If you're looking for a vegetarian option, this Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with eggplant and zucchini makes an incredibly rich and delicious dinner.
See all that ooey gooey cheese? That ^^^ is the photo I was trying to achieve when I made my Cheesy Chicken Mediterranean Pasta Bake, only I cooked it too long and didn't achieve that awesome cheese factor. Note to self: make that recipe again and take better photos, for crying out loud! This recipe, I'm happy to say, was perfection in both the taste and the ooey-gooey-cheesy-photograph categories.
I'm a lover of eggplant. I know not everyone is, least of all my husband. In fact, he absolutely hates eggplant which is why I got to eat this entire lasagna with the exception of one piece that my mom enjoyed. I was happy to do so because it provided lunch every day of the work week and I wasn't the least bit sick of eating it, either! This is exactly the case when I make my super delicious ratatouille with goat cheese polenta as well.
I wanted all the veggies to cook evenly so I used my mandolin to cut them. I swear that thing is going to send me to the hospital one day, but this time I made it through without cutting off my finger. I don't think I would have loved this lasagna as much if I had to bite into thick cut chunks of zucchini or onion, so in my opinion - thin is better.
As you know, my usual grocery store of choice is Trader Joe's and they sure don't disappoint with these ingredients. I opted for the whole milk ricotta and boy is that stuff naughty. I only used half the box of lasagna noodles. They might look small but they expand. Of course, you can get these ingredients at other stores.
How you choose to layer everything is totally up to you. I just recommend putting a thin layer of sauce on the bottom before the first pasta layer.
And on top I prefer to end it with pasta > sauce > mozzarella > and of course, parmesan. The trick to nice melty cheese is to cook it covered for the most part and then to remove the foil at the end to finish it off.
The end result is an incredibly delicious plate of comfort food, a meal that will feed a crowd, and a reason to jump on the treadmill the next day!
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
- 1 eggplant (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 1 zucchini (thinly sliced)
- 1 yellow onion (thinly sliced)
- 4-8 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 8 ounces lasagna noodles (oven ready lasagna noodles, equates to 12 noodles using Trader Joe's brand)
- 25 ounces marinara sauce
- 16 ounces mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- 1/4 cup parmesan (grated)
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg (beaten)
- handful of fresh basil (minced)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place sliced eggplant, zucchini, onion and garlic on large baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast in preheated oven until soft and fragrant, about 30 minutes, turning once during cooking while adding remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together ricotta, egg, and basil. Set aside.
- To assemble lasagna, start by coating the bottom of your casserole dish with a thin layer of sauce. Your layers should look like this: pasta, ricotta, veggies, mozzarella, sauce, repeat. Then top with your final layer of pasta, more sauce, and remaining mozzarella with parmesan. To do this, I divided my pasta into three layers, my ricotta in half, the roasted veggies in half, and the mozzarella into three parts. There's no right way, but this is how I've always done it.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Remove foil and cook for about 10 more minutes until cheese is perfectly melted.
- I think this tastes even better reheated with additional sauce. YUM!