I've had this recipe forever. Seriously, I think I pulled it from a magazine back in college - and that was quite some time ago. Of course, I tweaked and tinkered with the original recipe. A lot. I can so rarely just leave a recipe alone. Messin' with a recipe is just all part of the fun for me!
Serve this meatless main dish up with some crusty bread and a nice salad, and you have a wonderful vegetarian meal. I often make this when I'm taking a meal to someone, especially when I'm not sure of their food preferences. It freezes well, too, making it a great make-ahead option.
Don't ya just love when a dish is versitile like that?
This recipe calls for a mixture of onions, carrots, red and green bell pepper, and broccoli. I use a combination of whatever color bell peppers I have - in the picture below, you can see I've used yellow, orange, and red bell peppers. You can also substitute spinach for the broccoli, or use about any combination of veggies you'd like! Ahhhh, flexibility.
|A rainbow of veggies!|
If you've got one handy, a food processor makes super quick work of shredding the carrots. I highly encourage dirtying up the ol' food processor for this step.
|It's worth dirtyin' up the food processor for the carrots|
To assemble, layer your beautiful colorful veggie mixture with noodles and cheese. I put just a tiny bit of vegetables in the bottom of my baking dish to keep my bottom layer of noodles from sticking - like this:
|Veggies in the bottom help keep the noodles from sticking|
Then build up your layers ... Noodles. Cheese mixture. Veggies. Noodles. Cheese mixture. Veggies. You get the picture.
Top with some additional cheese ...
|Ready for the oven|
... and bake 'til the cheese is nice and melty. Oh, dee-licious.
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Bell Pepper & Broccoli Vegetable Lasagna
About 9-12 lasagna noodles
2 T. butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper
1 green or yellow bell pepper
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1. Prepare noodles as directed on package; drain.
2. Cut peppers in thin strips. Saute onion, carrots, and peppers in butter until onion is just turning translucent. Spoon into a large bowl; add broccoli.
3. Add salt to ricotta cheese.
4. Spray a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle a tiny amount of vegetable mixture in the bottom of the baking dish, just to keep noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Place 3 or 4 lasagna noodles (depending on pan's width) in the the bottom of the pan; top with 1/2 of ricotta mixture, 1/3 of vegetable mixture, and 1/3 of Monterey Jack cheese. Repeat. Top with last 3 (or 4) noodles; then top with remaining vegetables and Monterey Jack.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.