Updated: Jan 14
Cooking, for me, has always been a demonstration of love, and nothing says “I love you” quite like a homemade lasagna. Good lasagna should wrap you up in it’s noodly arms and gives you a big saucy kiss! This Roasted Vegetable Lasagna (inspired by Queen Ina’s recipe) does just that- please excuse the weird visual, but it’s true! Your friends and family will definitely feel the love when this masterpiece comes out of your oven. Lasagna made with meat is often a little too rich for my taste- greasy beef or pork combined with mounds of cheese usually guarantees a tummy ache (unless it‘s my yummy and light turkey lasagna recipe). This veggie version is comforting yet light- even the biggest carnivore will love it. Also, I take a few cooking short cuts so it’s pretty easy to assemble (Rao’s sauce ILYSM). I‘m not big on leftovers, but I swear this lasagna may be better the next day- it’s great to make on a Sunday for weeklong noshing! The other nice thing about this recipe is that you can adapt the veggies to sync with any season- I’ve used eggplant, zucchini, and peppers here for a summery version, but try it with roasted mushrooms, onions, and even butternut squash in the fall and winter! I hope that you will share this veggie lasagna love soon! Food hugs are the best hugs.
prep time: ~1 hr. cook time: ~1 hr. serves: 8
1 large zucchini, diced into 1” pieces
2 bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow), cut into 1” pieces
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1” pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
extra virgin olive oil
1 lb dried lasagna noodles
1-15 oz tub whole milk ricotta cheese
4 oz room temperature herb goat cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
32 oz high quality jarred marinara (such as Rao’s)
Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss the zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, garlic, oregano, red pepper flake, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and1/4 cup olive oil together on a large sheet pan to evenly coat. Spread them out in a single layer (if they won’t all fit, use two pans). Roast them for 35-40 minutes, until they are tender and starting to brown at the edges. Set the vegetables aside and reduce the oven temp to 375°.
Meanwhile, place the lasagna noodles in a large bowl or baking dish. Pour very hot water over the top of them to submerge (I heat it in a kettle until almost boiling). Allow the noodles to sit 10-15 minutes, until very al dente. It’s important to flip them around with a spoon occasionally so that they don’t stick to each other. Drain the noodles and lay them flat to dry on towels, blotting the tops as well. Set the noodles aside.
Make the ricotta filling by lightly beating the egg in the bottom of a medium bowl. Add the ricotta, room temperature goat cheese (it won’t mix if it’s cold), 1/2 cup Parmesan, the basil, parsley, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper and stir until well combined.
To layer the lasagna, ladle 1 cup of the marinara sauce (1/4 of the jar) into the bottom of a greased 9”x13” baking dish (preferably a deep one) and spread it out to cover. Top the sauce with 1/4 of the vegetables, scattering them in an even layer. Next, add a layer of the noodles to cover, slightly overlapping them and trimming to fit if necessary. Add 1/3 of the ricotta mixture in dollops on top of the noodles and use your fingers to spread the dollops out (it doesn’t have to be perfect- do your best). Scatter 1/3 of the mozzarella on top of the ricotta. Repeat the layers in the same amounts- sauce, veggies, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce, veggies, noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce- end with the remaining veggies and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. (You will have 4 layers of sauce and veggies and 3 of noodles and ricotta/mozz).
Cover the entire dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes (the time is longer in my stories because the lasagna was cold from just having thawed) Remove the foil and bake the lasagna uncovered for another 20-25 minutes, until the whole thing is brown and bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes then slice into squares and serve with more basil and parm on top if desired!