Homemade Vegetarian Lasagna is one of our favourite family meals, but let’s be honest, it isn’t all that quick and easy to make. I created this pasta bake for days when I’m really craving the taste and comfort of lasagna but I don’t want to spend ages in the kitchen. Yes, it does take a bit of time to cut up the vegetables for roasting, but other that that, this dish is hardly labour intensive.
The texture of the eggplant and mushrooms is meat-like enough to make it a dish even confirmed meat eaters will enjoy, so it’s the perfect dish to serve if you have both vegetarians and meat eaters at the table.
If you want to get ahead, prepare the vegetables for roasting earlier in the day. Cover and keep in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. Another option is to prepare and roast the vegetables the day before. Cool them down and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them. This is also a great recipe for using up leftover roast vegetables from other dishes.
The beauty of this recipe is you can roast whatever combination of vegetables you have on hand. If you con’t like eggplant (aubergine) or zucchini (courgette), then just leave it out. You can use any combination of coloured peppers, depending on what is available at a good price. All you need is a nice big tray of any combination of roasted vegetables, and you are all set to go.
You can vary the flavour of the casserole by using different cheeses. (If serving strict vegetarians, be sure to use vegetarian cheese made without the use of animal rennet.) I like to mix grated mozzarella with grated cheddar, but you can use any cheeses you like, provided they melt well.
Serve this with a nice big salad and/or some hot crusty bread or rolls and you will have a dinner to guaranteed to please just about everyone!
- 1 large onion, peeled, quartered and cut in chunks
- 1 eggplant, sliced and cut in approximately one inch cubes
- 1 cup of mushrooms, cut in half if large
- 2 to 3 peppers, assorted colours if possible, de-seeded, sliced and cut in roughly one inch squares
- 1 large or 2 medium zucchini, cut in half and then in half moons, roughly half an inch thick
- 1 to 2 tablespoons mild olive oil (or other mild vegetable oil)
- 2 cups pasta shapes
- 2 cups passata or sieved tomatoes or plain tomato pasta sauce
- 2 to 3 generous tablespoons of basil pesto
- 1 cup grated cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Spread the prepared vegetables on a large baking sheet.
- Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat.
- Roast for 20 minutes, carefully turn the vegetables over and return to the oven for a further 15 - 20 minutes until nicely roasted but not too brown. (At this point the vegetables can be cooled and chilled for 3 to 4 days.)
- Meanwhile, warm the passata or tomato sauce in a medium saucepan over low heat.
- Stir in the pesto.
- Cook the pasta in a large saucepan in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and return to the saucepan.
- Stir the passata or tomato sauce into the pasta in the large saucepan, along with the roasted vegetables.
- Place half the pasta and vegetables in a large casserole.
- Sprinkle with half the cheese.
- Cover with the remaining pasta and vegetables.
- Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Lower the heat in the oven to 375°F (190°C)
- Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese melts and is golden on top.