This Veggie Lentils and Spinach Lasagne is our “Meat Free Mondays” favourite. It is packed with goodness, flavour and most of all it doesn’t make you miss meat at all.
I thought it would be a good idea to write a recipe that would encourage you to batch cook. Something to help you bring nutritious dinner to your family table, as well as, to stock your freezer. It’s not much more time consuming and you will end up with another dish for when you really need it but don’t have time or will to cook. You can thank me later. 😉
My lasagne recipe lists the types of vegetables and quantities I have used when cooking and writing it up, but do not let this hold you a prisoner. Feel free to use any veg you have to hand or that needs using up. If you’ve got some broccoli stalks or courgettes knocking about in your fridge, by no means use them. Any veg that looks a bit past its prime is also perfect for this recipe. To cut down on your prep time, make sure you utilise your food processor/chopper if you have one.
I love using fresh mozzarella as a topping in this lasagne instead of cheddar or parmesan but you could use whatever cheese you want. If you want to add cheese to your white sauce as well, go for it. Remember that if you do go for fresh cheese like mozzarella, top your lasagne just before baking as fresh cheeses do not really freeze well unlike good old cheddar.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and as always please come back and let me know your thoughts.
Veggie Lentils and Spinach Lasagne (Batch Cooking Recipe)
For the Veggie and Lentils Ragu:
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 leek cleaned and finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks finely chopped
- 2 good size carrots finely chopped
- 150 g red lentils
- 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 heaped Tbsp tomato puree
- 500 mls vegetable stock from cube is fine
- 250 g bag of fresh baby spinach
For the White Sauce
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 60 g plain flour
- 800 mls milk
- few gratings of nutmeg to taste
You will also need
- 2 x baking dishes approx 24 x 18 cm or similar
- 1 x 500g pack of dried lasagne sheets you will have some leftover
- 1 x 125g ball of mozzarella cheese or grated Cheddar whichever you prefer
- First make your Ragu.
- Heat the glug of oil in a heavy duty pan and pop in all your chopped veggies (onion, garlic, leek, carrots and celery). Let them sweat for good 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Make sure you stir them frequently.
- Rinse red lentils under the cold water and once vegetables look nice and softened, add the lentils to the pan and stir well.
- Add tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, and stock. Bring to boil, cover and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Make sure you keep checking on them and stirring frequently as they do have tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- When lentils are almost done add spinach and let it wilt in the sauce.
- Once you are happy with tenderness of your lentils, season ragu to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
- To prepare white sauce, melt butter in a pan, add flour and mix it vigorously. Slowly start adding milk whisking constantly until you've used all of it and the sauce thickened nicely. Season to taste with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.
- Now it's time to assemble your lasagnes.
- Start with spreading some sauce at the bottom of your baking dishes as your first layer. Lay pasta sheets to cover and follow with some more ragu and white sauce over the pasta and repeat until you've used up all the sauces (you should finish with the layer of white sauce). My lasagnes had 3 layers of pasta (3 sheets of lasagna in each layer).
- The lasagne for the freezer should be wrapped in aluminium foil and chilled thoroughly before freezing for up to 3 months. You can cook it from frozen or defrost overnight in the fridge and cook as per below.
- Lasagne destined for cooking can be topped with slices of mozzarella or some grated cheddar depending on your fancy and baked in 180°C for 40 min. until coloured and bubbling.
- Serve with salad and garlic bread.