By Emily Malloy
I am a firm believer that a cook can never have too many meatless meal options in her repertoire. Whether the omission of meat is for a Friday dinner- or as a way to cut back on the grocery budget- it is always great to have handy an easy dinner that sticks to the ribs. As Lent is around the corner, the search for meatless dinner recipes is on the rise!
Lasagna is one of the best recipes to have in the pasta rotation. It's comforting, filling, and delicious. Moreover, I've yet to meet someone who does not like it.
In this particular lasagna recipe, you will find the same delicious layers that are typically found in the traditional dish we know and love: pasta, cheese, and tomato sauce. But, instead of traditional lasagna noodles, it calls for ravioli. As you assemble it, however, you will realize that the process is much simpler as you won't be fussing around with the spreading of the ricotta layer (a step that, personally speaking, always takes me a long time!).
I absolutely love all-in-one dinners wherein the main dish, starch, and vegetables are combined. It really makes meal planning (and clean-up) a breeze. The addition of sautéed vegetables to the lasagna adds a depth of flavor and makes it a complete meal.
One final benefit to this dish is that it can be assembled earlier in the day when a free moment is found and baked closer to dinnertime! Easy peasy. And just what every Friday in Lent needs: a little bit of beautiful simplicity.
Vegetable Ravioli Lasagna
Yields: 8 servings
Time: 45 minutes
1 tablespoon butter
1 white onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 large zucchini squash, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
2-3 cups fresh spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
(2) 24-ounce jars of tomato sauce
(2) 18-ounce bags of frozen or fresh cheese ravioli
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400* F. Prepare a 9x13 dish with cooking spray.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Over medium heat, sauté the onions and bell pepper for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the squash, garlic, and mushrooms, cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Lastly, stir in the spinach after removing the skillet from the heat. Set aside.
Optional: if you have picky eaters, feel free to take the sautéed vegetables and to pulse it for a few times into the food processor to break it down into smaller, "less detectable" form.
3. Spread about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce onto the bottom of the 9x13 dish.
4. Place an even layer of ravioli (thawed or frozen) on top of the tomato sauce. Spread 1/2 of the vegetable mixture on top of the ravioli. Top with approximately 1 cup of tomato sauce and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese on top.
5. Repeat with the next layer: another even layer of ravioli, the second half of the vegetable mixture, 1 cup of sauce, and 1 cup of cheese.
6. To finish off the lasagna, add one final layer of ravioli, 1 cup of sauce, and top with the remaining cheese.
7. Cover with aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and the sauce is bubbly.
8. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Printable recipe can be found here!