Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Vegetable Lasagna

I love lasagna.  It's such a comforting and hearty meal.  You can pack it chock-full of veggies loading it up with colors and textures.  Sure, with the cheese it may not be a "health food", but it is a great meal that families can easily enjoy.  

I had been searching for a delicious vegetable lasagna for years, but they always seemed to fall short in my book.  After years of disappointment, I finally decided to create my own recipe.  I chose some of my favorite veggies in a rainbow of colors.  Also, instead of slicing them, I chopped them!  I always found the sliced veggies to be soggy in the finished product.  Chopping them gives the lasagna a more complex texture making it more appealing to meat eaters as well.

This recipe is so easy to make.  When you get down to it, you are basically making an especially chunky sauce layered with a cheese mixture and lasagna noodles.  What could be simpler?  

8oz lasagna noodles
8oz mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
10oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 26oz jars pasta sauce (or make your own)
1 tsp dried basil
15oz ricotta cheese
3 C shredded mozzarella, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 C freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot, and bell pepper.  Cook until just tender, about 10 mins.  Add the spinach and cook an additional 2 mins.  
  4. Stir in pasta sauce and basil, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  
  5. While the sauce is simmering, combine the ricotta, eggs, and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.  
  6. In a 9x13 baking dish, pour 1 C sauce and evenly coat the bottom.  Layer the lasagna noodles.  Spread half the cheese mixture over the noodles and top with half the remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with half the parmesan cheese.  Repeat with a layer of noodles, followed by the remaining cheese, then sauce.  
  7. Top with the last cup of mozzarella and remaining parmesan.  
  8. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. 

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