Classic Vegetable Lasagna

Classic Vegetable Lasagna

You can never go wrong with the perfect combination of vegetables, marinara sauce and cheese in this classic veggie lasagna recipe!!

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Welcome to the first recipe post of the year 2020. Presenting one of my favorite dish, which is so so close to my heart, Classic Vegetable Lasagna. This dish is a super hit at my home. When it comes to baking Lasagnas, I think it is really important to balance the quantity of sauce and cheese. An over indulgence in either of these makes a huge difference in the taste.

I’ve had quite a few disasters while baking Lasagnas before, wherein an overdose of cheese and Bechamel sauce would feel like a burst of flavors in the mouth as well as a gastro attack in the belly. The dish would become too heavy for us to digest. An over indulgence of sauce similarly would impart too tangy a flavor with cheese getting unnoticed in all the flavors. So, it is very important to maintain the correct balance.

Vegetable Lasagna

I have always thought that nothing can beat the taste of chicken lasagna, but this one, with all the fresh veggies, marinara and cheese made us fall in love with the veggie version of lasagna as well. Make sure the veggies you use are fresh and do follow the same quantities of all the ingredients to get the perfect result.

So, continuing the tradition, here comes my fourteenth recipe under “My Julie & Julia Project”. For those who don’t know, I had started this project last year, under which I had planned to post 100 recipes from my kitchen by the end of the year 2019. But since I got busy with other priorities in life, I have planned to continue the tradition in 2020. So, this is the Recipe #14. Here is the link to “My Julie & Julia Project” post:

Julie & Julia – Starting my journey

Vegetable Lasagna, is an Italian dish made by stacking layers of Pasta sheets (also known as Lasagna sheets) alternated with layers of sauce (any tomato based sauce like Marinara) and a medley of cheese or sauce like Bechamel sauce etc. You can make many other variants of this dish by adding or removing certain ingredients and trying out different versions of sauces and meats, but this is the base of any basic Lasagna recipe.

I already have a recipe of Butter Chicken Lasagna that I had put up last year on this blog. And being a Punjabi, the Makhani sauce is one of the most commonly used and one of the most loved gravies in our dishes, so the recipe of Butter Chicken Lasagna was a huge hit. I am sharing the link below for the same, in case someone wants to check it out. It is one of my favorite ways to use leftover Butter Chicken, here is the recipe for the same:

Butter Chicken Lasagna – The Perfect Indo-Italian Fusion

Again, I have used Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauce in the recipe, though you can also use freshly prepared home cooked Marinara sauce also. As always, I am a big big fan of Trader Joe’s products, and this one is no exception. You can increase the amount of sauce and cheese used in the recipe as per your liking, but this is has been the perfect balance for me as per my taste buds.

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I haven’t used much spice in the recipe, except for a few sprinkles of chili flakes and a hint of black pepper. If you like it spicy, then you can increase the amount of red chili flakes or add some small pieces of Jalapeno peppers or green chilies to the sauce.

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Coming to the use of cheese, I generally use a mix of Mozzarella cheese and Cheddar cheese, but this time I got a Mexican blend of cheese which was a mix of Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheeses. I loved the flavor of the combination. But, in the end, I would say you can go ahead with what you have in hand at that time. You can always recreate the dish with whatever types or brand of cheese available with you. This goes for the sauce as well. Marinara is what I have used, but feel free to use any tomato based pasta sauce here.

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The vegetable medley I have used here is that of baby carrots (cut in small pieces), baby spinach, cauliflower florets (cut in small pieces) and one medium sized zucchini (again this too is cut in small pieces). As always, feel free to use whichever vegetables are available with you at home. There are many more options that you can use here, like, broccoli, corn, mushrooms, squash, beans etc. The recipe can be adapted to the available ingredients in your kitchen, so don’t worry if you don’t have some of the veggies mentioned here. You are welcome to be creative as per your current kitchen pantry.

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Garlic, I just love adding it to any dish I can think of. It is one of my favorite ingredients. I have used fresh garlic while making the veggie sauce, the marinara sauce I am using also contains garlic. But apart from these, I love to use minced garlic on top of each layer of cheese. I am scared to run out of minced garlic in my kitchen, it would be a nightmare for me. LOL!! Yes, I have an obsession with it.

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I have made two layers of Lasagna sheets here, with three sheets on each layer. As per the depth of the pan available, feel free to add a layer. You can even make three layers of two sheets on each layer. But then you’ll have to increase the cheese and sauce layers and would need more quantities of those as well. Again, I’ll mention the size of container I used for the recipe, you can plan your layers accordingly.

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Some people like having lasagna with minced vegetables, which means you cut the veggies into very, very small pieces, so that you would not even know what you are eating while having a bite of the veggie layer. Again, I would say it’s a personal preference. The size I have used for vegetables is what works for me. 1/2-1 inch pieces is what I like, and it worked well in the recipe. But yes, there is no right or wrong in this, you can tweak the veggies’ size as per your choice.

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This recipe suffices easily for 2-3 people. Add a side of salad with this, and your meal is done. This recipe is not my daughter’s favorite, as she likes eating pasta in other forms, like, Penne, Farfalle and Fusilli. She doesn’t like the concept of sheet pasta, but this is much loved by the adults in the family.

So, not taking more time of yours, I will jump straight to the recipe. Happy baking!!

Classic Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Baby carrots ~ 10 (cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces) or you can use 1-2 medium sized carrots as well
  • Baby spinach leaves – 2 handfuls (washed and drained)
  • Garlic – 3 cloves (roughly chopped)
  • Cauliflower – 1/3rd of a full (cut into small pieces)
  • Zucchini – 1 (cut into small pieces)
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Italian seasoning – 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder – A pinch
  • Red chili flakes – A pinch (or more as per liking)
  • Lasagna Sheets – 6
  • Water – For boiling lasagna sheets (As per packet instructions)
  • Marinara sauce – 2 cups (store-bought or homemade, I am using Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Marinara)
  • Cheese (I am using Mexican Cheese Blend, which is a combination of Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheeses) – 1 1/3 cups
  • Minced Garlic flakes – 1 tsp

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan or skillet. Add chopped garlic to it.
  2. Once garlic is fragrant, add carrots and cauliflower pieces to the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes on low-medium flame.
  3. Add cut zucchini pieces and baby spinach to the above mixture. Saute all the vegetables for around 4-5 minutes.
  4. Then, add salt, a pinch of black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a pinch of red chili flakes to the veggie mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  5. To the veggie mix, add 2 cups of marinara sauce and keep sauteing on medium flame for around 10 minutes (or till the veggies are tender). Switch off the flame and divide the veggie-marinara sauce into three portions for layering the lasagna.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
  7. Boil the lasagna sheets in water and drain them as per packet instructions. Keep aside.
  8. For layering the lasagna, first take a 8 x 6 x 2 inch glass dish and spread 1/3rd of the prepared veggie-marinara sauce.
  9. For the next layer, lay 3 lasagna sheets over the veggie-marinara sauce layer.
  10. Next layer consists of spreading 1/3rd cup of the cheese blend.
  11. Sprinkle the cheese with 1/3 tsp of garlic flakes and 1/4 tsp of Italian seasoning.
  12. Again top this with layer of 1/3rd of the veggie-marinara sauce.
  13. Next layer will be laying 3 lasagna sheets on top.
  14. A layer of 1/3 cup cheese blend goes next. Again, sprinkle the cheese layer with 1/3 tsp of garlic flakes and 1/4 tsp of Italian seasoning.
  15. Top it with the layer of last 1/3rd of the veggie-marinara sauce.
  16. For the last layer, spread the final 2/3 cup of cheese blend. Sprinkle 1/3 tsp of garlic flakes, 1/4 tsp of Italian seasoning and a pinch of red chili flakes on top of the last layer.
  17. Cover the glass dish containing the lasagna layers with aluminum foil.
  18. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
  19. Then broil for 1-2 minutes for getting the brown crusty top.
  20. Remove from oven and serve the cut lasagna pieces as is or with salad on the side!!

Method (Step-by-step with pictures)

  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan or skillet. Add chopped garlic to it.
  • Once garlic is fragrant, add carrots and cauliflower pieces to the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes on low-medium flame.
  • Add cut zucchini pieces and baby spinach to the above mixture. Saute all the vegetables for around 4-5 minutes. Then, add salt, a pinch of black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a pinch of red chili flakes to the veggie mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  • To the veggie mix, add 2 cups of marinara sauce and keep sauteing on medium flame for around 10 minutes (or till the veggies are tender). Switch off the flame and divide the veggie-marinara sauce into three portions for layering the lasagna.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Boil the lasagna sheets in water and drain them as per packet instructions. Keep aside.
  • For layering the lasagna, first take a 8 x 6 x 2 inch glass dish and spread 1/3rd of the prepared veggie-marinara sauce.
  • For the next layer, lay 3 lasagna sheets over the veggie-marinara sauce layer.
  • Next layer consists of spreading 1/3rd cup of the cheese blend.
  • Sprinkle the cheese with 1/3 tsp of garlic flakes and 1/4 tsp of Italian seasoning.
  • Again top this with layer of 1/3rd of the veggie-marinara sauce.
  • Next layer will be laying 3 lasagna sheets on top.
  • A layer of 1/3 cup cheese blend goes next. Again, sprinkle the cheese layer with 1/3 tsp of garlic flakes and 1/4 tsp of Italian seasoning.
  • Top it with the layer of last 1/3rd of the veggie-marinara sauce.
  • For the last layer, spread the final 2/3 cup of cheese blend. Sprinkle 1/3 tsp of garlic flakes, 1/4 tsp of Italian seasoning and a pinch of red chili flakes on top of the last layer.
  • Cover the glass dish containing the lasagna layers with aluminum foil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Then broil for 1-2 minutes for getting the brown crusty top.
  • Remove from oven and serve the cut lasagna pieces as is or with salad on the side!!
Vegetable Lasagna

23 thoughts on “Classic Vegetable Lasagna

Add yours

  1. I do follow these tips Kanwaldeep. While going to my native for a month my husband never eats outside food.I preserve all required food without using preservatives in the fridge or freezer. Certain items half cooked or boiled or some fully cooked.I personally feel that fresh home cooked preserved food is far better than buying food from the market.

    Liked by 1 person

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