A few months ago we were hosting some new neighborhood friends for dinner. In between scrambling to make my house look like we keep it picked up all the time (does anyone ever buy that?) and trying to make sure we had an acceptable number of clean forks, I remembered that one of our guests was vegetarian. I’m not very adventurous in the kitchen to begin with, but I wanted to make an impression on these new friends, and wanted to make sure they felt comfortable and welcome. I figured tossing some lettuce and a block of tofu on a plate wouldn’t fly. After looking through ingredients I already had on hand and seeking a little guidance from my old pal Pinterest, I settled on this delicious veggie lasagna. Prep is minimal, especially with oven-ready lasagna noodles, and my older kids like to help layer the ingredients once I have done the chopping. Roasting the veggies before you put them in the lasagna brings out a lot of flavor and gets rid of a lot of their water content, meaning more bang for your veggie buck; one serving of this lasagna has up to four servings of veggies!
This Roasted Veggie Lasagna was a hit with meat-eaters and vegetarians alike and made great leftovers the next day for lunch as well!
Roasted Veggie Lasagna (serves 10-12)
15 sheets of lasagna noodles
1 jar of pasta sauce (I like a basic tomato basil or a garden vegetable variety)
1 lb. mushrooms
2-3 bell peppers (I like getting one of a few different colors — usually the sweeter varieties are better for this)
2 medium zucchini
1 eggplant (I leave this sucker out because they are not my jam)
1 head garlic (or the equivalent in garlic powder)
2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
14 oz. bag of mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees and rub down or spray two baking sheets with olive or vegetable oil.
- Roughly chop all of your veggies (except the onion) into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle with garlic (or add in pieces of your garlic clove) and spread out on the baking sheets so that they are in one layer and can get evenly heated.
- Bake for 15 minutes, stir them up a little, and bake for another 10 minutes or until browning on the edges. Turn the oven down to 350F degrees when veggies are done.
- While your vegetables are roasting, sauté the chopped onion in a little oil until soft and browning slightly. Combine these with the rest of the vegetables once they have come out of the oven.
- In a medium sized bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, eggs, and Parmesan. It’s layering time (get your mini-chefs to help with this part)! In a 9×13 pan, start with a layer of pasta sauce before layering lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the veggies, 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture, pasta sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. Repeat those layers two more times, ending with a generous topping of mozzarella.
- Bake for 40 minutes (remember the oven should be at 350F degrees now).
- If you want to up the cheese factor (and who doesn’t?), take the lasagna out and add one another layer of mozzarella and put it back in to broil for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese becomes golden. It’s a beautiful thing.
- Let your lasagna sit for at least 10 minutes. This will help when you are cutting it up so it doesn’t just fall apart into a gooey veggie mess!
- Top with basil leaves if you’re feeling fancy and serve with crusty bread and some wine! YUM!