The Best-ever Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe
No One Will Believe It’s Vegetarian – And Even Meat Lovers Will Be Satisfied.
Best-ever lasagna recipe + it’s vegetarian!
Filled with eggplant, portobello mushrooms, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, layers of creamy whipped ricotta and mascarpone cheese topped with a homemade red sauce and baked to perfection.
This really is the Best Lasagna Ever!
Rich and decadent comfort food the whole family will love! Serve with a simple tossed salad and garlic bread.
My husband is very opinionated about food, especially Italian food. He grew up with traditional iconic Italian grandparents that immigrated to America in late 1920s. His grandmothers had kitchens built in their basements where culinary magic happened.
I still use many of his grandmas recipes but when it comes to lasagna, the one everyone asks for is my vegetarian lasagna. His Nonna’s didn’t add ground beef or vegetables.
This is the perfect make-ahead lasagna recipe for family gatherings and potluck. Filled with lots of fresh veggies and a divine cheese mixture.
I’m picky about my Italian food as well, because my Italian grandmother (she was born on the boat coming from Italy) and her daughter – my mom were maybe the worst Italian cooks in the entire world.
Now, I’m sure it had a lot to do with my grandma trying to raise 4 kids on her own at the end of the great depression. She learned to be very frugal. My Grandma and my mom made sauce with a can of tomato paste, dried Italian seasonings and water. It was bad.
I HATED Italian food until I was in 5th grade when my best friends parents were full blooded, new to the country italians. And they opened up a world of flavors that I’d never experienced at home.
Best-ever Vegetarian Lasagna
This recipe is super easy and can be customized based on the vegetables that are avaiable and in season. Vegetarian lasagna is perfect for gatherings when you need to feed a crowd. Everyone will love it vegetarian and meat lovers alike.
My husband thinks this is the best lasagna he’s ever had and that includes his Nonna’s and all the lasagna we’ve eaten in Italy.
You and your family will fall in love with this vegetarian lasagna.
This vegetarian Lasagna recipe can be customized to taste and avaialbe fresh veggies. Zucchini and squash in the spring and summer, butternut squash in winter, and eggplant with portobello mushrooms anytime of year.
Best-ever Vegetarian Lasagna
- Large lasgna pan
- Large sauté pan
- Dutch oven
- Hand mixer
- .5 C olive oil - extra virgin
- .5 C balsamic vinegar - good quality
- 5 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 6 C prewashed baby spinach
- 2 eggplant - medium-sized and heavy for their size, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 C portobello mushroom - debearded and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- .75 C sundried tomatoes - packed in oil and roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- .5 C basil - fresh, cut into ribbons
- 20 lasagna noodles - oven-ready
- 16 oz mozzarella cheese - shredded
- 12 oz Italian cheese blend - shredded
- .5 C grated Parmesan cheese
- 32 oz ricotta cheese - whole milk
- 8 oz mascarpone or full-fat cream cheese
- .5 lemon
- .5 C olive oil - extra virgin
- .5 C sweet onion - finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes - can of good quality Italian tomatoes
- 28 oz tomato sauce - can of good quality Italian tomatoes
- 1 T of Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning - dried
- 1 T oregano - dried
- 1 t dried red pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the Sauce
- In a large dutch oven heat olive oil over med heat. Add garlic and onion and dried herbs and red pepper. Cook until onions are translucent. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Stir and cover.
- Lower heat and cook for 30 minutes or longer.
To cook the vegetables
- Heat 1 t of olive oil over med heat, add a little garlic and working in batches sauté the spinach until thoroughly cooked. Adding a little oil as needed.Remove to a tray or pan covered with paper towels and squeeze out most of the remaining moisture. Careful it will be hot. Continue working until all spinach is cooked. Set aside to cool.
- Add a little oil to the pan and sauté eggplant until tender-crisp, then add portobello mushrooms, and cook until just tender, add sundried tomatoes, add balsamic vinegar and cook until all vegetables are tender and the balsamic is reduced slightly. Remove from heat and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
- Roughly chop the sautéd spinach. Then add to the bowl of vegetables and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
To Make the Cheese Filling
- Place the container of ricotta and the mascarpone cheese in a large mixing bowl, squeeze juice of 1/2 of a lemon. Next using a hand mixer whip the ricotta and mascarpone until very smooth and creamy. Set aside.
To Assemble the Lasagna
- In a clean bowl mix Italian cheese blend and mozzarella cheese together.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cover the bottom of a large lasagna pan with a thin layer of sauce.
- Spread cheese mixture on four (4) oven-ready lasagna noodles. Place noodles, cheese side up on top of the sauce layer.
- Spread a layer of vegetables over cheese and noodle layer.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Add a layer of sauce.
- Repeat 3 more times.
- For the final layer, spread cheese mixture on four (4) oven-ready lasagna noodles. Place noodles, cheese side down.
- Top with a layer of sauce and top with shredded cheese.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and basil ribbons.
- Cover with a foil tent (making sure you keep the foil from touching the cheese) and cook for 45 minutes. Cook times are approximate - oven temperatures vary widely.
- Remove foil and cook an additional 10 or 15 mniutes until cheese is a golden brown.
Make Ahead TipThis recipe can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before cooking.
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