Why cook a vegetarian version of lasagna
Vegetarian lasagna is becoming a popular version of the classic Italian dish. Why? Not a lot of people like the taste of beef or sausage. Most residents in Metro Manila know that good quality meat is hard to find at an affordable price.
This vegetarian lasagna recipe is not only economical, but using vegetables as substitute for meat makes it healthier and lighter. Mushrooms, eggplants and bell peppers replace the meat portion of the classic lasagna recipe. Not to mention, the mushrooms have a meaty and umami taste.
A healthy vegetarian lasagna is especially helpful when you have guests coming over with different preferences. Serving this veggie lasagna is safe for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
Try this healthy vegetarian lasagna! Here are the list of ingredients you will need.
You will need the following ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 2 heads of garlic
- 1 red onion
- 2 eggplants
- 150 grams of button mushrooms
Roughly chop the garlic, onions, eggplants and button mushrooms in small pieces. It should be about the size of ground meat.
- 1.5 cups water
- 200 grams of shredded mozzarella
- 200 grams of shredded parmesan
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes (about 400 grams in weight)
- 1 can of chopped pimiento, also known as bell pepper (about 400 grams in weight)
- 4 tablespoons Athena’s Chili & garlic Infused olive oil
- 250 grams of dry lasagna.
How to make a healthy vegetarian lasagna
- Set a pot on the stoved and turn on the heat. Add 4 tablespoons of Athena’s Chili & garlic Infused olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and onions and sauté for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and eggplants and fry for 10 minutes until soft. Season with salt, ground black pepper, dried basil, and dried thyme. You can add more of Athena’s Chili & garlic Infused olive oil if you wish or if it’s slightly dry.
- Add the can of chopped tomatoes, the can of chopped pimiento and 1.5 cups of water. Mix well and stir occasionally to avoid the sauce sticking at the bottom.
- Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes until you see the oil floating on top of the vegetable sauce.
- Take an oven tray, preferably non-stick. Add a good amount of vegetable sauce at the bottom. Add a layer lasagna sheets then a layer of vegetable sauce and lastly a thin layer cheese by sprinkling evenly shredded mozzarella and parmesan. Make sure the sheets are well sauced because these will expand and absorb moisture. You wouldn’t want them raw and dry.
- Repeat step 5. You can have a look at this video on how to properly layer a lasagna oven dish.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Add the oven tray and cook at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-40 minutes.
- Use a fork to test if it is already soft by poking the lasagna. If yes, take the oven tray and let it set for 5 minutes before serving.
Other vegetarian versions of lasagna
To make a meatless lasagna, you can consider using other vegetables as long as you have about 4 to 5 cups.
Try using these vegetables.
- Zucchini, chopped
- Yellow summer squash, chopped
- Mushrooms, chopped or torn into small pieces
- Spinach, kale or other greens
- Winter squash like butternut would be excellent for a fall-inspired lasagna, peeled and then cubed
- Carrots, chopped or shredded
Lasagna is the perfect make-ahead meal for anyone who has limited time to prepare. Here’s how I do it:
The vegetable sauce can be made in advance. It should last in your refrigerator up to 3 days and in your freezer for about two months.
You can refrigerate unbaked lasagna. Keep the assembled lasagna in the fridge for 2 days until you are ready to bake it.
Baked lasagna also freezes well. Make sure to let it cool completely before freezing, and then wrap it in foil very well. Before baking, the lasagna should be defrost over night in the fridge. Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes.