Who doesn’t like lasagna? It is perfect comfort food and this meatless cottage cheese lasagna recipe brings out the best of both the cheese and tomatoes.
This is pretty much just like my mom used to make many years ago, except this is meatless. She would have included some ground beef.
And way back when I don’t know anyone who would buy ricotta cheese for lasagna. I don’t even know if many stores carried it when I was a kid. They probably did but that would be too exotic for my family. Hey…there’s nothing wrong with cottage cheese. As a matter of fact, it adds a creamy flavor to the lasagna. So we’re going old school with this.
Why This Recipe Works
- First off there is a lot of cheesy flavors using Romano and Fontina cheese mixed throughout. And cottage cheese has more creamy flavor than ricotta. Use the full-flavored 4% milk-fat cottage cheese.
- Use traditional lasagna noodles that have to be boiled to soften. It’s a bit more work but the added flavor is worth it. I’ve tried using no-boil lasagna noodles before but every time, the texture is wrong and the flavor missing.
- The tomato sauce is homemade and has perfect flavors of onion, cheese, and spices.
This is not the quickest meal to make but most of the time is in the baking and resting periods. This will absolutely satisfy any comfort meal seeker.
This recipe includes anchovy fillets. To keep this purely vegetarian, skip the anchovies. Since there is no meat in this, the flavors need to be kicked up and that’s where anchovy fillets come into play. Anchovies are full of umami and a little bit added to the tomato sauce is going to boost the flavors of everything in the recipe.
We asked MaryJo’s brother and his significant other to come over to help eat this. A wonderful salad was made to go with it. And, MaryJo made some of her easy, but impressive golden Italian semolina bread.
Give this recipe for meatless lasagna with cottage cheese a try. I’m certain you’ll love it.
And be sure to check out these tasty recipes:
- 45 Minute Lasagna
- Italian Sausage Lasagna Roll-ups
- Cheesy Beef Noodle Bake
- Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Orzo Chicken Casserole
- 2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese , about 4 oz.
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/4 tsp ea. salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 yellow onion , chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 5 anchovy fillets , rinsed, dried and minced or 2 tsp anchovy paste, (omit for vegetarian version)
- 28 oz . can crushed tomatoes or peeled whole tomatoes , pulsed several times in a food processor
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes , drained of liquid
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 3 oz . tomato paste , (1/2 small can)
- 14 lasagna noodles , curly edged and not no-boil
- 1/2 lbs Italian fontina cheese , grated. Bel Gioioso Italian style is what I used
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/8 tsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- Cooking spray
- Aluminum foil
- Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and set aside
- In a large saucepan, place olive oil, onions, sugar, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, basil, and salt on medium low heat 8 to 10 minutes to soften onion.
- Add the garlic, and minced anchovies and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the 2 cans of tomatoes (the diced tomatoes drained), the Romano cheese, and tomato paste and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to thicken.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- While the tomato sauce simmers, place lasagna noodles in a 9 by 13 casserole pan and cover with boiling water for 15 minutes until softened.
- Use a knife and fork to keep the noodles separated as they will stick together easily. I separated them three times in 15 minutes and especially as soon as the boiling water is added.
- Carefully pour off the water and rinse each noodle under cold water and dry on a dish towel keeping the noodles separate. Cut 2 of the noodles in half.
- Dry the 9 by 13 casserole dish and assemble the lasagna as follows: first add 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce and use a spatula to evenly coat.
- Place three noodles in the pan touching one short side and use one of the halved noodles to finish the side that is short.
- Next place 1/2 of the cheese sauce on the noodles and spread with a spatula to even, then top with 1/2 cup fontina.
- Keep assembling alternating which short side gets the half piece of noodle.
- Put 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce over the noodles followed by 1/2 cup fontina.
- Next the remainder of the cheese sauce with 1/2 cup fontina.
- The last of the noodles followed by the remaining tomato sauce. Then toss the remaining fontina cheese with a little cornstarch and place on the tomato sauce followed by the Pecorino.
- Spray aluminum foil with cooking oil on one side and place the oiled side down to cover the lasagna. Place the lasagna in oven and cook for 35 minutes.
- Raise oven temperature to 500° remove the foil and cook for 15 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.
- Be sure to drain the diced tomatoes of their juice, otherwise, the lasagna will be watery.
- Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen.