So…. I tricked my husband. I made his favourite – Lasagna. Buuuuuuut, I had a bunch of healthy red lentils in the cupboard and thought, “you know? Let’s make this lasagna meatless”. He caught on after the first few bites but it was just as delicious without ground beef.
Lentils have such a high nutrition factor. They have great levels of iron and folate (who needs beef anyway), and many other vitamins and minerals.
Add this to your #meatlessmonday repertoire!
Meatless Gluten Free Lasagna
9x13 Casserole Dish
9 Lasagna Noodles
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 C Lentils (I used Red Lentils)
1 Small Onion, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
¾ C Chopped Cremini Mushrooms (about 5)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
28 Oz. Can of Tomato Sauce
3 Oz. Tomato Paste
14 Oz. Can of Crushed tomatoes
¼ C Fresh Parlsey, finely chopped
2 TBSP Italian Seasoning
1 TSP Cinnamon
2 TBSP Sugar
15 Oz Ricotta Cheese
24 Oz. Shredded Mozzarella (or more, up to your cheese preference)
4 Oz. Grated Parmesan Cheese
Rinse and then soak the lentils in warm water while preparing the other ingredients.
Boil a large pot of salted water for cooking the lasagna noodles. While you are waiting for the water to boil you can get started on the sauce.
In a saucepan (with a lid) add Olive Oil, Onion, Bell Pepper, and Mushrooms and sauté on med-high heat until fragrant and softened – about 4 minutes.
Add the Garlic and sauté for another 1 minute.
Add the Tomato Sauce, Tomato Paste, Crushed Tomatoes, Parsley, Seasoning and Cinnamon stir to combine.
Add the level of Salt you desire, usually 2 pinches.
Drain the Lentils (discard the water) and add them to the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 40 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the lentils have broken down.
While the sauce is simmering cook the noodles to al dente. If you are using gluten free noodles be sure that you cook them until JUST al dente. Gluten free noodles can get mushy if you cook them too long. When you pull the noodles out, lay them on an oiled baking sheet and oil each noodle as you pull them out. This prevents them from sticking together.
Preheat your oven to 375°F
Mix the ricotta and parmesan cheese together in a bowl.
Once your sauce if finished, add the sugar and stir to combine. Simmer another minute or 2.
Assemble your Lasagna: ladle enough sauce to coat the bottom of your casserole dish.
FIRST LAYER: Arrange 3 lasagna noodles side by side. You will need 3 layers of sauce so make a mental measurement as you ladle another portion of sauce on top of the noodles.
Add small scoops of the ricotta mixture over the sauce (usually 4 scoops along each noodle) and smooth as best as you can. Sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella over the ricotta.
SECOND LAYER: Arrange your second layer of noodles. Ladle half the sauce that’s left in the saucepan on top of the noodles. Add the rest of your ricotta mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella.
THIRD LAYER: Arrange your last 3 noodles, ladle the remaining sauce on top of the noodles and sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella to finish.
Cover the casserole dish with a sheet of aluminum foil - I spray mine with cooking oil to prevent sticking and tent it a bit as I put it over top. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Remove and let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.