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Lasagna is one of my go-to meals to cook when I have family over. It’s simple, it makes a lot of food, and it’s good. Since I don’t cook with red meat very often, I only make vegetable lasagna, and I’ve refined and perfected my recipe over the past few years. I have to say, I’m pretty proud of it.

My dad came over for dinner recently and I thought it was a good excuse to prepare a lasagna feast, since I hadn’t made it in a while. The great thing is that you can use whatever vegetables are your favorite—just aim for about 2.5 pounds total. Sometimes I also add black olives, and I think capers could be a nice addition as well. I prefer my lasagna on the noodley side so my recipe calls for three layers, but two should work fine. I prefer to use real mozzarella, not the comes-in-a-bag, oddly powdery stuff. Also, my seasoning measurements are estimates because I normally just eyeball it. Basically, the recipe I’m sharing is a great place to start and then find ways to make it your own!

Vegetable Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 12-15 lasagna noodles
  • 24 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 pound of mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, julienned
  • 4 bell peppers (I like to use a variety of colors), sliced
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 8 ounces of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (more, less, or none depending on  your heat tolerance)
  • Sale and pepper to taste
  • 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the directions on the package. The recipe isn’t super saucy, so I do not recommend using oven-ready noodles.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the vegetables to the pan and season with Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper (if desired), and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until softened and any liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine. Check seasonings and add more if needed. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. While the vegetable mixture is cooking, stir the basil and parsley into the ricotta (I don’t add an egg, but you could if you prefer).
  7. Line a baking dish with lasagna noodles. Spread a third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles and top with a third of the mozzarella and a third of the vegetable mixture. Repeat twice, ending with the vegetable mixture.
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and just beginning to brown.

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