Veggie Lasagna

Veggie Lasagna

I am modeling this lasagna after the veggie lasagna I remember from summer camp (which was essentially Stouffer’s, I imagine)? I would get it any time I didn’t want the regular meal or whenever I heard they were serving it, really. I have fond memories of it.

During all three of my pregnancies, I have gotten cravings for random things. I assume this is common. Typically, I have to act fast or I won’t stop thinking about it, and when I get it, it tastes even better than I was anticipating- definitely a perk of pregnancy! I get cravings either out of nowhere or because of seeing something fleeting on TV, menus or someone else’s plate. With this, what triggered my craving was the kitchen at the nursing home where I work serving veggie lasagna to the patients this past week. Silly, I know! But then my summer camp memories were triggered and it was all over. I waited until our weekly shopping trip to get the ingredients, so this was a bit of a delayed satisfaction- but worth it.

If you don’t have or like all of the veggies I used (carrot, onion, spinach, mushroom), you can just sub different ones in! My recommendation, though, is to make sure you cook off any extra liquid from the veggies before adding them, or else it’ll make the lasagna more soupy (I’m looking at you, zucchini).

I use and LOVE Rao’s pasta sauce regularly, because the ingredients are simple and it contains so added sugar. The alfredo sauce is a bit of a different story and, inherently, isn’t as healthy, but I figured what the heck. I hadn’t bought a jarred alfredo in years, so I figured I’d try it. Besides, tomato sauce triggers my reflux these days so a white lasagna was perfect for the craving occasion. In the future, I might try making my own roux instead of using jarred. If I do, I’ll add the recipe here!

Okay, enough banter- Here we go!

12 lasagna noodles
15 oz container of whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 tsp plus 1/4 tsp salt, divided
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Italian seasoning
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
15 oz jar Alfredo sauce (I used Rao’s)
3 large carrots, shredded (I used a cheese grater)
1 medium/large onion, diced
8-10 oz bag baby spinach, coarsely chopped
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese for topping
Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked. Lay out noodles on a plate in layers, sprinkling olive oil after each layer so the noodles don’t stick/rip. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning and 1 tbsp olive oil and set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shredded carrots, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp Italian seasoning and cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to hot pan and turn it back on medium-high if you turned it off. Add mushrooms, cook 2 min, add minced garlic, 1/4 tsp salt and spinach, cook 3-5 more minutes or until greens are wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
We are ready to assemble now! Here we go with the layers:
First, add a few tbsp Alfredo sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 lasagna pan and spread around.
Then layer like this:
  • Noodles (3 should fit side-by-side perfectly)
  • Ricotta mixture (do 1/3 of it, spreading with back of a spoon)
  • Carrot/onion mixture (1/3 of it, spread evenly over ricotta)
  • A few tbsp Alfredo sauce drizzled over
  • Spinach mushroom mixture (1/3 of it, evenly spread- doesn’t have to look perfect)
  • Cheese (1/4 of it, evenly sprinkled)
Repeat these bulleted points 2 more times. Then place the remaining 3 noodles on top, top them with remaining sauce, remaining cheese and additional grated Parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes to heat through. Let stand for 5-10 min before serving.
I’d say this serves 9-12 people.
I’m sorry, but this is going to make a mess and use a bunch of dishes. I don’t know another way so if you’re more efficient than me, fantastic.

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