Meatless Monday doesn’t have to be tasteless Monday. This ooey gooey Roasted Vegetable Lasagna is so packed full of healthy vegetables, you won’t even miss the meat. The secret is to roast the vegetables first which intensifies the flavours and reduces any liquid so you don’t end up with a watery bottom.
I’ve never had much luck with no cook noodles so I don’t use them. And I don’t use low fat cheese. Ever. It doesn’t melt properly and the top of your lasagna ends up looking like melted plastic. Yuk.
Start by cutting up a variety of vegetables. Use any combination you like, based on what you have on hand and what’s in season. I use onions, mushrooms, sweet peppers, eggplant or summer squash and tomatoes. You can use chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes or both. And toss in some peeled cloves of garlic too. You need about 8 cups of chopped vegetables or about a full baking sheet. The veggies reduce quite a bit so you’ll end up with about half the amount.
Drizzle lots of olive oil over top, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes. I add some dried herbs after 15 or 20 minutes, just so they don’t burn. Basil and oregano are the best Italian flavoured herbs. Scrape the roasted veggies, including any juices into a bowl and stir in some pasta sauce. Any sauce works, Marinara is my favourite for Roasted Vegetable Lasagna.
If you have any fresh herbs on hand you can add them to the veggie mixture once they’re roasted. I love the flavour of fresh basil in Italian dishes.
In another bowl combine cottage cheese and an egg. You can use ricotta instead of cottage cheese if you like. The egg helps to bind the layer. You could actually stir the egg right in the cottage cheese container, one less bowl to wash.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a bit of salt. Lay a kitchen towel on the counter and cook 6 noodles at a time until al dente. By not crowding them you can ensure they all cook evenly and can remove them quickly before they overcook and start tearing. Cook the next batch while you’re assembling the first few layers.
Spoon a very thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a pan that has the dimensions to hold 3 lasagna noodles by length and width.
Place 3 noodles side by side in the first layer. Spoon half of the vegetable mixture evenly over the noodles. Cover with 3 more noodles. Spread the entire contents of the cottage cheese and egg mixture over top. Cover with a layer of lasagna. This will help sneak some extra veggies into the lasagna. They reduce so much they almost disappear.
Lay a third layer of noodles and spread the remaining vegetable mixture evenly over top. Top with the last 3 noodles and spread about a cup of sauce over top. Cover with shredded mozzarella.
Generously rub or spray a sheet of foil with oil. This is important because otherwise when you remove the foil the cheese will stick to the foil and peel off. Cover the lasagna lightly and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 30 more minutes until top is brown and bubbling. Let it rest at least 15 minutes before serving so the pieces stay together.
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 650 ml jarred pasta sauce or about 2½ cups
- 2 cups cottage cheese 450-500 gram container
- 1 large egg
- 8 cups chopped vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, summer squash, sweet peppers, onions, mushrooms, shallots, garlic cloves, etc.
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 handful fresh chopped basil
- 4 cups loosely packed spinach chop if not using baby spinach
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Chop vegetables into bite sized pieces. Toss in olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Scatter on large baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Add dried herbs, stir and continue to roast another 20-25 minutes until vegetables are soft, reduced and beginning to caramelize.
- Scrape vegetable mixture into a large bowl, including any liquid and dark bits. Add 1 cup of pasta sauce. Chop fresh basil and stir into roasted vegetable combination.
- While vegetables are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in batches of 6 until al dente. Drain on clean kitchen towel.
- Stir 1 egg into container of cottage cheese.
- To assemble, spread a thin layer, approximately ½ cup of sauce in the bottom of a rectangular baking dish. Lay 3 cooked lasagna noodles side by side, then cover with half of the vegetable mixture.
- Add 3 more noodles and top with the cottage cheese mixture. Lay fresh spinach evenly over top.
- Add 3 more noodles and spread remaining vegetable mixture over top. Top with last 3 noodles. Spread remaining pasta sauce over top evenly.
- Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Spray or wipe a sheet of foil with oil to prevent the cheese from sticking. Loosely cover lasagna with foil oil side down and bake in the centre of preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook 30 more minutes or until the top is browning and bubbling.
- Let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting.