For as much as I love a good lasagna, I have really only made it myself a handful of times. It’s such a great make-ahead dish that I’ve promised myself I’ll whip it out next time we’re serving dinner to a group. On an average day I can’t quite justify the calorie bomb, with all its cheese and pasta, but today’s veggie lasagna gives you an updated version to feel a little less guilty about.
I’m not going to try to convince you it’s low-calorie, but by subbing in vegetables instead of meat, you’re getting some valuable nutrients. Ultimately you can use any seasonal vegetables that you have on hand and I strongly encourage making some fresh pesto if you’re growing basil this season (like I am!).
This can be made halfway in advance and baked when you’re ready, or it can even be fully cooked and then individually packaged in the freezer for a quick dinner down the road.
Green Veggie Lasagna
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 6 spears asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 12 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente & trimmed to size
- 2 cups pesto
- 1-1/2 cups ricotta
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- Basil, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil, then add the onions. Cook for about 3 minutes before adding the zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus, and garlic and cooking for another 5 minutes, until just tender. Remove from the heat, add in the spinach, salt and pepper, and stir in until the spinach is wilted.
Spread a small amount of pesto on the bottom of a 8 inch square pan. Lay four lasagna noodles on the bottom, overlapping slightly. Spread half of each the ricotta, pesto, and vegetables on top. Repeat with a second layer of noodles and the remaining fillings (reserving a small amount of pesto). Add the final layer of noodles and top with the remaining pesto and mozzarella cheese.
Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown. Serve with whole or chiffonade basil leaves as garnish.
Refine Cooking Tips
- Be sure not to overcook the vegetables when sautéing since they will continue to cook in the oven.
- Spreading a small amount of pesto on the bottom of the pan keeps the noodles from shifting out of place.