Vegetarian Courgette Lasagne Recipe

courgette lasagne

What is vegetarian courgette lasagne?

A healthy, lower calorie vegetarian lasagne is something I’ve been attempting to create for many years. I’ve also failed many many times. The trouble was that I was trying to make it too similar to classic Italian lasagne by using meat substitutes and tortilla wraps instead of pasta. Yes, you read that right, I used wraps instead of pasta, and no, it was NOT good. So I went back to basics and focused only on the layering theme of lasagne. I completely blocked the original ingredients from my mind. I created a mushroom and tomato Ragu style sauce. A herbaceous cream cheese sauce. I also bought a mandolin specifically for the use of thinly slicing strips of courgette instead of a pasta layer. And of course, no vegetarian Lasagne style dish would be complete without a topping of cheddar cheese.

As always, this dish is designed for 1 (or maybe 2 if you serve with sides). If you’re feeding more people, don’t forget to increase the ingredients. This recipe is great for those with dietary restrictions. This recipe is:

Why is courgette lasagne healthy?

This vegetarian courgette lasagne is a nutritious choice for several reasons. First and foremost, it replaces traditional pasta with thinly sliced courgette, reducing the overall carbohydrate content and providing a lighter alternative. The use of chestnut mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions in the sauce adds a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Opting for low-fat cream cheese and a modest amount of grated cheddar helps keep the dish lower in saturated fats. Additionally, the dish can be easily customized to suit various dietary preferences, making it a versatile and wholesome option for those looking to enjoy a healthier version of a classic lasagne.

Do you have a diet restriction?

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Nut Free
  • Low GI

Step 1: Create the ragu

Firstly, as always, prepare your veg. I like to try and prepare my veg in the early afternoon. I know that if I leave it until the evening, when I’m tired and hungry, there’s a good chance I’ll not cook at all. But if my veg it pre-prepared then half the work is already done. I used a mandolin to shave slices of courgette but for this recipe a knife or a wide vegetable peeler will do just fine. Roughly chop around 15 chestnut mushrooms along with ⅓ red onion. Sauté in a pan until cooked. Add in 15 halved cherry tomatoes and cook for roughly 20 minute. The tomatoes will have formed a thick sauce around the mushrooms and onions. At this point I added in a teaspoon of dried basil and a sprinkle of salt.

Vegetarian Courgette Lasagne Recipe

Step: Create the bechamel substitute

Whilst my mushroom and tomato sauce was cooking I prepared the cream cheese, this makes up the béchamel section of a traditional lasagne. I took 100g of cheese, mixed in 1tsp of oregano. As this cheese was quite thick I thinned it out slightly with a splash of milk but this step is down to preference

Vegetarian Courgette Lasagne Recipe

Step 3: Layer the vegetarian courgette lasagne

Now your lasagne ingredients are ready for layering. I started off with a thin layer of mushroom and tomato sauce. Then courgette, followed by a generous layer of cream cheese. I then used another layer of courgette before repeating the whole order over again until I reached the top of the dish. Top with a slight sprinkling of cheddar cheese. pop in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden.

Vegetarian Courgette Lasagne Recipe

I paired this dish with a small side salad. If you wanted to share your lasagne with a friend I would recommend treating yourself to a nice big slice of rustic garlic bread!

Courgette lasagne variations:

  1. Vegan Option: For a vegan alternative, replace the low-fat cream cheese with a plant-based cream cheese substitute and use a non-dairy milk for the béchamel-style sauce.
  2. Gluten-Free Variation: Make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free lasagne sheets or substituting them with thinly sliced eggplant or zucchini.
  3. Mediterranean Twist: Enhance the flavor by adding olives, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes to the mushroom and tomato sauce for a Mediterranean touch.
  4. Protein Boost: Incorporate protein by adding a layer of cooked lentils or chickpeas between the courgette layers.
  5. Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce for those who enjoy a bit of heat.

FAQs:

  1. Can I prepare this dish in advance? Yes, you can assemble the lasagne ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake. This makes it a convenient option for busy schedules or entertaining.
  2. Can I freeze leftovers? Absolutely! Portion the leftovers into individual servings, wrap them tightly, and freeze. Thaw and reheat in the oven for a quick and delicious meal.
  3. What can I serve with this vegetarian courgette lasagne? Pair it with a side salad or roasted vegetables for a well-balanced meal. A side of garlic bread or a light soup also complements the flavors nicely.
  4. Can I use different vegetables? Certainly! Feel free to experiment with vegetables like bell peppers, spinach, or eggplant in the sauce or as additional layers to customize the dish to your liking.

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courgette lasagne

Courgette Lasagne

HealthyHeartyWholesome
I created a mushroom and tomato Ragu style sauce, a herbaceous cream cheese sauce and bought a mandolin specifically for the use of thinly slicing strips of courgette instead of a pasta layer. And of course, no Lasagne style dish would be complete without a topping of cheddar cheese.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, British, Italian
Servings 1
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 courgette small
  • 100 g cream cheese low fat
  • 1 splash milk
  • 200 g chestnut mushrooms
  • 250 g tomatoes
  • 1 tsp basil dried
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • whole onion
  • 15 g grated cheese

Instructions
 

  • Slice courgette into thin strips to use in place of lasagne, roughly chop mushrooms, onion and cut cherry tomatoes into halves.
    1 courgette
  • Sauté the mushrooms and onions until reduced and add tomatoes. Cook for around 20 minutes until tomatoes have formed a thick sauce around the mushrooms and onions.
    200 g chestnut mushrooms, 250 g tomatoes, ⅓ whole onion
  • Add basil and a sprinkle of salt and remove from heat. Your ‘meat’ style sauce is now ready.
    1 tsp basil
  • Mix oregano into cream cheese and optionally thin out with milk if needed to make your ‘béchamel’ style sauce.
    100 g cream cheese, 1 splash milk, 1 tsp oregano
  • Start layering your courgette lasagne, in the traditional way e.g. ‘meat’, ‘pasta’, ‘béchamel’, ‘pasta’ repeat until your dish is full.
  • Top with grated cheddar cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until cheddar is golden.
    15 g grated cheese

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