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Vegetable Lasagna

Hearty vegetable lasagna with sure to please with every bite.

 Vegetable Lasagna


Basic Tomato Sauce
Three 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  freshly ground black pepper
Béchamel Sauce with Parmesan
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
  freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 green bell pepper, thin sliced
2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
16 ounces small mushrooms, thinly sliced
16 ounces lasagna noodles, cooked
8 ounces chèvre cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
8 ounces mozzarella, grated

Cooking Instructions

To make the tomato sauce
Put the tomatoes through a food mill or tomato press. Reserve.

Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic and pepper flakes for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, covered.

To make the béchamel sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the Parmesan. Set aside, covered.

To make the lasagna: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the peppers and onions in 2 tablespoons of the oil until cooked through but not browned. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms for 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Coat the bottom of a 15" x 11" lasagna pan with a small amount of the tomato sauce. Arrange one-third of the lasagna noodles over the sauce. Top the noodles with half of the peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Cover the vegetables with half of the béchamel sauce. Crumble the chèvre on top of the sauce.

Top with half of the basil and spinach. Top with about 1 1/4 cups tomato sauce. Place on another layer of lasagna noodles and repeat the vegetable, béchamel and spinach-basil layers. Top with a final layer of lasagna noodles. Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the noodles and top with the mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before slicing.

Serves 6 to 8

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