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If you recall when I first introduced this series, my guidelines for a “dinner irl” were:
- minimal pots and pans
- quick and easy prep
- delicious across all family members
Now that the cold weather is here I’m turning more toward meals that are firmly in the “comfort food” camp. And when I look at what I’m typically making during these months, it’s typically NOT the most healthy of foods. Braised meats. Creamy soups. And layered casseroles, like lasagna.
When challenged to create a delicious weeknight dinner using new Prego Farmers’ Market® sauces I decided to take a fresh look at that lasagna, and turn it into a veggie version. I had never made one before, imagining a watery, tasteless dish that exactly no one in the family would enjoy.
But I did some research and discovered that by simply roasting the vegetables before layering them in the dish, I could make a killer meatless lasagna. This is because: 1) roasting removes all of the water in the veggies (especially eggplant and zucchini), and 2) roasting always makes even the blandest vegetables taste more delicious.
I picked up the vegetables along with two flavors of sauce – Classic Marinara and Roasted Garlic – at my local Walmart:
Inspired by the latter I decided to roast a whole head of garlic alongside the vegetables, and add the cloves to the egg/cheese mixture. De-licious.
Always a fan of “shortcut” ingredients, I love not having to make sauce from scratch on busy weeknights. These new Prego sauces are full of flavor, and made with the same ingredients I’d use if making it myself – like vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic and basil (watch this video for more!).
And while this is by no means a “30-minute” meal, almost all of the time spent is hands-off – allowing me to get other tasks accomplished while my kitchen is filled with the most warm and delicious aromas you could imagine.
We all agreed that this dish is yummy, warm and totally satisfying – despite being meatless – and will be made in steady rotation all winter long!
If you’ve also thought that vegetable lasagna could never rival its meat-filled cousin, prepare to be amazed – and here’s a coupon to get you started!
What’s your fave “comfort food”?
1 eggplant, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices
2 zucchini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices
1 each red, yellow and orange peppers, trimmed, seeded and cut into quarters
1 head of garlic, top sliced off to reveal the cloves
salt and pepper
2 23.5-ounce jars Prego Farmers’ Market® sauces (I used Classic Marinara and Roasted Garlic)
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta
16 ounces (4 cups) shredded mozzarella, divided
½ cup grated parmesan
1 cup basil leaves
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, grease a 9 ” x 13″ baking pan.
Divide the vegetables between the 2 baking sheets – brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the head of garlic; wrap tightly with tin foil and place on one of the baking sheets alongside the vegetables.
Bake for 20 – 40 minutes or till vegetables are deep golden brown (you can remove any that are done before the others). The garlic is ready when the cloves are tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Let veggies cool slightly; reduce oven temperature to 375.
While the veggies are roasting, place the eggs in a large bowl and beat lightly. Add the ricotta, half the mozzarella (2 cups) and the grated parmesan. When the garlic is ready, lift the cloves out using the tip of a small knife and add to the bowl. Mix thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.
Now you’re ready to layer your lasagna:
Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of the pan. Place 4 noodles across the sauce. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top, followed by all of the eggplant, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup sauce.
Top with another layer of 4 noodles, followed by 1/3 of the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups sauce, all of the peppers.
Top with another layer of 4 noodles, 1/3 ricotta, all of the zucchini, 1 1/2 cups sauce, all of the basil.
Finish with the remaining 4 noodles, sauce and mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes, or till cheese is bubbly and browned. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver