Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
Vegetables are the star in this healthy, low-sodium, meatless lasagna recipe. Roasting vegetables in a little balsamic vinegar is easy and adds a slightly sweet and subtle smokey flavor to this meatless meal. This lasagna is elegant and hearty enough to serve to guests – both vegetarians and meat-eaters!
Meatless Lasagna Adds More Vegetables
Ground beef is a main ingredient in most classic lasagna dishes. This meatless lasagna recipe instead gives the spotlight to vegetables. It is well known that adding more vegetables to your diet has many health benefits. Vegetables are naturally lower in calories and fat and have zero cholesterol. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney stones, bone loss and obesity. Fruits and vegetables may also offer protection against certain cancers. The key is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables as each has its unique set of nutrients and often antioxidants. This recipe uses a variety of vegetables and can be customized to include your favorites.
Note: To make this recipe vegan, make a tofu "ricotta" by mashing up firm tofu with a fork and adding nutritional yeast with a splash or lemon juice to taste. You can also use plant-based "mozzarella" or eliminate this in the recipe.
Eating a meat rich diet on the other hand has some risks. Researchers at the National Institute of Health found in a 2012 study that individuals who consumed the highest levels of both unprocessed and processed red meat had the greatest risk of mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality.1 Many studies have also found an association with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
This recipe is flexible and adaptable. You can vary the vegetables to your preference or what you have on hand (see the recipe for Roasted Vegetables below). You can also assemble the lasagna the night before, refrigerate it, and have it ready to pop in the oven the next day when you walk in the door. The recipe is kept low in sodium with lighter cheese and a almost sodium-free tomato sauce. .
- 2 1/2 cups homemade Basic Tomato Sauce, see the gray box for the link
- 9 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked al-dente
- 4 cups roasted vegetables, see recipe below
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese, optional
Basic Tomato Sauce
This slightly spicy and easy-to-make tomato sauce is virtually sodium-free, which is key to keeping this lasagna low-sodium as commercial sauces are often high in salt.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread ½ cup sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce.
- Spread ½ of the roasted veggies over the noodles and press down gently with a spatula.
- Mix ricotta with egg white and spread half of the mixture on top of the roasted veggies.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese on top.
- Spread half of the sliced basil leaves and ¾ cup of sauce.
- Top with another layer of 3 lasagna noodles and press down with spatula.
- Continue with the remaining veggies, remaining ricotta mixture, 1/4 cup mozzarella, remaining basil, and ¾ cup sauce.
- Top with remaining 3 lasagna noodles and press down with spatula.
- Top lasagna with remaining sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses
- Bake for 50-55 minutes until hot, slightly browned, and bubbling. Check lasagna about halfway through cooking and cover loosely with foil if the topping browns too much.
|Serving size: 1/6 of Lasagna|
|Calories from Fat||90|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 10 g||15%|
|Carbohydrates 38 g||13%|
|Fiber 8 g||32%|
|Protein 14 g||28%|
|Sodium 183 mg||8%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
How To Roast Vegetables
Use almost any vegetables you have on hand or prefer. See some examples in the box below. Roasting vegetables gives them slightly smoky taste that is balanced by the sweetness from the balsamic vinegar.
These and other roasted vegetables also make a great side dishes for your main meal. Root vegetables are perfect for a side dish. Learn how to roast root veggies like beets and potatoes here.
Vegetables to Roast
- Bell peppers
- 8 cups chopped vegetables (see examples in the box)
- 6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground basil
- Ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss chopped veggies in a large glass bowl with oil, vinegar, and spices.
- Spray a lined cookie sheet or roasting pan lightly with cooking spray. Spread vegetables onto sheet or pan and roast in oven for about 40-45 minutes, lightly tossing veggies about every 15 minutes and checking for doneness.
Note: Vegetables will shrink down while roasting to make about 4 cups.
Costco Kirkland Signature Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
I highly recommend Costco's Kirkland Signature products, especially the well reviewed extra-virgin olive oil. It is a superb product and an excellent value. I also use the Costco's Kirkland Signature balsamic vinegar pictured here as well as many spices and fresh produce. Costco also has a great assortment of fresh vegetables for you to use. See more of my Costco product recommendations here.
1 Wein, Harrison, Ph.D. "Risk in Red Meat? - National Institutes of Health (NIH)." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/march2012/03262012meat.htm>.
"Why Is It Important to Eat Vegetables?" Health and Nutrition Benefits of Vegetables. United States Department of Agriculture, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetables-why.html>.