How To Make Vegetarian Lasagna
Get your flexitarian on! It’s the how to make vegetarian lasagna post. Or should it be the how to make vegetable lasagna post? Not sure, but this how to make vegetarian lasagna is both vegetarian and filled with many vegetables. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like a meatful lasagna, too, but with the holidays coming, more and more vegetarians are showing up. My older brother just flipped teams and has actually bought (and eaten) a tofurky. Wow! I figure a vegetable lasagna is nice and hearty and I would rather serve that. With all the flavors and deliciousness, I just think it will be a bigger hit and it can still go with all the side dishes at a holiday feast.
How To Make Vegetarian Lasagna – The Stack
Like regular lasagna, this vegetable lasagna will have 3 layers – no more, no less. I think, but can’t be totally sure, that this is in the Italian constitution – only 3! The layers will consist of my all purpose tomato sauce , noodles, a ricotta-spinach mixture, roasted vegetables, and cheese. Here is how it lays out from top to bottom…
How To Make Vegetarian Lasagna – The Vegetables
When one masters how to make vegetarian lasagna, one masters how to get a massive amount of vegetables into a small area. The roasting of the vegetables is not that difficult. A toss in olive oil, some light salt and pepper, maybe some garlic and into a hot oven until tender is all you need. Of course, slicing them very thinly is important. The idea here is to increase flavor, but also drive off water. If the veggies are watery, this will not be good for your lasagna. One thing to consider is to buy the roasted vegetables from your favorite Italian deli. This will save lots of time. I also like to saute mushrooms. I think they add a nice texture and flavor. When choosing vegetables, go for a variety of flavors – classics like eggplant and zucchini are great, but sweet roasted fennel is very welcome and so are sweet roasted carrots. The sweetness goes nicely with the tomato sauce!
How To Make Vegetarian Lasagna – More Water Management
The classic addition to this lasagna is a mixture of ricotta cheese and chopped spinach. Using frozen spinach is fine, but do your best to squeeze every ounce of water out of it. When you think you have squeezed all the water out, squeeze the spinach again. This is a how to make vegetarian lasagna post – not a how to make a watery one. Water bad!
How To Make Vegetarian Lasagna – Noodles
Not only is knowing how to make vegetarian lasagna about vegetable density, it is all about noodle goodness. I like to make my lasagna noodles fresh, but boxed noodles have worked since the beginning of time and I won’t say anything bad about them. Every delicious lasagna my mom made was made with Ronzoni lasagna noodles. Nowadays, you can even get noodles that you don’t have to pre-cook. If you can get fresh noodle sheets, give them a try. I don’t cook my noodles and they come out fine. Not cooking them also helps with water management!
How To Make Vegetarian Lasagna – The Cheese
Only 2 things to say here – 1) use low moisture mozzarella and 2) don’t skimp. Cheesy lasagna is excellent lasagna!
How To Make Vegetarian Lasagna – To Cook Or Freeze
After the whole thing gets constructed, you have a few choices. You can cook it immediately, put it in the fridge and cook it the next day, or freeze the whole thing and cook it at another time. Freezing it is nice! It makes it possible to prepare it way ahead. When ready to cook, I thaw mine in the fridge, let it warm up a little on the counter, then cook it through. Let your lasagna rest before slicing!
The ‘How To Make Vegetarian Lasagna’ video is below. The full recipe follows.
- 4 cups of all-purpose tomato sauce (http://www.theculinaryexchange.com/how-to-make-tomato-sauce)
- 1 pound of fresh or no cook boxed lasagna noodles
- 2 1/2 pounds of thinly sliced roasted vegetables of your choice like zucchini, carrot, and fennel
- 1/2 pound of sliced mushrooms
- 1 pound of ricotta cheese
- 1 pound frozen chopped spinach drained well (really well)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp oregano
- 3-4 cups of low-moisture, shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté unit they are just becoming tender. Set the mushrooms aside. Let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl mix the ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan, oregano and chopped, drained spinach. Mix well. Season lightly with salt and pepper
- Spray 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce (about 1 - 1.25 cups of the tomato sauce) on the bottom of the pan.
- Top the sauce layer with a layer of noodles. They can overlap a little if necessary.
- Top the noodles with 1/2 of the ricotta-spinach mixture.
- Top of the ricotta spinach mixture with a layer of mixed roasted vegetables/mushrooms.
- Top the vegetables/mushrooms with one cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
- After the mozzarella cheese, top with another layer of sauce - another cup or more as needed.
- Repeat this layering again to create the second lasagna layer, ending, as above, wth a layer of sauce.
- For the final layer, top the sauce layer with another layer of noodles then another layer of sauce and another layer of mozzarella cheese.
- Bake the lasagna for one hour until bubbly and the cheese on top is golden brown. It may be necessary to tent the top of the lasagna during cooking to prevent the cheese from burning.
- Serve hot.
- After assembling, the lasagna can be wrapped with plastic wrap and foil and frozen until needed. Thaw the lasagna in the refrigerator, let the lasagna come to room temperature then bake as instructed.
- The lasagna can also be wrapped with plastic wrap and foil and refrigerated for cooking the next day. Let the lasagna come to room temperature then bake as instructed.
- You can also sprinkle some parmesan cheese along with the mozzarella.
- Try a mixture of different roasted vegetables for different tastes and textures.
- Squeeze absolutely as much water out of the spinach as possible!
- The leftovers can be frozen in air tight, individual serving containers for later consumption.
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How do you like your vegetarian lasagna? What vegetables do you use in it? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.
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