Let me first note that this recipe for vegetable lasagna is NOT vegetarian, but can easily be made that way if desired.
Another recipe creation from my mom, she made this all the time when we were younger (much, MUCH younger). There was always a small amount of joy when I opened the fridge looking for something to eat only to find the leftover lasagna. Jackpot!
Cheese is at the heart of this recipe. The ricotta adds a hint of sweet, the Parmesan adds a nutty, salty flavor, and the cream cheese adds just a mild tang and creaminess. Paired with homemade spaghetti sauce and some fresh vegetables, this is comfort food at it’s best.
Cook noodles until al dente (or a little less), drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Be sure you don’t overcook your noodles or they will become like mush in the final product. I like a slightly firmer noodle, so this part is important to me. I’ve even heard ramblings of people not pre-cooking the noodles at all, but I have not yet tested that rumor.
While the noodles are cooking, we can add the ricotta cheese, 4 ounces of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, onion powder, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning to a mixing bowl and get it all nice and mixed up.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and start building the lasagna. Spread a layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan. I like a good layer of sauce in the bottom to ensure the noodles don’t stick while cooking.
Place one layer of lasagna noodles covering the bottom of the pan.
Add a layer of sauce on top of the noodles (not pictured). Spread the cheese mixture over the layer of noodles.
Add another layer off noodles. Spread a layer of sauce on top of the noodles and add the spinach, broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms.
Add another layer of noodles. Cover with a generous layer of sauce. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until warm and bubbly. Take the foil off for the last 10 minutes of baking.
Let cool for about 10 minutes, then serve.
Works great if you need to make it ahead of time. Just build the lasagna, cover it with foil and store it in the fridge for 1-2 days. When you’re ready to serve it, cook according to the instructions. Excellent eaten leftover, sometimes I think it’s even better that way. It also can be frozen for several weeks in an airtight container.
Do you like lasagna with a lot of sauce or light on the sauce? Do you prefer vegetables, meat, or a combination of both?