Doesn’t the name of this recipe say it all – Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna? Baked in a deep dish casserole pan, my Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna stands tall with delicious and distinct layers of veggie goodness!
For those of you who think this is a vegetarian lasagna recipe, note the bottom layer is full of chunky meat – a combo of ground beef and Italian sausage. So, this is a veggie and meat-lovers lasagna, the best of both worlds!
Is it the world’s best lasagna recipes? Let’s talk about those layers of deliciousness for a moment…Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna - layer and layer of deliciousness!… Click To Tweet
On top of the lasagna noodles, at the very top, is lots of melted mozzarella and Parmesan. Under it is a layer of bell peppers on top of spinach and kale. The next distinctive layer is a layer of mushrooms and under the mushrooms, dollops of ricotta. The last distinctive layer is the meat layer at the bottom.
I learned this trick – stacking distinct layers when making lasagna – from my friend, Kathy, who contributed her lasagna recipe to my blog, which you can read here: Kathy’s 16-Layer Lasagna. She explained her preference for creating different layers so that when eating lasagna, you taste each layer. I think her advice is sound, because my Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna delivers well-defined mouthfuls of flavor all bundled up in what makes lasagna so satisfying – noodles, pasta sauce and cheese.
If you want to make my recipe vegetarian, swap out the meat layer for another distinct veggie layer. How about a layer of zucchini instead? My friend, Becky, who has also contributed a lasagna recipe to Toot Sweet 4 Two, used zucchini as a substitution for noodles. You can read that post here: Becky’s No Pasta Lasagna.
I wouldn’t exactly call Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna a “toot sweet” recipe, because it does take a bit of work to prepare. This is not a recipe that you can whip together in under 30 minutes. But, the good news is that it easily serves 8, so if you have a big family, or are having guests for dinner, or like leftovers for later in the week to make your weeknight rush easier, this is a great recipe. Not only is it delicious, but it keeps well.
In fact, all of the photos above were taken the day after I made Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna and we’d eaten the first two servings for dinner the night before! This is what it looks like cold from the refrigerator!
Here’s what it looked like when I first took it out of the oven. The edges are a little well-done, so if you don’t like your cheesy edges a little bit crispy, I recommend that you check your Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna at about the 50 minute mark and if the edges are cooking too fast and the center still cold, go ahead and “tent” the lasagna with aluminum foil for the remainder of the cooking time.
So, what did Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna look like when I first took it out of the oven and served it to Charlie for dinner?
This! Just like most lasagnas look like when served hot…cheesy, saucy, collapsing all over its layers!
Let your lasagna rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Trust me on this…resist the temptation to serve it immediately. If you serve it immediately, you’ll have to use a spoon to get it out of the pan!
And, if you have leftovers, store them in the deep dish casserole dish it was baked in, covered with aluminum foil, in the refrigerator. The next day, you can easily slice perfect layers of Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna and do one of two things:
- Zap each piece in the microwave for a few minutes to reheat; OR
- Serve it cold! Really. Cold lasagna is like eating cold pizza – all that great Italian flavor, just cold!
If you have more than half of Mile High Veggie Stacked Lasagna leftover, remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes before reheating in a 350 degree oven. Be sure to “tent” the lasagna so that you don’t turn the top into a petrified cheesy piece of noodle leather!
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Don’t have a deep dish lasagna pan? I got mine at my local grocery store a few years ago (watch for those bargains at your grocery store!). But, here’s one on Amazon:
This one is as close in size to mine as I could find. Mine is 12″ x 8″ x 3 1/2″ deep and this one is 14.7″ x 10.9″ x 4.4″ deep. Plus, it has a great storage lid and handles that fold down for easy storage! And, it comes with a roasting rack AND the serving spatula! A great deal!
This deep dish lasagna pan, also on Amazon, isn’t quite as deep as mine. The description says it is 13″ x 9″ x 3″ – so a little longer and wider but shallower. Speaking of a shallower dish – if you make this recipe in a normal 13″ x 9″ casserole dish, which is 2″ deep, you’ll need to adjust the amount of ingredients. Otherwise, you will have leftover ingredients! You could add the leftovers to a much smaller casserole pan and then you’d have 2! You can see that my recipe fills up my casserole dish to the brim!
Here’s a collage to pin to Pinterest! Thank you for sharing and please share on other social media, too!
Here’s the recipe:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 - 13.25 ounce bag of fresh triple-washed and ready spinach and baby kale
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 16 ounce bag of fresh sliced button mushrooms
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ red onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 mild Italian sausage links, removed from casing
- ½ green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- ⅓ red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- ⅓ orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided
- 8.8 ounce box of no-boil (oven ready) lasagna noodles
- 16 ounce container part-skim Ricotta cheese
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 48 ounces of favorite bottled pasta sauce OR Fire Roasted Slow Cooker Arrabbiata Sauce recipe, divided
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet (fitted with a lid) over high heat.
- Add bag of spinach and kale, cover with lid.
- After 1 minute, lift lid, stir, replace lid and cook 2 minutes more.
- Lift lid and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; remove from heat and transfer spinach and kale to a small, heat-proof bowl and set aside (spinach and kale will drastically reduce in size).
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and reduce heat to medium.
- To skillet, add sliced mushrooms and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are lightly browned and reduced in size.
- Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, stir, transfer to a separate heat-proof bowl and set aside.
- Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and return skillet to stovetop.
- To skillet, add onions and saute for 1 minute; add peppers and continue to saute until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer onion/pepper mixture to a separate heat-proof bowl and set aside.
- Add ground beef and Italian sausage to skillet and saute over medium heat, breaking up with wooden spoon until meat is crumbly.
- Sprinkle over ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, stirring to combine.
- Add garlic and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned and crumbly.
- Stir in ¼ of the onion/pepper mixture to the meat mixture until combined.
- Using slotted spoon (meat mixture will be greasy), drain and transfer to yet another heat-proof bowl and set aside.
- Spray deep dish lasagna pan (12" x 8" x 3½") with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add one cup of sauce to bottom of pan and spread around using back of spoon.
- Top with 3 lasagna noodles.
- Top with all the meat mixture.
- Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese over meat.
- Pour 2 cups of sauce over Parmesan and meat.
- Next, layer 1½ cups of mozzarella cheese.
- Add 3 more lasagna noodles.
- Cover with 1 cup sauce, spreading carefully using back of spoon.
- Spoon dollops of Ricotta cheese over sauce, mashing gently with fingers to spread.
- Add all the mushrooms over the Ricotta.
- Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the mushrooms.
- Add 4 more lasagna noodles.
- Add 1 more cup of sauce, spreading carefully using back of spoon.
- Sprinkle over 1 cup of mozzarella.
- Spoon over all of the spinach/kale mixture and rest of onions/peppers mixture, spreading with back of spoon.
- Add 4 more lasagna noodles (overlap, if necessary).
- Pour over the rest of the sauce (1 cup), spreading carefully using back of spoon.
- Sprinkle with rest of Parmesan cheese and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Place deep dish lasagna pan on top of cookie sheet (to prevent drips in the oven).
- Place lasagna in preheated oven and bake 50 minutes.
- Test doneness by removing lasagna from oven and insert a dinner knife into center of lasagna.
- Remove knife and carefully touch it with your fingers; if cold, return lasagna to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
- Once hot and bubbly, remove from oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Sprinkle with small whole basil leaves or torn basil leaves, if desired.
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