This hearty gluten-free and vegetarian Italian vegetable lasagna layers fresh mushrooms, onions, and zucchini between saucy noodles and a rich ricotta cheese mixture. It is great for a large crowd or for make-ahead meals!
Why this lasagna recipe works
- it’s a vegetarian dinner recipe – Did someone say Meatless Monday?! This vegetarian lasagna is loaded with fresh vegetables including earthy mushrooms and Italian flavors.
- easy to plan ahead – this meal works well to plan ahead and make in advance. Chop the vegetables the day before to save time so all it takes is to assemble the lasagna and bake it in the oven before dinner. Lasagna also becomes more flavorful as it sets. Make it all the day before and bake it they next evening when you are ready to eat.
- perfect for large crowds – this vegetable lasagna serves 12, which makes it great for potlucks or dinner parties. Serve with a side salad for even more nutrition and texture.
What ingredients go into this recipes
- The vegetable filling – garlic, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.
- Ricotta cheese filling – the cheesy ricotta filling is a mixture of ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, basil, and oregano. You can use either part skim ricotta or whole milk ricotta.
- Tomato sauce, gluten-free lasagna noodles, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves make up the remaining layers, toppings and garnish.
How to make this recipe
STEP 1: Chop and prepare the vegetables. This can be done the day before to save time if needed. Then sauté them in olive oil or avocado oil which helps reduce the liquid during baking time.
STEP 2: Cook the noodles and set aside by laying them out, mixing with oil or leaving them in a little bit of water so they do not stick together.
STEP 3: Meanwhile, shred the parmesan and mozzarella and make the ricotta filling by mixing the parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, egg, basil and oregano together.
STEP 4: Prepare a baking dish and start layering the vegetable lasagna accordingly starting with tomato sauce at the bottom, noodles, cheese mixture, and cooked vegetables.
STEP 5: Then repeat this two more times starting with tomato sauce on top of the cooked vegetables. On the last layer or noodles make sure to dip it in water first then place it on top, which helps it not to dry out during baking. On top of the last noodle layer sprinkle with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
STEP 6: Let the vegetable lasagna rest of about 30 minutes to settle the flavors, then bake it for 40 minutes. If the top starts to burn cover it with foil then remove it during the last five minutes.
STEP 7: Then, allow it to set for 20 minutes after baking and garnish it with fresh basil before serving (optional to garnish).
Lasagna recipes are another great alternative that can be made in the morning or during nap time. I like to prepare this vegetable lasagna it in the morning, bake it, let it cool and then put it in the refrigerator until it is time to reheat for dinner. To reheat it simply cook it covered in the oven at 325 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes or until the center is warm. Or prepare it ahead of time (without baking it yet) and cook fully right before dinner time.
What to serve with lasagna
FAQs and Expert Tips
Lasagna is a traditionally an Italian dish and Italians love their nightshade vegetables! Vegetables that serve well in lasagna that can be mixed in this dish include zucchini, squash, onion, garlic, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and eggplant.
Lasagna is not the most healthy dish due to the large amounts of cheese. You can use plant-based cheese to remove dairy, which is an inflammatory food. Some people have problems with nightshade vegetables as well. But it is a great way to enjoy vegetables, and can be made healthy if consumed in moderation with a balanced diet.
This is due to the vegetables not being sautéed all the way before being added to the lasagna. To prevent this, make sure to cook them about 7-10 minutes to remove extra water. You can also cook the vegetable lasagna longer to help some of the water evaporate.
About three layers fits comfortably in a standard 9×13 inch baking dish, as any taller may spill over liquid during baking.
Yes, overcooking will lead to a dried out lasagna and/or tough noodles on the top. As the lasagna cools, some of the liquid is absorbed so cook accordingly to times suggested.
Lasagna sheets should be cooked first unless they specifically say “no cook” lasagna sheets. Trader Joe’s sometimes carries that kind.
This veg a great meal to make in advance and bake later! You can assemble this lasagna recipe and cook it the next night or later in the day. It is more flavorful as it sets. Make sure it stays covered tightly to prevent it from drying out if it is made in advance before baking.
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Gluten-Free Vegetable Lasagna
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced
- 1 white onion diced, about 1 cup
- 1 zucchini diced, about 2 cups
- 1 yellow squash diced, about 2 cups
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package gluten-free lasagna noodles (about 9-11 noodles)
- 1 25 ounce jar of tomato sauce
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons oregano dry
- 1 tablespoon basil dry
- 4 tablespoons milk
- In a medium pan, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the onion, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper. Sauté on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms start to soften and onion becomes translucent. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions till al dente (not quite done and still firm). Drain and leave a little water so the noodles do not stick. Or lay them out on a flat surface.
- Meanwhile, while the noodles cook shred the parmesan and mozzarella cheese and make the ricotta filling. In a large bowl cream together ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, oregano, basil, and milk.
- Spray a large 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking oil. Spread a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place a single layer of noodles over the tomato sauce (3-4 strips throughout each layer). Then add the ricotta mixture, then sautéed vegetables on top. Repeat 2 more times starting with tomato sauce, then noodles, creamed cheese, vegetables. On the fourth layer of noodles, dip them first in water then top with tomato sauce and the shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Rest lasagna for about 30 minutes to allow the noodles to absorb liquid and flavors to set. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly. If the sides seem to burn, cover with foil, and remove foil for last 5 minutes of cooking. Rest at least 20 minutes before serving and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
This is an older post that has been updated.