Vegetable Lasagna With Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce

This tasty Vegetable Lasagna with Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce makes use of all kinds of roasted vegetables.

Actually this recipe started out because I was intrigued by this recipe for Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce .

Thick creamy cauliflower bechamel coating the bottom of a baking dish.
Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce

I also wanted to use up some of the leeks and broccoli and onions that had been lurking in my fridge for the better part of the week.

I have a bit of a hoarding stockpiling issue going on in my pantry so I decided to ‘shop my cupboard’. Oh.. and I did have to go to the store because I was determined to add baked squash to the mix because I love butternut or acorn squash in pasta!

Vegetable lasagna ready for the oven.
Vegetable lasagna ready for the oven

I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this dish! You can get creative if you want to and substitute, add or omit ingredients to suit your taste. See the Variations in the Recipe Notes below. I have made it with a roasted red pepper puree as a layer and I have added mushrooms another time. You get the idea!

As you can see from the photo above – this makes a great pot luck dish. Those foil pans are also handy because you need a deep baking dish to accommodate the layers. You can make a 9 X 13″ pan or two 8 X 8″ pans.

Two 8 X 8″ pans will make a less deep lasagna. Since it freezes and reheats well you also get eat one/save one!

Baking dish of vegetable lasagna showing creamy layers.
Another deep baking dish
Vegetable lasagna with creamy layers fresh out of the oven.
Vegetable lasagna fresh out of the oven

Wine Pairing for Vegetable Lasagna With White Sauce

Wine Pairing with this dish is pretty wide open since the white sauce and cheeses are relatively neutral.

I served it with a full-bodied Chardonnay. A Riesling, dry or off-dry would work, Pinot Grigio, Grenache Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Soave, Falanghina. You get the picture – pretty much pick your favourite white and it will work.

On the red spectrum I would avoid heavy tannins with this. I would lean to a GSM (Rhone) blend, Beaujolias, Merlot, Barbera. Look for medium bodied and fruity.

Close up of vegetable lasagna serving on a plate showing melted cheese topping with bacon and onions.

Vegetable Lasagna With Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 25 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs
Servings: 9 servings

Equipment

  • 9 X 13 " deep baking dish

Ingredients

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 large yellow onions or 1 yellow onion, 1 red onion
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 leeks white part only, well rinsed and finely sliced

Squash Filling

  • 2 acorn squash enough for about 4 cups. Can substitute Butternut squash.
  • 4 Tbsps butter

Other Ingredients

  • 8 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 head broccoli cut into fine florets. Can chop peeled stem finely as well if desired.
  • 800 grams ricotta cheese drained if any visible water
  • 4 cups Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce or substitute commercial alfredo or white pasta sauce
  • 8 oz mozzarella shredded
  • 1000 grams No Boil Pasta You will have noodles left over. Reserve for another use.

Instructions

Caramelized Onions and Leeks

  • Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Peel and slice the onions. Cook over medium heat about 7 minutes until onions soften and start to become translucent. Reduce the heat to medium/low and sprinkle onions with brown sugar. Stir periodically and watch the heat so the onions and sugar don't burn. (Err on the side of lower heat). After about 13 more minutes, when the onions are golden brown add the red wine vinegar and thyme. Cook another 10 minutes or so until the onions are deep golden brown and very soft. Add the sliced leeks and set mixture aside until ready to use. You will use 1/3 of the mixture at a time.

Acorn Squash

  • While onions are caramelizing cook the squash. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Add a Tbsp of butter to the cavity of each squash half. Place squash flesh side up and microwave on high abut 17 minutes. Alternatively roast squash at 350° 45-50 minutes. Squash should be well cooked and fork tender. When cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh and mash well or puree. You will use all the squash mixture in one layer.

Broccoli and Bacon

  • Cook bacon in a heavy skillet until cooked but not crumbly. Reserve bacon fat in pan and cut bacon cross-wise in to 1" pieces. Divide bacon pieces in half. Sauté chopped broccoli in the bacon fat over medium heat 4-5 minutes. Combine all the broccoli, 1/2 the bacon pieces, 1/3 the caramelized onion mixture, 1/3 white sauce and 1/3 of the ricotta. Set aside.

Mozzarella and White Sauce Topping

  • Mix all shredded mozzarella with the remaining 1/3 ricotta. Set aside.

Assembly

  • Spray a 3" deep baking dish 9 X 13". Preheat oven to 350°. See Notes below.
  • Spread 1/3 of white sauce in bottom of baking dish. Cover bottom with lasagna noodles.
  • Spread the broccoli mixture over the noodles. Top with a layer of noodles.
  • Spread the mashed squash over the noodles. Top squash layer with another layer of noodles.
  • Combine 1/3 the caramelized onions/leek mixture with 1/3 white sauce and 1/3 ricotta cheese and spread over noodle layer. Top with another layer of noodles.
  • Spread the mozzarella mixture over the noodles and distribute remaining bacon and onion mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake covered for 30 minutes, remove cover and bake a further 25 minutes.

Notes

Nutrition does not include White Sauce.
Note 1:  You can also make  two 8 X 8″ pans if you prefer.  Your lasagna will not be as high.
Note 2: Lasagna freezes well (unbaked).  Heat from frozen @ 350 degrees about 50 minutes covered and another 25 minutes uncovered. 
Variation: 
You can add or substitute the following:  
  1. Replace broccoli with 12 oz of roasted red peppers, drained and puréed. 
  2. Add 8 oz sliced mushrooms sautéed until  liquid in the pan has evaporated, to the last onion/bacon/ricotta layer. 

Nutrition

Calories: 895kcal | Carbohydrates: 110g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 1076mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1786IU | Vitamin C: 76mg | Calcium: 481mg | Iron: 4mg
Vegetable Lasagna With  Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce

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