This vegetarian lasagna is made using classic, authentic ingredients like veggies, marinara, and bechamel. It only requires 15 minutes of prep time and is a real treat!
Growing up, I hated lasagna. It was just not my thing! I’d always sit in horror as my parents prepared the dish, wondering why on earth everyone else loved it so much.
As I got older and my distaste for the dish passionately increased, I learned that it wasn’t lasagna itself that I disdained, it was the ricotta! I realized that all along, it had been ricotta’s texture that didn’t sit quite right with me. After all, baked ricotta has a sort of grainy texture.
Much to my delight, I learned that Italians don’t actually use ricotta in their lasagna. They use bechamel – a white sauce made from milk, butter, parmesan, and flour! It tastes delicious and is the perfect substitute for ricotta.
Needless to say, we’ll be using bechamel in today’s recipe! Trust me, it’s much easier than it sounds. Since I began using it, I have a complete and total appreciation for a good, hearty, mouth watering lasagna!
My only regret? I wish I’d learned of this sooner!
Ingredients for vegetarian lasagna
My vegetable lasagna consists of just a handful of main ingredients. It’s your typical lasagna recipe – noodles, marinara, cheese, and veggies – but with an authentic twist. It’s quite easy to make, and the 15 minutes of required prep time will be more than worth it.
- Mixed veggies: It’s not a complete lasagna without some crunchy veggies! I’ll be making this homemade recipe with zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and spinach!
- Bechamel: Instead of ricotta cheese, this recipe calls for bechamel. It’s quite easy to make! You can find the recipe in the card below.
- Marinara: Marinara sauce can make or break any great lasagna. For this recipe, I’ll be using my own simple recipe! Here’s how I make my fresh tomato marinara.
- Lasagna noodles: For the noodles, I recommend using no boil noodles, which cut your prep time down dramatically.
- Cheese: As far as cheese is concerned, shredded mozzarella is the way to go! It tastes the best in lasagna and provides great texture.
How to make vegetable lasagna
Step 1: Prepare the veggies
First, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Layer the pan with zucchini, garlic, eggplant, and pepper, and cook until the zucchini is slightly soft. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Then, add the spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until it is completely wilted down. This will take about one minute.
Step 2: Begin to assemble
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Then, spread 1/2 cup of marinara onto the bottom of a 9×9 inch casserole dish. Next, layer on 1/3 of the lasagna noodles, snapping some to size as needed to fit into your pan.
Step 3: Add the bechamel
Once you’ve created one layer of marinara and noodles, it’s time to add some bechamel. Heat the milk in the microwave for about 2 minutes, just until it’s warm. Then, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Cook and stir the mixture until it’s slightly golden brown and no longer smells like raw flour. Slowly whisk in all of the milk, stirring well to evenly combine.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it thickens, which will be about 5 minutes. Finally, remove from the heat and stir in parmesan, salt, and pepper.
Once complete, layer 1/3 of the mixture on top of the noodles!
Step 4: Add the veggies
Here is where we add our veggie mixture. Layer 1/2 of the veggies on top of the bechamel.
Step 5: Add the cheese
Sprinkle 1/3 of your mozzarella cheese on top of the veggies. If you’re a cheese lover like me, feel free to be a bit generous with these layers!
Step 6: Cover in marinara
Using about one cup of marinara, cover the layer of mozzarella cheese. Then, top with another layer of lasagna noddles.
Repeat by adding another 1/3 of bechamel, 1/2 of the veggies, 1/3 of the cheese, and then 1/3 of the marinara.
Once you’ve added the marinara, complete one more layer, spooning on the remaining noddles, bechamel, veggies, and mozzarella.
Step 7: Bake the lasagna
Lastly, it’s time to bake! Covered tightly with aluminum foil, bake for 35-45 minutes, or until bubbling at the edges. If desired, remove foil and broil for 2-3 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
Great salads to pair with this lasagna
I love pairing this simple lasagna recipe with tons of nutritious greens. Here are some delicious salad ideas that you may enjoy!
- Quinoa Kale Salad
- Vegetarian Ceasar Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Everyday Kale Salad with Avocado and Apple
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing
- 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 eggplant diced
- 1 zucchini diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 handful spinach roughly chopped
- 2 cups milk low-fat or whole, 470 mL
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter 56 g
- 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour 30 g
- ½ cups grated parmesan 30 g
- ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
Remaining Lasagna Ingredients
- 9 or 18 no boil lasagna noodles depending on the size, mine were half sizes so I needed 18, about 250 g
- 3 cups marinara sauce click for homemade recipe, 950 g
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 200 g
- Veggies: Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, eggplant, zucchini, and pepper, cooking until zucchini is. slightly soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted down, about 1 minute.
- Bechamel: Heat milk in the microwave for about 2 minutes, just until warm. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, cooking and stirring until the mixture is slightly golden brown and no longer smells like raw flour. Slowly whisk in all of the milk, stirring well to evenly combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan, salt, and pepper.
- Assemble: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread ½ cup of marinara onto the bottom of a 9×9 inch casserole dish. Layer on ⅓ of the lasagna noodles, snapping some to size as needed to fit into your pan. Then layer – ⅓ of the bechamel, half of the veggies, ⅓ of the cheese, and 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with ⅓ of the lasagna noodles.Repeat for the second layer – ⅓ of the bechamel, second half of the veggies, ⅓ of the cheese, and 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with ⅓ of the lasagna noodles.For top – Spoon on remaining bechamel, remaining tomato sauce, and sprinkle on remaining cheese.
- Bake: Covered tightly with aluminum foil, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until bubbling at the edges. If desired, remove foil and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the top is golden brown.