The high protein vegetarian lasagna every omnivore will love.
The first time I made this high protein vegetarian lasagna was when my husband was out of town for the night. He doesn’t prefer to eat vegetarian dishes so I purposefully made it with him gone. He came back the next day asking hungrily what food we had and… I admit I didn’t tell him this was a vegetarian dish until he was well into second serving. He hadn’t even noticed!
High Protein Vegetarian Lasagna
This high-protein vegetarian lasagna is heavy on the veggies and lighter on the noodles. Everybody loves a good lasagna recipe. What’s more, everybody loves a lasagna recipe that’s crock pot friendly and good for you!
What I Love About This Recipe
This recipe is tasty, requires minimal kitchen skills, is high in fiber with whole grain noodles, protein and heavy on the veggies. I’m always looking for ways I can get more nutritional value into the foods I’m already eating. Especially with vegetables, sometimes they look a little intimidating sitting on the side of the plate! Throw them in as part of a dish to make eating veggies more enjoyable.You MUST this #delicious #vegetarian high protein lasagna! Click To Tweet
How is it still high in protein?
One of the struggles of vegetarian entrees can be making sure you get enough protein in. Ideally, I suggest at least 15-25 g protein per meal (preferably on the higher end) to meet baseline protein needs and help trigger those satiety signals (the signals that make you feel full!). Keep in mind, everyone has different protein needs.
I use a low-fat cottage cheese to ramp up the protein content in this vegetarian lasagna. I opted for a low-fat cottage cheese instead of a fat-free cottage cheese to maintain richness of flavor. Grains (AKA the whole grain noodles) are not a particularly rich source of protein, but they still contribute a few grams per serving. I also topped the dish off with shredded mozzarella cheese (mozzarella is made with part-skim milk) to enhance flavor and the protein content!
What to Pair With This High Protein Vegetarian Lasagna
This is a pretty complete meal in and of itself, with non-starchy veggies, a whole grain, and protein. I personally prefer to always serve fruit with my meals for more fiber and to quench that sweet tooth we all have. You could also add an easy side-salad (like tomato, cucumber and feta cheese) if you’re entertaining and want to add more bulk!
The eggplant and zucchini slices add bulk to this vegetarian lasagna, making it very filling rather than a never-ending train of noodles and cheese. For noodles, I prefer Hodgson Mill whole wheat lasagna noodles (Amazon affiliate link) which you can find at your local grocery store. Any low-fat cottage cheese or mozzarella is fine so long as you like the flavor. I’ve done store brand or name-brand for cottage cheese. I really like the mozzarella at my local market or my other favorites are Tillamook, Sargento, or Cache Valley. For the pasta sauce, I like the flavor of Cucina Antica and that it’s low sodium. It is a little bit more expensive, but you could definitely go with a less expensive option as well!
Check the recipe notes for some important tips on making your high protein vegetarian lasagna. The layering is pretty open-ended to however you prefer but I did list out my usual method. Of course you can add more veggies and less noodles if you like. It’s a pretty easy, no-fail recipe so there’s no wrong way to do it! But – IMPORTANT – you need to let it rest at least an hour before cutting into it or it will be very runny (though still yummy). I would let it rest on the countertop rather than putting it in the fridge because mine has become runny trying to let it rest in the fridge. Do not let it rest so long that it stays in the temperature danger zone for an extended period of time (40-140° F if you’re using a food thermometer).
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High Protein Vegetarian Lasagna | Crock Pot Recipe
- 24 oz pasta sauce (preferably low or reduced sodium)
- 1/2 eggplant, sliced thin lengthwise
- 1 zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise
- 3 c low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 c kale, torn
- 9 whole-grain lasagna noodles (I use Hodgson Mill whole wheat lasagna noodles)
- 1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
- If needed, use a non-stick spray or paper towel with canola or olive oil to wipe down inside of slow cooker to avoid sticking. If yours is pretty non-stick, you can skip this step.
- Put a thin layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker to avoid sticking. Then begin to layer ingredients. You can layer however you wish, my method: pasta sauce, noodles, cottage cheese, eggplant, kale, noodles, pasta sauce, cottage cheese, zucchini, eggplant, cottage cheese, noodles, red sauce, mozzarella.
- Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours. After timer goes off, turn OFF the slow cooker and let it sit for at least an hour. If you skip this step, it will turn to lasagna soup :).