Vegetarian lasagna [Recipe]


Vegetarian lasagna

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Lasagna is one of those recipes that is hard to quantify perfectly on paper. There are so many variables at play, from how thick or runny your sauce is to how absorbent your no-boil noodles are, that you just have to trust your best judgment. One thing to keep in mind is that no-boil noodles require a little more liquid than cooked noodles do during the baking process, or they can become dry. Barilla oven-ready lasagna noodles work really well. Avoid the very thin no-bake noodles.

This recipe calls for a mix of vegetables. You can use all or choose your favorites. You should have about 7 cups of vegetables diced small or sliced, which will shrink down to about 4 cups after cooking. To make things really easy, use jarred tomato sauce, to which you can add some canned tomato sauce. Your total amount of sauce plus cooked vegetables should be about 7 cups. To keep the calories at bay, the amount of mozzarella cheese is on the low side. If you’re not concerned with calories, feel free to add more mozzarella or your favorite cheese. The lasagna can be assembled up to 12 hours in advance and refrigerated before baking, and the baked lasagna freezes well for weekday dinners.

Get other great recipes from The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook: 200 Everyday Recipes That Take the Guesswork Out of Counting Calories — Plus, the Exercise It Takes to Burn Them Off.



390 Calories In

Protein: 21 g; Carbohydrates: 49 g; Fat: 13 g; Fiber: 7 g; Sodium: 1,291 mg; Carb Choices: 3; Diabetic Exchange: 3 Starch, 2 Medium-Fat Meat

390 Calories Out


Walk: 95 minutes | Jog: 45 minutes


Walk: 80 minutes | Jog: 37 minutes

Serves 6



Tomato Vegetable Sauce (makes scant 7 cups, 1.75 l)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 small zucchini (5 ounces/ 150 g), cut into small dice (1 cup/250 ml)

  • 1 small red bell pepper (3 ounces/90 g), cored, seeded, and cut into small dice (1 cup/250 ml)

  • 1 very small eggplant (6 ounces/180 g), cut into a small dice (2 cups/500 ml)

  • 8 ounces (240 g) cremini or button mushrooms, rinsed, stems trimmed, and thinly sliced (3 cups/750 ml)

  • A sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper

  • One 24-ounce (680 g) high-quality jarred pasta sauce

  • One 15-ounce (425 g) can tomato sauce

  • ¼ cup (10 g) chopped fresh basil, to taste


For Assembly

  • One 9-ounce (255 g) box no-boil or oven-ready lasagna noodles, such as Barilla

  • 3 cups (12 ounces/360 g) shredded part-skim low-moisture mozzarella cheese



  1. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a very large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning and oregano, and sauté for 30 seconds, then add the zucchini, red bell peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the pasta sauce and tomato sauce, stir well and remove from the heat.

  2. To assemble the lasagna, spread a heaping 1 cup (250 ml) of the sauce over the bottom of a deep 9 x 9-inch (23 x 23 cm) square baking dish. Cover with some of the lasagna noodles. Break some of the noodles lengthwise to fill in any gaps on the sides of the pan.

  3. Cover the noodles with a heaping 1 cup (250 ml) of the sauce, then sprinkle one-quarter of the mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce. Repeat this layering process of noodles, sauce and cheese two more times. For the final fourth layer of noodles, place the noodles on top of the cheese, then spread the remaining sauce over them and top with the remaining cheese. You will have some noodles left over. (At this point, the lasagna can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 12 hours.)

  4. To bake, center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Cover the lasagna with a piece of foil and bake for 45 minutes (or slightly longer, about 15 minutes, if coming straight out of the refrigerator).

  5. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle of the lasagna indicates soft noodles and most of the sauce has been absorbed. Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.


Recipe from "The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook: 200 Everyday Recipes That Take the Guesswork Out of Counting Calories — Plus , the Exercise It Takes to Burn Them Off," copyright © Catherine Jones and Elaine Trujillo, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.