One of Somebody Feed Seb’s favourite vegetarian meals – a Vegetable Lasagne with Courgette and Aubergine! Creamy, made with four types of cheese and a bunch of veggies, this is a filling and extremely decadent lasagne! We promise you one thing – you will not miss the meat in this delicious bake! The meaty aubergine, the freshness of the herbs and the various textures of parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella will not leave you wanting anything more!
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Aubergine and Courgette Lasagne – Perfect Meal for Summer or Winter?
Ok ok… I’ll admit, this is not the recipe that you may think is suitable for a cold December night. Green vegetables may not strike you as comfort food, nor does vegetarian lasagne sound festive enough in the run-up to Christmas. But you will just have to trust me on this one. This meatless lasagne is perfect any time of the year – whether you serve it on a hot summer’s day in your garden or as a warming and comforting meal when it’s snowing outside.
For years, a courgette lasagne was a perfect end-of-summer, courgette-season meal for us. But in winter, we needed something extra added to it. And there’s nothing like aubergine to make a vegetarian meal more substantial. So we made a winter version of our summer lasagne. We used aubergine for substance, courgette for crunchiness, and spinach for extra nutrients (you can just as successfully use frozen (defrosted spinach) in this recipe) (to see how to freeze spinach, read an article on how to preserve spinach). We added four types of cheese (1.cheddar, 2. mozzarella 3. cream cheese aaaand 4. parmesan) to make it into a true comfort food! The rest of the ingredients you would normally find in your cupboards, like lasagne sheets and nutmeg.
To make this delicious vegetarian lasagna, you will need:
For Spinach Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce):
- butter: salted or unsalted, you choose.
- flour: plain (all-purpose flour) acts like a thickening agent for the creamy sauce.
- milk: we used whole milk, but semi-skimmed or even skimmed milk will do just fine.
- spinach: or baby spinach.
- fresh basil leaves: stalks discarded.
- ground nutmeg: ideally freshly grated nutmeg, but note that a small amount goes a long way!
- mature cheddar: can be replaced with parmesan cheese, however, we recommend reducing the amount of cheese by about ¼, as it will be too salty.
- black pepper and sea salt, to season.
For Courgette and Aubergine Lasagne:
- aubergine: look for a firm large aubergine with shiny skin and no bruises.
- courgette: we used relatively large courgettes.
- tinned chopped tomatoes or tomato passata. If you don’t have either, you can mix the concentrated tomato purée (tomato paste) with some water to make your own passata. Alternatively, cook and reduce some fresh tomatoes.
- lasagne sheets: we used dried pasta sheets in this recipe. They absorb the sauce very well in the booking process.
- cream cheese: full-fat or reduced-fat.
- garlic cloves: crushed or finely chopped.
- spring onions: also known as green onions or scallions.
- mozzarella ball: torn into pieces.
- spinach: optional, but great for extra nutrition.
- parmesan: finely grated. It can be replaced with either hard cheese like Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano.
How to Make Courgette & Aubergine Lasagne?
Top and tail courgettes and aubergine.
Slice aubergines and courgette lengthways into 0.5cm slices. Lay them onto a baking sheet in a single layer, drizzle with a tablespoon of oil (we used olive oil), sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes until softened.
In the meantime, make the bechamel sauce. Pour a kettle of boiling water over the spinach and leave to cool down. In a large saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Add the flour and stir until you have a thick paste. Little by little start adding the milk, whisking continuously, making sure no lumps form. Finally, add the spinach squeezing out any extra moisture as you add them. Carry on stirring on low medium heat until the sauce has thickened (it takes around 2-3 minutes). Take the sauce off the heat, stir in the basil, and cheddar and season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, minced garlic and spring onion.
Add half of the passata/ tomato sauce to the base of the baking dish (we used le creuset ovenproof dish ). Add a layer of lasagne sheets on top. Then lay a third of the cooked courgette and aubergine (eggplant) slices. Spoon a third of the cream cheese mixture on top of the veggies, scatter a third of the spinach, a third of the mozzarella and pour a layer of sauce on top. Spoon the rest of the tomatoes on top of the bechamel.
Repeat the layering process twice more, finishing with a layer of bechamel. Then scatter the grated parmesan on top.
Place the lasagne dish in the oven (preheated to 180C) for 45-50 minutes. The cheese should bubble and the grated cheese on top should be beautifully golden brown.
When lasagne is cooked, leave it out of the oven for 5 minutes before cutting it into portions.
What to Serve with Vegetable Lasagna?
This Aubergine and Courgette Lasagna leaves little to be desired. Creamy, filling and incredibly moreish, it is a perfect dish on its own without any side dishes, however, if you would like a little something extra with it, we recommend:
- Quick Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Raw Courgette Ribbon Salad
- Fresh crusty bread (like sourdough)
- A glass of dry white wine
Other Vegetarian Dinner Recipes
For other vegetarian recipes, have a look at some of our favourites below:
- Vegetarian Wellington with Kale & Red Peppers
- Courgette & Whipped Feta Tart on Puff Pastry Base
- Beetroot Burgers with Goat’s Cheese
- Lasagna Verde With Spinach and Asparagus
Vegetable Lasagne with Courgette and Aubergine
For Spinach Bechamel:
- 35 g butter
- 35 g flour
- 500 ml milk
- 200 g spinach
- 5 g basil
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 50 g mature cheddar coarsely grated
- 1 large aubergine
- 1 large courgette
- 4 tablespoon tinned tomatoes or passata
- 7 -8 lasagne sheets
- 100 g cream cheese
- 1 garlic cloves crushed or finely chopped
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- 125 g mozzarella torn into pieces
- 60 g spinach optional
- 25 g parmesan finely grated
- Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment.
- Top and tail courgettes and aubergine. Slice them lengthways into 0.5cm slices. Lay then onto baking sheets in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 25-30 minutes until softened.
- In the meantime, make bechamel sauce. Pour a kettle of boiling water over the spinach and leave to cool down. In a large pan, melt the butter on low heat. Add the flour and stir until you have a thick paste. Little by little start adding the milk, whisking continuously, making sure no lumps form. Finally add the spinach squeezing out any extra moisture as you add them. Carry on stirring on low heat until the sauce has thickened. Take the sauce off the heat, stir in the basil, cheddar and season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, minced garlic and spring onion.
- Add half of the chopped tomatoes/ passata to the bottom of the ovenproof dish. Lay a third of lasagne sheets on top. Then lay a third of cooked courgette and aubergine slices. Spoon a third of the cream cheese mixture on top fo the veggies, scatter a third of the spinach, a third of mozzarella and pour a third of bechamel of on top. Spoon the rest of the tomatoes on top of the bechamel.
- Repeat the layering process twice more, finishing with a layer of bechamel. Then scatter the grated parmesan on top.
- Place the lasagne in the oven (preheated to 180C) for 45-50 minutes.
- When lasagne is cooked, leave it out of the oven for 5 minutes before cutting it into portions.