“There are dozens of vegetable lasanga’s out there, but this one is one of my favorites as it includes a nice variety of veggies to make it a TRUE vegetable lasagna. I especially like this one as it includes a homemade (and easy!) marinara rather than jarred pasta sauce which can negatively impact the flavor of the final product. This homemade marinara has lots of basil and oregano and delivers a solid finished product. I’ll admit, this has several steps and takes about 45-60 minutes of prep. But you end up with a large 10×13 pan of lasagna that you can dish up for several days. It also freezes fantastically.”
- 9 lasagna noodles, cooked to package directions
- Vegetable Saute (recipe below)
- Spinach Ricotta (recipe below)
- Marinara Sauce (recipe below)
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4 cups grated mozzerella
- 1 lb fresh baby spinach (Yes, 1 whole pound. You’ll look at it and think there is no way it will all fit in the recipe, but once you boil it, it reduces to a little itty bitty amount. I like the tub of prewashed organic baby spinach.)
- 15 oz tub low fat ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp basil
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Bring large pot of water that filled to about 3 inches below rim to a boil. Add the spinach gradually and with large spoon dunk spinach until all spinach is below water. Boil for about 2-4 minutes until spinach is wilted. Immediately drain in colandar and let sit until fully drained. (This process is good to start in the very beginning as you can let it sit while you start on some of the other components such as the vegetable saute and marinara). Occasionally stir the spinach in the colander and press down to squeeze out excess moisture.
- Lay out spinach on a cutting board and chop.
- In large bowl stir ricotta cheese and egg. Mix well. Add in basil, oregano and salt and stir again. Gradually add in cooked and chopped spinach until completely combined.
- 3 – 15 oz cans tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1-2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional depending on sodium content of tomato sauce and your taste)
- In saucepan, heat all ingredients except salt over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for salt and add as necessary.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups small broccoli florets & some thinly sliced stems *see footnote
- 2 carrots, diced small
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, broccoli and carrots and saute for 4-5 minutes until carrots and broccoli are crisp tender. Add green pepper, mushrooms, basil, oregano and salt and saute for another 5-7 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. (See picture to view what final product looks like)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a 10×13 casserole dish, lay 3 lasagna noodles out flat.
- Spread 1/3 of the spinach ricotta mixture on noodles.
- Spread/sprinkle 1/3 of the vegetable saute on top of ricotta mixture.
- Evenly pour 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the vegetable saute.
- Sprinkle 1 1/4 cup of mozzerella and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan on top of marinara.
- Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 layers. Sprinkle the leftover mozzerela cheese on top (there should be about 1/2 cup extra leftover).
- Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned in some areas. Remove from oven and let sit at least 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Footnotes: To avoid lots of little broccoli “crumbs” when chopping, do not cut through top part. Only cut the stems of broccoli. Once cut through, go back and cut the stems lenghthwise again locating where the head meets at the stem and cutting between the small florets until you have very fine florets. You can then cut up on the stems toward the florets. The idea here is to have fairly small pieces–you don’t want to have big pieces of broccoli in this dish. See picture of vegetable saute finished for idea on size.
If you like it extra saucy, prepare more marinara to pour over the top when serving.