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Recipe: Veggie Lasagna


Veggies.. veggies and more veggies.. this recipe is chock full of veggies and flavor… just delicious… and very easy to make..

Lasagna doesn’t have to be intimidating to make.. just take it a step at a time…. and speaking of taking it a step at a time.. you can make this in steps too…. make the filling on one day… refrigerate it and assemble the lasagna the next day…. you can partially bake it one day and finish it the next… a perfect solution for the busy household or when planning a dinner for guests…

TIPS

I usually use a 9 x 13 baking pan… it works great… however.. you really only get two complete layers of lasagna since the sides are only deep enough for two… if you want 3 layers… you will need to use a true “lasagna pan” or a roasting pan works well… just keep in mind that you will need to double this recipe.

If making 3 layers… divide the filling and cheese mixture into thirds instead half when layering each layer (see instructions below).

The vegetables “cook down” or shrink as they cook… so at first these ingredients will almost fill a standard size Dutch oven or comparable pot. If you decide to double the recipe you will have to use a larger stock pot to make the filling.

Since the filling is chock full off vegetables… instead of spreading the filling on the bottom of the pan and the very top layer of the lasagna… I use plain tomato sauce.. you can use any type you either make from scratch or commercially made. I just think everything lays better with a “non-chunky” sauce on the very bottom and the top.

I usually use garlic powder in my cheese mixture for lasagna.. but in this recipe I didn’t because of the garlic in the filling mixture.. the vegetables just seem to enhance the garlic and I didn’t want to overpower the dish with even more garlic.

To cook the lasagna noodles.. I use a large pot … boil the water and boil about 5 noodles at a time.. when they are “al dente” .. I remove them with tongs and adding more water as needed… then when the water boils again… add the next batch of noodles…

When removing the cooked noodles.. I drop them into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process and make them easier to handle. I then lay them on a wire rack to dry a bit before using them.

I used carrots in this recipe.. I hadn’t used them before.. but saw it on an ingredient list for one of Emeril’s recipes and decided to give it a try… I found the carrots really stood out the first night we had this dish but when eaten as leftovers… the carrots seemed to blend into the other flavors better.

How to Make it the Day Before Serving it

This dish is truly best the next day… so if you can.. I would recommend you bake it on one day and store it in the fridge and reheat it the next day and serve it then… when doing that… I make sure I have my top lasagna noodle well “sauced” but I leave the top layer of shredded mozzarella cheese off… and cover it in foil… bake it… allow it to cool and store it…

The next day I let it stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.. spread the mozzarella cheese over the top… cover again with foil…. then put it into a COLD oven … set the temp at 375 degrees F… and bake for 20 minutes… remove the foil.. and continue baling for about 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned… and sides are bubbly.

Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.. it will cut into “blocks” easier.

So let’s get cooking…






Recipe: Veggie Lasagna

All you need:

For the cheese mixture:

1 container (15 oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
Pinch of salt

For the veggie filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 package (16 ounces) mushrooms, thick sliced
2 small zucchini, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 summer squash, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Remaining ingredients:

Lasagna noodles, cooked al dente according to package directions
6 cups tomato sauce (homemade or commercial)
1 bag (4 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese

All you need to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare the lasagna noodles al dente according to package directions. Set aside.

Combine all the cheese mixture ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
Add the chopped onions and peppers, cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently to prevent browning.

Add the chopped garlic, mushrooms and carrot. Continue cooking until vegetables begin to soften (about 5 minutes).

Add the canned tomatoes, Italian seasoning and tomato paste. Stir to mix well.

Cook for about 20 minutes until vegetables are cooked (carrots will be a little crisp).

Take the pot off the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes (it will be easier to handle this way).

Spread about 3 cups of tomato sauce in the bottom of your 9 x 13 pan.

Place a layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. DO NOT overlap. You will probably need to trim the noodles so they don’t overlap.

Spread half the veggie filling over the noodles.

Drop large dollops of cheese mixture over the veggies mixture…. spread carefully with the back of a spoon.

Spread 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese over the cheese mixture.

Lay another layer of lasagna noodles.

Spread the remaining vegetable mixture.

Spread the remaining cheese mixture over the veggie mixture.

Spread 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese over the cheese mixture.

Lay another layer of lasagna noodles.

Spread 3 cups of tomato sauce over the noodles.

Spread the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese over the noodles.

Cover with foil and back for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Remove the foil and continue baking for about 20-30 minutes until cheese has melted and browned a bit and sides are bubbly.

Let stand for 10 minutes before baking.

4 comments:

AnyEdge July 21, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

YAYAYA@!!!! I love veggie lasagna. Once though, I was trying to find a recipe (this was about 15 years ago) and so I typed 'www.vegetablelasagna.com' into my web browser. I was rewarded with a website dedicated to Russian homosexual pornography. I imagine that that is no longer true, but I'm still scared to enter the link into my browser to find out.

Linda July 21, 2010 at 4:07 PM  

TOO FUNNY!!!! That's almost as bad as the Chinese porn that haunts me at least twice a week in comments... well now you don't have to search for a veggie lasagna recipe...hahahaha

Katy July 25, 2010 at 11:58 AM  

As much as I love vegetable lasagna, I have never made it. Now I see this and I am inspired once again to enjoy this meatless alternative. Gosh, this is a recipe that could easily be enjoyed by everyone!!

Linda July 25, 2010 at 11:32 PM  

Thanks for stopping by Katy.... you're always welcome... and do try this... it really is so good and with all the fresh produce this time of year... it's truly wonderful

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