Ultimate Healthy Vegetable Lasagna (VG, GF-Option, Oil-Free)

Ok I admit it. Lasagna was always going to be one the hardest things I tried to make whole-food plant-based & oil-free. We’re so used to being raised as kids (and then as adults) on that lasagna that’s just come out of the kitchen, the cheese is just bubbling over the edges and it’s just hot, pasta-filled delight.

Unfortunately traditional lasagna also represents A LOT of meat & dairy; something you will not find on this blog, as well as a metric-hekin’-tonne of oil; something we’re trying to minimize as much as possible.

Now there are a lot of recipes out there which, when you type in “vegetable lasagna”, you will find are either smothered in cheese with some vegetables hiding in the sauce, or which use vegetables instead of the pasta sheets for a lower-carb option.

Well I don’t know if we told y’all this, but we here at TheSnugVegans LOVE carbs. They are not the enemy and you can live both a healthy life and lose weight (if you want to) by continuing to eat carbs – just be a little more selective about:

  • Which carbs you pick
  • When you’re eating
  • How much you’re eating

It’s about everything in moderation, which is why this recipe EASILY dishes up 9 portions, it lasted us for 3 different mealtimes, with a side of salad. This was actually really cheap to make and despite the time involved it actually wouldn’t be as bad if you had a bigger oven than us!

Personally I love pasta, AND I like the idea of having vegetables as layers in the lasagna itself. So why not do both?

The key to this recipe is 3 main steps:

1 – Prepping and roasting the vegetables

When slicing the Sweet Potatoes and Courgettes (Zucchini) you want to make sure you get them a good thickness, not too thin so as to burn but too thick and they’ll be too hard. So I would recommend about 0.5cm (just under a 1/4″) for both if possible. The bell peppers should just be cut in half or just slice down their natural divides.

2 – Making the sauce

The sauce recipe is easy enough to make but the trick here is making sure you cook the mushrooms on a reasonably high heat so the water cooks off, and then make sure you’re simmering away the sauce for plenty of time so the spinach has a chance to really wilt, it will make it mush easier to spread.

3 – Assembly and bake

This does take a little while, I’ll be honest. The key though is making sure that you’re getting nice even layers – it’s really easy to kind of pile it all in and hope for the best but you want a really really thin even layer of everything as you build, so that it stretches to the edges to give you those layers.

The other thing to bear in mind is how much sauce you use. Big time it’s easy to go hard and then run out of sauce, a position you don’t want to be in. But by being calm and calculating and just generally keeping track of how much you’re using, you can end up with something beautiful:

Healthy, simple Lasagna

  • Servings: 9-10 portions
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

An Italian classic, favored by pasta lovers all over the world -but now, no meat, no dairy and no oil! Yum!

Ingredients

For the red sauce:

For the white sauce:

For the layers:

  • 1/2 pack Lasagna Sheets (use wholewheat for an even healthier option, and GF for a GF option)
  • 2 medium Sweet Potatoes, sliced (as per photos above)
  • 2-3 Courgettes (Zucchini), sliced
  • 3-4 Bell Peppers, sliced in half
  • 250-350g Mushrooms of your choice
  • 2 medium-large Brown Onions, finely diced
  • 4-6 cloves Garlic, finely chopped (more if you like!)
  • 1 or 2 Red Chili Peppers, halved and finely sliced
  • 1 large bag Baby Spinach (~200-250g)
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • (Optional) Vegan “Parm” to top

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to about 190C (375F)
  2. Make the red and white sauces in a blender or food processor and set aside
  3. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick parchment then layer the sweet potato, courgette and bell pepper slices on so that, as much as possible, they’re not touching – sprinkle the courgettes and sweet potatoes of with a liberal dusting of salt and pepper and using your hands flip the slices and rub the salt and pepper in on both sides
  4. Bake for 25-30minutes, flipping halfway until softened but not mushy, and set aside for use later – flatten the bell peppers once cooled so they can form an effective layer
  5. Turn the oven down to 180C (350F)
  6. Whilst baking, cook off the onion in a non-stick pan on a medium-high heat until soft (~4-5mins) either use a good quality pan or fry off in a little water
  7. Add the garlic, chili and mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook down until the mushrooms have shrunk considerably in size (another ~6-8mins) and a fair amount of the water they release has been cooked off – don’t worry if there is still some water left, it won’t matter too much
  8. Add the red sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer, turn down the heat to medium and gradually a handful at a time add the spinach, allow to cook for a minute or so until wilting, then stir in the next handful, until all spinach is in the sauce (see picture above) and it’s nice and thick
  9. Take a lasagna tray (mine is about 39 x 25cm) and layer a few spoons of just the red sauce onto the bottom, not much, just a very thin layer then layer on pasta sheets until the bottom is reasonably covered
  10. Then add and smooth the layers in this order – being very cautious with the amount of red sauce:
    – Mushroom and spinach sauce
    – Roasted sweet potatoes
    – Mushroom and spinach sauce
    – Lasagna sheets
    – Mushroom and spinach sauce
    – Roasted courgettes
    – Mushroom and spinach sauce
    – Lasagna sheets
    – Mushroom and spinach sauce
    – Roasted bell peppers
  11. Finally, top with the white sauce and smooth over using a spatula – then cover with tin foil or lid and bake in the oven for 40mins
  12. Remove the foil or lid and top the lasagna with your optional Vegan Parm topping (just a sprinkle) and grill (broil) uncovered for another couple of minutes, until the white sauce and parm both start to turn a lovely golden brown color
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10mins then slice and serve
  14. Note: Stores really well in the fridge (once cooled) and keeps for up to 4-5 days

Buon Appetito!

The world is a pretty crazy place at the moment so hopefully this post inspires you, and we would love to hear what you’re cooking and also we’d love to see your attempts at the above dish and how you change it to be yours, so tweet us @rockinblues and @PlantBasedSQL on Twitter and let us know your snug story!