Lasagna is one of those classic decadent pasta dishes that everyone loves, interestingly however it never appealed to me much as the veggie version always seemed overly stuffed with cheese that even when it was called a veggie lasagna there was very little vegetables in it. I’ve tried over the years many veggie lasagnas and have come to the conclusion that restaurants don’t do vegetarian lasagna very good. Their meat based lasagnas are always a hit (or so I hear), but veggie lasagnas? Not so. Consequently I never bothered making lasagna at home, having not had anything worthwhile at restaurants, I really didn’t have any incentive to try and replicate a cool veggie lasagna recipe. That is until I saw this post from my friend Padmini on her Instagram feed plates.by.patty.
Doesn’t that look like a beautiful vegetable lasagna!! I immediately texted her and asked for the recipe which she happily shared. There are multiple steps to this delicious pasta but as Padmini herself put it “Complicated 😀 but worth it.” And I concur!! This vegetable lasagna was worth every step in the process!! It’s delicious beyond belief, packed with a variety of veggies making it a light pasta dish with lots of gooey cheese and tangy marinara sauce for even more flavor. This is one veggie lasagna I’ll be making again and again!!
Each layer is packed with flavor and one large square of this vegetable lasagna makes for a generous serving.
With 2 zucchinis, 2 bell peppers, 2 carrots, spinach, garlic and onions – this lasagna lives up to its name Vegetable Lasagna!
On those days when you have time and are in the mood to make a delicious flavorful veggie packed baked pasta, give this recipe a try! Or how about making it now? Especially as we are all still in Stay at Home mode.
recipe contributed by Padmini
with a few modifications
- 1 box of oven ready Barilla brand lasagna sheets
- 2 jars of marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 16oz carton ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 box of frozen chopped spinach
- 2 zucchini finely cut
- 2 bell peppers finely cut
- 2 carrots finely cut
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 1 shallot finely cut or 1 small onion finely cut
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Dried oregano of fresh basil for garnish
- 9×13 baking dish
- 1/2 tsp Red chili flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Make the the veggie mixture: In a pan heat 3 tbsp olive oil. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds. Then add the veggies, salt and pepper to taste and chili flakes if using. Cook the veggies until tender about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Make the ricotta cheese mixture: Microwave the spinach for 3 minutes until thawed. Squeeze the water out of the spinach and add it to the ricotta cheese. Add the finely cut shallot, 1 egg and salt and pepper and mix together. Set aside.
- Assemble the lasagna: Generously add olive oil in the baking dish and oil the bottom and sides of dish.
- Start by pouring marinara sauce at the bottom of the pan to completely cover the bottom. Add three sheets of pasta. Note: pasta sheets expand when they cook.
- Top the sheet with veggie mixture. Evenly spread some Monterey Jack cheese and ladle over more sauce.
- Add another sheet and top that with ricotta cheese. Add more shredded cheese and sauce. Top with another pasta sheet and repeat – veggie mix, cheese, sauce, sheet, ricotta cheese, cheese, sauce. Do this until all the veggies and ricotta cheese mixtures are used up. I used a total of 15 sheets.
- The last layer is pasta sheet. Generously top that with marinara sauce and lots of mozzarella cheese. If you have extra sauce leftover pour that around the baking dish. Sprinkle some oregano and top with fresh basil.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes until sauce is bubbling. Remove the foil and then continue baking for 10 more minutes to brown the cheese slightly.
- Take out of oven and let sit for 30 minutes preferably longer to allow all the cheese to bind and settle.
- Serve warm.