If you want meat, add 1⁄2 to 1 pound of cooked and crumbled Italian sausage in layers alternating with the vegetables.
Planning Note: This lasagna includes an easy homemade tomato sauce and a white sauce that helps bind everything into a creamy consistency. To save time, you could use store-bought tomato sauce and omit the béchamel.
This recipe is inspired by Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. If you’ve never tried this method, it’s about to become your go-to red sauce. Extras freeze well.
You can make béchamel sauce a day ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator. Heat it slowly to just warm when it’s time to use it.
Easy Veggie Lasagna Recipe
• Famously Easy Tomato Sauce (below)
• Classic Béchamel Sauce (below)
• 1 pound no-cook, whole-wheat lasagna noodles
• 2 to 3 cups leftover roasted eggplant, winter squash and zucchini chunks
• About 2 cups mozzarella cheese, torn or shredded
• About 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
For tomato sauce:
• 3 pounds crushed or diced tomatoes, fresh or canned, with their juices
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 6 tablespoons butter
• 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
For béchamel sauce:
• 3 cups milk
• 5 tablespoons butter
• 5 tablespoons flour
• 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup grated Parmesan
• Leaves from several sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
To make lasagna:
1. Make Famously Easy Tomato Sauce.
2. Make Classic Béchamel Sauce.
3. Build lasagna: Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish that’s at least 2 inches deep. Swirl a bit of béchamel sauce in bottom of pan, then layer noodles so edges overlap about 1⁄4 inch; cut as needed to fit.
4. Spread several spoonfuls of tomato sauce and béchamel sauce over noodles, then sprinkle on vegetables and cover with a layer of cheeses. Continue until the last layer of noodles is added.
5. Cover top with sauces and Parmesan. Cover pan with foil, and refrigerate or freeze if not baking immediately.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake lasagna 40 minutes. Remove foil, reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
To make tomato sauce:
1. Simmer ingredients together over low heat for 40 to 50 minutes, occasionally stirring and crushing tomatoes.
2. Remove onion. (If you wish, chop up the cooked onion and add it to the other lasagna vegetables.) Use sauce immediately, or refrigerate or freeze it.
To make béchamel:
1. In a pan, heat milk to almost boiling. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
2. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over low heat; stir in flour; cook 2 minutes.
3. Very slowly incorporate heated milk, a little at a time, until thoroughly mixed. Add salt and cook mixture down until it’s reduced and thick (like heavy cream), then stir in cheese and parsley.
Find more recipes and tips for successful meal planning in Cook Once, Eat All Week.