Lasagna has been one of my favorite foods for a very long time. Many moons ago, I remember making lasagna for my little brother’s Garfield birthday party (that shows how long ago I’m talking about here). I was probably 12 the first time I made it on my own. It wasn’t something that we ate often, because buying all the ingredients was expensive and times were tight. Being a special meal back then is why I love it now.
I actually prefer veggie lasagna over meat lasagna. When my Mom was going through cancer treatment, there were few things that she could eat that didn’t make her sick. I made her a lasagna and my Dad said that it was the most she had eaten in a while. It made me so happy, it was the last dinner I was able to make for her.
For all these reasons are why I love making it. One of the best things about lasagna is the freedom to make it any way you want. You can pretty much add anything your heart desires and chances are, it will turn out delicious!
You could probably guess that I experiment a lot. I hadn’t yet tried to put carrot into a lasagna with the fear that it would taste to carrot-y. To my amazement, I didn’t taste, or see, the carrot at all. So, if you’re one of those parents who has to camouflage veggies in dishes, this is perfect for you.
I started out with my mixture of carrots, zucchini, onion, ricotta, egg, mozzarella cheese, and spices
…then I started the layering process. I HIGHLY suggest using the dry noodles. I happen to have a family who is very vocal about their disdain for watery lasagna, so I needed to make sure that the raw veggies had something to soak up the juice that they will lose during the cooking process. Added bonus to this method is nutrient retention. The vitamins that are lost during cooking will be soaked up and not lost. Leave those veggies raw. No need to precook them.
Here’s the precooked finished product. A little messy, but it adds character, right?
- 1 cup carrots, shredded fine
- 1½ cups zucchini, dice small, about ¼"
- ¼ cup white or yellow onion, diced fine
- 1 egg
- 1 15oz container skin ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
- 3 cups tomato sauce, jarred or homemade
- 9 lasagna noodles
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
- Prep all vegetables, shred carrots, dice zucchini and onion. Shred cheese, if needed
- In a medium bowl, mix all vegetables, 1 egg, ricotta, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- In a 13x9 dish, add 1 cup of sauce to bottom
- Layer 3 noodles, side by side on top of sauce
- Add half of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles and spread
- Repeat this and top with last three noodles and remainder of mozzerella cheese
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes
- Take off foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes
- Let rest for 15 minutes before serving
Technically, this makes 12 servings, but it's so good, you might want more than 1