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What do I need to say to get you to believe me that walnuts, zucchini, carrots, onions, and mushrooms make for a very delicious, very feel-good, very cozy and comforting, sauce-bubbling, cheesey-browning, and all-around winning vegetarian lasagna?
I can promise you that all the veggies are blitzed up in the food processor so we have zero watery veggie chunks, and instead they really resemble something more like ground meat (but with better flavor, IMHO)?
I can point out the layer of mascarpone cheese with the grated fresh garlic for a creamy little bite?
I can mention that not only did Bjork and I really, really enjoy this vegetarian lasagna, but our two-year-old also gave it her rare seal of approval and asked for, um, thirds?
How Make Vegetarian Lasagna Happen
Who knew vegetarian lasagna could be so fun and so good.
It starts with an easy vegetarian bolognese featuring veggies like zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and carrots – although those are fairly interchangeable with whatever you like and whatever you have on hand – plus a handful of walnuts which really make it into something special and filling. You can make your own marinara, but I have a personal rule that if I’m making something that’s going to involve several steps of layering and such, I will take the opportunity to use my favorite jarred sauce, thank you very much.
Your plants-only bolognese gets tucked in between lasagna noodles (unboiled – I prefer to let the oven do the work for me) and several layers of cheese, including that creamy mascarpone layer that is flecked with a clove of fresh grated garlic that really takes the whole thing to the next flavor level.
The smells, the texture, the whole mood in the house while this is baking…
Crave-able and super satisfying. Highly recommend.
Vegans Welcome, Too!
I would like to note – we did try making a cheese-less version of this that was pretty good, but I couldn’t get Bjork’s approval on that one. I guess for us, we needed the cheese for it to feel like a good solid lasagna.
That being said, if you are vegan, I have used the vegan bechamel from the Plants Only Kitchen cookbook by Gaz Oakley and that made for a really nice, creamy replacement to the mascarpone and other cheese in between the layers. You could probably also use vegan cheese shreds or a vegan cream cheese like Tofutti.
Whether you’re doing the vegetarian cheesy version, or something totally cheese-less and vegan, this is one of my favorite fun and interesting and plant-forward ways to eat a big ol’ saucy, bubbly pan of lasagna.
Watch How To Make This Recipe
Common Questions About This Vegetarian Lasagna
Can I chop all my veggies at one time?
Yep! You could chop all your veggies in the food processor at the same time if you have a big enough food processor! However, I prefer to do it in batches because a) my food processor doesn’t fit all these veggies at once, and b) that allows you to put the softer stuff together, and the firmer stuff together, which helps them all chop more uniformly.
Can I freeze leftovers?
You can! We’d recommend just storing leftovers in a freezer-safe container.
What can I substitute for mascarpone?
You could use ricotta cheese instead.
Can I make this lasagna vegan?
We tried making this without cheese and it received a thumbs up me but not from Bjork. We liked the vegan bechamel though from the Plants Only Kitchen cookbook by Gaz Oakley – this worked really well as a creamy cheese replacement.
The very best Vegetarian Lasagna! Walnuts, zucchini, carrots, onions, and mushrooms blitzed up into a meat-like texture that gets layered with lots of cheese and sauce. Cozy + nourishing!
Easy Vegetarian “Bolognese”:
4 cloves garlic
1onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
8 ouncesfresh mushrooms
1 small zucchini, cut into chunks
2 tablespoonsbutter or olive oil
1 teaspoonItalian seasoning
1–2 teaspoons kosher salt + black pepper to taste
one 24-ounce jar of your favorite tomato sauce
one 8-ounce container mascarpone
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 box uncooked lasagna noodles(about 12 noodles for a 9x13 pan)
Place the mushrooms, walnuts, and zucchini in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture is very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat this process with garlic, onion, and carrots.
Heat butter or olive oil over medium high heat. Add your chopped veggies along with the spices. Sauté for 7-10 minutes until very soft and fragrant. Add tomato sauce and salt; stir to combine. Taste and adjust! Your seasoning amounts will depend on your brand of sauce.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix mascarpone cheese with grated garlic and salt.
Start with spreading a layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Then, layer in the following order for each layer: a few noodles, 1 cup sauce, a few dollops of mascarpone, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and repeat (I usually get 4 layers out of this amount). End with noodles, sauce, cheese, and dollops of extra sauce on top to make it pretty.
Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 5 minutes to get the cheese browned on top. Let stand for 10 minutes or so, then cut and serve!