Vegetable Lasagna

Vegetable Lasagna, Italian Cooking

Today, I felt like making a fresh, hearty, vegetarian lasagna, an ode to one of my favorite frozen Costco meals. I used to love when my mom brought home the two-pack of frozen lasagna trays. They were a pain to defrost and bake thoroughly, but the flavor was worth it.

I didn’t use an online recipe. Instead, I adapted my favorite meaty lasagna recipe from The Pioneer Woman. Her recipe is titled “Best Lasagna Ever” and I don’t think it’s an overstretch or overstatement by any means. It truly is some of the best lasagna I’ve ever had. 

Guided by the memory of that frozen Costco vegetable lasagna, I set out to recreate the flavors (and the nostalgia)…

Ingredients & Instructions 

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Cheese Layers

  • 16 ounce package of shredded mozzarella
  • Keep a bottle of Kraft parmesan cheese powder on hand (or lots of pizza parmesan cheese packages!)

Pasta Layer

  • Lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

I always lay the lasagna noodles across the pan I’ll be using and guesstimate how many noodles I need to cook for two layers. If I end up with more – perfect, because I always feel like vegetable lasagna doesn’t have enough noodles, and a third layer makes things just right.

Boil the noodles with olive oil and salt, stirring occasionally to avoid noodles sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook until ‘al dente’. It took me a long time to figure out what ‘al dente’ is because I have a tendency to overcook everything. Once cooked, drain pasta noodles, and at this point, once fully drained, I suggest covering the noodles with a plate or foil to avoid them from drying out.

Tomato Sauce + Vegetable Layer 

Vegetable Lasagna, Vegetables Cooking in Tomato Sauce, Italian Cooking

  • 2 – zucchinis (medium-sized) sliced in not-too-chunky quarters
  • 1 – yellow squash (medium-sized) sliced in not-too-chunky quarters
  • 2 – tomato sauce cans
  • 1 – cup of broccoli
  • 1 – cup of shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (if it pleases you)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenna pepper (if it pleases you)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers (if it pleases you)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

You can use any vegetables you like. This is a perfect recipe for ‘tossing in’ any vegetables that are in danger of going to waste in the fridge.

I just threw everything into one pot, with nary a care as to what order, stirred thoroughly, turned the stove heat up to medium-high, covered the pot with its lid, and let the steam work its magic in cooking the vegetables and fusing the sauce. Cook for twenty minutes.

Ricotta Cheese + Spinach Layer

IMG_8477 IMG_8478

  • 12 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Kraft parmesan cheese powder
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt

I threw everything into a pot, moved it onto a stove, and turned the heat up to medium just to get things warmed up and easier to stir. Once stirred thoroughly, remove from heat.

Layering

IMG_8479 IMG_8480 IMG_8481 IMG_8482 Vegetable Lasagna, Italian Cooking, Parmesan Cheese, Kraft Reduced Fat

  1. Pasta Layer (overlapped, throw in those small broken pieces if any, who cares how pretty it looks, no one will ever know)
  2. Half of Ricotta Cheese + Spinach mixture
  3. Half of Tomato Sauce + Vegetable mixture
  4. Mozzarella Cheese Layer
  5. A light sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese powder
  6. Pasta Layer
  7. Half of Ricotta Cheese + Spinach mixture
  8. Half of Tomato Sauce + Vegetable mixture
  9. Pasta Layer (of any pasta remnants)
  10. Mozzarella Cheese Layer
  11. Heavy layer of Parmesan Cheese powder for a nice crust

Stick it in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees or until the top layer is golden brown (or however crispy or non-crispy you like it).

Behold:

Vegetable Lasagna, Italian Cooking Vegetable Lasagna, Italian Cooking, Recipe

Vegetable Lasagna, Italian Cooking Vegetable Lasagna, Italian Cooking

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