Pasta is one of my favourite things to eat and lasagna tops the charts for pasta dishes in my books! I usually make my lasagna with ground chicken or turkey, but I decided to try out a full on vegetable ricotta lasagna for a change. Okay, who am I kidding… I, once again, had a boat load of vegetables in my fridge that I needed to use up in a hurry! I seem to over shop for vegetables, forgetting I am only cooking for two and constantly end up needing to find ways to use them up before they go to waste. This isn’t such a bad thing when it comes to trying to think of ideas for the blog, plus I get my vegetables in my diet!
This time I had a whole butternut squash, a huge bag of mushrooms and a few bell peppers to use up. I also had a tub of ricotta cheese that was nearing it’s expiry date, so enter vegetable ricotta lasagna!
Vegetable Ricotta Lasagna
To start out, I needed to pre-bake my butternut squash, so I skinned it and peeled it into thin slices. I put the slices on a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and drizzled olive oil all over and added salt and pepper generously over all the slices. I popped them into the oven and let them roast at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
While the squash was roasting I got a pot of water boiling and put the lasagna noodles into the water. Next I sliced up all of the mushrooms and peppers and set them aside.
Next I grated about 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and set it aside until I was ready for it.
I scooped 2 cups of ricotta cheese into a bowl, added a beaten egg, 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and about 1 Tbsp. of Italian seasoning, and mixed everything well.
By now my lasagna noodles were done and ready to be strained and rinsed with cold water. As well, my squash was roasted, so I removed it from the oven.
Time for the assembly of the lasagna! I sprayed non-stick spray to a 9 x 13 deep casserole dish and started the layering. Everyone I think has a different method to lasagna making and I have no idea if I am doing this wrong, but it seems to really work!
Layer 1 – lasagna noodles
Layer 2 – roasted squash
Layer 3 – mushroom slices and bell pepper slices
Layer 4 – pasta sauce (I used Hunts, Thick and Rich Traditional – if it wasn’t a week night, I probably would have made my own from scratch, however a can or a jar of sauce will do the trick as well!)
Layer 5 – lasagna noodles
Layer 6 – ricotta cheese mixture
Layer 7 – lasagna noodles
Layer 8 – grated cheese
Bake the lasagna in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, until cooked and cheese is a nice and melted and starting to brown. Serve hot on it’s own, or with a side salad and garlic toast!
Vegetable Ricotta Lasagna
- 1/2 box of whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 1 cup sliced butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 cup sliced button mushrooms
- 2 bell peppers sliced
- 2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup each grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese
- 1 can or jar of your favourite pasta sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place butternut squash slices on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil all over and sprinkle salt and pepper generously over all the slices. Roast in oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook lasagna as per package directions.
Scoop the ricotta cheese into a bowl, add the beaten egg, 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and 1 Tbsp. of Italian seasoning, and mix everything well.
Strain cooked lasagna noodles and rinse under cold water. Remove squash from oven and start assembling the lasagna.
Spray a non-stick spray to a 9 x 13 deep casserole dish and layer lasagna as follows
Layer 1 - lasagna noodles
Layer 2 - roasted squash
Layer 3 - mushroom slices and bell pepper slices
Layer 4 - pasta sauce
Layer 5 - lasagna noodles
Layer 6 - ricotta cheese mixture
Layer 7 - lasagna noodles
Layer 8 - grated cheese
Put lasagna in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Do you save the cheesy top of the lasagna last because it’s the best part?!?