The Ultimate Vegetarian Lasagna

Noodles and cheese. Sometimes it just can’t be beat. Smother it in a slow simmered colourful vegetable sauce and you’ve got yourself a meal.

I made this for dinner, ate 2 pieces (I want to call them slices but it doesn’t seem right) and had another one the next morning for breakfast.

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the rice noodles; I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. In my experience gluten-free pasta can be sticky, fall apart or have an off-putting taste. I especially prefer corn over rice pasta. That being said, the lasagna ones were fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone steering clear of gluten.

This was my first attempt at lasagna in a long time, so I was nervous about having the noodles and sauce spill out everywhere when I cut it open. Letting it set is such an important part of the directions and it worked perfectly.

I adapted this recipe from Inspired Taste.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna rice noodles (or use regular wheat lasagna noodles)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 small zucchinis, cubed
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes*
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 (15 oz.) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded**
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

*I used a can of whole tomatoes and using an immersion blender to crush them. Work with what you’ve got.

**Mozzarella balls vary in size by a small amountβ€”I used a whole one of those.

Method

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil then cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Add a couple teaspoons of olive oil to the water so the noodles do not stick together. Drain then lay flat on a sheet of aluminum foil–this makes them easier to work with later.

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan with sides over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent; 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, zucchini, squash and a pinch of salt then cook, stirring occasionally until softened but still with some crunch and edges just start to brown; 5 to 8 minutes. Next, add roasted red peppers and crushed tomatoes. Stir then bring to a low simmer. Simmer until liquid has thickened and reduced by half; 5 to 8 minutes. Add basil then season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Mix together ricotta, eggs and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium-sized bowl until well combined.

Spoon just enough vegetable mixture into the baking dish to lightly cover bottom (about 1 cup) so that the noodles don’t stick. Arrange four noodles lengthwise and side by side to cover the bottom. Don’t worry if they’re not overlapping or touching closely.

Spread about half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with a third of the parmesan cheese and a third of the mozzarella cheese. Then, top with a third of the vegetable mixture. Add another layer of four noodles then repeat with remaining cheese and vegetables.

Finish with a final layer of noodles, vegetables, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes, uncover then bake 15 minutes until cheese is crusty around the edges. To make cheese golden brown on top, slide under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.

Let rest at least 15 minutes before serving. Do not skip this part. Allowing it to rest before serving lets it settle and your lasagna can easily be cut into squares without falling apart.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna

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