Veggie lasagna seems an easy enough proposition.  Make your favorite lasagna, leave out the meat and throw in some veggies, right?  Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple.  While you certainly can do that, many vegetables hold lots of extra water and tossing them into a lasagna without first addressing that can make for a soggy mess.  Nobody wants that.  Thankfully the good people at Cook’s Illustrated worked their magic to create a veggie lasagna that makes use of the late summer harvest without compromising the taste or texture.

We enjoyed this last summer and I’ve been somewhat patiently waiting all year for these veggies to be back in season so I could make it again.  It is every bit as good as I remember.  It’s rich, filling and importantly, the veggies shine.  As you can see, my kitchen helper had a great time making his first lasagna.  With each layer he asked, “Okay Mom, what comes next?”  So cute!  I love cooking with my buddy.

  • Yield about 10-12 servings


12 lasagna noodles

For the tomato sauce:
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. red pepper flakes

For the cream sauce:
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1 cup whole-milk cottage cheese
1 cup heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper

For the filling:
1½ lbs. eggplant, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 lb. zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 lb. yellow squash, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
4 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme
12 oz. baby spinach leaves
12 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)


  • 01

    Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook lasagna noodles about 2 minutes shy of al dente according to the package directions.  Drain and set aside.

  • 02

    To make the tomato sauce, combine the crushed tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl.  Stir to combine.  To make the cream sauce, combine the Parmesan, cottage cheese, cream, garlic, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Stir to blend.

  • 03

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Combine the eggplant with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a large bowl.  Line a large plate with coffee filters and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Spread the eggplant in an even layer on top.  Microwave the eggplant uncovered until dry to the touch and slightly shriveled, about 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  Meanwhile, wipe out the bowl.  Remove the eggplant from the microwave and let cool slightly.    Return the eggplant to the bowl and stir in the zucchini and squash.

  • 04

    Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add half of the veggie mixture.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 7 minutes.  Transfer the cooked veggies to a bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of oil and the remaining veggies to the skillet, again cooking until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to the bowl with the rest of the cooked veggies.  Season with salt and pepper.

  • 05

    Return the skillet to medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon of oil and heat until shimmering.  Add the spinach to the pan and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes.  Transfer the spinach to a clean kitchen towel and let drain, about 2 minutes.  Add the spinach to the bowl with the rest of the veggies.

  • 06

    To assemble the lasagna, lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

    • Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in an even layer on the bottom of the dish.
    • Layer with four of the lasagna noodles.
    • Spread half of the vegetable mixture over the noodles.
    • Top with half of the cream sauce.
    • Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella.
    • Layer with 4 more lasagna noodles.
    • Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce over the noodles.
    • Layer with the remaining veggies.
    • Layer with the remaining cream sauce.
    • Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella.
    • Layer with the 4 remaining lasagna noodles.
    • Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top.
    • Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.

    Cover with lightly greased foil and bake until bubbling, about 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes more until the cheese is lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack at least 25 minutes before slicing and serving.