This Roasted Vegetable & Mascarpone Lasagne is the ultimate vegetarian dinner. A hot, gooey and bubbling lasagne fresh from the oven is all I want from a winter comfort meal.
Layer up lasagne sheets with a roasted vegetable and soy mince tomato sauce, mascarpone besciamella and melting mozzarella. The crowning glory is yet more cheese, sliced red onions and hot red and green chillies. A Desi touch.
The secret to amazing vegetarian lasagne
Roasting the vegetables intensifies their natural flavours. Their sweetness caramelises and they release bags of savoury goodness.
I like to mash them to a chunky texture to encourage every last bit of flavour to season the tomato sauce.
Tomatoes and onions are a natural source of “umami” and they give my rich tomato sauce plenty of savouriness, without the meat.
The soy mince does a great job of adding texture and protein to this vegetarian lasagne recipe. Brown it off in some extra-virgin olive oil to really give this vegetarian lasagne depth of flavour.
Can you freeze vegetarian lasagne?
This lasagne is great for feeding a big family, so leftovers are likely. Thankfully it freezes perfectly, too.
To freeze this lasagne: Cook the lasagne completely as directed in the recipe. Allow it to cool completely and then transfer portions to freezer-safe containers. Seal with a tight-fitting lid or wrap with cling film.
To freeze a whole lasagne: Wrap it in plenty of cling film. Make sure the dish it’s in is freezer safe. It stores well in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To reheat a whole lasagne: Allow the lasagne to defrost at room temperature and bake at 200°C/400°F until golden and bubbly, about 35 minutes.
To reheat individual portions of lasagne: Allow the lasagne to defrost at room temperature and bake at 200°C/400°F until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes depending on the portion size.
What to serve with vegetarian lasagne
It’s one of my favourite cold-weather comfort foods and a sure-fire crowd pleaser at Christmastime. On this occasion, I pair my veggie lasagne with all the best festive sides: sprouts, carrots, roast potatoes and parsnips.
Some of the best accompaniments for lasagne have to be garlic bread, salad and fries. A full-on carbfest is what wintry evenings call for.
Failing this, I always find some leafy greens and broccoli with garlic make for an excellent side. Or Tandoori Hasselback Potatoes. Or a simple fresh tomato salad. Let’s be real, I’d eat lasagne with just about anything!
How to make vegan lasagne
To make this veggie-friendly lasagne suitable for vegans, you’ll need to replace all the dairy components with suitable alternatives. Swap out the mascarpone for a plant-based cream cheese.
The milk can be switched for your favourite kind of non-dairy milk, such as soy milk, oat milk or almond milk. In place of butter, use olive oil or a vegan spread.
To layer and top the lasagne, try a rice-based mozzarella (there are lots of recipes online like this one) or simply buy a vegan cheese blend from your local supermarket. The options are so vast these days so please don’t feel limited.
How to make gluten-free Roasted Vegetable & Mascarpone Lasagne
Simple! Instead of using plain flour in the mascarpone besciamella, use your favourite gluten-free flour blend. Choose gluten-free lasagne sheets at your supermarket.
What is in vegetarian lasagne?
My recipe uses a medley of Mediterranean-style veggies but you can raid the fridge and use up anything you have. I like to add the following vegetables:
- Peppers (bell peppers/capsicum)
- Cherry tomatoes
However, you can also throw in mushrooms, squash, leafy greens like spinach or kale, carrots, celery and fennel. The world is your lasagne.
Do I have to add soy mince to this Roasted Vegetable & Mascarpone Lasagne?
Not at all. If soy mince or non-meat meats aren’t your thing, you can simply substitute the soy mince for more vegetables.
If you’d still like some protein, try throwing in a tin of cooked chickpeas or mashed firm tofu in lieu of soy mince. Very finely chopped mushrooms are also a delicious soy substitute.
Should you let lasagne rest before cutting it?
Yes! I know you’re probably super eager to dig in, but you should always let your lasagne rest before you cut it. Allow the lasagne to stand for 20 minutes before serving.
This will give the pasta time to become one with the sauce so it doesn’t turn to slop when you try to slice it. Don’t worry, it will still be incredibly hot inside after this time.
My lasagne-making essentials
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Roasted Vegetable & Mascarpone Lasagne recipe
- Oven-safe baking dish. I used a 30cm x 19cm x 7cm deep lasagne dish.
For the roasted vegetables:
- 1 courgette cut into half moons
- 1 aubergine cut into chunks
- 2 red onions peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 peppers cut into chunks
- 80 g cherry tomatoes
- 1 bulb garlic unpeeled
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 75 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 75g soy mince soaked in hot water, rinsed well and squeezed of excess water (or use 100g frozen)
For the rest of the lasagne:
- 500 g tomato passata
- 200 ml water
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 10g fresh basil leaves torn
- 400 g dried lasagne sheets
- 200g g mozzarella torn
- 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
- 50 g Cheddar
- 2 chillies finely sliced
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
For the mascarpone besciamella (white sauce):
- 50g plain flour
- 75g butter
- 800 ml full-fat milk
- 250 g mascarpone
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- In a large roasting tray, combine the chopped vegetables, garlic cloves in their skins, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Toss well to coat and roast in the oven for 40 minutes whilst you make the tomato sauce.
For the tomato sauce:
- Heat two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chilli flakes, dried oregano and garam masala. Sauté for 10-15 seconds and then add the soy mince. Cook the mince for 5-6 minutes until it's very lightly browned in places.
- Add the passata and water. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir well. Bring to the boil and add the torn basil leaves. Stir and cover. Cook over a medium-low heat for 25 minutes.
For the mascarpone besciamella (white sauce):
- Melt butter in a pan. Once the butter begins to foam, add the flour and stir well. Cook the flour out over a low heat for about a minute. Do not let the flour brown. Switch the heat off.
- Stirring or whisking all the time, add the milk. Once the mixture is free from lumps, switch the heat back on to medium and add the mascarpone and salt. Whisk well until completely smooth.
- Continue to cook the sauce, stirring all the time until it has thickened. Make sure not to let the sauce catch on the bottom of the pan. It's ready when the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Switch the heat off and set the sauce aside.
To finish the tomato sauce:
- Once the vegetables have finished roasting, allow them to cool slightly. Slip the garlic cloves out of their skins and add them back into the tray. Roughly mash the vegetables. This will give us tonnes of flavour and a more uniform sauce.
- Add the mashed roasted vegetables to the tomato sauce and stir well. Taste to check the seasoning. Set aside.
To build the lasagne:
- Take a deep lasagne dish or baking tray. Add a small amount of the tomato sauce to the bottom and layer in some lasagne sheets. Top with more tomato sauce, some torn mozzarella and more lasagne sheets. Try to alternate the direction of you pasta layers so the finished lasagne has good structure.
- Cover the lasagne with some of the mascarpone besciamella and top with more lasagne sheets. Repeat the layering process, alternating between the sauces until everything has been used up. The final layer should be the white sauce. In total, I got 8 layers of pasta and used 24 lasagne sheets in my 30cm x 19cm x 7cm deep lasagne dish.
- Top the lasagne with grated Cheddar, any leftover mozzarella, red onions, chillies and a final drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 25 minutes. After this, turn the heat down to 160°C and continue to bake for a further 25-30 minutes. If the top starts browning too much, cover the lasagne loosely with aluminium foil.
- Allow the lasagne to stand for 20 minutes before serving. This will give the pasta time to become one with the sauce so it doesn't turn to slop when you try to slice it. Don't worry, it will still be incredibly hot inside after this time.
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What to serve with this lasagne
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