Happy 2015! With the holidays finally over and life getting back to normal, it’s also time to evaluate all of the not-so-healthy things my family and I ate in the last couple of months. It’s a scary thought! Pies and cookies and cake and all the carbs! It’s enough to make me shudder at the thought of going near my scale. Luckily, as always, the new year brings a good opportunity to start fresh and resolve to eat better, to balance out the indulgences of the holidays!
That being said, I’m so excited to share this vegetarian version of my favorite lasagna with you! It’s all veggie, all the time!
Just think of all the healthy vegetables you could add to this! Antioxidant-rich spinach and squash, mushrooms full of potassium and fiber, vitamin-packed tomatoes…even adding broccoli can provide you with 150% of your vitamin C for the day! If you’re feeling really crazy, (or are gluten intolerant, in which case, make sure you skip the bread crumb topping also!), you could even sub out the lasagna noodles for sliced eggplant for an even bigger serving of veggies – but I like my noodles and topping so I never do that personally.
It’s a great, cheesy way to trick your picky kids into eating more vegetables, also. Everything is sliced and diced, and beneath the gooey mozzarella and tangy homemade tomato sauce, they could easily be overlooked.
Lasagna is all about layers. After you’ve got all of your veggies chopped, your noodles boiled, and your sauce and ricotta prepared, pull out your 9×13 pan and get to it!
Vegetable Lasagna is all veggie, all the time!
- 12 lasagna noodles boiled and drained
- 1/4 cup basil pesto sauce
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
- 3 15 oz cans tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1-2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt optional depending on sodium content of tomato sauce and your taste
- cup Any sauteed veggies (I used 1 small sliced yellow squash 1 mushrooms, and 1 cup diced tomatoes)
- 2 cups sauteed spinach drained & chopped
- 15 ounces Ricotta or Cottage Cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
Follow directions on pasta box to boil 12 lasagna noodles. Drain and let noodles sit in a cool water bath until ready to begin layering.
Add all ingredients to a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and paper to taste.
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing until incorporated.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, mixing with a fork or your fingers until incorporated.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a 9x13 pan, start your layering. Begin by spreading about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce on bottom of pan. Add a layer of 3 noodles, laid side by side. Then, add 1/2 of remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle on 1/3 mozzarella cheese, then dot 1/3 of ricotta layer all over. Layer 3 more noodles, and brush all the pesto on top of them. Sprinkle on another 1/3 mozzarella, and repeat dotting 1/3 ricotta. Layer 3 more noodles, the remaining marinara, mozzarella, and ricotta dots. Layer on the last 3 noodles, and top it all off with the bread crumb topping.
Cover lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 30 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbling and beautiful.
And, of course, this lasagna makes a wonderful freezer meal! Wrap it up tight and pop it in the freezer on meal prep day, and toss it in the oven for dinner any night of the week. Trust me, your family will thank you for the hot, hearty meal! Good luck on those New Year’s resolutions, friends!