You know I’m not one for superlatives. I do thoroughly enjoy exaggeration for comedy’s sake, but I very rarely fluff about calling food anything other than what it is (and if it’s my food it’s usually pretty standard weeknight average, I’ll own that!) – so when I say this is the best vegetarian lasagne I’ve ever made, you can rest assured it most definitely is the best vegetarian lasagne I’ve ever made. For real.
If you’d like to compare and contrast for yourself, feel free:
- Roasted vegetable lasagna
- Super-easy Mexican lasagna (ok this one is pretty good but it’s Mexican-style so I don’t include it)
- Four-cheese spinach artichoke lasagna
- Mixed mushroom lasagna
- Roasted pumpkin and fennel lasagne
- Pumpkin and spinach lasagne
- “Meaty” vegetarian lasagne
I’ll wait here.
With this best vegetarian lasagne. With this epically rich sauce, lovingly simmered for hours until it’s thick and sweet and herby.
With this smooth, silky, creamy bechamel.
With this soft pasta.
With this golden, bubbling cheese.
The best vegetarian lasagne
I’m fond of putting the ingredients for the tomato sauce into the crock pot, once I’ve sweated down the onion, garlic and mushroom. You can also put whatever other veg in you desire, but I like the simplicity of the sauce with the pasta and bechamel, which is more like a traditional lasagna. Sometimes I just want a bowl of rich sauce and pasta, with no carrot or whatnot to spoil the fun. If I want veg I’ll have a side salad.
So yeah, the crock pot is good, as is putting it all into a hefty oven-safe casserole like a Le Creuset or similar and letting it reduce that way. I’d cover it for the first hour or so and then just let it do its thing uncovered. Of course it’s also cool to simmer on the stove.
I’m also going to recommend you serve it with this garlic bread, and you can find that recipe here.
You’ve had the rest, now have the best: The best vegetarian lasagne. For real. With a rich, thick sauce (with lentils subbing for beef) and creamy bechamel.
- 10 Small mushrooms, diced fine
- 2 Large onions, diced fine
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups water
- 2 cubes beef-style stock (I use Massell)
- 2 cups puy lentils (or any other green/brown lentils)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tins tomatoes, 440g each
- 140g tomato paste
- 3 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper, ground
- 1/2 cup red wine (or you know… to taste!)
- 100g butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 Large bay leaf
- 4 Large peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch grated nutmeg
- 1 packet dried or fresh lasagna sheets (whatever you have in your pantry, but egg pasta is best)
- 2 cups cheese, grated
- For the tomato sauce, saute the onion, garlic and mushroom over medium heat in butter and oil for 20 minutes until cooked. The mushrooms should have released their juice, it should have evaporated, and everything should be a lovely golden brown.
- In a large pot or crock pot, combine the mushroom mix with the rest of the tomato sauce ingredients: water, lentils, stock cubes, tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, rosemary, brown sugar, pepper, salt, and red wine.
- Simmer at least an hour on the stovetop, or in the oven – more if you have the time. 2-3 hours is nice. I like to leave it overnight in the crock pot or slow cooker to really reduce it to a rich, thick sauce. Remember puy lentils will probably need a bit longer, and feel free to add more water if they’re particularly thirsty.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the flour for at least one minute.
- Add the milk, bay leaf, nutmeg and salt and simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly, until sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat.
- In a large baking dish, spread a little of the tomato sauce and put a layer of lasagna sheets over the top
- Ladle half of the tomato sauce over, top with a third of the bechamel, and sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese.
- Add another layer of pasta, the rest of the tomato sauce, a third of the bechamel, and 1/2 cup cheese.
- Add a final layer of lasagna, and top with the remaining bechamel and sprinkle 1 cup cheese over.
- Bake 45min – 1 hour (depending on how hungry you are!) until lasagna sheets are soft, all is heated through, and the cheese is golden and bubbling.
- Understand why I call it the best!
Keywords: best vegetarian lasagne, easy vegetarian lasagne, vegetarian lasagne with lentils, meatless vegetarian lasagne, veggie lasagne