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Monday, November 24, 2008

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini 2

Broccoli. It's the vegetable that everyone loves to hate.

When my cousins were little, I used to sneak broccoli into lasagna by chopping it into small pieces and thoroughly mixing it into the tomato sauce. Even though they eventually found the pieces, they still liked the lasagna too much and continued eating it anyway, broccoli and all.

Cue evil laugh. *Bwahaha.*

That's one way to get kids to eat their vegetables.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini 1

So when Ning of Heart and Hearth, host of last month's Weekend Wokking pumpkin round-up, announced broccoli as the next challenge, I knew exactly which recipe to post.

While you could certainly sneak broccoli into a Meat Lasagna, I decided to make a vegetarian version instead with other healthy vegetables such as kale and zucchini. I also prefer to substitute cottage cheese for ricotta cheese as it's less heavy and healthier.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini 7

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini

For a 10-by-14-inch pan, you'll need:
1 package of lasagna noodles
1 16-oz container small curd cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese
1 8-oz package mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 bunch kale, chopped into small pieces
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
2 24-oz jars pasta sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil

Optional: Other vegetables that would work well include thinly sliced mushrooms, shredded carrots, and sauteed spinach.

I like my lasagna with quite a bit of sauce, so if you do too, then you can skip boiling the noodles as they'll soak up the sauce and soften when baking in the oven. Don't believe me that you don't have to boil the noodles? My lasagna with meat sauce recipe to shows you how regular dry lasagna noodles will soften and cook from absorbing all that moisture.

Thinly slice the zucchini. Set aside.

Chop the broccoli and kale. Dice the onion.

In a pan, drizzle a bit of olive oil and saute the onion until softened. Add the broccoli and kale and stir until slightly softened. Add the sauce, salt, herbs and mix. And if you're thrifty as I am, add about 1/4 cup water into the jars and swish it around to get the last of the sauce.

In another bowl, mix together the 16-oz container of small curd cottage cheese, 1 8-oz package mozzarella, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Now you're ready to start assembling. Clockwise from top left, noodles, cheese, zucchini, sauce, pan. Start off by layering a bit of sauce at the bottom so the noodles won't stick to the pan.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini 3

Then add a bit of the cheese mixture. A layer of the noodles. The zucchini slices. And repeat until the ingredients are all used up. Remember to save enough sauce and cheese for the topping.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini 4

Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for at least half an hour to 45 minutes.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini 5

This photo shows the gooey cheese topping.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini 6


Who made my recipe for vegetarian lasagna with broccoli, kale, and zucchini?
Yasmeen of Health Nut said, "The juicy vegetables fill in perfectly, truly a wholesome alternative to those on no meat diet."

I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient. This month's secret ingredient is BROCCOLI. Please check the broccoli round-up for 13 recipes. The host for December is Wiffy of Noob Cook. If you'd like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month.

Since we're celebrating broccoli this month, my other broccoli recipes:
Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry
Broccoli Bacon Pasta
Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli and Chicken
Fried Rice Yang Chow-Style
Steamed Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) with Oyster Sauce
Pad See-Ew (Thai Rice Noodles with Soy Sauce, Broccoli, Chicken, and Eggs)

1 year ago today, Happy Holidays or when I put up my tree or granny square afghan.
2 years ago today, the best New England Clam Chowder recipe ever.


  1. What a fabulous stack of lasagna, and all veggie too!

    I'm one of those who always liked broccoli, even as a kid.

  2. Nice, healthy lasagne! And yea, there were really few vegetables (*cough* bitter melons *cough*) that I won't eat.

  3. Okay, that is the best looking lasagna I've seen in a long time! What kind of a pan did you use to get such a high stack of noodles?!? Gorgeous!! :)

  4. Your lasagna looks AMAZING!

    I bet all kids and even meat-'n'-potato guys would not miss the meat sauce with this recipe ;]

  5. This looks delicious! Youve introduced me to 2 new ideas here - kale and cottage cheese in lasagna. I usually make lasagna with spinach and ricotta. I'd love to try your version.

  6. woah, totally impressed! I love lasagna and this is definitely on my 'to learn' list hehe Thank you for your tasty entry ;D~

  7. Peter,
    I've always liked broccoli too, although I admit I don't cook with it much.

    I still haven't been able to eat bittermelon either.

    Thanks. I just used a regular old pan and one box of lasagna noodles. Nothing special. :)

    Pomegranate Girl,
    Thanks. I actually wished I had added some meat though, but I made it vegetarian just for the blog. Man, the things I do just for the blog.

    Veggie Belly,
    I've made spinach and ricotta too and like them all.

    Not much "learning" to lasagna. It's really easy.

  8. OOOOH YEAH That looks yummy! Why does your blog make me want to run out and eat..?

  9. I confess I've never tried adding veggie to my lasagna. :) That's because I don't have to "sneak" in veggies to foods my kids love - they already eat veggies on their own! Still, I should try this version next time :)

  10. Chris,
    Haha. Thanks.

    Lucky you! I think I've had to urge kids to eat their veggies too many times.

  11. Hi I was browsing aroung looking for a vegetarian lasagna and found your blog,tried it just now for dinner and it was delicious everybody here in my family loved it definitely will make it again!!
    thank you

  12. EG,
    That's nice to hear. I always love when someone tells me they tried my recipe with good results. :)

  13. I made this for dinner tonight (used ricotta instead of cottage cheese) and it was fantastic! I also made my husband a separate pan with alfredo sauce instead...he isn't a fan of tomato sauce.

    Thanks for such a great recipe!!

  14. I just came back to remind myself how to cook this as it was the most delicious lasagna recipe I have ever made/eaten! I stopped making it as my kids went on broccoli strike but I have been missing it - looking forward to making it again soon- may have to make 2 - one without the broccoli for the kids - thanks for a great recipe- so glad I found it again.

  15. Rachel,
    Wow! What a compliment! :) Would your kids eat it if you chopped the broccoli into small pieces? Or you could just put broccoli on half?

  16. unfortunately they can spot a broccoli molecule at 50 meters! I think I fed them too much broccoli when they were little.

  17. How many servings does this make?

  18. Rachel,
    Ha! My niece's favorite vegetable is broccoli. Let's hope she doesn't start hating it.

    Depends on how big you cut the pieces? It makes a 10-by13-inch pan, about 16 to 20 servings as I cut them.

  19. Do i half to use parmesan cheese?

  20. Susanna,
    No, you can use any cheese you want.

  21. Hello! I’m prepping this lasagna (which is my all time favorite recipe) but will be freezing it before baking. Should I still use uncooked noodles, or do you think parboiled would be better?


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