I love a classic lasagne. It’s one of those things that was cooked as a kid for a big family launch or dinner. These days I cook this version, vegetarian until lasagne, for the nights my partner and I invite our friends over for a few glass of red wine and some board games. Whilst I’m not vegetarian, my partner and many of our friends are, and this recipe is a tried and true crowd favourite in our household!
Whether your vegetarian, or simply looking for a delicious way to get your family to eat more veg, this will be a winner!
Vegetarian Lentil Lasagne
Depending on the size of your lasagne dish, this will feed 6-8 people.
Time 2 hours
Lentil Tomato Sauce:
- 3 cans of lentils (drained and rinsed)
- 3 cans of crushed tomatoes
- 3-4 carrots (diced)
- 3-4 onions (diced)
- 3 small zucchini’s (grated)
- 2-4 teaspoons of garlic
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of Italian Herb Mix
- Smoked Salt (Regular salt is also fine)
- 2-3 vegetable stock cubes
- Olive oil
- 200g of red Leicester cheese (diced or shredded)
- 200g of vintage cheddar (diced or shredded)
- 50g butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- Fresh or Dried Pasta sheets (For fresh pasta dough recipe click here)
Lentil Tomato Sauce
- In a large pot on medium/high heat approx. 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, and add diced carrots and onions. Cook for a several minutes so they begin to soften and onion is semi-translucent.
- Add in grated zucchini, garlic, Italian herbs, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook while stirring for several minutes until fragrant. Turn down your stove if anything starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add balsamic vinegar and stir through for a minute.
- Add lentils and stir through, then add crushed tomatoes, a cup of water and stock cubes. Your mix will now be quite watery, stir throughout, then let it cook off some of the liquid for about 20 minutes on a medium/low heat, stirring every now and then so sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.
- Once cooked down to your liking pull off the stove and let it cook before assembling your lasagne.
- This can be eaten as is on top a pasta as a veggie packed pasta sauce, as well as made in bulk and frozen.
- The more liquid you leave in your sauce, the sloppier your lasagne will be, so for more structure layers continue to cook down the sauce and reduce the water quantity.
- Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat.
- Gradually add in flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until well combined and golden. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly add milk, constantly stirring the pot so it does not burn or stick to the bottom.
- Bring up to just shy of a boil, then begin adding the cheese, stirring through rigorously. Careful not to burn the sauce during this step. You should see your sauce begin to thicken from the flour and cheese.
- Once all cheese is added and desired consistency is reached, take off the stove and allow to cool.
- We love to use red Leicester and vintage cheddar mix for the flavour, but regular cheese from your supermarket is just fine!
Assembly & Bake
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degreed celsius (fan forced).
- Spoon a layer of lentil sauce on the bottom of your dish.
- Add a layer of pasta sheets, then lentil sauce, then cheese sauce.
- Repeat until desired number of layers for the size of your lasagne dish is reached.
- Top final pasta layer with cheese sauce and extra grated cheese
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the top of your lasagne is all golden and bubbly.
- Make sure to not to fill your lasagne dish all the way to the top or you will have sauce spill out over the sides, particularly if your use fresh pasta sheets, as these do swell and expand while cooking.
- If you want to give your lasagne an extra crunchy cheese top add some breadcrumbs with your shredded cheese on top.
- It does not matter if you use fresh or dried lasagne sheets it will still take the same amount of time to cook, however if using dried sheets you may wish to make your lentil tomato sauce slightly more watery.
- This recipe holds up nicely if you wish to assemble the day before so it’s ready to simply throw in the oven before dinner time.
- Additionally I recommend pairing this with a delicious balsamic salad packed with apple, currants, cucumber and toasted almonds.
If you do try this recipe let me know how you went!
For more recipes check out my recipe page full of tried and tested delicious dishes!