Quick Vegetarian Lasagna

This is a recipe from my high school vegetarian years. You know the ones I talk about. You might’ve had them, too. I kinda came up with several pretty good recipes back then. Not necessarily low-fat or low-cholesterol, since they were all super cheese-heavy, but what do you expect from a 15 year old vegetarian? I needed sustenance, by golly! I’ll probably pay for it with heart disease later, but if I get osteoporosis, you can bet I will be PISSED.

Anyway, it’s really simple and there’s no boiling noodles first which I like because it means one less pot to clean and saving water for whales. Dolphins, too. Fish. Sharks. Crabs. Anemones. They all need water way more than this lasagna. So let’s do them a favor, eh?

Vegetarian Lasagna

At the bottom, I included the recipe for the (also super-easy) marinara sauce that I used in the video. I learned how to it make from a Real Italian. Cool, right? You could totally use a jar of sauce.


Vegetarian Lasagna

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • Marinara Sauce:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 28 ounce can whole tomatoes (or 8 cups diced fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil (or 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil)
  • Salt, if necessary
  • For Lasagna:
  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles
  • 1 batch marinara sauce (above) or one 28 ounce jar of sauce
  • 1⅓ cup water
  • 12 ounces ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella
  • ½ cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon, each: fresh oregano and basil; or 1 teaspoon dried, each
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ cups diced summer squash (or you could substitute a 10 ounce box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained)


  1. Make the Sauce:
  2. Heat the oil over a medium-low heat and add the garlic. Cook just a few minutes until the garlic smells up your kitchen. Add the tomatoes and stir. Put a lid on the pot and simmer 15 minutes. Use a spoon to kind of break up the tomatoes, mashing them against the sides of the pot. Add the basil and simmer another 5 minutes with the lid off. Taste. You might want to add a little salt if you used fresh tomatoes or canned, no-salt tomatoes.
  3. Combine sauce and water in a large pot or bowl.
  4. In another bowl, mix ricotta, mozzarella, half (1/4 cup) of the parmesan, the egg, and the herbs and pepper; combine well.
  5. Lightly oil a 9” x 13” baking dish.
  6. Pour in about a cup of the sauce/water combo.
  7. Lay 3 lasagna noodles (uncooked) over that.
  8. Layer a third of the cheese mixture on them, then a third of the mixed vegetables.
  9. Pour another cup of sauce over and 3 more noodles.
  10. Repeat layers of cheese, vegetables, sauce, and noodles, ending with sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.
  11. Cover with foil and bake at 350º for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the noodles have absorbed the liquid.
  12. Remove foil (carefully!) and cook 15 minutes longer.
  13. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.


Strict vegetarians will need to ensure their cheeses aren’t made with rennet, an animal product. Vegetable rennet cheeses are available. Search online for retailers.

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  1. Scott on February 2, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Love the episode! I now have something to cook for my vegetarian friends. You rock as always.

    • Hilah Cooking on February 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks, Scott! I hope you enjoy!

  2. Randy on February 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Tuesdays have become “Lunch with Hilah” day with me as I watch each new show while I eat lunch. Thursday was Lunch with Hilah again, sort of: the lasagna I made Tuesday was just as good reheated for lunch today!

    • Hilah Cooking on February 4, 2011 at 1:42 am

      Randy, you have no idea how happy it makes me to picture you watching the show while you eat lunch on Tuesdays. That alone is inspiration enough to make sure I NEVER miss a Tuesday! And, yay for lasagna leftovers!

  3. Zora on February 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I was totally a teenage vegetarian too. Wish I’d had this then, to carry around for when people said, “Your main course, madam, is broccoli.”

    And thanks for answering my nagging question about the no-boil noodles–I’ve never been willing to take the risk to experiment. It just seemed too high-stakes.

    Oh, and your dress in this video is totally hawwwwt!

    • Hilah Cooking on February 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      Ugh, yeah, or when you’re reading a menu and your mom is all “Look, they have a salad”, and you’re all, “A: I see that; and B: no thanks.”

  4. GarrettJacob on November 22, 2011 at 7:27 am

    hi hilah. to make it meaty would i just add meat to the sauce and cook it the same way?

    • Hilah on November 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

      Exactly, Garrett! That would work great!

  5. bob jones on August 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Roomie in college made this no boil lasagne in college. His Mom taught him this and it was the only thing he could cook. Dude had a campus meal plan after moving off campus, at a school with the worst institutional food anywhere ever, Cal Poly. Hey, at last now they have a Chick-fil-A. Cal Poly prevented Micheal Pollan from speaking on campus due to threats of retaliation from Harris Ranch.

    • Hilah on August 13, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Dang! Did they really? That’s crazy.
      Did you ever try roomie’s lasagne? 😉

  6. Joe on August 23, 2012 at 1:13 am

    My Lasagna is Baking its last 15 min right now and I am so elated I could do Flip Flops!!! =0) I have been watching your show and been cooking up something fierce in my Alabama Kitchen!! Thanks Soooo Much Hunnie

    • Hilah on August 24, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Yummy! Oh man, I can almost smell it. Hope you enjoyed, Joe! xo

  7. Poetshyne on January 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Hi Hilah,

    Quick question: when reading the directions I saw that it called for 1/2 a cup of parmesan, so when I was making the cheese mixture, I used the 1/2 a cup. Then I saw I was only supposed to use 1/2 of the 1/2 cup – gulp. Please tell me this wont ruin my lasagna.

    • Hilah on January 13, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Oh gosh, no, Poetshyne! You’re fine. I’ll fix that to be clearer when I get a chance. Hope you enjoyed it!

  8. Faby Jacome on March 16, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Just made this for my family that think all vegetarians eat is salad.
    Six months without meat and three years without soda and I feel amazing!!

    • Hilah on March 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      That’s great, Faby! Hope your family liked it. Good for you for feeling great and making positive changes! 🙂

  9. Pier on September 3, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I really meant to make this, but the ghost of Grandma DiDanato wouldn’t let me, so I made the old standar, but thanks for the inspiration.

    • Hilah on September 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      I’m sure Grandma was proud, Pier! Maybe next time you can try this one. 😉

  10. Thomas on September 8, 2013 at 2:52 am

    This is kind of how I tell everyone to cook lasagne. Don’t cook the noodles. I usually just put it all together with the sauce and fillings then add an extra cup and a half of water, cover with foil, cook 45 minutes at 350 degrees, then take the foil off, top with cheese, and good to go. Usually do three layers with that combo.

    • Thomas on September 8, 2013 at 2:53 am

      After cheese I cook for 15 or so more minutes, until it’s looking good.

    • Hilah on September 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Yes, it’s a great method!

  11. Natalie on June 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Made this tonight! Delicious! Added some fresh spinach with the zucchini! I love the tomato sauce recipe too. This tastes so fresh and light (even thought there is still cheese). Another winner 🙂

  12. Gretta on February 7, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Just made this for a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. Such a delight, thanks Hilah!

    • Hilah on February 8, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Wonderful! 🙂

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