Delicious Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe for Meatless Mondays
The aroma of a simmering veggie lasagna can make anyone’s stomach grumble with anticipation. As a vegan chef, I know how difficult it can be to find vegetarian lasagna recipes that are both flavorful and filling. That’s why I’m excited to share my slow cooker vegetable lasagna recipe with you today!
Not only is this recipe packed with fresh veggies like sliced bell pepper, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms, it also uses frozen chopped spinach and part-skim ricotta cheese to give the dish a creamy texture without the added calories. And don’t worry if you don’t have much experience cooking lasagna in a slow cooker – this recipe is user-friendly and beginner-friendly alike!
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply craving a cozy night in, this slow cooker veggie lasagna recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds while satisfying your hunger. So grab your crockpot, chop up your veggies and get ready for an irresistible meal that will make all your friends want seconds!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This slow cooker vegetarian lasagna recipe is sure to win your heart and taste buds. If you’re a vegetarian, this dish will leave you feeling satisfied and content. But even if you’re not usually into vegetarian fare, trust me, this recipe will blow your socks off.
First of all, it’s incredibly easy to make. Just toss everything in the slow cooker (including the lasagna noodles- no need to pre-cook them!), set it on high for three hours, and voila! You’ve got a mouth-watering masterpiece ready to feed a crowd.
Not only is this recipe simple to whip up, but it’s also versatile. Don’t have frozen chopped spinach? No problem! You can swap in any chopped veggie you have on hand. Mushrooms, bell pepper, or baby spinach would be great options. And if you’re looking for a little extra protein, try adding in some lentils or cottage cheese.
But the best part about this comfort food classic? It’s oh so cheesy! With mozzarella and part-skim ricotta cheese layered throughout, every bite is ooey-gooey deliciousness. And don’t forget about the sauce- 4 cups of marinara sauce mixed with diced tomatoes and crushed red pepper give this lasagna a flavor that will knock your socks off.
In case I haven’t convinced you yet, let me just say this- when you try this slow cooker veggie lasagna for yourself, you’ll be hooked. It’s hearty, filling, and oh so satisfying. So go ahead and give it a try- I promise you won’t regret it.
Here are the ingredients you will need for this slow cooker vegetarian lasagna recipe:
- Lasagna noodles, about 12-14 sheets
- Olive oil, 1 tbsp
- Cooking spray
- Crushed red pepper
- Mozzarella cheese, shredded, 2 cups
- Part-skim ricotta cheese, 15 oz
- Frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well, 10 oz
- Baby spinach, 4 cups
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Diced tomatoes with juice, 14.5 oz can
- Marinara sauce, approximately 4 cups (homemade or store-bought)
- Sliced mushrooms, 2 cups
- Red bell pepper, thinly sliced, 1
- Garlic cloves, minced, 2
Optional Ingredients for Variation:
- Cottage cheese instead of ricotta
- Lentil lasagne instead of spinach lasagne
Note: The recipe uses approximately 6-quart crockpot, but you can adjust the recipe according to the size of your slow cooker.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start making our Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna.
Step 1: Prepare the Slow Cooker
To start, spray the inside of your 5-6 quart slow cooker with some nonstick cooking spray. This will not only prevent the noodles from sticking to the pot but also make cleaning up easier later on.
Step 2: Make the Tomato Mixture
In a medium-sized bowl, combine 4 cups of marinara sauce and 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper. Give it a good stir and then add in one can of diced tomatoes.
Step 3: Prepare the Vegetable Layer
Chop two small bell peppers, 8 oz of sliced mushrooms, and 3 cups of roughly chopped spinach. In another medium-sized bowl, mix together your freshly chopped veggies with 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Give them a good toss until everything is well coated.
Step 4: Layer Your Ingredients
Spoon a generous amount of your tomato mixture onto the bottom of your prepared slow cooker. Next, add a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles to fit over the tomato sauce. Overlap if necessary.
Then, spread one-third portion of part-skim ricotta cheese, followed by one-third portion of your prepared veggie mixture over the noodles. Finally, sprinkle a good amount of your shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
Repeat with another layer using exactly the same order as above (tomato sauce-noodle-ricotta-veggie-mozzarella). Keep layering until you have used all ingredients or until you reach about half-inch below the rim to avoid boiling over issues while cooking.
Step 5: Start Cooking
Place the lid on your crockpot and turn it on to cook on high for about 3 hours. Please note that actual cooking time may vary depending on your particular brand of slow cooker vegetable lasagna recipe.
Step 6: Let Cool Down
After 3 hours, turn off the heat and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving so that all flavors can meld together nicely.
Now that our Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna is fresh out of the pot smelling-good-and-tasting-even-better, it’s time to serve and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
Welcome to the exciting world of substitutions and variations for this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna recipe. With a little experimentation, you can customize the dish to your palate preferences and dietary needs.
Firstly, if you want a heartier lasagna, you can easily incorporate lentils into the recipe. Simply cook up one cup of dried lentils, and mix it with the marinara sauce before assembling your lasagna. This substitution adds an extra dose of protein, fiber and texture to your dish.
If you happen to have any leftovers from other vegetables in your fridge, use them in this meal. Chopped zucchinis, carrots, or even eggplant would be great additions to the recipe.
Looking for ways to add some extra nutrition? Try swapping out a few of the noodles for thinly sliced zucchini or squash. This is an excellent choice for those who are limiting their carb intake.
And speaking of carbs – try using gluten-free lasagna noodles instead. They’re readily available at different health food stores and also end up making the dish entirely gluten-free.
Additionally, if you prefer a creamier lasagna – substitute or combine cottage cheese with part-skim ricotta cheese for a richer taste than just ricotta alone.
Finally, don’t forget toppings! Before serving, add roasted cherry tomatoes or fresh arugula on top of the lasagna for some brightness and texture.
Have fun experimenting with different substitutions and variations until you find your perfect personalized version of this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe – your taste buds will thank you!
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving slow cooker vegetarian lasagna, there are several options that can take it to the next level. First of all, a simple sprinkle of fresh basil or parsley on top can add a nice pop of color and aroma to your dish.
If you’re feeling fancy, try pairing your lasagna with a nice red wine like cabernet sauvignon or merlot. The tannins in these wines can cut through the richness of the cheese and bring out the flavors of the tomatoes and herbs.
For a lighter option, consider serving your vegetable lasagna with a side salad loaded with fresh greens and chopped veggies. This can help balance out the heaviness of the pasta and cheese while adding some extra nutrition and texture to your meal.
If you have any leftovers, feel free to experiment with different toppings and sauces to keep things interesting. Some people like to reheat their lasagna in the oven until crispy on top, while others prefer to heat it up in a skillet for a quicker fix.
No matter how you choose to serve this slow cooker vegetarian lasagna recipe, one thing’s for sure – you won’t be disappointed by its satisfying blend of savory flavors and comforting textures. So go ahead and indulge in some hearty, veggie-packed goodness today!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
In my experience, it’s always best to be prepared for anything. That’s why I love a good make-ahead meal, and this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe is no exception. You can easily prepare this dish ahead of time, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it when you’re ready to enjoy.
To make-ahead, complete all the steps in the recipe except for adding the cheese on top. Once finished, allow your lasagna to cool down before adding your shredded mozzarella cheese. Then cover your slow cooker with its lid and place in the fridge overnight.
When reheating, allow the lasagna to come up to room temperature for about 30 minutes or so before placing it in the slow cooker on low heat. This will help prevent cracking of your ceramic dish and ensure your lasagna heats evenly.
If you have any leftovers, you can also store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze them for later use. To reheat leftover lasagna in the microwave, simply place on a microwave-safe plate, cover slightly with a damp paper towel and heat on medium power until warm throughout.
For best results, I recommend reheating lasagna slowly in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until warm throughout. The cheese will be melted, and your noodles will be soft and tender just like they were when first cooked.
In conclusion, plan ahead by making this tasty lasagna recipe ahead of time for stress-free dinner party success or easy weeknight meals that require zero preparation time – every bite is worth it!
Tips for Perfect Results
To ensure that your slow cooker vegetable lasagna is nothing short of perfect, I have gathered a few tips to guide you through the preparation process.
Firstly, it is important to use nonstick cooking spray before adding any ingredients to the slow cooker. This will prevent the lasagna from sticking and getting burnt edges which can spoil the overall taste and texture of your dish.
One of the most important ingredients in slow cooker vegetable lasagna is the pasta noodles. Ensure that the noodles fit properly in your crockpot and place them carefully so as not to break them apart. It’s a good idea to lay them in opposite directions alternating each layer to make sure they stay together.
Another tip is to add enough pasta sauce or marinara sauce to keep all the ingredients moist. If you use too little sauce, the noodles and veggies can become dry and clumped together. At the same time, make sure you don’t add too much liquid as this can make the lasagna too soupy.
When using mushrooms or other veggies, make sure to slice them uniformly so they cook evenly. You don’t want some parts of your dish undercooked while others are overcooked.
A bit more garlic or red pepper flakes can make a big difference in elevating the flavor profile of your vegetable lasagna. If you’re a fan of spicy food, add a generous amount of crushed red pepper flakes. But if not, just add half or one-quarter teaspoon for a subtle kick.
Sour cream or cottage cheese can be used instead of ricotta cheese if that’s what you prefer but take note that they might change the flavor and texture slightly.
Lastly, resist the temptation to open the lid and check on your slow cooker vegetable lasagna too often. Doing this releases heat and steam from inside which slows down the cooking process and affects how long it will take for it to cook evenly.
So, there you have it! A delicious Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe that’ll knock your socks off! This hearty and healthy vegetable lasagna is a perfect way to get your daily dose of veggies in a scrumptious way. Plus, it’s made with simple ingredients and requires minimum effort, thanks to the slow cooker! Trust me, this crockpot vegetable lasagna will be your new go-to recipe for weeknight dinners, potlucks, and dinner parties.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with this recipe – sub in different veggies like zucchini or eggplant, swap out the mozzarella for vegan cheese, or use cottage cheese instead of ricotta. The options are endless! Just make sure to follow the tips for perfect results.
Lastly, I want to stress the importance of eating plant-based meals like this vegetarian lasagna. Making small switches towards a more plant-based diet can not only improve our personal health but also benefit our environment and animal welfare. By simply swapping out meat for veggies, we can make a significant impact on our planet’s future. So why not start with this delicious slow cooker veggie lasagna? Trust me; your taste buds and the planet will thank you!
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe
- 1 (26 ounce) jar marinara sauce (I like Prego)
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (8 ounce) package no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Italian cheese blend or 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 cup frozen veggie crumbles (Like Boca, etc)
- In medium bowl, combine marinara sauce and tomatoes with their juice.
- Spray 4.5-6 quart slow cooker bowl with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spoon 1 cup tomato-sauce mixture into bowl.
- Arrange 1/4 of noodles over sauce, overlapping noodles and breaking into large pieces to cover as much sauce as possible.
- Spoon about 3/4 cup sauce over noodles, then top with 1/2 cup ricotta, and 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
- Spread half of spinach over cheese.
- Repeat layering 2 more times beginning with noodles, but in middle layer, replace spinach with frozen crumbles. Place remaining noodles over spinach, then top with remaining sauce and shredded cheese.
- Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low 2.5 to 3 hours or on high 1.5 to 1.75 hours, or until noodles are very tender.
Add Your Own Notes
Jolo is a talented chef and food blogger with a passion for vegan and Caribbean flavors. From savory vegetarian dishes to tropical smoothies, Jolo’s Kitchen has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for meat-free meals or creative Caribbean recipes, Jolo’s Kitchen is the perfect place for you.