A few years ago when we were in South Africa we went over to my mom's childhood friends home for a home cooked meal and it was honestly one of the best lasagnas I've ever had in my life! It was loaded with all the veggies and a perfect bechamel sauce. I've been futzing with the recipe ever since and finally nailed it. This perfect Vegetable Lasagna is one for the regular rotation!
The beauty of this recipe is that it works with WHATEVER vegetables are in your fridge. I've done it with a combination of zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, carrots, red bell peppers and mushrooms. The key is just making sure all the veggies are chopped in the same size so they cook evenly! Once they are caramelized and perfect, they get layered with sheets of pasta, béchamel sauce, basil vin, a tomato sauce of your choosing and all the cheese. All that's left to do it bake the lasagna until the cheese is golden and bubbly and EAT. Serve it up with a simple salad, I'm partial to this Kale Vegan Caesar and call it a day!
Need a few other lasagna recipes for these chilly winter months - here you go!
For the bechamel:
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- pinch of grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the vegetables
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced into ½ inch pieces
- 2 large carrots, diced into ½ inch pieces
- 4 cups chopped vegetables (½ inch cube) use any combination of zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, red bell peppers, mushrooms
- 24 ounces marinara sauce
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles 9 ounces
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ pounds shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 recipe basil vinaigrette
For the béchamel
- In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for just a minute or so. Slowly add the milk and keep whisking. Add the nutmeg, parmesan, salt and pepper whisk. Cook for a few minutes, whisking, until the béchamel has thickened slightly. Set aside to cool. Stir it once in a while so no skin forms on the top.
For the vegetables:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large Le Creuset, heat the olive oil, and add the onion and carrot and start to sauté. Once soft, add the remaining chopped vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes until starting to caramelize and get soft. Add the marinara sauce and parmesan and stir to combine. Keep over medium low heat.
- Spray a 13x9 baking pan with cooking spray. Spoon some béchamel thinly on the bottom of the pan. Start with a layer of noodles, a layer of béchamel, some vegetables, a layer of basil vinaigrette and then a layer of a cheese. Repeat layers until you have 3 layers of noodles. On top of the last layer, finish with béchamel and the remaining cheeses. Cover tightly with a greased piece of foil.
- Bake for 50 minutes, remove foil, increase heat to 450 and bake for 15 minutes more until top is golden brown, cheese is bubbling and the noodles are crisp on the edges. Let sit for 15 minutes before slicing.