Veg-packed meatball lasagne

Keen to eat more veg but not give up meat entirely? We’ve replaced some of the meat in this lasagne with clever ingredients to create real depth of flavour and three of your 5-a-day

  • Prep:35 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 55 mins
    plus cooling
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 598
  • fat 28g
  • saturates 14g
  • carbs 52g
  • sugars 18g
  • fibre 7g
  • protein 32g
  • salt 1.1g


  • 2½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 250g lean beef mince
  • 1 medium egg
  • 30g parmesan, plus an extra 2 tbsp
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 25g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 300g fresh pasta sheets
  • 200g mozzarella, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 courgettes, grated
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 celery sticks, grated
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 680g passata
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 600ml milk
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • ½ cauliflower, cut into very small florets, stalk cut into small cubes


Freeze the uncooked lasagne

Freeze the uncooked lasagne in the dish for up to three months and defrost before cooking. Add 10-15 mins to the cooking time. Will keep in the fridge for up to two days.


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and mushrooms with a pinch of salt for 10 mins until soft. Put in a bowl and leave to cool. Add the mince, egg, parmesan, garlic and breadcrumbs, season and mix well with your hands. Roll into 25 small meatballs. Heat another 1 tbsp oil in the pan and fry the meatballs for 5 mins until browned (you’ll need to do this in batches). Put on a plate and set aside.

  2. To make the tomato sauce, heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the garlic, courgettes, carrots and celery for 10-15 mins until softened, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent it sticking. Stir in the thyme, passata, stock and vinegar and simmer for 20 mins until thickened. Blitz with a hand blender if you prefer a smooth sauce. Season well.

  3. To make the white sauce, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to make a paste. Slowly add the milk, stirring, then the bay leaves (if using) and cook for a few minutes until thick. Season, add the cauliflower and simmer for 1 min.

  4. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Stir the meatballs into the tomato sauce and spoon half into a lasagne dish. Top with half of the pasta sheets, then spoon over half of the white sauce and some mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining meatballs and sauces, then scatter over the rest of the mozzarella and the extra parmesan. Bake for 1 hr until golden.

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