Even though I’m enjoying a sunny beach vacation in Hawaii, I hear our house is currently covered in a fresh layer of snow! In light of the chilly winter weather, I’m excited to share a new roasted vegetable lasagna recipe with you today.
Lasagna is one of the coziest, most comforting meals. I love how I can use up a variety of vegetables in this recipe. Feel free to mix up what you use! It’s a dense, hearty meal, and most people don’t even know it doesn’t contain meat because it is so hearty! You’ll also notice the recipe uses béchamel sauce – it’s traditionally added to lasagna and adds a creamy texture that’s absolutely delicious. Don’t be intimidated by it! It’s actually quite simple to pull together and can be made the day before you make the full lasagna.
For the roasted vegetable sauce
1 red onion
1 stalk of celery
2 small zucchinis
1 medium eggplant
Handful of small vine ripe tomatoes
2 peppers (red, orange or yellow)
½ head of garlic
2x 28 oz. cans of good quality canned Italian tomatoes
Salt and pepper
For the béchamel (white) sauce
¼ cup unsalted butter
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
3 ¾ cups whole milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of grated nutmeg
¼ -½ cup parmesan cheese grated
1 package (500g) of oven-ready lasagna noodles (We love the dried version that has eggs in them.)
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
For the lasagna
Lasagna noodles! We love these egg pasta version as they cook quite fast and really add a nice texture. No need to pre-cook them!
Pre-heat your oven to 400°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
Chop all of your veggies into ½ inch cubes. (Note: They don’t need to be perfect. They will cook down while roasting in the oven.) Toss them into a bowl and add a good splash of olive oil to coat. Evenly distribute the veggies on the prepared baking sheet and season well with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the veggies for around 30 minutes until golden brown and lightly roasted. While the veggies roast, prepare the béchamel sauce.
Gently heat the milk in a pot. Once warm, turn off the heat and set aside.
In a medium-sized pot on medium heat, melt down the butter. Once melted, add the flour and stir. Cook down for a couple minutes. Slowly start to add ⅓ of the milk and mix well to incorporate it into the “roux.” Continue adding to add the rest of the milk and mixing until it’s completely incorporated. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Keep the sauce on medium heat and whisk – don’t leave it unattended! It will start to thicken after a couple of minutes. Keep whisking until it’s nice and thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese and set this aside. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the sauce so it doesn’t develop a “film” while you wait for the veggies to cook.
In a large pot, add a good splash of olive oil, about 2-3 crushed garlic cloves and cook them just until fragrant. Add two cans of Italian tomatoes and let them simmer for around 20 minutes until slightly reduced.
When the veggies are roasted, remove them from the oven and add them to the tomato sauce if desired or you can keep everything separate. There may be some sauce left over.
Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
In a 10″ by 14″ baking dish, spoon in a handful of the roasted vegetables. Completely cover them with a sufficient scoop of tomato sauce and ladle on a generous portion of béchamel. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and then lay down the noodles. Continue layering the ingredients until you fill the pan. (We did Four layers of noodles, you could go up to six or more if you would like more noodles.) Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top of the final layer.
Bake in the oven for about an hour until the cheese is golden and bubbly on top. Let it cool for approx. 15 minutes before slicing into it.
This roasted vegetable lasagna will keep in the fridge for 2 days in a sealed container. Freezing leftovers will give you a quick hearty meal when you don’t feel like cooking.
If you want to “hide” the vegetables you can always blend in the roasted vegetables in the tomatoes sauce, the kids will never know!
We hope you love this as much as we do!
Recipe created by MH food editor Erin Girard