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Kalyn's Kitchen

Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce

Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce may not be that photogenic, but it was delicious! Use Casserole Recipes for more tasty ideas like this one.

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Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce found on KalynsKitchen.com

Recently I was having lunch with some blogging friends and we started talking about casseroles. We all agreed casseroles can be delicious and family-friendly, but they’re also very hard to photograph!  I think lasagna may be at the top of the hard-to-photograph list, but this Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce was so delicious I had to put some in the freezer right away so I didn’t eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it was gone.

You may think I’m turning into the Kale Whisperer, because this year I’ve used kale in a Kale and  Feta Breakfast Casserole, my new favorite pasta dish, and Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad.  Yes, I do love kale, but if you’re not a kale fan you can try this lasagna recipe with Swiss chard, collard greens, or spinach substituted for the kale.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce found on KalynsKitchen.com

Prepare 1/2 chopped onion, 6 cloves of finely chopped garlic, and 8 oz. of chopped brown mushrooms. Heat oil and cook the onions about 3 minutes; add the garlic, mushrooms, ground fennel, and dried basil and continue to cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes more. While the mushrooms are cooking, cut up 4 cups of finely chopped kale.  Blanch the kale 3 minutes in boiling salted water; then let it drain well and cool. When the mushroom water has evaporated, add 2 1/2 cups vegetarian marinara sauce and 1/3 cup water to the mushroom mixture, turn heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes.

Spray a 9X12 inch dish with nonstick spray and then lay 3 uncooked lasagna noodles across the bottom. (Use reduced-carb or whole grain lasagna for the South Beach Diet.)  While the kale cools, stir together 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese, 3 eggs, and 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan. When the kale is cool, stir it into this mixture. After the sauce has cooked 15 minutes, add half the sauce, spreading it over the noodles so they’re all covered.

Then add half the cottage cheese, egg, Parmesan, and Kale mixture.  Use a rubber scraper to spread it around. Then sprinkle over 1 cup low-fat mozzarella or other low-fat white cheese.  (I used a four cheese blend.) Repeat with another layer of noodles, mushroom-tomato sauce, cottage cheese and kale mixture, and cheese. Since you’re starting with dry noodles it’s very important to cover the dish with foil for the first 50-60 minutes of cooking.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce found on KalynsKitchen.com

After 50-60 minutes, take off the foil and continue to cook for 25-30 minutes more. Here’s how the lasagna looked when it came out of the oven. I cut this into 8 servings, and I really enjoyed having some for lunch on the day I made lasagna, but most of it went into the freezer for me.

More Tasty Recipes for Meatless Lasagna:

Gluten-Free Roasted Vegetable Lasagna from Gluten-Free Goddess
The Best Vegetable Lasagna from Kath Eats Real Food
Spinach and Basil Lasagna from Andrea Meyers
Three-Cheese Pesto Vegetable Lasagna from Ms. Adventures in Italy

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce

Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce may not be that photogenic, but it was delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped small
  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 oz. brown mushrooms, chopped small (I used Baby Bella crimini mushrooms, but you could use white mushrooms)
  • 1 tsp. ground fennel
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetarian marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup water (rinse out the jar or pasta sauce container)
  • 4 cups finely chopped fresh kale, blanched 3 minutes in boiling salted water (see note below about using other greens)
  • 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 uncooked lasagna noodles (use Dreamfields or whole wheat lasagna for South Beach Diet)
  • 2 cups low-fat Mozzarella or other low-fat white cheese (I used a low-fat four cheese blend)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy frying pan over medium heat; add onions and saute until they start to soften, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, chopped mushrooms, ground fennel, and dried basil and saute about 5 minutes more, or until the mushrooms lose their water and the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the vegetarian marinara sauce and water (rinsing out the sauce container with the water) and turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. While the sauce simmers, bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil to blanch the kale.  Chop the kale and wash if needed.  (If you have large kale leaves from the store you’ll need to cut away the center ribs, then stack up the kale leaves and thinly slice one direction and then turn cutting board and slice in the other direction.)
  6. Add the chopped kale to the boiling salted water and cook 3 minutes, then pour into a colander placed in the sink.  Let the kale drain well and cool at least 5 minutes.
  7. While kale is cooling, mix together the cottage cheese, beaten eggs, and finely grated Parmesan.  Add cooled kale and stir together.
  8. Spray a  9 inch X 12 inch lasagna dish with nonstick spray.
  9. Lay 3 uncooked lasagna noodles across the dish.  Cover with 1/2 the mushroom tomato sauce, spreading it across the noodles so they’re all covered with sauce.  Then add 1/2 the cottage cheese and kale mixture, spreading it out with a rubber scraper, and sprinkle over 1 cup of the grated low-fat Mozzarella.
  10. Make a second layer of lasagna noodles, tomato-mushroom sauce, cottage cheese and kale mixture, and cheese.
  11. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake 50-60 minutes without removing the foil.  Take the dish out of the oven and remove foil.  (I used a toothpick to check and see if the noodles were fairly soft at this point.  If they aren’t I would cook a few more minutes with the foil on.)
  12. Cook 25-30 minutes more with foil removed, or until the lasagna noodles are soft, and the lasagna is bubbling and lightly browned on top.
  13. Let lasagna cool 5-10 minutes before cutting; then cut into pieces and serve hot.

Notes:

I didn’t have any homemade sauce, so I used Classico Tomato Basil sauce which was the lowest-sugar sauce I could find

This lasagna freezes well.  To reheat, thaw in microwave on low for 1-2 minutes, then heat on high for 2-3 minutes or until the lasagna is hot.  (You can also thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and heat in a covered casserole dish in the oven toaster oven.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Using low-carb or whole wheat lasagna noodles and only a moderate amount of low-fat cheese and low-fat cottage cheese makes this Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.  I might consider it a “once-in-a-while-treat” for phase 2 if you’re actively trying to lose weight, but it would certainly be okay to enjoy occasionally. Lasagna with pasta noodles is too high in carbs for a low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
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    52 Comments on “Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce”

  1. Pingback: Not Quite Lasagna – Kaly Knits

  2. I made this tonight and it was delicious and easy to make. For the sauce, I simply used a can of San Marzano peeled tomatoes. I pureed the tomatoes in a blender, and it added a fresh taste with no sugar! Also, I prefer ricotta over cottage cheese and it worked very well. Bravo! Keep 'em coming!

  3. You can definitely make this without the mushrooms. I'd probably just leave them out instead of substituting something.

  4. I was wondering if I could do this WITHOUT the mushrooms. Neither my husband nor I like them. Should I substitute the mushrooms with zucchini or something else or can I just have the kale, cheeses and sauce with the noodles?

  5. Just wanted to say this turned out great! Everyone loved it and the only complaint I have is I won't know how it tastes the next day because everyone took a piece home with them and we don't have any left! Super easy to prepare and since I baked mine in a toaster oven it cooked in much less time than in a regular oven. I'll definitely be making this one again. Thank you for posting this!

  6. I haven't done it that way, and truthfully I'm not sure how the uncooked noodles would be after sitting in the sauce overnight. I would probably cook it ahead, but cook it slightly less than the specified time. Then put it back in the oven and cook the rest of the time when you're going to serve it. Be sure to count the time for it come back to room temperature after it's been refrigerated when you calculate how much longer to continue cooking.

  7. I can't tell you what a lifesaver your blog has been for me. Thank you for posting such amazing recipes! I wanted to ask, is it okay to prepare the lasagna the night before, refrigerate and then bake it the next day? I'm just trying to cut down on prep time for a dinner party :).

  8. Krystal, so glad you enjoyed it! And more recipes to come!

  9. This is Krystal. I love this recipe, I did a slightly different variation using spinach as recommended but also using 'grilled' zucchini slices as my lasagna noodles. I definitely recommend this for phase 1 and 2 sb dieters! Just cut the zucchini slices long ways to have a more lasagna noodle look and definitely pre-cook the zucchini to have more flavor and get rid of some of the water.

    Keep posting I cant wait for the next recipe!

  10. Tom hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And lucky you to have garden kale!

  11. Great recipe, I've been looking for one that though meatless, has some heft and presence. When the sun comes up, I'll be out picking kale. Thanks1

  12. Siena, that is the only kind I ever buy!