Maybe I should start with telling you what IS in this lasagna, because that list is possibly shorter than all the things its ‘free’ from. I am so excited about this lasagna because it’s made of pretty much all vegetables. The recipe uses homemade pasta sauce (although you can use bottled if you want) and a béchamel sauce that is vegan (dairy free), but has no beans or tofu/soy in it (hoorah!).
Because of the different components of the recipe that have to be made (pasta sauce, béchamel sauce and parmesan cheese) this is probably a recipe thats better for a lazy Sunday or for a dinner party.
The pasta sauce is quick to prep but takes an hour in the oven. The béchamel sauce needs a quick wiz in the blender and then heated over the stove for about 10 minutes. The parmesan cheeze is just throw in the blender or nut grinder.
All the elements are pretty quick to make, but you will need to allow the time for cooking as well. You will need about 2.5 – 3 hours (not all active, 1 hr 40 min of that is oven time – 1 hour for marinara sauce and 40 mins for lasanga). You can also make the sauces and cheeze ahead of time, no longer than the day before would be best.
The veggie layers of this recipe don’t require too much flavoring because of the garlic that’s in the pasta sauce and béchamel sauce, and the basil thats packed into the pasta sauce! But feel free to add extra if you really like garlic or basil (who doesn’t?!).
What’s the best way to make a gluten free lasagna? Use eggplant for the noodle sheets, of course! I have tried using gluten free pasta sheets before with mixed results. But eggplant noodles are definitely a winner. They have the same texture as cooked noodles and eggplant doesn’t have a really strong flavor (unlike some not-so-nice gluten free noodles I’ve tried). My Mum tried this and said the eggplant tasted great as the noodles, and she’s not gluten free or vegetarian.
The béchamel sauce actually works really well as the top layer and looks quite cheesy and golden brown after cooking. Look at that golden brown bubbling deliciousness! I’m lucky I got this photo in, because a minute later half the pan of lasagna was gone and I had a slightly burn tongue because of my impatience. Ah well, that’s just the risk you take with lasagna!
- 1-2 medium sized eggplants (1 large eggplant), stem removed and sliced lengthways
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthways
- 400g (about 4 cups) mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large brown onion, sliced
- 1 batch of Roasted Tomato Marinara Pasta Sauce
- 1 batch of Creamy Béchamel White Sauce
- 1 batch of Parmesan Cheeze OR almond meal (optional)
- Make pasta sauce, white sauce and parmesan cheese in advance. All can be made the day before.
- Pre heat oven to 175°C / 350F°.
- In a non stick pan, add a small amount of oil and lay eggplant sizes down. Cook for 2-5 minutes each side, until lightly browned and softened. Repeat this for all eggplant slices. Set aside. (You can also bake these for 10 minutes each side with a little oil sprayed on, but I like how the eggplant stays soft from cooking in the pan).
- In the same pan, add a little more oil and add in mushrooms and onion slices. Cook for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms are done. Set aside.
- In a large baking dish (use a glass tray for non stick), follow this order for layers:
- Spread a layer of tomato pasta sauce on the bottom of the dish.
- Add a layer of eggplant slices.
- Spread a layer of béchamel sauce on the eggplant slices.
- Add a layer of zucchini slices
- Spread the mushroom and onion mixture over.
- Spread a layer of tomato pasta sauce over the mushrooms.
- Add a layer of eggplant
- Add a layer of béchamel sauce
- You can repeat the tomato pasta sauce, eggplant and béchamel sauce layers until you run out of room in your dish, or until you run out of sauces or eggplant.
- Sprinkle a handful of parmesan cheese over the top of the béchamel sauce layer (alternatively, you could sprinkle over almond meal + nutritional yeast).
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, removing foil half way through. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes for easier slicing (and no burnt tongue).
Whats your trick for sneaking extra veggies into meals? Leave a comment below.