Loaded Veggie Lasagna
Loaded Veggie Lasagna loaded with lots of vegetables, spicy garlicky cherry tomato sauce and mix of ricotta cheese, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese!
Who does not like lasagna?!?! It is that comfort food that everyone likes. But there is one thing with it, being vegetarian if you do not put enough nutrients in it, it ends up being just a big pot of process carbs, cheese and access sodium. Comfort food should be healthy and guilt free that you can eat it more often!
I do not remember a single time I ordered a veggie lasagna at a restaurant because of that same reason. I like to add LOTS and LOTS of vegetables in my lasagna, like onions, peppers, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, spinach etc. This recipe also modifies the store bought sauce to bring some spiciness and garlic hints. Fresh cherry tomatoes are cooked in chili garlic oil and added to simple marinara sauce to give this recipe a little kick! In terms of cheese, I like to use half part ricotta cheese and half part cottage cheese to add some extra protein to this dish! The combination of ricotta and cottage cheese, mixed with sautéed veggies brings unique taste to this lasagna dish!
Lasagna is little tricky in terms of having right amount of moisture in it. You do not want to make this too runny or too dry. The sauce that this dish uses has just right amount of thickness to it to help maintain the perfect moisture in this dish. So that it is not too dry nor too runny.
I have used this recipe so many times, specially when I host big parties. It is perfect for preparing ahead of time. You can prepare the whole thing before hand and just bake it right before serving, or you can prepare sauce, filling and pasta separately ahead of time and store in the fridge. Put it all together right before baking and serving! The mixed veggie and cheese filling I use in this recipe can be used in other dishes too, for example white sauce pasta or baked ziti. The veggie and cheese mix freezes well too!
This nutritious dish is a definite crowd pleaser. My family and friends absolutely love it, hope yours do too! If you like this one, I am sure you would like my White Lasagna recipe as well!! If you end up making it and liking it, tag me on Instagram @myvegetarianroots. I would love to see your recreation of this deliciousness!!
Happy and Healthy Eating!
Loaded Veggie Lasagna
- 12 pieces Lasagna Pasta
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 Serrano Pepper Sliced
- 1 cup Chopped Yellow Onions
- 1 cup Chopped Green Peppers
- 1 cup Shredded/finely Chopped Carrots
- 1 cup Cubed Zucchini small cubes
- 1 cup Cubed Eggplants small cubes
- 2 cup Chopped Spinach organic baby spinach is preferred
- ¾ cup Ricotta Cheese
- ¾ cup Cottage Cheese
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Crushed Red Peppers
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Crushed Red Peppers
- 5 Garlic Cloves sliced
- 2 tsp Salt
- 3 cup Marinara Sauce preferred thick marinara sauce
- 2 cup Cherry Tomatoes sliced in halves
Prepare Lasagna Pasta
- Cook 12 lasagna pasta according to package instruction, 1-2 minute undercook as we are going to bake it later. Once boiled, run cold water through boiled pasta and coat each lasagna pasta with oil and keep it aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Saute chopped onions, sliced serrano and minced garlic until the onions are translucent.
- Saute chopped green peppers for 3-4 minutes on medium to high heat.
- Chop carrots in chopper or food processor to make it fine. Saute finely chopped/shredded carrots for 5-6 minutes on medium to high heat.
- Saute cubed zucchini and eggplant until they are completely mushy.
- Saute chopped baby spinach until completely wilted. Keep cooking all the veggies until all the liquid evaporates. Take it off the heat and let it cool down. While waiting for it to cool down, make the sauce.
- Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil. Saute sliced garlic and crushed red peppers on medium heat until the garlic slices are golden brown.
- Add 2 cups of cherry tomato cut in halves to sauteed garlic and peppers.
- Keep cooking the cherry tomatoes on high heat until they start to become soft. Add 1 tsp of salt and mix it well. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add 3 cups of thick marinara sauce to the tomatoes and mix it well. Using thick sauce helps with keeping lasagna from becoming too runny. Cook the sauce until it starts to bubble, keep stirring frequently. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.
- Preheat oven on 350°F. Grease a baking tray (13"x10" preferred).
- Once veggie filling is cooled down, add ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder and crushed red peppers. Mix it well.
- Pour just enough cherry tomato sauce at the bottom of the baking tray to coat a thin layer.
- Place 3 boiled lasagna pasta on top of the sauce in the tray.
- Spread veggie/cheese filling on top of each lasagna pasta, try not spread the filling on the edges.
- Sprinkle generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the filling on each lasagna pasta.
- Layer cherry tomato pasta on top of the mozzarella cheese, just in the middle of the each lasagna pasta, try not to spread it on the edges.
- Keep layering in same order until you place the last 3 pieces of lasagna pasta. Once you place last 3 pieces of lasagna pasta, spread generous amount of cherry tomato sauce and cover the whole top surface of lasagna with mozzarella cheese. I like to poke toothpicks in lasagna before I cover it with aluminum foil, so the cheese does not stick with the foil while baking.
- Cover the tray with aluminum foil and bake it for 35 minutes.
- After 35 minutes of baking, remove the foil and put your oven on broil setting. Broil the lasagna for 2-4 minutes. Keep checking on it. As soon as you see the cheese browning, take it out of the oven and let it sit for at-least 15 minutes before serving.