One of the first dishes that came to my mind when I decided to do Meatless March was Vegetable Lasagna. I pondered several recipes, ideas and ways to make a Vegetarian Lasagna before deciding on making a simple vegetable lasagna like I made a a few years back that packs in a ton of fresh vegetables. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to make this lasagna again because it is so amazing, I guarantee you won’t miss the meat!
This is a great way to use up veggies in the fridge ~ pick and choose any vegetables you have on hand, toss them in this delicious pasta sauce, add a few noodles and cheese for one pretty amazing dish. You can save time by using no boil noodles and buying pre-shredded cheeses.
Serve this up with a simple side salad tossed with olive oil/lemon juice for a completely delicious and healthy vegetarian meal.
VEGETABLE LASAGNA (print it!)
- 1 onion & 1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 2 small zucchini, quartered and diced
- 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced and roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, not packed in oil, chopped
- 28 oz. jarred pasta sauce
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 6 oz. fresh spinach
- 15 oz. fat free ricotta cheese
- 12 oz. part skim mozzarella
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup basil
- 1 egg
- 12 no boil lasagna noodles
- a few pinches of crushed red pepper flakes
1. THE SAUCE: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and 4 minced garlic cloves. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sun dried tomatoes, pasta sauce, tomato paste, red wine and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in spinach and set aside.
2. THE FILLING: In a medium mixing bowl. combine the ricotta, 1 oz. mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, basil, egg, remaining garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and set aside.
3. THE LASAGNA: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 dish with nonstick cooking spray. Start layering the lasagna by spreading 1 cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom of the dish. Add 4 noodles, then, 1/2 the ricotta mixture and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat one time – sauce, noodles, ricotta then cheese. Finish with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes until the cheese is melted and the top is golden. Let sit for 10 minutes, slice, serve and dig in!
Makes 8 LARGE Vegetable Lasagna Slices, 9 points+ each, 100% Simply Filling with whole wheat noodles
Nutritional information per slice calculated at caloriecount.com
STEP – BY – STEP:
Start off by chopping all your veggies ~ pick and choose whatever sounds good.
Cooking the vegetables BEFORE you put them in the lasagna is key as it allows the water to cook off preventing your lasagna from getting soggy.
Add the veggies and garlic to a large nonstick pan and sauté over medium high heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
I buy my Sun Dried Tomatoes in a package at Trader Joe’s. They add this incredible sweet and tangy richness to the sauce to make it taste like you’ve been cooking it all day.
I took a few shortcuts to save on time by using a jarred sauce, but, you could easily make your own your own homemade sauce in the slow cooker.
Even if you are not a wine drinker, I highly recommend adding 1 cup of a good quality wine that you would drink. This gives the sauce depth and flavor.
After simmering the sauce for about 5 minutes allowing it to reduce, remove it from the heat and slowly stir in the fresh spinach.
While the sauce is cooking, make up your cheesy filling by combining the ricotta with 1 egg, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parmesan, 1 oz. mozzarella, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and a little sea salt/black pepper.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees while you layer up your incredibly delicious vegetable lasagna.
After spraying a 9 x 13 dish with nonstick spray, add 1 cup of sauce….
4 no boil lasagna noodles (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s but you can get them anywhere).
1/2 the ricotta mixture using a spoon to press it down on the noodles.
1/3 of the remaining mozzarella…
Then, repeat….sauce, noodles….
Cheese, sauce, noodles, sauce….then the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes so everything can set, slice into 8 slices and enjoy!
Happy Easter Everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic day. I will be back tomorrow with my Meatless March thoughts and this week’s menu….for now, I am off to enjoy the last bits of the weekend.