Easy Vegetable Lasagna With Roasted Eggplant And Zucchini
This vegetable lasagna recipe is simple to make and uses a homemade sauce that’s bursting with flavor, easy no boil noodles, and of course tons of healthy vegetables! Make it for dinner tonight or freeze it for an easy weeknight meal!
January is such a conflicting time in the food world for me. I feel, in equal measure, the need to eat healthier, but also crave the comfort (aka – unhealthy!) food that still accompanies these long cold winter months. What’s a girl to do? Veggie Lasagna to the rescue!
This vegetable lasagna recipe combines the ultra decadence of lasagna, but lightens it up a bit by making it meatless and by using cottage cheese instead of ricotta as its cheese base. It’s seriously the best of both worlds.
One thing that has always plagued me in the past with vegetable lasagna is how to make it so it’s not so watery. Too much water can ruin a pasta dish and vegetables are notorious for creating this problem in lasagna. Here are a few tricks that I’ve found along the way that nips this problem in bud:
Use no boil noodles. I love no boil noodles for veggie lasagna not only because they’re easier and cut out an extra step, but because they go in dry and help to soak up any of the extra liquid that may come from the veggies you’re using. Easy and a better end result are always an A+++ in my book.
Use roasted eggplant. Using eggplant in your recipe is great because the vegetable acts much like a sponge, which, like the no boil noodles, can soak up some of that extra moisture that may be lurking around. And roasting them adds tons of flavor (while also getting some of that excess moisture out.)
Cook down most of your vegetables before adding them to the lasagna. When you add your vegetables between your noodle layers, you’re essentially creating a little steam pocket causing them to release even more water (which then gets trapped between your noodles, making the whole lasagna watery). Cooking them down (sautéing mushrooms and spinach, roasting eggplant as I mention above, etc.) can remove much of this water before you layer your lasagna, making the end result less watery.
Note: try to use as little oil as possible when roasting or sautéing your vegetables for this – the key is to make them less watery, but you don’t want to make an oily mess in the process. Adding a tiny bit of salt to them can also pull out some of the additional moisture.
A great thing about this recipe (other than it’s healthier than some other lasagnas and tastes delicious) is that it also freezes well. You can make the whole thing and then pop it in the freezer for when you need it later. We’re a family of four so we usually eat half the pan on the first night that I make it, then freeze the other half for another time, which makes for a GREAT timesaver on those weeknights where we’re all running around like crazy busy people.
A quick tip for freezing lasagna: wait until it’s set in the refrigerator for a night. This allows it time to firm up a bit and makes it so much easier to handle when sectioning it off or placing in freezer ready containers. I usually just wrap half a pan in foil, then place the foil wrapped lasagna in a freezer bag. This makes it super easy to reheat since all you have to do is take the plastic bag out to thaw, and then put the foil in a pan to reheat in the oven (Reheat the lasagna at 385%, covered for about 30-40 minutes or until it’s heated through).
So there you have it. Healthy and comforting, this lasagna is a winner in our house. I hope it is in yours too.
If you make this, I’d love to hear what you think! Tag me on Instagram and post your thoughts in the comments below!
Easy Vegetable Lasagna Recipe With Roasted Eggplant And Zucchini
For roasting the veggies:
1 Medium eggplant, chopped
1 ½ zucchini, and diced
1-2 Tablespoons of oil (use sparingly)
½ Teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
4 Cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Sweet onion, chopped
6 Ounces of roasted red peppers, chopped
28 Ounce can of crushed tomatoes
½ Teaspoon dried thyme
½ Teaspoon dried rosemary
½ Teaspoon dried parsley
½ Teaspoon basil
1 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
For the cheese:
3 Cups cottage cheese
¾ Cup parmesan cheese
1 Teaspoon salt
½ Teaspoon pepper
1 Teaspoon thyme
1 Tablespoon half n half
2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Package of whole wheat no boil noodles
1 Small handful of fresh basil, chopped (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Arrange the eggplant and zucchini on a foil lined pan. Brush very lightly with oil, and sprinkle salt over veggies. Toss to ensure vegetables are lightly coated on all sides.
Roast eggplant and zucchini for 12 minutes in the oven. Once finished cooking, remove and set aside. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.
While your vegetables are roasting, prepare your sauce. Saute’ the garlic and onion in oil for about 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Add the roasted red peppers, crushed tomatoes, and all the spices and continue cooking on medium/low heat for 20 minutes.
Add the eggplant and zucchini to the sauce and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Salt to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
Combine cottage cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, thyme and half n half together in a large bowl and mix well.
Time to layer your vegetable lasagna! Spread 2/3 cup of your sauce in the base of a 9” by 13” pan. Cover the sauce with your noodles, breaking them and arranging them as needed to fit your pan. Spread ½ of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles, followed by an additional layer of sauce, and about 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella. Repeat the layering process 1 additional time.
Add a final layer of noodles and spread the remaining sauce on top to evenly cover the noodles. Finish with the remaining mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with fresh basil if desired.
Tent lasagna with foil (careful not to let the foil touch the cheese!) and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.