BEST VEGETARIAN LASAGNA

My friends, this is it – the only lasagna recipe you’ll ever want.

Especially posted for my lovely friends over at NOURISH FB group – if you’re not a part of it, go join.

Before I share recipe, I have a few notes.

Amounts you get from this recipe are big, for my family it’s usually 3-4 lasagna lunches & 1-2 bolognese lunches.
I do it this way because cooking bolognese & then baking lasagna takes a lot of time, so I simply prepare a big batch, freeze portions and have a few delicious lunches instead of one (once a year, because that’s how often I’d be willing to spend half day in the kitchen).

Also, recipe may be adjusted to suit vegans, you can simply use vegan grated cheese and 2 more tbsp olive oil instead of butter.

Some measurements may slightly vary; for example, you may need a bit more tomato sauce or vegetable stock for the bolognese. For the bechamel sauce you may need to adjust the flour amount. Honestly, I usually do this recipe without any measurements, just seeing if it’s thick enough or not. Aim for an almost pudding like consistency; it should be creamy, but still thick.
Also, don’t worry if it’s not perfect, even if it’s less thick than it should be, lasagna will taste fine. I should know. 🙂

Below is nutrition side of the recipe – just for the main ingredients.
Note that all the other ingredients add up to the mix with their own nutritional profile. As always, I use only ingredients that are nutrient dense. So, while I’ll list nutrients contained in a few main ingredients, these are NOT where the beauty of this recipe ends.

Lentils are awesome because they’re high in protein, but also high in fiber & various vitamins and minerals. They contain significant amounts of folate (important for women, especially for pregnant women), iron, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin B1, magnesium, zinc & some other B vitamins. Pretty awesome.

White button mushrooms will add more B vitamins to the mix, as well as selenium, potassium, copper, phosphorus. They also may contain a bit of vitamin D, but I wouldn’t really rely on them as my only vitamin D source – they need to be exposed sun or UV light while growing to create vitamin D.

Carrots: beta-carotene, of course. It turns to vitamin A in our body, but not all of it. Some of beta-carotene is used by body as an antioxidant. Potassium in the carrots is important for our bones, heart, blood pressure & muscles. They also contain biotion & vitamin K, both of which are amazing.

Tomato sauce will provide us with beta-carotene & loads of lycopene – this is an important antioxidant. Cool thing about lycopene is that its amount in tomatoes increases when they’re heated, making this recipe really good. Tomato sauce provides us also with vitamin K, and vitamin C – although vitamin C is sensitive to heat, so.. don’t rely on cooked tomatoes to provide you with your daily needs. It also contains potassium, manganese & fiber.

If you’re curious about vitamins, what do we need, why, how much & exact examples of a RDA in actual foods – get the password for freebies; I’m gonna be publishing a Vitamins 101 ebook soon. Stay tuned!

You can also add leeks or similar veggies you like – it works like a charm.

BEST VEGETARIAN LASAGNA

Made with lentil-mushroom bolognese. Just perfect!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean

Ingredients

LENTIL & MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE SAUCE

  • 2 tbsp olive oil high quality
  • 2 large carrots grated
  • 1 large onion grated or chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 whole cloves (maybe 2 if it’s too strong for you)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1tsp dried)
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable stock
  • 6-7 cups (500g) white button mushrooms sliced
  • 2.5 cups (500g) brown lentils
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 1/2 cups (1l) tomato sauce from mason jars, I use one with pieces of tomatoes – totally optional
  • 1/2 cup red wine optional; I usually don’t use it
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parsley chopped, to taste

BECHAMEL (WHITE) SAUCE

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil high quality
  • 2/3 cup (70g) whole grain spelt flour or any whole grain flour
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground nutmeg to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ca. 5 cups (ca 1.2L) plant milk I use soy milk
  • handful grated cheese or two 🙂

OTHER

  • 14 whole grain lasagna sheets more or less if needed
  • grated cheese to taste, to cover the lasagna

Instructions

LENTIL & MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE SAUCE

  1. In a large pot, medium heat, add olive oil, onions, carrots, rosemary, bay leaves, cloves and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.

  2. If desired, add wine.

    Add vegetable stock and sliced mushrooms. Let it cook for 5 minutes.

  3. Add lentils, 3 cups of tomato sauce, dried basil and dried oregano.

  4. Let it cook, stirring ocassionally. If it looks dry, and it probably will, add 1/2 cup more tomato sauce (I do this a couple of times).

  5. Cook for ca. 45-60 minutes, until lentils are done.

  6. Taste & add salt and pepper if desired.

  7. Remove rosemary and bay leaves. Add fresh chopped parsley. Set aside.

BECHAMEL (WHITE) SAUCE

  1. Preheat the oven at 180C/350F

  2. In a pot, medium heat, combine butter and olive oil. 

  3. Slowly add flour, stirring to avoid lumps – works best with a whisk.

  4. You’ll get a thick, dough like, mass.

  5. Add ground nutmeg, salt, pepper and grated cheese.

  6. Slowly add soy milk, stirring the whole time to avoid lumps.

  7. Stirring, cook it until it boils & reaches hot pudding like consistency. Set aside.

LASAGNA

  1. In a 12x9inch (35x25cm) casserole dish, spread a layer of bechamel sauce.

  2. Over the bechamel sauce, spread a layer of lasagna sheets.

  3. Add a layer of bolognese sauce.

  4. Then a layer of bechamel sauce.

  5. Then again lasagna, bolognese, bechamel – till it’s empty. Last layer should be bechamel sauce.

  6. Bake for 30-35mins, take the dish out. Sprinkle the lasagna with grated cheese and put back in the oven.

  7. Bake for another 15mins.

  8. Let lasagna rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

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