Feeding the Masses: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

When there’s a big crowd to feed, there are few dishes that fit the bill better than a big pan of lasagna – particularly when some of those friends are vegetarians.

Since I didn’t have a go-to vegetarian lasagna recipe in my repertoire, I decided it was time to give my favourite lasagna recipe a meat-free makeover by replacing the usual meat sauce with a simple marinara sauce and blend of chunky vegetables roasted until yieldingly soft and ever so slightly charred.

I must say, I’m really pleased with the results.

It’s got all the elements that make homemade lasagna so delicious – that gratifyingly substantial belly-warming goodness, a surprisingly hearty flavour that belies its vegetarian origins, and that ever-important ooey-gooey melted cheese layer on top.

On the flipside, it’s also got more than half of your daily requirement of vitamins A and C, and healthy amounts of calcium and fiber.  It’s good-for-you food masquerading as naughty comfort food.

Meat? In the words of Tony Soprano, fuggehdaboudit.

Vegetables for Lasagna

If you’ve never made lasagna before, the length of the recipe might seem daunting, especially since I basically make everything but the noodles from scratch, but it’s actually quite easy once you get the hang of it.

Sprinkling Cheese

Also, most of the components of this recipe (namely the roasted vegetables, the marinara sauce and the ricotta layer) can all be assembled a day or two in advance… or just skip the homemade marinara and use a good-quality jarred sauce instead.

All that’s left to do on the day of is to boil the noodles, assemble the lasagna and then pop it into the oven until bubbly and delicious.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

See? Not so scary at all.

Besides, it’ll all be worth it when eleven beaming faces look back at you, bellies full of healthy vegetables, hearty pasta and gooey cheese.  That’s absolutely worth it.

BTW… speaking of healthy food, I’m one of six bloggers featured in the spring issue of Eat In Eat Out Magazine, where I’m sharing a super-healthy recipe for Carrot Bran Muffins.  Check me out on page 46!

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5.0 from 4 reviews
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Roasted vegetables gives this vegetarian lasagna a ton of hearty flavour... you won't even miss the meat! If you can't find La Bomba sauce, substitute with sundried tomato pesto or regular basil pesto.
Ingredients
Roasted Vegetables
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 medium-sized Asian eggplant
  • 4 medium-sized portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
Marinara Sauce
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (796 ml each) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (156 ml) tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry red wine
Spinach-Ricotta Filling
  • 1 container (450g) ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 package (255g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
Lasagna Layers
  • 16 lasagna noodles, cooked as per package directions
  • 1 cup La Bomba sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables for roast. Cut the red peppers into quarters, removing the seeds and stem. Slice the zucchini and eggplant into ½" thick slices. Remove the thick stems from the portobellos.
  3. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet (use two sheets if necessary). Brush with oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and shredded basil. Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then flip over and roast for 10-15 minutes longer, or until vegetables are browned on the edges and soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the sauce. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes, or until soft and lightly coloured. Add tomato puree, tomato paste and wine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to blend.
  5. Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 350F, and roughly chop the cooled vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Transfer the chopped vegetables to a bowl, along with any juices that may have accumulated on the baking sheet.
  6. Lastly, prepare the ricotta-spinach layer by whisking together the ricotta, parmesan, basil, eggs, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Squeeze out all the excess moisture from the spinach, then stir into the ricotta until evenly combined.
  7. To assemble the lasagna, spoon a thin layer of sauce onto the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish. Cover with a layer of four lasagna noodles (you'll need four per layer), followed by half of the roasted vegetables and a ½ cup of sauce. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly on top, followed by a thin layer of La Bomba. Top with a third layer of lasagna noodles, and spread with the last of the roasted vegetables and another ½ cup of marinara. Top off with one last layer of noodles. Pour the remaining marinara sauce overtop, then sprinkle evenly with mozzarella.
  8. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 5-10 minutes longer, or until lasagna is bubbly and cheese is melted and golden-brown.
  9. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the lasagna to firm up, then cut into pieces and serve piping hot with a green salad and crusty bread.

 

Comments

    • Isabelle Boucher says

      Hi Noel, the nutrition for most recipes can vary widely depending on which brands you’re using (especially the cheeses and the canned tomatoes), so I’d suggest doing the math yourself based on your specific ingredients. There are several recipe nutrition calculators available online – let me know if you need some suggestions!

  1. deb says

    Fantastic recipe! Made it yesterday and baked and served it tonight. A BIG hit. I did find it took about an extra 20 minutes to bake even though I took it out of the fridge ahead of time. But, other than that, all was perfect just as written. Thanks so much – will definitely make this again and again!

  2. Marcella says

    Beautiful presentation of your process and the outcome! I too, like to view Lasagna as a blank canvas. The rules are that there are no rules, and substitutting ingredients for this crowd pleasing dish is part of the fun! Well done!

  3. Ronda says

    So nice to find other sites with wholesome recipes! Rock on roasted vegetables! Love your site.

  4. Maggie @Kitchie Coo says

    I made this lasagna this weekend for a crowd and it was a hit!! Between the roasted veggies, the pesto and all the cheeses, the flavor was absolutely outstanding! Thank you for such an awesome recipe that I will absolutely be making again!!

    • Isabelle says

      Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Maggie. I always get a kick out of hearing someone actually made one of my recipes. :)

  5. says

    OMG, I was just looking for a roasted vegetable lasagna to feed a crowd this weekend and this is the first one I landed on. I am not going to look any further, this looks perfect! I’ll let you know how it turns out. Great recipe!!

  6. Geraldine Saucier says

    Your roasted Vegetable Lasagna looks delicious. I love the roasting of the veggies. Great post:)

    • Isabelle says

      I find the eggplant isn’t really noticeable, what with everything else that’s going on – but if you’ve got a hardcore eggplant hater on your hands, I’d either replace it with another zucchini or leave it out altogether. Good luck!

  7. says

    Oh, veggie lasagna, how I love thee. You make me run fast and leap high. You make my belly happy, and my body healthier. And given that this body generally runs on sugar? That’s no mean feat.

  8. says

    I used to make a veggie lasagna quite frequently when my husband and I were first dating. It has fallen out of the repertoire in recent years and I honestly can’t remember the last time I made it. Thanks for posting this recipe and bringing it back to my mind :)

  9. Kiri W. says

    Absolutely beautiful :) I love vegetable lasagna, and those mushrooms have me swooning. Bookmarked!

  10. says

    Love it!!! I always make lasagna with meat and my husband always tells me to add more vegetables. He would love it if I left the meat out altogether! I’ve never seen La Bomba sauce before…I’ll check out Longos if they have any. I’ve never seen any Italian markets near where I live.

  11. says

    Totally agree! Lasagna is the best one dish great tasting meal to feed a crowd and your vegetable variation looks amazing, Isabelle! Pics are beautiful.

    • Isabelle says

      La Bomba sauce is a spicy Italian antipasto spread that’s commonly sold in Italian markets here in Toronto. The name literally translates to “the bomb”… and believe me, it totally is.
      I used Allessia brand, which you can buy online from My Italian Cantina (http://www.myitaliancantina.com/) or perhaps at an Italian market, but sundried tomato pesto is a great alternative if you can’t get your hands on it.

  12. says

    Oh yeah, this looks fantastic. I have many veggie lasagnas but never tried roasting the veggies first. I am going to give that a try the next time. sound really delicious.

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