The thought of a horde of vegetarians makes me giggle, but this easy meatless lasagna recipe is no joke!
Have You Ever Fed a Horde of Vegetarians?
“You’ve never. eaten. meat?” The ladies at my bunco table gasped almost in unison.
“How can you be in your thirties and never eaten a steak?”
“Not even chicken?”
“What about fish?”
The play at our table stopped completely as I tried to explain. “My parents raised us vegetarian, and I never desired to eat meat as a kid. After not eating meat for so long, the idea of gnawing on an animal grosses me out.” The play at our table resumed while the ladies digested this news. They had tons of questions.
“How do you get enough protein?”
“Broccoli has protein,” I assured them, as does whole-wheat bread and tofu.”
“Do you eat a lot of rice and beans? I heard they make a complete protein.”
“Naw, I’m not a fan of rice or beans. We like spicy food, though.”
“What do you do at Thanksgiving?” someone else asked. “I’m assuming your extended family all eat vegetarian, too. How do you feed a horde of vegetarians?”
I laughed. This conversation took place back in the late 90s when Capitol One had an ad campaign featuring a horde of Vikings (not vegetarians) stampeding toward a man’s house. The man pulls out his Capitol One card, and the Vikings turn away (and head to the neighbors).
“It’s not difficult,” I assured her. “And for Thanksgiving, we have the regular stuff; only we eat plant-based turkey.”
“You’ll have to make something meatless for us when it’s your turn to host,” one of my co-workers said.
“I’ll do it!” I assured them, and we returned to rolling the bunco dice and catching up on each other’s lives.
Easy Meatless Lasagna You Can Prepare Ahead
I made twenty pans of this easy meatless lasagna recipe for our youngest daughter’s wedding reception a few years ago. In order to help her save money, I offered to make all the food and act as her wedding photographer (and dressmaker). I spent several Sundays a month before the wedding making meatless lasagna and whole-wheat garlic bread. When the wedding rolled around, my sister decorated the reception room and baked the lasagna to perfection.
Even though it’s meatless, this lasagna recipe packs a lot of protein in each serving: Perfect for a horde of vegetarians.
Have you ever tried to eat less meat? What are some of your favorite recipes?
This recipe will make four large pans of lasagna. You can omit the eggplant and add more carrots, zucchini, or onions to equal the number of cups of vegetables called for in the recipe.
2 cups chopped carrots
2 onions chopped
8 cloves garlic
2 zucchini chopped
2 small eggplants, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 Tbs basil
1/2 Tbs oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 6 lb 10 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 6 lb 10 oz tomato sauce
1 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
14 c chopped kale
4 lbs ricotta cheese
1 tsp salt
1 5-lb bag of mozzarella
4 boxes of Barilla Whole Grain Lasagne
Chop all of the vegetables first. When you are almost finished, pour the olive oil into a heavy-bottomed, very large saucepan. While it heats, finish chopping the veggies.
I add the onions, garlic, and carrots first because they take the longest to sauté. Add the other vegetables once the onions start to look limp.
Add the seasonings and stir well when the vegetables look soft (after about 7-10 minutes). Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, and brown sugar, and stir. Allow to simmer on low whilst you prepare the filling.
Chop the kale (this is where a giant cutting board and a good set of knives come in handy) and place it in a very large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, ricotta cheese, and salt and mix thoroughly.
Spray four casserole dishes or foil pans with non-stick spray. Add about a cup of sauce to each one, and then line the bottom of the pan with lasagna noodles (nope, you don’t have to boil them first).
Spread a cup of filling on the noodles, add another cup of sauce, and sprinkle a cup of grated mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Add two more layers of noodles, filling, sauce, and mozzarella. Finish with a layer of noodles, sauce, and mozzarella.
Bake at 350˚ for an hour. Or, cover with plastic wrap and tinfoil and freeze for up to six months.
- Category: Entreé
Keywords: Meatless Lasagna, Vegetarian Lasagna, Food for a Crowd, Vegetable Lasagna
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