Turn your Meatless Monday meal into a comfort food feast with this Mushroom Lasagna recipe from Denise of Chez Us!
I recently had the chance to tag along on a mushroom foraging excursion with an expert from Northern California. It was fascinating what I learned about my favorite food! Besides learning that mushrooms are primarily composed of water, I also learned that mushrooms shouldn’t be consumed raw since they contain chitin, a material that needs to be cooked in order to break down and become edible. Also, thanks to their high water content, you don’t need much cooking liquid when preparing mushrooms.
Luckily, mushrooms are also packed with nutrients and vitamins! They are a great source of B vitamins, especially niacin and riboflavin and happen to be protein powerhouses. I found it interesting that dried mushrooms have almost as much protein as a piece of veal. I could go on and on, but will save for that for another time! I mean, you’re probably hungry by now, right?
This mushroom lasagna is my go-to recipe for vegetarian meals. Since mushrooms are a great source of protein, this recipe is very filling. I lightly saute a mixture of brown crimini, portobellos and shiitakes with a little olive oil. Thanks to their high water content, there’s no need to add more liquid! Here and there, I’ll add golden chanterelles and oyster mushrooms to the mushroom blend. I love the meaty texture of the chanterelles mixed with delicate oyster mushrooms.
To balance all of the earthy goodness in this recipe, I use three cheeses: fresh mozzarella, mascarpone and ricotta. I also use an abundance of fresh herbs to round out the flavors. Yes, it is rather decadent, but it is so worth it! Instead of a traditional red sauce, I use a creamy béchamel. When béchamel bakes with the three cheeses it makes a delicious, creamy base that mixes perfectly with the earthy mushrooms and fresh herbs.
This recipe takes a bit of time to prepare, but it worth it. When you take the bubbly lasagna out of the oven, your dinner guests are going to be WOWED from start to finish. I’ll let you in on a little secret… we prefer this recipe over meat lasagna. It’s THAT good! Try it for yourself and let us know what you think.
Note: if omitting chanterelle and oyster mushrooms, use an additional 8 oz. of crimini, portobello, or a blend of the two.
- 1 lb. of crimini brown mushrooms
- 1 lb. portobello mushrooms
- 4 ounces oyster mushrooms (optional)
- 4 ounces chanterelle mushrooms (optional)
- 1 yellow onion, minced finely
- 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
To make: In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-low, add the onion, stir and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and lower heat to low, cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add all of the mushrooms except the oyster mushrooms. Stir the mixture and cook over low heat for 12 minutes. Add the oyster mushrooms (if using), stir and turn off the heat. Set aside
- mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano, roughly chopped
- 1 egg
- pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
To make: In a large mixing bowl add all of the ingredients and stir with a spoon. Set aside.
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- kosher salt
- black pepper
To make: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat (about a 4) until melted. Do not let the butter burn. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking over low heat until light and golden in color, about 5 minutes. Add the milk to the butter mixture, slowly, whisking the entire time. Raise the heat to a medium (about a 6), cook for 5 minutes, whisking the entire time. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- 1pound fresh or dried lasagna noodles
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella
To make: Heat oven to 350. Butter a large glass baking dish. Ladle a spoonful of béchamel over the bottom of the dish and spread about. Cover the bottom of the dish with some of the pasta. Smooth a third of the cheese filling over the pasta, add a third of the mushroom mixture, and then ladle 1/3 of the béchamel over the top. Tear a 1/3 of the mozzarella into small pieces and scatter over the béchamel. Continue the process; you should have three layers. You will have three layers built up with cheese and mushrooms. Cover the third layer with pasta and pour the remaining of the béchamel over the top of the pasta. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Serve. Eat.