So we all love lasagne, but not all of us have ever given a vegetable lasagne a good go. After all, it’s easy to dismiss it as a basic healthy rip-off of the meaty comfort food we all love. However, you really can have a vegetarian lasagne without sacrificing texture or flavour – and this one proves it! The finely diced veggies provide all of your 5-a-day while still filling you up and having an amazing texture. Plus, you then top it off with 3 different cheeses for an ultimate dinner! What’s not to love?
Admittedly, I wasn’t sure that this recipe would work out. After all, finely chopping veggies is so fiddly and time-consuming. Plus plenty of people simply prefer meat! But, one thing that made a really big difference was that I got a set of really great knives for my birthday last week and WOW. I can’t believe how quick and easy it was to chop the vegetables so finely! Seriously, if you don’t already have a decent set of kitchen knives then please go and buy yourself some! They don’t have to be super expensive either, you only need one or two decent ones!
Once you dice the veggies, you’re ready to start simmering your veggie ragù. This is the tomato sauce part of the vegetable lasagne for those of you who might not know. All you do is add your veggies to the pan in the right order, then add your crushed tomatoes, water and herbs and simmer! Easy!
Then you just need to layer up your lasagne. I used a mix of parmesan and ricotta for the inside layers, plus an extra layer of mozzarella on top. However, if you prefer to use other types of cheese instead then go for it! The reason you add the egg to the ricotta is just to help prevent it from becoming too grainy and to make it a little richer. So, if you’re using another cheese instead then you might want to leave it out.
Finally, you can just pop your vegetable lasagnes in the oven and sit back and have a rest (or tidy up the kitchen!). Then, when the timer goes off you’re ready to eat! I will warn you though, they come out of the oven piping hot so please be careful not to burn yourself!
These vegetable lasagnes are also freezer-friendly! So, if you’re feeding less than 4 people and you have some leftovers, just let them cool to room temperature and then pop them in the fridge or freezer! When you’re ready to eat, you just need to let them fully defrost and then reheat in the microwave until piping hot.
I will admit that I had a rather amusing problem when making the vegetable ragù for these lasagnes. You see, because I use a walker with a perching seat on it in the kitchen to help me walk around, I was sat down to keep an eye on it. All of a sudden, I noticed a pair of big eyes looking up at me from the kitchen floor. Less than half a second later there was a cat on my lap!
It turns out, Mog had noticed that I was sat down and wearing some rather soft pyjama bottoms. So, logically, she helped herself to my lap while completely ignoring the simmering pan of sauce to her left! We did want to take a photo to show you but decided against it. After all, it was difficult enough trying to stir the vegetable ragu with her tail in my face, let alone trying to look presentable for a photo in that situation – I was still in my pyjamas!
Eventually, I did have to gently remove her from my lap (despite her shouting at me) so that I could assemble the veggie lasagnes. In fact, this is probably her least favourite recipe on my blog simply because it resulted in less lap time. She really is the cuddliest cat ever – she’s like a teddy bear!
For the vegetable ragù:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 1 medium carrot peeled and finely diced
- 1/2 courgette/zucchini finely diced
- 1/2 aubergine/eggplant finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- 2 tbsp double concentrate tomato puree
- 700 grams crushed tomatoes passata rustica
- 200 ml water
- 1 tsp Italian herb blend
- salt and pepper to season
To layer the lasagne:
- 200 grams fresh pasta sheets
- 200 grams ricotta
- 1 large egg
- 100 grams parmesan grated
- 200 grams mozzarella sliced
- Preheat the oven to 190°C. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Once warm, add the garlic and onion and soften for 3 minutes.
- Add the carrot and allow it to soften for 2 minutes, then add the courgette and let it soften for 2 minutes. Add the aubergine and allow it to soften for 5 minutes, then add the pepper and allow it to soften for 3 minutes.
- Add the double concentrate tomato puree and stir to let it coat the veg. Allow the veg to soften in it for 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, water and herbs. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once reduced, spoon a thin layer into the dish you choose to use for your lasagne (I used 4 individual casserole dishes). Top with one layer of pasta sheets. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta and egg, then spoon a thin layer on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle parmesan over and repeat.
- Once your dish(es) are full and you have used up all of the ragù, top with a final layer of pasta sheets, ricotta mixture, parmesan and then a layer of sliced mozzarella. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pasta sheets are cooked through and the cheese is all melted and golden. Serve.
If you like the look of this vegetable lasagne recipe then you might also like my stuffed pasta shells with spinach, pesto, peppers & mozzarella since they’re completely vegetarian, have plenty of cheese and are also baked in a delicious tomato sauce.
Or, you might like my tomato risotto with chargrilled veggies for the same reason.
If you’re looking for a side dish to serve with these lasagnes, try my cheesy garlic butter pinwheels for an indulgent, buttery take on garlic bread.
Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments! Good luck cooking!