Vegetable Lasagna: The Perfect Make-ahead Dish

vegetable lasagna

Lasagna is the perfect make-ahead dish that takes the stress out of last-minute meal preparation. We make ours with no-boil noodles and farm fresh veggies. It takes a few more steps than your average meal, but worth every bite.

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Vegetable Lasagna

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, about a cup, diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 8 ounces fresh white or cremini mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 5-6 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 4 cups low-sodium marinara sauce jarred or homemade (see our recipe below)
  • 1 (15 to 16 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese (divided)
  • 3 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 box, 12 pieces, no-boil, oven ready lasagna
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat large, 4-quart pot to medium high and add olive oil, onion, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Sauté about 5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  3. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini and garlic to onion mixture and sauté another 5 to 10 minutes, or until juices are evaporated.
  4. Add spinach and stir gently for 1 or 2 minutes just until spinach is wilted. Remove pot from heat.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg and ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
  6. Now you are ready to assemble the lasagna: Spread 1 cup marinara sauce over the bottom of a 13x9 glass baking dish and place 3 lasagna noodles side by side over the sauce, do not overlap.
  7. Layer as follows:
  • Spread ⅔ cup ricotta mixture evenly over the 3 noodles.
  • Spread about a cup of the vegetable mixture over the ricotta.
  • Spread 1 cup marinara sauce over vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with ¾ cup mozzarella cheese

Repeat the layers 2 more times: noodles, ricotta, vegetables, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese; noodles, ricotta, vegetables, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese.

  1. Top with the 3 remaining noodles. Spread the remaining marinara sauce over the noodles then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  2. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. (If prepared ahead and refrigerated, remove dish from refrigerator while oven is heating and bake an extra 15 minutes.)
  3. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is nicely melted.
  4. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving to allow the pasta to absorb the juices. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional Information
Per serving (3”x3” square): 369 calories; 17.7g total fat (9.8g saturated, 0.6g polyunsaturated, 5.3g monounsaturated); 671.1mg sodium; 68.6mg cholesterol; 25.0g carbohydrate; 2.2g fiber; 5.7g sugars; 26.6g protein; 201mg potassium.

Easy Marinara Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1, 28-ounce can plum tomatoes with juices pulsed a few times in blender. (Don’t puree, you want to see bits of tomato in the sauce.)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Handful fresh basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 2-quart saucepan to medium. Add onion, salt, pepper and oregano and sauté slowly for 10 to 15 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent, but not browned.
  2. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Careful not to brown or burn garlic!
  3. Stir in plum tomatoes, water and sugar. Turn stove to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Cover saucepan with lid ajar to allow steam to escape. Stir occasionally.
  4. Stir in fresh basil leaves and remove from heat. Use immediately over pasta or in lasagna or cool and refrigerate to use later.

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.

 

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