Roasted or Grilled Vegetable Lasagna

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna | The Gluten Free Vegan

I’ve gotten really hard on myself lately about recipes and photos. I’ve made a few recipes that are honestly amazing and no matter what I can’t seem to get the right shot. I give up, we eat it, and I leave the recipe in the Drafts folder until the next time I feel like recreating it and hope that my photographing mojo would improve by then.

This recipe I’ve made four times. Each time something either prevents me from taking a good shot or the shots I think I’ve gotten okay are lousy or my favorite excuse of late: the ‘the lighting sucks anyways and omg I’m so hungry I need to eat this right now, who cares about the damn photo’ excuse.

I am at this crossroads for this particular recipe. It’s so good guys. I feel guilty not sharing it with you sooner. Vegans and non-vegans alike have raved over the amazingness of this dish and I’ve kept it from you because I feel an inadequacy in photography.

Finally I decided I’d post this recipe with the photos that I had – even though I really disliked them. Turns out, they’re stuck on my old laptop which has decided to fizzle out and die on me. Here’s a case for why I put all my photos on an external hard drive now. So, I did end up remaking this recipe once more just for the photos. And while they’re still not stunning, I am done with taking myself too seriously about it. (All the pro-star food bloggers out there are probably cringing at me.)

Vegan Lasagna | The Gluten Free Vegan

In these photos I didn’t actually layer the lasagna in the order I give in the recipe. I ended up mixing the spinach and ricotta together and doing just one layer of that. It tasted pretty good but I still think you should follow my suggestions in the instructions below. The lasagna flavors will be tastier and evener and more betterer. Yes, betterer.

Now about the lasagna. First, it’s important (to nobody) to note that I don’t spell it lasagne. I think anyone who spells it lasagne needs a lesson in Italianery or perhaps grammarizing. From Grammarist.com:

The word comes from Italian, of course. In that language, lasagna is the singular noun and lasagne is the plural.

Next, this recipe – like most lasagna recipes – is kind of involved. It takes a bit of planning to make a quality lasagna. So take that as fair warning because you may need advance preparation to make it awesome.

This lasagna includes two components that are actually separate recipes on my site.

Basic Marinara Sauce – You have the option of making your own homemade marinara sauce or buying a good quality gluten-free and vegan one if time does not permit you to make your own. I won’t judge you too harshly. I’ve swapped out store-bought marinara from time to time. We all have. Let’s just forgive and forget okay?

and

Almond Ricotta/Feta – The almond ricotta is going to be a bit harder to swap out and replace with something store-bought. So you’ll want to take the time to make it. I promise it’ll be worth it. Since you’re not taking the recipe all the way to the ‘feta’ stage, you don’t need as much time – don’t bother with the straining and don’t bother baking it either.

And now a bit about the other ingredients:

I used brown rice lasagna noodles. Rizopia makes a lasagna noodle that you don’t have to boil first as long as you have enough sauce that’s runny enough to cook them. If you have a thick marinara sauce you may find that there’s not enough liquid to cook the noodles so they’re tender before they start to dry out. That happened to me once. You can still do this without pre-cooking the noodles, just make sure you have a runny enough sauce. Add some extra water to your sauce if it’s quite thick. That being said, and though it’s against every part of the lazy cook in me to pre-boil the noodles I still find this the best option. I don’t cook them until they’re soft, in fact they’re still pretty firm. But you can rinse off any extra starch after boiling and half the cooking is done which is kind of nice too.

Finally, we need to discuss the greens. I’ve made this with different greens or combinations of greens each time. Use spinach or Swiss chard. Fresh is always best but if you don’t have access to fresh greens, you can use frozen chopped spinach just make sure you squeeze it dry. I still think you should saute it with olive oil and garlic to infuse some flavor into it. I would be surprised if your supermarket doesn’t carry fresh spinach even throughout winter though – even bagged in the pre-packaged salad aisle.

Oh wait, one more thing … the eggplant and zucchini. I suggest peeling the eggplant but leaving the zucchini unpeeled. The eggplant skin was just slightly too tough and made eating the lasagna afterward a bit of a pain. The zucchini skin was tender enough to leave on though. You can grill, broil, or saute the eggplant and zucchini slices. If you grill or broil the vegetables, just brush on a bit of olive oil. If you’re sauteing you may need a bit more olive oil for the pan as it kind of soaks into the eggplant.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted or Grilled Vegetable Lasagna
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This may not be a traditional Italian lasagna but the flavors can't be beat. Eggplant and zucchini, almond 'ricotta' and sauteed garlicky greens layered among brown rice lasagna noodles.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb. fresh greens (spinach or Swiss chard) - or 2 boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 recipe Basic Marinara Sauce - or 1 jar good quality store-bought gluten-free/vegan pasta sauce
  • 1 recipe Almond Ricotta (prepared without straining overnight or baking)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 10 oz box gluten free brown rice lasagna noodles (you may not need all of the noodles)
  • 1 cup Daiya mozzarella-style shreds
Instructions
  1. Prepare Almond Ricotta according to recipe instructions.
  2. Prepare Basic Marinara Sauce according to recipe instructions, if using.
  3. Cook eggplant and zucchini using method of choice. (See post for tips.)
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute a few minutes until garlic begins to soften, making sure the garlic does not get overly browned or burned.
  5. Add in greens. Saute with garlic oil until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  6. Add Italian seasoning to almond ricotta. Mix to combine and set aside.
  7. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions until shy of al dente. Leave the noodles fairly firm. Drain, rinse and toss noodles with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. (Skip this step if you're not pre-cooking the noodles.)
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  9. In a 9x13 baking dish, spoon about ¼ cup marinara sauce to coat the bottom of the pan.
  10. Layer with lasagna noodles.
  11. Add enough marinara sauce to cover the noodles - around 1 cup.
  12. Layer half the eggplant and half the zucchini and all of the sliced mushrooms.
  13. Add another layer of lasagna noodles.
  14. Spread almond ricotta gently over the lasagna noodles.
  15. Spread the sauteed greens mixture over the almond ricotta.
  16. Add another layer of lasagna noodles.
  17. Add more marinara sauce to cover the noodles - around 1 cup.
  18. Layer the remaining eggplant and zucchini.
  19. Add another layer of lasagna noodles.
  20. Spread remaining marinara sauce over top.
  21. Sprinkle with Daiya mozzarella-style shreds.
  22. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until noodles are tender.

 

In case you need a bit of a visual for how to layer the lasagna I came up with this awesome little diagram below illustrating the layers from top to bottom:

— Daiya —
— Marinara Sauce —
— Noodles —
— 1/2 Eggplant & Zucchini —
— Marinara Sauce —
–Noodles–
–Sauteed Greens–
–Almond Ricotta–
–Noodles–
– 1/2 Eggplant & Zucchini + Mushrooms —
– Sauce —
– Noodles —
– Bit of Sauce in Bottom of Pan –

I so badly wanted to do a cute little drawing of all the layers labelled but I don’t currently have those kinds of skills. The above little diagram will have to do.

Buon appetito.

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8 Responses to “Roasted or Grilled Vegetable Lasagna”

  1. April 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Pasta dishes, especially lasagna, can be so hard to shoot. I say don’t worry – it is gorgeous!

    • April 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Aww thanks! You’re so kind Sarah. Pasta dishes are very difficult to make look pretty in a picture and I need to stop being so hard on myself. :)

  2. Chris
    April 29, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Fabulous recipe!
    The almond cheese is wonderful and I have made it now to use in other dishes remembered from my pre-vegan days.
    Many thanks

    • April 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      You’re very welcome Chris. I’m thrilled you enjoyed this recipe and the almond cheese. Happy eating! :)

  3. Alysia
    October 12, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    This looks delicious and I’m making it for (Canadian) Thanksgiving tomorrow. The only thing is that I noticed you’re missing a layer of noodles in the diagram at the bottom, between greens and marinara sauce. Just thought I’d let you know. So excited to try this recipe!! Thanks for posting it. :)

  4. Jenny
    January 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    I don’t even know where to start to convey how good this is. I stumbled across your site looking for ideas for gluten free and vegan food (it’s easy to find one or the other but I’ve been having trouble with both) and I found this recipe. Your description of it sold me. I knew it HAD to be special if you were willing to post it despite not having a “good” (to your standard) picture of it. For the record, I think your picture is perfectly fine! But I can appreciate that because I’m pretty critical of myself and I’d be the same way, but… wow…. I am so glad you did post it! I made this over the weekend, and it took some time. Not gonna lie, at one point I even told myself that if it didn’t come out all that great, oh well, at least I wouldn’t have to make it again… but no. It was amazing. It was better than anything similar I’ve ever had at a vegan restaurant. I tried to follow your recipe to a T. I used Crimini mushrooms and I had to modify the number of layers as my pan was oh so slightly not tall enough. But it didn’t seem to affect the quality of the outcome. So, so flavorful. This is a really special dish. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • January 20, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      What a lovely comment Jenny! I’m thrilled you enjoyed this recipe and the extra amount of work was worth it for you. Happy cooking – and happy eating too! :)

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