cooked vegetarian lasagna
Fast Dinner Recipes, Recipes

The Best Vegetarian Lasagna With Red Lentils

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In this vegetarian lasagna I am using red lentils. The red lentils cook much faster than green or brown lentils so we can add them in uncooked. Which let’s face it is nice to speed up dinner making.

The hearty vegetarian lasagna is one of my daughter’s favorite meals as she’s not a fan of ground beef at all. So this meatless main dish recipe is perfect for you if you’re trying to save a dollar on your meat budget or it you too have a ground beef hater in your midst!

When I was growing up my parents made the switch to full vegetarianism. Although I can’t follow in their footsteps it has come in handy to know a few really satisfying meals to feed the family when money is tight and you can’t always have meat in the house.

Let’s face it rising food prices are making eating meat everyday a bit of distant memory for some. So adding these old standby’s is a good way to feed your family and ensure they are getting proper nutrients. Red lentils are rich in iron, fiber, selenium, zinc, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin B1. Making them one of my favorite things I picked up using over the years.

 

 

Let’s Get This Lasagna Ready!

So first we start with the base. Adding a thin layer of your favorite tomato sauce. I am not giving you brand names or anything because food is a personal choice and you may be using the cheapest sauce or the fanciest homemade sauce. It really isn’t going to change the outcome for your dinner. It’s going to be good!

Once you’ve got the thin layer down your going to lay your oven ready lasagna noodles on top. Now let’s face it if you’ve worked with a 9 by 13 pan before you know it’s a bit of trick to get lasagna noodle to fit just right. I found three across lengthwise and then one broken on the ends works fine.

 

 

On top of the noodles we are using ricotta cheese. If you find ricotta a bit out of your price range or your simply not a fan you can replace with cottage cheese. I personally prefer the creamy smooth texture of the ricotta.

Layering some more pasta sauce on top of your ricotta so that your covering the majority of the dry pasta beneath with either the cheese or sauce. We can then sprinkle a few sliced mushrooms on here.

 

 

Again fun stuff more noodles! I find constructing lasagna slightly therapeutic don’t ask why. Maybe its the artist in me loving the pattern of the whole dish. Layer after delicious layer of colorful ingredients and that ruffly pasta noodle.

Once we have the next lasagna layer down we are adding more sauce and then our red lentils followed by a bit more sauce and then you guessed it noodles.

The next layer of this vegetarian lasagna is made of ricotta, shaved carrots, diced onions, and sliced mushrooms. Followed by….wait for it…more noodles of course. What else?

 

 

The last layer of this deep dish vegetarian lasagna dinner is comprised of the remaining sauce, pepper rings, and then all that wonder mozzarella cheese that’s going to melt and brown in the oven. Sprinkle your spices on top of the whole dish.

 

 

Lastly before we cover and bake the lasagna we are going to add the water in around the edge of the pan so that most of the lower layers is saturated.

Cover the whole pan of vegetarian lasagna tightly with tinfoil before putting in your heated 350°F for 40-60mins. Aside from wanting the raw veg to cook thoroughly we really want those red lentils to absorb as much liquid as they can and cook through.

 

 

If you feel your oven like mine cooks a bit too cool you can increase the temp to 375°F or simply leave it in for a bit more time.

Once it is cooked pull it out and let rest for approximately 5 mins. Its good time if you are making garlic bread or tossing a side salad together to get that done.

Slice up the vegetarian lasagna and serve! I hope you enjoy this great family vegetarian lasagna meal as we do! Feel free to change up the vegetables you are adding being careful to remember how much water content each has or needs to cook properly.

 

Your Questions Answered:

 

Can I use different peppers?

Of course. Not everyone is fan of green peppers so change it up to red, orange, or yellow as you see fit.

 

Will this vegetarian lasagna still work with cottage cheese instead of ricotta?

Yes just remember to cut back on the water you add a little so it’s not too soupy.

 

Can I use grated instead of shave carrot?

Sure we understand not everyone is going to want to shave the carrot so go ahead and grate it. The shaved carrot is just adding more texture to the overall veg lasagna anyway.

 

Can I use canned lentils?

Of course! Canned lentils are already cooked so you won’t need to add nearly as much water to the pasta dish for it to cook thoroughly.

 

This is a big pan of lasagna can I freeze it?

You can….but I have always found any frozen lasagna to be less palatable when reheated. The noodles get too starchy and it loses its overall freshness.

 

Can I make this in smaller pan?

Yes you can simply divide ingredients in half and use a smaller pan to make a smaller scale lasagna. I always found my kids loved this so much it was great to make a big pan. They always like more for lunch the next day.

slice of vegetarian lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna With Lentils

Amber Bondar
This is a hearty vegetarian lasagna that feeds a crowd! Satisfying with rich tomato sauce and lots of cheese! No meat for this delicious family style meal. Instead red lentils bring much needed protein for a tasty meatless dinner!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 8 people

Equipment

  • 1 9 by 13 baking pan
  • 1 measuring cup

Ingredients
  

  • 45 oz Favorite Pasta Sauce
  • 22 oz Water
  • 1 box Oven Ready Lasagna You may want a few more noodles to do more layers
  • 2 small Shaved Carrots Shave the carrot with the peeler to create thin strips, alternatively you can use grated carrot
  • 6 large Mushrooms, sliced I used white mushroom
  • 1 small Onion, diced
  • 1 cup Red lentils, uncooked
  • 1 med Green pepper, sliced in rings
  • 16 oz Tub of ricotta cheese You may not use all of it but you can if you wish
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

Instructions
 

  • In the bottom of the 9 by 13 pan adding a thin layer of pasta sauce.
  • Top the pasta sauce with dry oven ready noodles.
  • On the dry noodles spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese.
  • Sprinkle a few of the sliced mushrooms on.
  • Add more pasta sauce to cover noodles.
  • Add another layer of pasta.
  • Add more pasta sauce and then sprinkle the dry lentils on top.
  • Add a bit more pasta sauce on top of the lentils they will need the moisture to cook properly.
  • Add a layer of pasta. Top with ricotta cheese and sauce.
  • Sprinkle the carrots and remaining mushrooms on this layer.
  • Cover with another layer of pasta.
  • Cover with remaining pasta sauce.
  • Lay the green pepper rings across the top.
  • Cover with mozzarella and spices.
  • Carefully pour the water in around the edge of the pan so that its mostly covering the lower layers.
  • Cover the whole pan with tinfoil to bake.
  • Bake at 350°F for 40-60 mins.
  • Uncover and let sit for approx 5 mins before cutting. Serve.
Keyword dinner, lasagna, vegetarian

 

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