This summer vegetable skillet lasagna is yet another delicious way to use up the season’s best produce. It’s full of fresh summer flavor – and since it’s made on the stovetop, you don’t even need to turn on the oven!
Ever since I was a little kid, one of my favorite summertime meals has been a big mess of vegetables sautéed with tons of garlic and served over pasta and topped with grated cheese. I still remember long summer nights spent on my grandparents’ deck, eating a giant bowl full of it and watching the fireflies. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that I was eating vegetables or that it was – gasp – healthy.
When I partnered with Barilla to create a healthy meal full of seasonal favorites from the farmer’s market, I decided to take that childhood favorite and kick it up a notch by turning it into a skillet lasagna!
Lasagna isn’t typically the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a healthy dinner, but it absolutely can be part of a wholesome diet when you use whole wheat pasta, add tons of fresh vegetables and top it with just enough reduced fat cheese to make everyone happy.
One of the best things about this skillet lasagna is that you can use just about any vegetable you want in it. My recipe has zucchini, eggplant, corn, asparagus, and tomato, but you can easily swap in your favorites. (I bet it would be fabulous with fresh peas and red bell peppers!) The important part is that you have 8 cups of vegetables in total. Planning for about 1 cup of vegetables per serving ensures there’s plenty to go around – bulking the lasagna up with veggies will provide steady energy and stretches the pasta and makes a single portion seem much more satisfying!
Barilla has lots of great pasta options, but I chose to use their Whole Grain Lasagne. I love how the slightly nutty whole grain flavor complements the fresh vegetables; the additional fiber (5 grams per serving) is definitely a nice bonus. Pasta is such simple food – just wheat and water – without any added fats or sugars. Plus, this pasta is 100% whole wheat, so I can feel good about eating it. It cooks up perfectly al dente and gives the lasagne a nice, hearty texture.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoon flour
- 3 cups reduced fat milk
- salt and pepper
- 1 dash nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and diced
- 1 small bunch asparagus, chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup fresh corn (from 1 ear)
- 1/4 cup crush red pepper flakes
- 1 package Barilla Whole Grain Lasagne, broken into thirds
- 1 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook 3-4 minutes, or until light golden brown. Very slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Heat the oil in a 5 quart sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the vegetables and red pepper flakes; cook 5-6 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Season with salt. Add the lasagna to the pan; pour the sauce over the top.
- Cover and cook 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender. Drop tablespoons of ricotta over the top of the lasagna, then cover with shredded mozzarella. Cover and cook 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and top with fresh basil.
- Let the lasagna sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.