Cheesy Veggie Lasagna

Submitted by lisaaaaa

I love this white-sauce lasagna recipe and often make it for dinner parties, preparing the lasagna the night before and popping into the oven the day of to save cooking time. I like to use ready-to-bake noodles that don't require boiling, another time saver. I also like to make it more colorful by tossing in a couple different colored bell peppers and both summer squash in addition to zucchini. As a vegetarian I've had no complaints feeding this to a meat-eating crowd.

Ingredients

  • 12 (approx.) Lasagna Noodles (I prefer the no-boil variety)
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 2 Heads Broccoli, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • 2 Bell Peppers, chopped (whatever color you'd like)
  • 2 Small Zucchini, sliced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
  • 3 C. Milk
  • 3/4 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 1/2 t. Salt
  • 1/2 t. Pepper
  • 10 Oz. Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed
  • 8 Oz. Small Curd Cottage Cheese
  • 24 Oz. Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 1/2 C. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease a large casserole dish (9 X 13 will do).
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package, set aside. (If using no-boil noodles, don't worry about noodles for now).
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet (probably the largest one you have, otherwise I have used two smaller ones before). When oil is hot, add broccoli, carrots, onion, peppers, zucchini, and garlic. Saute approx. 10 minutes, stirring every so often to all veggies cook equally. Set aside.
  4. Pour flour into a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk gradually until well mixed. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 C. parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach. Set aside 1/2 C. of spinach mixture to be used later.
  5. In a small bowl, combine ricotta and cottage cheeses. Mix well.
  6. Spread approx. 1/2 C. of spinach mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer noodles, cheese mixture, veggies, and spinach mixture, and 2 C. mozzarella cheese, ending with noodles. Top with set aside spinach mixture, 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 C. grated parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake in preheated oven approximately 45 mins. or until lightly browned on top. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes

For more flavor I sometimes add garlic powder to the milk/cheese/spinach mixture and slightly more salt and pepper than the recipe calls, I typically just season the mixture to taste. I have also added oregano and basil when cooking the veggies which also gives it a little more taste.

I also use whatever veggies are in the fridge and have used mushrooms and eggplant in the recipe as well.

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