My fridge was stocked with vegetables and the inspiration struck to attempt my first homemade lasagna and the results were quite tasty. I read a bunch of recipes and came up with this. You can make it healthy by reducing the cheese in half (which I would do next time). And don't worry, the paneer turned out to be a really good substitute for ricotta (which is not available in India).
Note: I did get some ingredients from our local import store, namely the lasagna noodles, pasta sauce and canned artichoke hearts. You can use whatever pasta sauce you like, it plays a large role in taste, so select well. If fresh artichokes are available, I would recommend it. The artichokes really thickened the vegetable filling.
Hearty Healthy Vegetable Lasagna
makes 2 square 1.6L dishes, which is enough for atleast 8 people.
- 12 lasagna noodles (I used no-bake noodles)
- 1.5 green bell peppers, chopped (or 1 cup chopped)
- 1 large carrot, chopped (or 1 cup chopped)
- 4 drained artichoke hearts, chopped
- 3/4 cup onions, chopped
- 1 3/4 cup spinach, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste (or 3-4 garlic cloves, minced)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
- 500 grams paneer (or ricotta cheese)
- 350 grams shredded mozzarella cheese* (i used "cheeza")
- 2 10 oz jars of pasta sauce**
** Feel free to make your own pasta sauce. If you have wine, I would recommend the sauce from this chicken parmigiana recipe (no, you don't need chicken for the sauce) from Pioneer Woman.
- If using lasagna noodles that need to be cooked, cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Rinse with cold water, and drain.
- In a large saucepan, cook green peppers, carrots, onion, and garlic in oil. Add artichokes when almost cooked. Stir in 1 jar of pasta sauce. Add pepper and chili powder and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. This is our vegetable sauce.
- Crumble paneer and mix in spinach.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cover bottom of baking dish with pasta sauce from jar. Place 2 lasagna noodles on bottom, layer with 1/4 each of vegetable sauce and paneer mix. Top with 1/8 mozzarella cheese and some pasta sauce from jar. Repeat lasagna noodle, vegetable sauce, paneer mix, mozzarella and pasta sauce layers. Cover with 2 lasagna noodles. Top with pasta sauce from jar and 1/4 of mozzarella cheese. Repeat with second tray.
- Cover tray with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.