Skinny Vegetarian Lasagna with Mushroom Ragu and Spinach

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I love pasta dishes, and when I don’t have a lot of time to cook, I like to duplicate our favorite recipes that we’ve tried in Italy. I don’t remember having any sophisticated pasta dishes over there, so every time I recreate an Italian recipe, I try to keep things simple. I use very few ingredients, extra virgin olive oil, always a homemade tomato sauce, and good quality pasta. When my boyfriend asked about homemade lasagna, I was in a little bit of trouble because I don’t remember seeing a vegetarian version on the menu of any Italian restaurant. I also didn’t want to use too much cheese or dairy in my dish, so it was a really big challenge.

 

Vegetarian-Lasagna-Ingredients

I decided to go for a vegan mushroom and walnut ragu filling, a vegan bechamel sauce to add a splash of green color and more nutrients, and enrich the dish with free-range eggs. Surprisingly, the combination was a success, and the taste pretty much resembled the classic lasagna dish. At first, I didn’t have a clue about what to replace the ground meat with, and I really wanted something with the same texture. If I would have cooked this just for myself, I would have definitely gone for a roasted veggie filling, but I wanted to surprise my boyfriend with an as-close-to-the-original treat. Mushrooms are a great replacement for meat, and if you want to reproduce the ground meat texture, adding nuts will help you do the trick.

 

Mushroom-Spinach-Lasagna

This recipe is a great way to convince your family members to eat veggies. Mushrooms, celery, spinach and carrots – they’re all hidden within this apparently decadent dish (although mushrooms are not exactly vegetables). Mushrooms contain high quantities of minerals, especially copper, selenium, potassium, and zinc, but also B1, B2, B3, and B6 vitamins. Recent studies have proven that some fresh mushrooms are a source of the valuable B12 vitamin, which is very rare in a vegetarian diet. However, this content varies much from farm to farm, and according to the conditions in which mushrooms are grown. The nutrients in mushrooms have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer benefits.

 

If you check the nutrition label, you will see that it actually has a low calorie load and it’s definitely more nutritious than any frozen meat lasagna from the supermarket. It might take more time to prepare, but it is worth gathering the whole family around a lovely flavored and nutritious lunch.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Skinny Vegetarian Lasagna with Mushroom Ragu and Spinach
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious vegetarian reinterpretation of the classic Italian dish, with mushroom and walnut ragu and vegan bechamel sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Filling
  • 6 cups portobello mushrooms, cut in quarters
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 cups mixed walnuts and hazelnuts
  • 2 cups frozen spinach leaves
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegan Bechamel Sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • Assembling
  • ½ package lasagna sheets
  • 2 organic eggs
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Instructions
  1. Heat the oven at 180°C/356°F.
  2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet, add the onions, carrot, celery and two garlic cloves, and cook for 7-10 minutes at low heat , stirring from time to time.
  3. Add the mushrooms and nuts, stir to combine and cook until all the released liquid evaporates.
  4. Add the white wine, stir to combine and cook for 3 more minutes.
  5. Transfer into a food processor bowl, and pulse two or three times, until the mixture ressembles with minced meat.
  6. Put the mixture back in the skillet, add tomato sauce and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat.
  7. Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet, add one garlic clove, fry it for 30 seconds, just to flavor the oil, then add the spinach and stir to combine.
  8. Cook the spinach until all the liquid evaporates, season with salt and pepper and transfer in a bowl.
  9. Heat the coconut oil in a sauce pan over low heat, add the chickpea flour and stir to combine.
  10. Add the almond milk and vegetable broth, bring to boil and simmer on low heat whisking continuosly until the mixture thickens. Adjust the texture with almond milk. Season with nutmeg.
  11. Grease a baking pan with olive oil, and add layers of lasagna sheets, topped with mushroom ragu, and bechamel sauce.
  12. Repeat with the rest of the composition, and top with a layer of lasagna sheets and cooked spinach.
  13. Beat the eggs, season with salt and pepper and pour on top of the dish.
  14. Cook for 20 minutes.Serve immediately.
Notes
 

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8 Comments
  • Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life
    January 30, 2015

    What a beautiful, healthful, addition to the veggie lasagna oeuvre! I love the idea of a mushroom heavy filling, they are one of my favourite vegetables, and as a vegetarian I always have plenty of them in the refrigerator! I am sure this one will be a favourite in our home (even if I have to serve meatballs with the boyfriend’s slice 😉 )
    I remember travelling through Italy a few years ago, and I love the way the simplest ingredients are always the best choice. When you start with divine produce, your dishes always taste amazing!

    • Ana
      January 31, 2015

      Indeed, no matter how simple the recipe, the ingredients have to be of great quality for the taste to be divine!

  • Stephanie
    January 30, 2015

    This looks and sounds absolutely amazing! I agree a great Italian dish has a simple homemade sauce with fresh ingredients!

    • Ana
      January 31, 2015

      Italian food is all about simple, nourishing ingredients and each of their recipe is so, so delicious! Thank you Steph! 🙂

  • Aysegul
    January 30, 2015

    You know why I love your recipes so much?! Because they are made with everyday ingredients that most people already have in their pantries… not to mention how healthy they are..
    Aaaand vegan bechamel sauce !!!?! Genius! :))

    • Ana
      January 31, 2015

      🙂 I love cooking with simple, healthy ingredients. Thank you, Aysegul!

  • Marry
    May 31, 2016

    I made this last night. Changed a few things. I used kale instead of spinach and added extra tomato sauce between the layers. This recipe was quite time consuming as lasagna generally is. I think next time I’ll make the tomato sauce the day before. Also, next time I’ll add more kale between the layers instead of just on top. I halved the recipe and it was still enough for 6 servings. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Ana
      May 31, 2016

      Kale sounds like a great addition, I love the idea! It indeed took quite many steps and struggle to make this, but it’s nice having it every now and then. I’m really happy you tried the recipe and you liked it and thanks for all the feedback! 🙂

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