t is a rare occasion that Paul and I arrive home at the same time, on the same night of the week and neither of us has anything to do that night. This exact thing happened to us last week and we found ourselves at a loss for words. We were a bit unprepared, didn’t have any meat thawed to eat. And it was almost the end of the week which means we needed to make a trip to the grocery store. Finally Paul pulled out an unopened box of lasagna noodles and suggested vegetable lasagna. What a smart man I married, huh?
I’ll start by saying that this recipe came straight from our minds that night. We used what we had on hand and what sounded good to us. We both started chopping, dicing, sauteing and viola; this is what came of it. Oh my word, we need to collaborate in the kitchen more often! It was so good. Hearty is the word that I used to describe it. I actually couldn’t believe that there wasn’t any meat in it.
I’m not a huge meat eater so I feel lucky that Paul is OK with vegetarian dishes most of the time. I also feel lucky that my husband and I can spend time together in the kitchen, and enjoy it! I love being in the kitchen but sharing it with him makes it a completely different place and I realize that we need that more often. So, here’s to spending more time with the people that I love. I hope this recipe will help you do the same
Veggie Lasagna Recipe
Meatless but hearty vegetable lasagna recipe.
1 box, oven ready lasagna noodles
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small-medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 cup fresh green and red peppers
1 – 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups baby spinach leaves
10 – 12 leaves of fresh basil, chifonade
15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 – 2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 – 1 ½ Tbs. sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 ounces of cream cheese, cubed into ~1/2 inch pieces
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet and over medium heat; add onions and garlic and sauté until very fragrant soft. Add oregano, parsley, peppers and mushrooms and sauté 2 – 3 minutes.
Add spinach and basil in two batches; allow each batch to wilt before adding the next.
Stir in the diced tomatoes, chili powder, red pepper flakes, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of marinara, combine and allow mixture to boil. Add more marinara at this time if it needs more liquid.
Spray or butter an 8 inch by 11 inch glass baking pan.
Spread a small amount of the mixture in the bottom. Layer three lasagna noodles in the bottom, evenly space 6-8 pieces of cream cheese, spread a handful of shredded cheese and layer 1/3 of the veggie mixture on top. Add another layer of noodles and repeat. End with the veggie mixture and a sparing layer of cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Uncover, add another layer of shredded cheese and bake 10-15 minutes more, uncovered, until the cheese is browned and bubble.
Remove from oven and allow to cool 10-15 minutes before cutting.