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Lightened-Up Vegetarian Lasagna

This vegetarian lasagna is made lighter with low-fat cottage cheese and light mozzarella. It's packed with flavor from mushrooms, garlic, onions, fresh basil, oregano and red wine vinegar. You have the option to add red lentils for a fiber and protein boost. 
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: vegetarian
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 box (375g) lasagna noodles, whole wheat
  • 2 1/2 cups light mozzarella, shredded
  • Fresh parmesan (optional)
  • Fresh basil, chopped (optional for garnish)

For the Tomato Sauce

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups (227g) white mushrooms, diced or sliced
  • 1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano, dried
  • 1 bay leaf, dried

For the Cottage Cheese Layer

  • 1 package (500g) cottage cheese (1 or 2% MF)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • Small pinch nutmeg, ground

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. 
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until the onions are fragrant and translucent. Add salt.
  • Stir in the diced or sliced mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. 
  • Add your crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, basil, oregano and bay leaf. Bring to a low boil, then let simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring a few times to avoid sticking.
  • In the meantime, cook pasta according to the package's instructions. 
  • In a small bowl, stir in your cottage cheese, egg, basil, spinach and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • Once your tomato sauce and noodles are done, assemble the lasagna. Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce at the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Layer 4 lasagna noodles. Spread half of the remaining sauce on top of the noodles. Layer with 4 more noodles. Spread all of the cottage cheese mixture, then layer with another 4 noodles. Finally, add the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Cover the casserole with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, covered, then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly golden. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Keep leftovers covered in the fridge. 
You can add a 1/2 cup of dry red lentils to the sauce if desired. Add at the same time as the crushed tomatoes and herbs. You may need to let the sauce simmer a little longer to let the lentils cook. You may also want to add a few tablespoons of water or broth.