Making a lasagne can be a bit of a faff but this Roasted Veggie Lasagne is worth putting in a bit of effort for, and it stretches a long way! In my opinion, this dish is far nicer and more flavoursome than any meat lasagne you'll make. Packed with your favourite roasted vegetables and spinach combined with a creamy cheese sauce, though it takes a bit of time, it's very easy to make and comes together to create a scrumptious one pot meal.
It can also be made in advance and kept in the fridge until you're ready to pop it in the oven to bake, and it reheats perfectly!
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 6-8) - Freezes and reheats well
2 large mixed peppers (red/yellow/orange)
1/2 pack of chestnut mushrooms
100g baby spinach
1 large red onion
1 red chilli, deseeded
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
3 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 vegetable stock cube
Glug of red wine, white wine or sherry
Dried lasagne sheets (approx 9)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cheese sauce
75g plain flour
750ml semi skimmed milk
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
200g+ cheese (I like a mix of mature cheddar and mozzarella - 200g works for us but you could top with a little more)
Salt and pepper to taste (lots of pepper!)
Preheat the oven to 180C Fan. Dice the peppers, courgette and mushrooms and place on a large lined baking tray (as photographed). Drizzle generously with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss together. Roast the veg for approximately 30 minutes, or until they are starting to colour slightly.
Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the finely chopped red chilli and garlic and fry for another minute.
Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, smoked paprika and crumbled stock cube. Pour over 150ml cold water and add a glug of wine/sherry (optional). Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and leave it to cook for 15 minutes then season to taste.
Measure out all the cheese sauce ingredients before you begin as you will need to keep stirring it once you start adding the milk.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the flour and milk and place over a medium heat. Mix in the dijon mustard and paprika.
Whisk the white sauce constantly until the it is thickened and smooth, this usually takes 10-15 minutes. Then stir in roughly two-thirds of the cheeses and season to taste. I love the sauce being really peppery so will add a lot of seasoning at this point. You can do this to suit your own taste. I also like to use a sharp cheddar cheese mixed with grated mozzarella but you can use whatever cheese you prefer here.
Take the vegetables out of the oven and add to the pan with the tomato sauce. Stir in the spinach and cook together for a couple of minutes until it has wilted slightly. Season with salt and lots of ground black pepper.
Now it's time to assemble. Use the biggest deep dish you have! Spoon a third of the vegetable tomato sauce mixture over the base of your ovenproof dish and cover with a single layer of 3 lasagne sheets. Depending on the shape of the dish, you may need to snap a few bits of to shape as best you can. Top with another third of the tomato sauce veg mix and a second layer of lasagne.
Pour over half of the cheese sauce. Leave to sit for 1 minute then gently top with the remaining vegetable mixture. Finish with a final layer of lasagne sheets then the rest of the cheese sauce and top with a sprinkling of the remaining cheese over the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10-15 minutes. This is really important to allow the filling to settle, and will stop everything collapsing when you cut into it. Then it's time to dish up and enjoy...
It's a filling dish so doesn't need much accompaniment but a side salad or a garlic bread works nicely. I like using the peppers, courgette and mushrooms combination but you could use any roasted veg that needs eating up. Aubergine and sweet potato would also work particuarly well.
As ever if you give this one a try, please do let me know. I love hearing feedback and what ways you've changed the recipe to suit your own tastes. Don't forget to snap a picture and tag me on instagram or twitter. Happy Cooking!