Spicy Vegetarian Lasagna
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 cup onion, diced (I prefer red, but use what you like)
1 red chili pepper, finely diced or pureed
1 red bell pepper, diced, no seeds
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1 cup zucchini, diced
1-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (12 ounce) package vegan grounds, optional
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies and onion
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
pepper, to taste
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce, 1/4 cup reserved
1 (8 ounce) package lasagna noodles (I use Ronzoni no-boil noodles)
1 (12-15 ounce) container vegan ricotta cheese substitute (or cottage cheese substitute)
2 cups vegan Italian blend cheese or vegan parmesan, divided
2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese, divided
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For the sauce, on medium-low, heat about 3 tablespoons olive oil in pan. Saute onions, red chili pepper, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, vegan grounds (if using) and garlic until onions are done.
2. Turn down heat to low, add can of tomato/chili/onion mix, red pepper and pepper to taste if you like it. Let simmer for 5 minutes, add spaghetti sauce (reserve the 1/4 cup sauce for baking pan) and simmer on low for 5 more minutes or until ready to use sauce.
3. In a glass 13x9" pan, spread reserved 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce on bottom of pan before you lay the first set of noodles. Spread ricotta on each noodle before you lay it in the pan (it's way easier than them sliding around while you try to spoon it on in the pan), it's about a heaping tablespoon per noodle. After you do that to the three noodles for the bottom layer, spoon the sauce mixture onto each noodle, about 1/3 cup per noodle, just enough to cover the noodle, and sprinkle 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese over the whole layer of noodles.
4. Repeat the process again, this time using 1 cup of the Italian cheese mixture. Repeat again using the other cup of mozzarella. For the final layer, if you have ricotta left, use it, if not it's okay, just put the remaining sauce over the top and sides to cover the noodles, and cover with the last cup of Italian blend cheese.
5. If desired, spray top with vegan butter substitute, so cheese doesn't burn. Cover the pan with foil loosely so that the cheese doesn't touch the foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes so it becomes less like molten cheese-tomato lava, then enjoy!
Source of recipe: I decided to become a vegetarian and realized that a lot of my recipes depended on meat, so I came up with a new one for lasagna that has been a huge hit with friends and family. They all eat meat but they love it!