When you have a vegetarian neighbor over for dinner, the best thing to do is respect your non-meat eater friend and make a tasty veggie dish!  This creamy vegetable lasagna was so good, our guests raved and quite frankly, so did I!  I used a poblano pepper in it and it kicked it up a tiny notch to give it a little extra upmh.  That’s a word, right?  Umph.  Well, either way, you get it, right?

The video above is a quick overview of how I did it, but here are some more details if you like!

I used this oven-ready lasagna, but it was a little al-dente for me, so if I did it again, I would cook it first!

This was almost a full head of garlic – 3/4 of a bulb…

Chop Chop!

This is one full red pepper all chopped up.

Get it all sauteing in the same pan…

This, this right here is a poblano pepper!  One of my favorites – loaded with flavor, a tiny hint of heat, but more flavor than heat.  This kicked up the veggie lasagna up a few notches!

Slice it in half and then chop, chop!

These are the large pre-cut from the store portabello mushrooms – I sliced them in half lengthwise again…

The rest I used to put into the veggie saute…

Chopping some more!

More sauteeing and more BUTTER!!!  Also, add to this mixture copious amounts of garlic powder, onion powder, and several sprinkles of Italian Seasoning.  Salt and pepper is a must too!  Remember to taste as you go as well – the amount of salt is a personal thing I find!

More chopping….  zucchini!!

I used frozen spinach as it is easier and you get so much more out of it!!!  To get this amount from fresh spinach would take about 7 bags…  it is best to know when to take a short cut!  Speaking if which, a better short cut could have been to use a food processor to chop all these veggies?!?!?! 🤔

I then put the portabello’s in some BUTTER, and let them go for a few minutes – rotating sides several times…

Until they looked like this!

Next, make your cream sauce.  Use the same pan you did the mushrooms in….  add a little more butter and cream.  Some salt and pepper would be good here too…

I used heavy cream – this whole container!  You can use milk if you like, but this is thicker and better to me…

You will also add in a corn starch slurry.  What is that you ask?  Well, it is super simple.  It is corn starch and water mixed in a glass.  I did 3 heaping tablespoons and a cup of water.  It needs the heat to thicken, so give it a little time.  Your cream was cold, as was the slurry when you added it to the pan.  Use a whisk to stir it all up – you will need the whisk to make the sauce smooth!

Get a package of chives and cut them up too.  Just run your knife along them and work your way down the stalks.  You don’t want to FREE chop them or put them in the food processor, they get stringy that way.  This is the best way to chop chives, in my humble opinion.

Here is the final pile of chopped chives!

Dump them in your cream sauce.

At this point, give it some time and just keep stirring…  like Nemo, just keep swimming, just keep swimming (but stir, ya’ know? 😉).

It’s time for the build.  Start with a layer of pasta on the bottom.

Next, cream sauce.  Lots of it.

Then, the veggie layer. I used a fork to do spread this out as evenly as I could.

More cream sauce on top of that.

Then a small layer of Italian Blend cheese…

Then LOTS of Mozz!!!  Layer it on thick!!!  I used the whole bag, almost!

Then do it all again!

Until you get to the top, and slice some fresh tomatoes and use those sauteed mushrooms as your topping…

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, get it in a 350-degree oven, covered with foil for about an hour, then another 1/2 uncovered until it looks like this!

It was a total hit!  Even with al-dente pasta!

Remember to season with salt and pepper, all along…

Enjoy!

Creamy Veggie Lasagna

Servings 8
Author Wendy Miller

Ingredients

  • 1 box oven-ready lasagna
  • 3/4 head garlic
  • 1 vidalia onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large portabello mushroom
  • 1 package whole baby portabello mushrooms
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 stick butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream
  • 1 package chives
  • 1 pack 5 oz Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 2 packs 16 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 2 fresh tomatoes for slicing
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper - season all along

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Chop the onion, garlic, red pepper, poblano pepper (be sure to get all the seeds out of this pepper, if there is any heat in this pepper, it lives there and in the white flesh when you cut it open), mushrooms and zucchini. You want them all finely chopped - try to chop them as evenly as possible.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt a tablespoon of butter, and a good dab of olive oil. Sautee the veggies, starting with the onion & garlic. Add in the red peppers, then the poblano, then the mushrooms, then the zucchini and finally the thawed out chopped spinach. In between all of the layers, sprinkle in the garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper. Also, in between these layers add in a pat of butter so the veggies soak up the butter and get soft. This will take about 40 minutes to get the water out and get the veggies soft.
  • Once the veggies are cooked and on their way, get another large saucepan and on medium heat, put another pat of butter in and put 8 slices of the large poblano mushrooms in the pan. Flip a few times and once they look a little golden and saturated, transfer them to a plate.
  • To this pan, add another tablespoon of butter and the entire container of cream.
  • Make your cornstarch slurry - what is a cornstarch slurry you ask? Just put the cornstarch in a glass, add cold water and stir. It dissolves immediately and then add that to the medium heat cream and butter mixture, and stir with a whisk until it thickens. This can take a while, like 10 mins sometimes.
  • Chop your chives - and add them to the cream sauce. Add salt and pepper as you go here as well. You might need a few handfuls of salt (I use Maldon sea salt) to get the right taste. But do taste it before you use it!
  • Now, build your lasagna! Put a layer of pasta down, then top with the cream sauce, then with the veggies (I used a fork to spread it out evenly), then more cream sauce, then Italian cheese blend, then mozzarella, then do it all over again!
  • Once built, on the top, put large mushrooms and fresh sliced tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with foil, being sure to not touch the cheese on top with the foil.
  • Cook for 40 mins with the foil on.
  • Cook another 20 - 30 mins without the foil until bubbly and a little browned.