There are so many possibilities when you have a big pan of roasted vegetables.
You could put them over pasta, rice, couscous, or polenta for a quick and easy dinner.
Fold them into a piece of pizza crust with some sauce and cheese and call it a calzone.
Omelet? Yes. Panini? Of course!
My favorite thing to do with roasted veggies is to make a giant pan of either stuffed shells or lasagna. Other than the chopping and all the layering that always comes with making a lasagna, you can make this a bit easier on yourself if you use the no-boil, oven ready noodles and a good jar of marinara sauce.
Here’s what you need:
Onions, Red Bell Pepper, Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchinni, Spinach, Mushrooms (not pictured), Parsley, Olive Oil, Egg, Mozzarella Cheese, Goat Cheese, Ricotta Cheese, Marinara Sauce, Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles, Italian Seasoning (Oregano & Basil), Salt & Pepper.
Did the addition of goat cheese (also called chévre) throw you for a loop? To me, goat cheese goes great with roasted vegetables. I started pairing the two together on pizzas and paninis so lasagna seemed like the next logical step. Goat cheese is soft, mild, and a bit tangy. It makes this lasagna extra creamy and a little special.
The vegetables change almost every time I make this lasagna. You can obviously use anything that you like and omit any vegetables that you don’t care for or can’t find fresh. With the exception of the spinach, I would try to find fresh rather than frozen veggies for this recipe as frozen veg is too mushy to roast properly.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set the goat cheese out on the counter to warm up for easier blending.
There are a lot of vegetables, so get chopping! Roughly chop 2 medium onions and 1 large red bell pepper. I prefer red bell pepper over the green ones because they are sweeter and offer up an extra splash of color.
Cut 2 medium zucchinis into quarters and then chop them up. Cut a medium sized eggplant (no need to peel it) into similarly sized pieces. Roasting shrinks the vegetables quite a bit so don’t worry if this seems like a ton of veggies. The important thing is to cut the vegetables all to a similar size so that they cook at the same rate.
While you’re chopping, cut 8 ounces of mushrooms into quarters. Rinse off 1 pint of cherry or pear tomatoes and remove the stems. Put all of the vegetables into a giant bowl and drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Season the vegetables liberally with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, or an Italian seasoning blend…about 1 teaspoon each salt & pepper and 2 Tablespoons of the seasoning blend. Line 2 big baking sheets with foil and spread the oiled and seasoned veggies out on the trays. Try not to overcrowd the vegetables – we want them to have some space. If they are all piled up, they will steam rather than roast.
Roast the vegetables at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until wilted, soft, and slightly golden in color. If you are using 2 trays, it’s a good idea to rotate the trays in the oven halfway through cooking for more even roasting.
While the vegetables cook, mix 1 (8 oz) container of ricotta cheese (I’m using part skim or light ricotta) with 1 egg and 4 ounces of softened goat cheese.
Add 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley and some freshly ground black pepper
and stir it all together.
Once the vegetables are out of the oven, turn the temperature down to 350 degrees.
Time to make the layers. There is really no hard and fast method to this but keep in mind if you are using the oven ready, no boil noodles, in order to cook properly they need to always be completely covered by sauce or other ingredients.
Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a casserole or lasagna pan. My dish is 9×13 with a little bit higher sides than a regular pyrex pan. You can also use an aluminum throw away pan from the store if you don’t own a pan deep enough for all your layers.
Place 3 pieces of lasagna on top of the sauce. Top them with half of the roasted vegetables and just a bit more sauce. Be sure that you have at least half of your sauce reserved for the very top layer of the lasagna.
Add another layer of lasagna noodles and top them with half of the cheese mixture.
Because I love spinach, and think it’s nice to have something green in the middle of my lasagna, I add a layer of fresh baby spinach – about 4-6 ounces. It will fill your pan up but you can sort of squish it down gently as you continue to build the layers since the spinach will shrink like crazy as it cooks. Top the spinach with a layer of noodles.
Add the remainder of the roasted vegetables.
Top them with the last 3 pieces of pasta (there are usually 12 in a box) and add the remainder of the cheese mixture. Most of the time I flip this layer and have the roasted veggies on top but this just makes my point that it doesn’t really matter as long as it all fits into the pan.
Spread the remaining marinara sauce over the top being sure to cover up all of the edges of the no bake noodles.
Sprinkle 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese over the top, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking for 20-30 minutes more until golden brown and bubbly.
Allow the baked lasagna to rest for about 10 minutes for easier cutting then dig in!
Anytime I’m really busy, I like to make something that will provide a delicious and healthy dinner PLUS great leftovers for the rest of the week’s lunches and dinners.
You can feel really good about eating all of these vegetables in one sitting. The cheese is just a bonus.
Here’s the recipe: