cheese, I think you’ll like this recipe. It’s one of my favorites: cheesy and chock-full of tender veggies. I love adapting it to whatever happens to be hanging around in the fridge and even dressing it up on occasion with such non-typical lasagna ingredients like butternut squash and Swiss chard. It’s also an inexpensive way to feed a crowd and still leave leftovers for weekday lunches.
Also, don’t bother boiling the noodles ahead of time the steam from the crushed tomatoes and veggies will cook the noodles just enough so that they’re soft but not overcooked. This always feels like a leap of faith as I’m assembling the lasagna, but after using this method for years, I haven’t had any crunchy bits yet!
I make this lasagna entirely with vegetables — a mix of late-summer vegetables along with some mushrooms for their texture and earthy flavors — but you could certainly add some cooked sausage or other meat for an even heartier dish.
If you’re freezing some of this lasagna for later, cut it into individual servings and wrap them in aluminum foil. They can be thawed in the fridge overnight, then reheated in the oven still wrapped in foil, or unwrapped and warmed in the microwave.
There’s so much to love about this recipe: It’s as comforting and cheesy as any meat-filled lasagna, yet feels so much more wholesome thanks to the serious dose of vegetables stuffed inside. After retesting this recipe, we reduced the original amount of ricotta cheese called for by 1/2 cup, as we (and many of you who made this lasagna already) felt it was just as rich and luscious without the few extra dollops, and it gives an opportunity for the vegetables to really shine.
Notes about this recipe
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Veggie lasagna with plenty of cheesy wonderfulness. I used a tomato sauce base for this one.
whole red bell pepper, diced
weight white mushrooms, chopped
whole squash (yellow or zucchini), diced
can (28-ounce) whole tomatoes
fresh parsley, chopped (more to taste)
kosher salt (more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
Extra Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and lay flat on a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for a minute. Add diced red peppers and saute for another minute or so. Add squash and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Pour in wine, add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and stir.
- Pour in tomatoes. Use hands to squeeze/crush them. Stir to combine and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. Stir in chopped parsley.
- In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
- To assemble, spread a little of the vegetable/tomato sauce in a lasagna pan. Layer four cooked noodles in the pan, slightly overlapping them if necessary. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on the noodles. Top the ricotta mixture with mozzarella slices. Spoon a little less than 1/3 of the veggie/sauce mixture over the mozzarella.
- Repeat the layering two more times, ending with a large helping of vegetable sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
- Bake at 350 degrees, covered in foil, for 20 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
- Serve with crusty French bread.
I woke up yesterday knowing I was going to make vegetable lasagna of some kind. It was meant to be, it was in the cards, it was predestined&hellipit was fate. And I can&rsquot explain my hankering at all. I simply woke up, got out of bed, and followed the light.
I made vegetable lasagna in high school once. I can&rsquot remember the exact measurements, but instead of something like four tablespoons of parsley, I did something like four cups of parsley. So really, it was Parsley Lasagna, and it was a long time before I could eat parsley after that. It was also a long time before anyone could eat my cooking after that. It was also a long time before I could wear sandals after that, as I was deep in the throes of Ballet Toes during that period of my life, and my feet weren&rsquot suitable for public viewing.
Not that my toes had anything whatsoever to do with my vegetable lasagna mishap, but it&rsquos 6:00 in the morning as I type this and sometimes synapses fire that shouldn&rsquot.
Yesterday I tweeted that I couldn&rsquot decide between a tomato sauce and a Béchamel/white sauce for my vegetable lasagna, as both are common and delicious in an entirely different way. The responses were split down the middle, which gave me confidence that no matter what direction I headed, I couldn&rsquot go wrong. But then a few folks threw a wrench in my thinking and said, &ldquoUse both.&rdquo Yum.
In the end, I was in the mood for tang and stuck with just tomato. But next time, I think I&rsquoll do the Béchamel on one layer/tomato on another layer approach.
See? I hardly finish one meal when I&rsquom thinking about the next one. It&rsquos a little problem I have.
- For the Spinach:
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 6 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds fresh flat or curly spinach leaves, washed and dried
- For the Ricotta:
- 2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese (see note)
- 2 eggs
- 4 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- For the White Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
- 12 ounces grated low moisture mozzarella cheese
- 12 ounces grated Comté, Gruyère, or Emmenthaler cheese
- For Assembly:
- 1 1/2 pounds (enough sheets to make 12 layers) fresh lasagna noodles
- 14 plum tomatoes (about 3 pounds total), halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced inch thick
- 3 bunches (about 2 1/2 pounds total) spinach, trimmed and washed
- 1 container (15 ounces) whole-milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 9 to 12 no-boil lasagna noodles (from a 9-ounce package)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss tomatoes with 2 tablespoons oil, oregano, and two-thirds the garlic season with salt and pepper. Brush another rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange squash in one layer season with salt and pepper. Roast squash until tender, about 20 minutes, and tomatoes until slightly shriveled, about 40 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. In a blender, puree 20 tomato halves. Season with salt and pepper set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add remaining garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Gradually add 2 pounds spinach and toss until wilted, about 4 minutes. Transfer spinach to a strainer and press to release liquid. When cool, chop spinach and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan, egg, and nutmeg until smooth season with salt and pepper.
Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking dish. Spread one-quarter the tomato sauce in dish, top with 3 to 4 noodles, breaking to fit as needed. Top with half the ricotta mixture, half the squash, one-quarter the tomato sauce, and 3 to 4 noodles. Top with remaining ricotta mixture, cooked spinach, one-quarter the sauce, and 3 to 4 noodles. Top with remaining sauce, 1/2 pound mozzarella, and cup Parmesan.
Set rack in middle of oven. Bake lasagna on a rimmed baking sheet until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let lasagna cool 15 minutes before serving.
Cook lasagna noodles, drain set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium high heat until hot. Add broccoli, carrot, onions and garlic. Saute 7 minutes set aside.
Place flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.
Add half of the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in spinach. Reserve 1/2 cup of spinach mixture for top layer of casserole and set aside.
Combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Swiss cheese stir well. Spread 1/2 cup spinach mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Arrange 4 lasagna noodles over spinach mixture in dish top with half of cottage cheese mixture, half of broccoli mixture, and half of remaining spinach mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread reserved 1/2 cup spinach mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan mixture.
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Perfect vegetable lasagna
Here is a theory: There are two types of picky people, those that are totally fine just never experiencing a life with, I don’t know, tomatoes or bananas or pickles or raisins (yes, I’ve read your comments — all of them) and then there is the kind that finds their epicurean limitations to constrict like an uncomfortable jacket they’d love to shed if they could figure out how. I, a lifelong Picky Person, am the latter. Over the years creating and sharing recipes for this site, I’ve embraced so many things I once thought I didn’t like [insert basically half the ingredients in anything here, ever], but it turned out I just didn’t like the way they were usually made.
And now the time has come for me to get over my lasagna issues. What are you saying? you might ask. There are two lasagna recipes in the archives. You love them both! And it’s true. What I have struggled with is what I’d call The Usual Vegetable Lasagna. I want something as bubbling, bronzed, and brick-like as a classic lasagna should be, but I needed to fix a few things along the way.
– Most vegetable lasagna recipes are meat lasagnas with a footnote that you can just leave the meat out. But I wanted one that celebrated the presence of vegetables, a lot of them. And I wanted us to be able to choose our own vegetable adventure based on what we could get and what we like. Here, I use 4 diced cups of mushrooms, onions, and fennel, plus spinach. In the summer it might be zucchini and eggplant. You pick what you like with sauce, cheese, and pasta.
– I know it’s just me, but I find no-boil lasagna noodles too thin and unacceptably bereft of ruffly edges. But I also hate boiling lasagna noodles, which. as we all know, stick to everything and also themselves and you spend a good 15 minutes peeling and tearing them to get them spread in a pan and wondering why you didn’t just make baked ziti, which would never do you like this. I don’t know why it took me so long to just use the lasagna noodles I like and soak them in hot tap water for 10 minutes and letting the rest happen in the oven, but I finally did and will never make lasagna from dried noodles another way again.
– I’ve never liked the texture of baked ricotta. Fresh ricotta is pure bliss, of course, but it gets so grainy and dry when baked with sauce and noodles, I was happy to use a smooth, rich bechamel instead. (Both previous lasagnas are bechamel lasagnas.) But here I experimented with adding some heavy cream to ricotta to keep it from baking up dry and really liked the effect. You may not need or want it here, but if the above mimics your feelings about lasagna, you’re in for a treat.
– My last quibble with many lasagna recipes is the height. Quite often, hearty lasagna recipes call for less than a pound of noodles, building 4, instead of 5, layers, which settle into a nice but kind of squat lasagna. I’d prefer a full five tiers — a beautiful thing to behold, especially when the top layer is crackly with bronzed melted cheese over a thin slick of garlicky tomato sauce. Well, I learned why. The former fits nicely in a standard 9吉-inch baking dish with 2.5-inch sides. The latter appears to and then your oven floor tells you a different story. So, this is where the story was supposed to end: me muttering under my breath about the burning smell, chalking the lasagna up to a failure. But, I mean, it’s not like it was going into the trash. I waited about 45 minutes to cut into it, which is a great thing to do if you don’t like burning your mouth of food it also gives the lasagna time to set up. Instead of finding a sloshy mess inside, I found nirvana: no extra liquid, no sog, just a perfectly set up, sky-high lasagna masterpiece. We need this. We want this. We should not compromise. Bake it over a tray to catch drips and you won’t have to, either.
Perfect Vegetable Lasagna
- Servings: 8 to 12
- Time: 2 hours
- Source: Smitten Kitchen
Vegetables and sauce
Make the sauce: In the same pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add garlic, a couple pinches of red pepper flakes and up to a full teaspoon if you want it spicy, and oregano and cook together for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the garlic is just barely golden. Add tomato paste (save the can) and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, don’t worry if it seems to be drying out. Add two tomato paste cans of water (a total of 1 1/4 cups) and stir up any stuck bits, cooking until smooth. Add canned tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and basil, if you’re using it. Simmer mixture together for 4 to 5 minutes adjust seasonings to taste. You’ll have 4 cups of sauce.
Assemble lasagna: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place lasagna noodles in a large bowl or baking dish and cover with the hottest tap water you can get. Soak for 10 minutes. Mix mozzarella and parmesan. Mix ricotta with heavy cream, if you want to keep it as creamy as possible (skip cream if this doesn’t bother you) and season the ricotta with some salt and black pepper.
Coat a 9吉 baking dish at least 2.5 inches deep and ideally 3 inches deep lightly with oil or nonstick spray. Pour 1/3 sauce and spread it evenly. Shake water off noodles and arrange your first layer of noodles, slightly overlapping their edges.
Dollop 1/4 of the ricotta (about 1/2 cup) over noodles and spread it in an even layer with a spoon or spatula. Add 1/4 of vegetable mixture, then about 1/5 of mozzarella-parmesan mixture (just eyeball it). Pour a scant cup (more than 3/4 cup, less than 1 cup) of sauce evenly over cheese. Place next layer of noodles on top. Repeat this process (1/4 of ricotta, 1/4 of the vegetables, 1/5 of the mozzarella-parmesan, scant 1 cup of sauce) three times, using up all but the mozzarella-parmesan mixture and about 1/3 cup of the sauce.
Place final layer of noodles on top, spread the remaining sauce thinly over it and scatter the top with the remaining mozzarella-parmesan mixture.
Bake lasagna: Cover a large tray with foil (for easy cleanup) and place baking dish on top of it. Lightly coat a piece of foil with nonstick spray and tightly cover baking dish with foil, oil side down. Bake with the foil on for 30 minutes, or the pasta is tender — a knife should easily go through. Remove foil (carefully, so carefully) and bake for another 20 minutes, until lasagna is golden on top and bubbling like crazy. Keep it in the oven another 5 minutes for a darker color.
Wait, then serve: The best lasagna has time to settle before you eat it. When it comes out of the oven, it might seem like it’s a sloshy mess, but 45 minutes later (mine is always still very hot, but you might need less time in a cold kitchen) it will be glorious — the excess water absorbed into the noodles and filling, and ready for a relatively clean slice.
Do ahead: Leftovers should stay in the pan. I like to reheat lasagna with the foil off because I like it when the top gets very dark.
Maximize Flavor in Vegetable Lasagna
Vegetable lasagnas promise a colorful, flavorful comfort food in a healthier package, but they almost never deliver. While you could argue that the healthfulness of a veggie lasagna makes up for it’s flavor shortcomings, that still doesn’t change the fact that they are often watery and bland. Since they have no cheese or bechamel sauce to balance them out, they also tend to be one dimensionally acidic. At best they taste a bit like a baked ratatouille, but they’re a far cry from the rich comfort food we all know as lasagna. Certain there’s a better way, I set out to make a vegetable lasagna that’s still able to comfort you on dismal days yet one that won’t leave you with a hangover of guilt.
The first problem with most vegetable lasagnas is that that they use raw vegetables. There’s a two-fold problem with this. The first is that raw vegetables tend to give off a lot of water as they cook, making the lasagna watery. The second problem is that most vegetables need to be browned in order for them to reach their full flavor potential. Since cooking them in the sauce essentially boils them, they don’t have a chance to brown. To get around this, I roast the vegetables first. This creates sweetness and umami in the vegetables, while reducing their water content.
The second problem with vegetable lasagnas is that the sauce often falls woefully short on flavor. While the addition of meat and cheese can lend enough umami to a bland sauce to make it palatable, you need a robust and balanced tomato sauce if you want a delicious vegetable lasagna. The solution here is to make a better tomato sauce. That’s beyond the scope of this post, but check out my basic tomato sauce recipe for my tips on making an amazing sauce.
While using a great tomato sauce goes a long way in making a more flavorful lasagna, it doesn’t make up for the lack of dairy in a vegan lasagna. That’s why I created a vegan bechamel sauce made from raw cashew nuts. It’s mildly sweet, luxuriously creamy and with the help of a little nutritional yeast, it tastes like rich cheesy bechamel. This is where I have to make a confession… I was hungry, and this sauce was so good, I ate three large spoonfuls of sauce and licked the bowl clean. Seriously, I may never make a normal bechamel again!
For the vegetables, I used some zucchini, carrots, kabocha, and red and green bell peppers because of their balance of flavor, sweetness, color and texture. That said, you could really use just about any combination of flavorful vegetables that can be sliced into sheets. Potatoes, beets, rutabagas, eggplant, and other types of squash would all be excellent options.
The resulting lasagna was not only a real head-turner, it tasted amazing! With all the right textures and flavors that a really great lasagna has. With alternating layers of sweet roasted vegetables and tart tomato sauce sandwiching a rich and creamy cashew bechamel sauce, the contrast of colors, flavors and textures makes this delicious by any standard. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that this is one of the five best things I’ve made this year.
More Magically-Easy Pasta Dishes:
- These Meatballs in a Buttery Tomato Sauce are more than drool worthy. for a romantic, carby date night in.
- This Three Ingredient Tomato Sauce is a wonder.