As much as I enjoy a good beef lasagne, I often look forward to one that’s made solely by layering vegetables in a casserole dish between a rich cheese sauce. Purely using vegetables makes the lasagne a light meal as opposed to the heaviness that accompanies a dish that’s based around meat. So, the other day when I looked in the fridge and saw a butternut squash, carrots and some courgettes that needed to be used up I figured they’d go very well together in a vegetable lasagne.
I inadvertently made this vegetable lasagne a vegan one because I don’t get on well with dairy and I wanted to use lots of grated Violife non-dairy mozzarella cheese to create a golden brown cheese crust to crown the lasagne. However, if you have no problem with dairy you can use a couple of sachets of cheese sauce mix to layer your lasagne instead and top it with grated cheddar or parmesan. Also, to keep this recipe low FODMAP don’t use any more than 30g of butternut squash per serve (240g in total).
This vegetable lasagne is a very easy to make and simple dish which consists of thinly sliced layers of butternut squash, courgette, baby spinach and carrot ribbons stacked together which are complemented by a cheesey sauce and sprinkled with sliced black olives and grated cheese. And if you need further testimony to its tastiness, even my carnivorous step-son enjoyed it so much he went back for seconds.
1 small butternut squash – no more than 240g in total (peeled and sliced into thin discs)
200g sliced courgettes (cut lengthwise into thin slices)
3 large carrots (peeled and cut lengthwise into thin slices using a vegetable peeler)
4 common tomatoes (halved)
100g large-leaf spinach (English spinach)
80g sliced black olives
200g grated cheddar cheese (I used Violife non-dairy mozzarella)
For the white sauce:
25g dairy-free butter
25g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsps Engevita
200ml rice milk
2 tsps dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground pepper
Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F/ Gas mark 5.
Get a lasagne pan or large casserole dish at hand.
Because butternut squash is more robust and requires cooking for longer than the other vegetables, cook your butternut squash discs in a microwave until they are just soft to the touch and keep them to one side while you make the sauce.
To make the white sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat before whisking in the flour, pepper, oregano and Engevita.
Slowly add a little rice milk at a time, stirring continuously, so that eventually a thick sauce is created. (Don’t panic if it looks really lumpy, just keep stirring and adding more milk and it’ll come together.)
Once the white sauce is thick, season to taste and then take it off the heat.
Take your rectangular casserole dish and put a layer of courgettes on the bottom and top it with a little bit of sauce (you want to keep a fair amount for the topping) and then baby spinach leaves, carrot ribbons and butternut squash. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the vegetables.
Hopefully you’ve still got some sauce left, so pour the last of it over the lasagne and then add the sliced olives, halved cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
Bake the vegetable lasagne in the oven for 35-40 mins or until the cheesy top is golden brown.
You could serve it with a side salad, crusty baguette or chips, but we just had bowls of it on its own and it was delicious!