Large piece of roasted vegetable lasagna garnished with fresh basil on a blue plate.
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5 from 12 votes

Meatless Lasagna (with roasted vegetables}

This roasted vegetable lasagna is absolutely chock full of veggies and has a delicious cottage cheese layer. The whole thing is topped with plenty of mozzarella cheese for one epic meal! This will be your go to meatless lasagna recipe for Sunday supper and special occasions!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cooking for a crowd, meatless meal, Sunday supper, vegetarian casserole
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 servings
Author Dawn - Girl Heart Food

Ingredients

Roasted Vegetables

  • 2 eggplants -peeled & sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 3 zucchini -peeled & sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Sautéed Mushrooms

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 lb bella mushrooms -sliced (or use white button)
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper

Cottage Cheese Layer

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup parsley -roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 whisked egg -I used 'large'

Lasagna Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots -finely chopped
  • 3 celery -finely chopped
  • 1 onion -finely chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel (bulb only) -core remove and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic -minced
  • 156 ml can of tomato paste
  • 2 bell peppers -diced
  • 2 796ml cans of San Marzano tomatoes -I opted for 'whole' and crushed with my hands (or use a potato masher)
  • 1 cup fresh basil -roughly chopped (loosely packed)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili flakes -or to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp salt -or to taste (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Other Lasagna Ingredients

  • 360 grams fresh lasagna noodles -or your favourite dried variety (6-10 sheets, depending on size). Note: If your sheets are the smaller dried variety, you'll need around 10 sheets.
  • 4.5 cups shredded mozzarella -also known as 'pizza' mozzarella
  • 250 grams fresh mozzarella -sliced (or you could use shredded mozzarella)
  • basil -garnish, optional
  • parsley -garnish, optional

Instructions

Roasted Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Brush eggplant and zucchini with 1/2 of olive oil (1.5 tbsp) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on two parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake 25 minutes, turning once (brushing second side with remaining 1.5 tbsp of olive oil). Carefully remove and lay to one side.

Sautéed Mushrooms

  • Meanwhile, add butter and olive oil to a large pot on medium heat, When butter is melted and oil shimmering, add mushrooms, cook 10-12 minutes. Allow to sit for a few minutes before stirring occasionally. Remove and lay to one side. Season with salt and pepper. Yields about 3 cups (cooked).

Cottage Cheese Layer

  • In the same pot, add olive oil (wipe out pot first, if needed). Then, add spinach and nutmeg and cook until just wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from pot and squeeze out excess moisture via a sieve or tea towel. Chop.
  • Place cottage cheese in a bowl, along with sauteed spinach, mozzarella, parmesan, parsley, salt, pepper and egg. Mix to combine and lay to one side for later.

Lasagna Sauce

  • Add olive oil to a large pot on medium heat. Once shimmering, add carrot, celery, onion and fennel. Stir to combine and cook about 15-20 minutes. Season with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.
  • Add garlic and cook one minute.
  • Stir in tomato paste and cook 3 minutes.
  • Stir in bell peppers.
  • Add canned tomatoes, basil, oregano, chili flakes, bay leaves, remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, remaining 1/4 tsp of pepper and 1/2 cup of water (rinse out tomato cans). Bring to simmer, reduce heat to a low-medium simmer and cook for about 35- 40 minutes or until sauce has thickened and flavour has intensified. Remove bay leaves. Will yield about 7-8 cups of sauce after it has reduced.
    Note: Taste for seasoning and if you want a little more salt, add to taste.

Assembling/Baking Lasagna

  • Set oven to 375 F.
  • In a large 9 x 13 DEEP lasagna pan (with sides at least 3.5 - 4 inches tall) add 1/2 cup of sauce.
  • Add one layer of noodles on top (if using fresh, no need to cook. If using dried noodles, cook per package instructions and proceed with the recipe).
  • Spread 1/3 of sauce on top of noodles, followed by 1/3 of the eggplant, 1/3 of the zucchini, 1/3 of the mushrooms, 1/3 of the cottage cheese and 1.5 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
    Note: The cottage cheese is thick. I like to 'dollop' the cottage cheese onto the lasagna all over (rather than spread).
  • Repeat TWO more times (another layer of noodles, followed by 1/3 of sauce on top of noodles, followed by 1/3 of the eggplant, 1/3 of the zucchini, 1/3 of the mushrooms, 1/3 of the cottage cheese and 1.5 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese).
  • Top with sliced fresh mozzarella.
  • Stick 6-8 toothpicks in top of the lasagna (so the foil doesn't stick to the cheese) and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove cover and toothpicks (and discard) and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
    Note: Make sure you keep track of how many toothpicks you stick in the lasagna (and they are mostly sticking out) so you can easily remove them all later.
  • If you want more colour on the cheese, turn oven to broil and cook 3-5 minutes or until cheese has some brown spots and is melty and bubbly. Carefully remove from oven, let cool 30 minutes before garnishing and cutting into pieces (don't skip this). Enjoy!

Notes

  • I highly recommend using good quality canned tomatoes. I love San Marzano.
  • A food processor is your friend here. Save time chopping those veg for the sauce by blitzing them with a food processor. Don't have one? No worries! Simply finely chop.
  • If you want to used canned mushrooms instead of fresh, that's a-ok. You could skip sautéing them. Just drain and use in the recipe.
  • Fresh lasagna noodles were used here so they literally went from the package to the casserole dish. You could use dried lasagna noodles should you wish. Simply cook per package instructions before using in this veg lasagna.
  • If you don't want to use fresh fennel, try a tsp and half or so of fennel seeds.
Tried this recipe? That's awesome!Mention @dawn.girlheartfood or tag #girlheartfood