Several recipes claim to be the BEST EVER, and then you make them and are sadly disappointed when you discover that they really aren’t the best ever. This recipe however, is really, the BEST EVER Vegetable Lasagna recipe. I know what you might be thinking, that you need meat in your lasagna; that’s just not true. Filling your lasagna with delicious fresh veggies, cheese, and more cheese, really makes it more than wonderful, and you will NEVER even miss the meat – trust me.
I’ve been making this recipe for the longest time, and constantly emailing the recipe out to people. People always ask for the recipe after I share the delicious lasagna with them. It is my go-to recipe for funerals, new babies, new neighbors, potlucks..you name it, this is the perfect thing to bring. It freezes amazingly well, so someone can freeze it and then pop it out the day they want to eat it, and cook according to directions. It’s so delicious, and so easy.
People always complain that lasagna is too hard to make…it takes too much time. You’re wrong. They have this thing called ‘no boil’ noodles, and these are my go to. All you have to do is cover them with sauce while baking, and you don’t have to boil them at all. They actually make assembling the lasagna a lot easier, in my opinion, too. Plus, it cuts out all the time you would normally waste boiling, draining, cooling etc etc. Get the no boil noodles folks. One time when I was making this after my Grandmother’s funeral, my cousin came up to me laughing, telling me, “you know, you have to boil those noodles before you use them? *hahhahahahahaha*”, ummm, no – jokes on you cuz, because these are NO boil noodles…get with the times!
The key to making this lasagna extra delicious, is using red pepper flakes. You don’t want to make it crazy spicy, but you do want to add a little kick – again, trust me, it’s amazing. Now, as if I haven’t told you 100 times how amazing this recipe is already, I will tell you that I have had several of my friends feed this to their ‘picky eating’ children, and the kids LOVE it. I was shocked, they were shocked, but, it just goes to show…BEST EVER vegetable lasagna.
**** I used a small loaf pan for the photos for this, because I made a few individual servings (feel free), HOWEVER, the instructions listed are for a 9×13 baking dish, which I usually use for this recipe****
- 1 box barilla no boil lasagna noodles
- large zucchini or 2 small, diced
- 8 oz mushrooms diced
- large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 jars pasta sauce/marinara 24 ounce each, whatever kind you like - I like four cheese or fire roasted!
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp basil leaves
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 350
1. In a large skillet, spray with non stick spray, add garlic and onion and saute for 1 minute over medium high heat. Add zucchini and mushrooms and saute. Add dried oregano, basil leaves, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, mixing occasionally until tender. When done cooking, strain out water from skillet. Set veggies aside.
2. In a medium bowl add ricotta, a handful of mozzarella, egg, more dried spices (just a couple shakes), and mix everything together with a fork.
3. In a 9x13 baking dish, coat the bottom with non stick spray, and add some sauce to cover the bottom (not too much).
--Add a layer of noodles (I use 3 across and they are just barely not touching because they expand when cooked), then add 1/2 the ricotta mixture and spread with a spatula. Add 1/2 veggies on top of the ricotta (just sprinkle across), then sprinkle a handful of mozzarella on top of that, then add about 1 cup of sauce on top of that cheese, spread with spatula.
--Add layer of noodles and repeat with next layer.
--Add 3rd layer of noodles and then top those noodles with sauce (make sure you spread the sauce so it covers all noodles or they will get hard). Cover the top with lots of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
4. Cover/tent with foil (Not tight or it will stick to the cheese when you take it off), and cook for 55 minutes. Take foil off and cook for about 10 more minutes, uncovered.
To freeze: Follow above directions. Allow lasagna to cool at least 2 hours. Cover tightly with foil/wrap, place in freezer. Store for up to 3 months. To reheat: Remove from freezer and allow to defrost during the day (at least 4 hours). Place into preheated oven and bake for 55 minutes. To cook from frozen - place in oven and cook for 95 minutes, remove cover and cook 20 more minutes.
Mushrooms can be substituted - I LOVE making this with diced asparagus in addition to the other veggies, but if you don't like mushrooms you can leave them out and add asparagus - it's a great substitute.
**** I used a small loaf pan for the photos for this, because I made a few individual servings (feel free), HOWEVER, the instructions listed are for a 9x13 baking dish, which I usually use for this recipe****
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