I'm going to start this post out with a warning. Warning that it is very, very photo heavy. In my mind that isn't a warning because it's a BAD thing, but because you'll be drooling on your keyboard. If you are at work or a public place, drooling in public may get you some funny looks. So... warning. I just couldn't put up the recipe for this easy vegetable lasagna with zucchini without some clear instructive photos.
Because I really, really want you to try it.
Tonight. This version of easy vegetable lasagna is absolutely delicious, healthy, and quick. Not chicken nugget quick. More like spaghetti and meatballs quick.
Have I told you about my hate-hate relationship with lasagna?
Or casseroles (called hot dish here in MN)? I have this thing about cooking food in separate pots and then squishing them together to cook AGAIN before eating. It seems a ridiculous waste of time. I know, I know...there are some times its worth it. From what I hear, you all think lasagna is one of those times. I'm not in agreement. But for the sake of all of you that love the double cooked flavor that lasagna brings, I want you to know that this version is absolutely delicious but NOT the same as your gooey, gooey mess of double-cooked noodles and sauce. It's better. Okay, that's being egotistical and you won't agree. But please do try it. I think you'll really, really like it!
The best part of this easy vegetable lasagna with zucchini is that the star of the dish is... veggies. It is truly without question a vegetable lasagna. There isn't even a tomato sauce, just fresh tomatoes doing their job. I used both eggplant and zucchini in this. Zucchini helps hold shape and eggplant is soft and rich, adding all sorts of great flavor. Portabella mushrooms add earthiness and depth, much like meat would in traditional lasagna.
You want to cut your eggplant and zucchini in strips. There isn't any need to fully peel them but I do like to remove the peel from each side so that no one gets a giant bite of only peel in their lasagna. Slice the eggplant, portabella, and zucchini about ¼ inch thick, and the tomatoes about ½ inch. Brush all of them generously with olive oil, salt and pepper, and add a piece of basil to each tomato. Place on to a parchment lined cookie sheet (the parchment paper isn't necessary, it just makes clean-up a lot easier and helps absorb some of the excess liquid) and into a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
No need to get a new pan; we can use the same one you roasted those veggies on. Start stacking. You'll need your favorite soft white cheese for layering. 8 oz for 2 is what I prefer but...it's your lasagna. I recommend a goat cheese, mozzarella, ricotta (you'll have to spread that), provolone, or even gouda for good options to try. Or a mixture of several... yum! Eggplant on the bottom followed by tomatoes, cheese, zucchini, and mushroom...repeat. Or something similar.
Here's the tricky part...holding shape. Of course the higher you stack, the harder it will be to keep shape so keep that in mind. Use toothpicks to hold your veggies together and then wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil. This will keep the layers together as they cook. If you like, you certainly can put the layers into small loaf pans and bake. I don't like making extra dishes, so I prefer this method.
When your lasagna is done getting melty, take it out of the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes before removing the foil. If possible, cool on a cooling rack so that the liquid can drain off. Also, if you let the veggies rest after the 10 minutes roasting step you'll have less liquid. I don't care about the liquid and don't bother taking the time. But, if I made this for entertaining, I probably would.
Start to finish you have about 30 minutes depending on how fast you are at cutting veggies. But the truly best part is the veggie goodness in this version. Amazing!
Easy Vegetable lasagna with zucchini--vegetarian and gluten-free
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 1 large portabella mushroom
- 3 roma tomatoes
- fresh basil
- 8 oz soft white cheese
- olive oil salt, & pepper
- Slice eggplant, zucchini, and mushroom in ¼ inch slices.
- Slice tomato in ½ inch slices
- Place veggies on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Brush generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place basil on tomatoes.
- Roast in 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.
- Stack a slice of eggplant, zucchini, mushroom, and tomato. Follow by ⅛ of the cheese.
- Repeat until all veggies are stacked. Top with remaining cheese.
- Secure with toothpicks and aluminum foil.
- Place back into the 425 oven for 10 minutes.
- Let cool on oven rack (if available) for 5 minutes before removing foil.
Tell me what your favorite version of lasagna is! Are you a traditionalist or do you like the new fangled versions?
More healthy main dishes worth trying: