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Vegetarian Lasagna

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!

A plate of vegetarian lasagna on a white background

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!

Two plates and a casserole dish of vegetarian lasagna on a white background

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.
A black spatula scooping a serving of vegetarian lasagna from the casserole dish

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.

Mixed vegetables in a pan on a white background

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.

A casserole dish filled with marinara, mozzarella, and lasagna noodles

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!

A casserole dish filled with marinara, mozzarella, lasagna noodles, and bechamel

Step 4: Add the veggies
Here is where we add our veggie mixture. Layer 1/2 of the veggies on top of the bechamel.

A casserole dish filled with marinara, mozzarella, lasagna noodles, bechamel, and vegetables

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!

A casserole dish filled with marinara, lasagna noodles, bechamel, veggies, and mozzarella

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.

A casserole dish filled with lasagna noodles, bechamel, veggies, mozzarella, and marinara

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.

Baked vegetarian lasagna in a casserole dish on a white background

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!

P.S. Looking for a noodle-free lasagna? Try this Eggplant Lasagna (it’s gluten-free!) Need a more low key pasta casserole? Try Baked Ziti.

Vegetarian Lasagna

This vegetarian lasagna is made using classic ingredients like veggies, marinara, and bechamel!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes, Pastas
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: meatless lasagna, vegetable lasagna, vegetarian lasagna
Diet: Vegetarian
Occasion: Christmas, Valentine’s Day
Time: 60 minutes or more
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 441kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
4.8 from 10 votes

INGREDIENTS

Veggies
  • 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
Bechamel
  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 441kcal | Carbohydrates: 59.1g | Protein: 15.1g | Fat: 16.8g | Saturated Fat: 7.4g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 577mg | Potassium: 460mg | Fiber: 6.6g | Sugar: 12.1g | Calcium: 208mg | Iron: 3mg
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Hi, I’m Sarah!

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Recipe Rating




  1. Tiffany Rudd says:

    This has become our go-to recipe for lasagna. It is flavorful, delicious, and so easy prep work wise. We even made it for my partner’s dad for father’s day and he went back for seconds! That’s quite the compliment coming from a man who makes a lot of his own dishes by hand.

    Before this recipe, I was a girl who loved ricotta in her lasagna. But now? I actually think I prefer the bechamel sauce. It’s just so yummy and every friend we’ve had over who has tried this has agreed with us. It just gives something that ricotta cannot. The one thing we did change was we did thicker layers, which resulted in us only being able to do one really good round of the layers you suggest, but all the flavors were still there and great.

    As a tip to anyone who makes this, make two and freeze the second one. We prepped everything in the pan, then covered with plastic wrap and foil before popping the whole thing in a 2 gallon freezer bag. It froze and reheated super well, just be sure to add additional time since, you know, it’s frozen. Definitely beats any of those frozen meals you can buy at the store!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      LOVE the idea to meal prep this! Lasagna is one of those things that are so easy to make in big batches (we always make 3 or 4 and bring to extended family). Thanks for letting us know how the freezing went!

  2. Cheril says:

    Want to try. How ever, just a heads up, if you’re using parmesan cheese to make the white sauce it is NOT vegetarian. It contains rennet from the lining of a calves stomach….5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, Cheril! Belgioioso has a good vegetarian parmesan you might like 😀

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