When you think of traditional lasagna, you probably think of a dish of layered pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese, and a hearty meat sauce. Or, maybe you think of it as a dish of traditional vegetarian pasta with spinach taking over the place of the meat sauce. However, you can spice things up with some variations to vegetarian lasagna recipes that you'll return to again and again.
One great choice for an untraditional vegetarian lasagna recipe is black bean lasagna. The idea of it is similar to a more traditional meat lasagna in terms of layering sauce, pasta, and cheese, but the sauce is different from what you would expect. For the sauce, all you need to is mix together a can of mashed black beans, a can of crushed tomatoes, chopped onion and green pepper, some salsa, and some chili powder. Then, all you have to do is layer your lasagna, starting with a layer of sauce, a layer of noodles, and a layer of ricotta cheese, alternating until you end with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle the entire pan with a coating of shredded or cubed mozzarella cheese, and bake until bubbly.
A completely different possibility for cooking vegetarian lasagna recipes is to create a pumpkin lasagna. Because of the ingredients involved, this would make a wonderful dish for your fall dinner table. The first step is to take a variety of chopped vegetables, add some chopped onion and garlic, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in a pan until cooked, but not mushy. You can use a mix of vegetables including bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, carrots, mushrooms, or broccoli. After you remove the vegetables from the oven, thoroughly mix together with some diced or crushed tomatoes and a can of tomato paste to thicken the sauce. For flavor, make sure to also add basil and oregano and a glass of flavorful red wine. Take this sauce, and layer with fast-bake lasagna noodles and thin layers of pumpkin puree mixed with some milk or cream and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and some brown sugar. The final layer of this lasagna should be a pumpkin layer. Bake until the noodles are cooked and the dish is bubbly and hot.
A final possibility when you are searching for nontraditional vegetarian lasagna recipes is to create a dairy-free lasagna. Surprisingly, tofu actually makes a wonderful substitute for cheese in this recipe. In your food processor, mix together tofu, sugar, some soy milk, lemon juice, garlic, basil and salt. You should blend this mixture together until it's smooth. Then, gently stir in chopped spinach, which can be either fresh or frozen, although if it's frozen make sure you squeeze out the excess liquid. After you make this mixture, you can finish the lasagna just like you would a traditional lasagna. Spoon a layer of tomato sauce and cover with some lasagna noodles, and the tofu filling. Continue alternating the layers until you end with the tomato sauce. Cook this dish until it's hot and the sauce is bubbly.
The best thing about all of these vegetarian lasagna recipes is that they are all extremely easy to make and are healthy. Plus, they can all be served with warm crusty bread with a side of extra-virgin olive oil for dipping, and a side salad or a cup of vegetarian minestrone soup.