Many, MANY years ago when we were just out of college and living in Portland, OR (our “out West” adventure!), we ordered a White Lentil Lasagna for lunch at Bread and Ink Cafe. My husband still remembers that meal, so here I am 17 years later trying to recreate it! (We are clearly into food if that wasn’t already obvious, haha).
After a couple of attempts, my husband – and the kids too – have given this Creamy Lentil Lasagna two thumbs up, and I’m excited to share it with you today. My 4th grader even ate the leftovers for breakfast if that tells you anything. This dish is a hearty vegetarian meal I think any meat lover would embrace. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Sponsor Shoutout: Ceramcor
I baked this recipe in my new Ceramcor Ovenex Bakeware because have you seen the pictures going around the internet that show how glass bakeware can explode? So scary, but thankfully Ceramcor is offering us a great solution. Not only is it safer to use in the oven, but I think their colorful baking dishes are more attractive than the regular clear glass variety. Wouldn’t this red one be perfect for Christmas? They have other colors too.
And I found that this dish is a little wider at the bottom than my traditional bakeware, which gave me more room for my lasagna. Normally, it seems as though I can’t fit the lasagna noodles side-by-side without them having to overlap in my other baking dishes. First world problems, I know. Anyway, check out the different sets they have available – perfect for holiday gifts and entertaining.
Creamy Lentil Lasagna
Lentil Cream Sauce and Noodles
- 5 tablespoons butter
- ½ onion peeled and diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 cup lentils dry, green
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt + more to taste if using homemade broth
- pepper to taste
- 3 cups milk
- 3 cups chicken broth or vegetable
- 1 cup water
- 8 ounces whole-wheat lasagna
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated, divided
Preheat the oven to 450° F.
In a large sauté pan (with sides) or a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the onion and carrots and cook until they begin to soften, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the lentils, mushrooms, and garlic to the pan and cook while stirring until the garlic begins to smell fragrant but does not brown, about 1 or 2 minutes.
Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper so it coats the veggies. As soon as the flour begins to brown (about 1 - 2 minutes), stir in the milk, broth, and water. Bring the liquid to a boil, turn down to medium-low, and stir occasionally until it thickens and the lentils are tender, about 30 - 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, toss with olive oil (so they don’t stick together), and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the mozzarella, ricotta, and ¾ cup of the Parmesan.
In a rectangular casserole dish, layer the ingredients in this order: one-third of the sauce on the bottom, one-third of the noodles next, then half of the cheese mixture. Repeat with another layer of sauce, noodles, and cheese with the last layer of noodles going on top of that. Then smooth the final layer of sauce on top of the noodles. Any noodles on the top that don't get covered in sauce could get crispy so be careful about even coverage. Top with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 450° until golden brown on top, about 15 - 20 minutes. If your casserole is cold when you start (either from the fridge or defrosted completely from the freezer), then you'll need to increase the baking time.