Here’s a hearty vegetarian lasagna that’s a perfect make-ahead or freezer meal for when you are not feeling the whole cooking thing. It’s also crowd-friendly and reheats so well in case you don’t have a crowd to feed but still want to make an entire lasagna for yourself (ME). It’s an all-around winner.
This lasagna strictly uses a béchamel as a sauce, omitting the tomato sauce and heavy ricotta filling common in Italian-American lasagnas. The result is a lighter-tasting lasagna that really lets those glorious mushroom shine through.
I used a combination of portobello and cremini mushrooms, but honestly any mushroom would be welcome in this recipe and would impart a slightly different flavor depending on what you can find. The farmer’s market will be starting here soon and I cannot wait to get to the ‘shroom man.
Serve this with a light salad and give yourself a round of applause. A standing ovation if you make this ahead and only have to put this in the oven and throw together a dressing for dinner.
Meaty, meatless mushroom lasagna! A perfect make-ahead crowd-pleaser!
- 3/4 pound lasagna noodles (about 15 noodles)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 cups (8 ounces) freshly ground Parmesan
- 1 pound Portobello mushroom caps, stems and gills removed
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- Olive oil, as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Butter, for greasing + topping
- Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
- Place the lasagna noodles in a 8 x 12-inch baking dish and cover with hot water. Allow the noodles to sit in the water for 30 minutes, until softened. Drain the noodles and reserve.
- In a medium saucepan, melt 1 stick butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly to remove any lumps; cook for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the raw flour flavor out. Add the milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Simmer the sauce, whisking frequently, until thickened, about 4 to 6 minutes. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Cut the Portobello mushrooms in quarters and slice 1/4-inch-thick. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the Portobello mushrooms and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in a medium mixing bowl. Repeat with the cremini mushrooms. Once all of the mushrooms are cooked, return them to the skillet and add the garlic, cooking for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant and softened.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. To assemble the lasagna, butter the bottom and sides of an 8 x 12-inch baking dish. Spread a little of the béchamel sauce on the bottom of the dish. Place a layer of noodles on top, more béchamel, a layer of mushrooms and some ground Parmesan. Repeat three more times, ending with a layer of sauce, Parmesan and mushrooms. Top with cubed pieces of softened butter.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the top is golden brown. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving. Top with fresh thyme leaves, if desired.
Inspiration: Portobello Mushroom Lasagna on foodnetwork.com