Vegetarian Lasagna

Since Marc and I are trying to cut back on meat, I am all about working on new vegetarian recipes lately. That doesn’t mean I am going to give up my big, comforting Italian dishes though! I whipped up an amazing, hearty vegetarian lasagna that even my meat loving Nana Lulu would be super proud of. It had the most wonderful ricotta based filling, luscious béchamel sauce and lots of mozzarella cheese. It didn’t take all day to make either, I had it on the table in 2 hours!

My food processor did most of the vegetable prep for me! There were mushrooms, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, broccoli and red bell pepper. Since I didn’t want the vegetables falling out all over the place, the food processor made it all a much more fine paste that was easy to spread. I also was not sure how much I would have to recipe test this, so the filling recipe I list is about double what I needed. I loved that though, I just froze the remaining filling so that I could whip this up again soon!
I made the béchamel sauce in the same skillet that I cooked the vegetables in so that there was already a flavor base. It made the elements of the lasagna all tie together more. Béchamel is seriously my favorite sauce in the world, it can be used in so many dishes.
Once the filling and béchamel were finished and I quickly boiled by lasagna noodles, it was time to put this bad boy together. I always like to grease a lasagna on the bottom with some of the sauce. Then it was just a matter of layering noodles, béchamel, filling and cheese 3 times. The top layer was more noodles followed by the last of the béchamel and cheese. Oh my word it looked gorgeous already.

When it came out of the oven, it was slightly golden on top and so bubbly. It smelled incredible! When I tried it, I absolutely loved how the mushrooms really made the dish seem meaty and satisfying along with all of the rest of the lovely vegetables. My carnivorous Marc went nuts for it too. It was great to have another meatless dish in our arsenal as we try and cut back. Hope you all love it too! xoxo

Vegetarian Lasagna
Vegetarian Lasagna
5 from 2 votes
Vegetarian Lasagna
Vegetarian Lasagna
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
2 hrs
 

This vegetarian lasagna still tastes so meaty with a luscious filling packed with mushrooms and other vegetables, along with lots of bechamel and cheese!

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Lasagna, Vegetarian Lasagna
Servings: 8
Calories: 621 kcal
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
Ingredients
FOR THE FILLING
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 whole onion diced into small chunks
  • 1 whole carrot peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 stalk celery cut into small chunks
  • 1 whole red bell pepper seeded and cut into small chunks
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small florets, with the stem diced too
  • 1 dash olive oil
  • 32 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil roughly chopped, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper
FOR THE BECHAMEL AND ASSEMBLY
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 16 whole dry lasagna noodles about a box, you may have a couple leftover
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. First, make the filling. Set up a food processor and put the mushrooms in its bowl. Pulse them until finely chopped to make room for the rest of the vegetables. Then add in the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper and broccoli. Run the processor until it becomes pasty but still has some texture. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with deep sides over medium high heat. Add the veggies and aromatics to the pan and let them cook through and become fragrant for about 6-8 minutes. While the mixture cooks, get a large pot of water on to boil for the lasagna. Then transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl when it is done and set it aside to cool. 

  2. Use the same skillet to make the bechamel since it has a flavorful veggie base. Melt the butter in the skillet still over medium high heat. Whisk in the flour and keep whisking them together until you have a thick, golden paste. Keep whisking while you slowly pour in the milk until you have a lovely white sauce. Whisk in the salt and nutmeg, then let the sauce simmer and thicken for 10-15 minutes. Keep whisking it occasionally so that it doesn't become lumpy. While the bechamel cooks, finish the filling by stirring the ricotta, basil, parmesan, salt and pepper into the bowl with the veggies thoroughly. The water should be boiling by this point, so boil the noodles until tender for about 8 minutes. Drain them and set them aside to cool enough to handle. 

  3. Now you are ready to assemble. Pre-heat the oven to 350 and get out a 9 x 13 lasagna pan. Spread a thin layer of the bechamel sauce on the bottom of the pan, then lay out 4 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spread another thin layer of bechamel on top of the noodles, followed by a thick, generous layer of the veggie filling and a big handful of mozzarella sprinkled on top. Repeat this layering twice more to have 3 layers total. You will probably only use about half of the filling. Freeze the rest for later use, it keeps for months! Then lay out the final 4 lasagna noodles on top, followed by the remaining bechamel in a thick layer and the rest of the mozzarella. Bake the lasagna for 45-50 minutes, until bubbly and slightly golden on top. Let it set for a few minutes and sprinkle more chopped basil on top. Then cut and serve! Makes great leftovers too. 

Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Lasagna
Amount Per Serving (1 piece)
Calories 621 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 9.9g62%
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 282mg12%
Potassium 339mg10%
Carbohydrates 91.2g30%
Fiber 5.5g23%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 26.8g54%
Calcium 240mg24%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Vegetarian Lasagna
Vegetarian Lasagna

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