This Lasagne recipe has been my all-time favourite meal for as long as I can remember. My mum started making it like this when I was little, and my sister and I used to pick out all the vegetables. Her only solution was to blend the veg into a sauce so we couldn’t taste them as much. In my opinion, it makes this lasagne the best ever. We have it once a week at my house, and we still aren’t bored of it, which I think goes to show just how tasty it is.
It might seem like quite a few steps at first, but it is actually very easy. Once you have made it a few times, it’s really quick. Plus, if you make extra veg sauce, you can freeze it. Then next time you make it you don’t even have to chop any vegetables. You can even make mini portions of the whole dish and freeze them, which is perfect for uni students. For example, whenever my sister comes home from university, it is now custom to make a huge batch of lasagne and separate it into single portion-sized containers for her to freeze and eat as a quick meal when she goes back to uni.
The vegetable proportions for this dish can vary greatly. We just tend to use whatever we have in the fridge. I have always used tomatoes, bell peppers and mushrooms, but you could add others if you wanted. I think carrots, onions or aubergines would work well too. Like I mentioned earlier, if you make too much vegetable sauce you can just freeze it to use at a later date. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the exact amounts of each veg type either, using more or less of one won’t make a difference to the dish.
I tend to use pre-packaged lasagne sheets just to save time. However, fresh pasta would also be delicious with this dish if you have the time and energy.
Last note – unlike traditional lasagne dishes, this one doesn’t have cheese in the white sauce. This is due to the simple fact that my mum and sister refuse to eat cheese of any kind. We therefore resort to spreading cheese on top of exactly half the dish for my dad and I. However, over time I have come to the conclusion that I actually really like the flavour of the white sauce without the cheese running through it, and the top layer of cheese goes deliciously crispy in the oven. So, I think even for cheese lovers this is a great way of making lasagne. Although feel free to add cheese to the sauce if you wish, I’d say about 100g of cheddar would work.
The BEST Lasagne
- 200 g dried lasagne sheets (10-12 sheets)
For the meat sauce
- 500 g steak mince
- 200 g mushrooms (around 14 small mushrooms)
- 300 g bell peppers (2 peppers)
- 300 g tomatoes (around 25 cherry tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (for frying the meat)
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 3 garlic cloves
- beef stock cube
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- salt and pepper (to taste)
For the White sauce
- 100 g butter
- 100 g plain flour
- 500 ml milk
- salt (to taste)
- Wash and roughly chop the peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms. You don't need to chop them too finely, as we will be blending them later. Place in a saucepan and put on a low heat with a lid on the pan.
- Meanwhile, fry the mince in the oil until browned. Finely chop the garlic and add to the meat. Then crumble in the stock cube, add the tomato puree, and the Italian seasoning. Season with a little salt and pepper, and set aside.
- Check to see if the veg is soft. Once it is, blend it with a handheld blender. Take care, as it will be quite hot and you don't want to splash yourself, so if your blender tends to splash you can wait for the veg to cool first. You could use a normal blender if you want, but I find it ends up being more to wash up and a lot more effort.
- Once the veg is blended into a sauce, add to the cooked mince and mix together. If you are using different quantities, and have excess veg sauce, you can freeze the extra. Set the mixture aside.
- Now make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat. Once melted, turn off the heat and add the flour. Mix thoroughly to make sure there are no lumps. Next add the milk, a little bit at a time, mixing in between to make sure that each time to ensure it is fully combined. Once all the milk is added, turn the heat on medium and mix constantly until the sauce has thickened, around 7-10 minutes. This may take a little while, but just keep mixing until it is thick.
- Now assemble the Lasagne. Spoon about half of the meat mixture into an oven-safe dish. Cover the mix with one layer of lasagne sheets. Break them into pieces if they don't exactly fit the shape of your dish, but don't worry if there are a few small gaps. Then spoon half of the white sauce on top and cover again with lasagne. Repeat those steps with the other half of the meat and finish with the last layer of white sauce.
- Cook in the oven on 180°C for 25 minutes. Add a layer of grated cheese on top and cook for a further 5 minutes, until fully melted.
- Cut into 6 slices and plate with a fish slice – the first piece might fall apart a little but it will taste delicious anyway – and enjoy!
Method in Pictures
Gather your ingredients
Roughly chop the vegetables and place in a pan with a lid a low heat
Cook the meat in a pan until browned
Finely chop the garlic and add to the meat. Also add the Italian seasoning, stock cube and tomato puree
Melt the butter in a pan
Remove from the heat, add the flour and stir until combined
Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously until combined
Heat the sauce on medium heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring continuously until thickened
Once the vegetables are softened, blend into a sauce
Combine the vegetable sauce with the meat and spread half into a dish
Cover with 1 layer of lasagne sheets
Spread half the white sauce over the lasagne
Repeat steps 13, 14 and 15, finishing with the white sauce. Place in the oven for 25 minutes
Meanwhile, grate some cheese
When browned, remove from the oven
Add a layer of grated cheese to the top
And return to the oven for a further 5 minutes
Slice into squares and serve with fresh salad