Oh how I love this Vegetarian Red Pepper and Fresh Mozzarella Lasagna!
Especially now that the weather is cooling down. The leaves are falling from the trees. The days are getting shorter. Fall is coming. Quickly.
And, when the weather turns cooler, I crave different foods. One of the things I think is best in the fall and winter is lasagna. Hearty. Rich. Deep. Lasagna. I used to make a lighter version with all kinds of veggies and a light white sauce. It was good. But, alas, my husband didn’t feel it fit into the title of “lasagna”. To him, lasagna should be red and meaty. Only then can you really call it lasagna.
After many years together I’ve gotten him to drop the “meaty” requirement for lasagna. This vegetarian version fulfills both of our needs for a lasagna. This is hearty without any meat. Cheesy without being greasy. Fresh without being too light. Easy and quick to put together. This is simply my favorite lasagna. And, I’ve given the recipe to several of my friends who agree with me.
This can be as homemade as you like; roast the red peppers, use homemade marinara tomato sauce, homemade ricotta & mozzarella, and fresh pasta. But, if you don’t have that kinda time, use jarred red peppers, jarred spaghetti sauce, and store-bought cheese. Or, mix it up, try roasting the peppers yourself but use all pre-made of the others. I like the convenience of using pre-made items in this lasagna.
This isn’t the lightest dish in my recipe book, but it sure is tasty. And, it certainly isn’t as calorie-laden as many lasagnas. Also, you may notice that the amount of servings is a pretty big range. That happens with lasagna when you go back for a second piece because it was so tasty. So, if you want it to serve more people, serve it with a nice green salad and some garlic bread. Otherwise, be prepared for it to disappear rapidly.
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- 3 ¾ cups red pasta sauce
- 10 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella chopped 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups roasted red peppers drained and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta and 2/3 of the chopped mozzarella. Set aside.
- Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon ½ cup of the sauce in the dish. Top with 2 lasagna noodles. Spoon ¼ of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with ¼ of the red peppers. Top with ¾ cup of sauce.
- Top with two more noodles, continuing to layer like this until all the cheese and red peppers are used. Add last 2 lasagna noodles, and remaining 1 cup sauce. Dot the top with remaining chopped mozzarella and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
- Cover with foil. Bake for 50 minutes. Let stand, covered, on a rack for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!