This vegetarian lasagne with sweet potato and kale is a delicious combination of flavours. It can be prepared in advance and baked later, and it's also perfect for cooking in the oven using the automatic timer. Sweet potato and kale provide a robust flavour, and haricot beans add extra protein.
What you'll love about the recipe
- Delicious vegetarian comfort food
- Full of veggies and protein to keep you feeling full
- A complete meal with no need for side dishes
- Simple everyday ingredients
- Great for meal prep and freezing
Health benefits of sweet potato and kale lasagne
Sweet potato counts as one of your five a day, and adds a beautiful colour and flavour to the dish. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C. They are also full of fibre, which makes them great for your digestive system. Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial plant compounds which can help to prevent a number of diseases. See here for more information about the health benefits of sweet potatoes.
Haricot beans are also full of fibre. They are a great source of plant protein, and high in vitamin B. Kale is an extremely nutrient dense super healthy green, packed with vitamins and minerals.
Sweet potatoes. There's no need to peel them, just give them a quick scrub.
Onions and garlic both add to the flavour of this tasty vegetarian lasagne. Red onion is a little sweeter and adds to the colour of the dish, but a regular white onion will be fine.
A can of tomatoes adds an instant sauce to the rest of the veggies.
As well as salt and pepper, a pinch of nutmeg will bring out the natural sweetness of the potatoes. Herbs will enhance the flavour further. Whilst dried mixed herbs are very convenient, you could also use fresh. Basil would be lovely, as would rosemary or thyme.
I've used a can of haricot beans in this recipe, but if you use beans regularly, you could batch cook them and freeze them in individual portions. You could also use cannellini or black beans. It's important that the beans are cooked (as canned beans are) - you can't add uncooked dried beans to the recipe.
Kale adds flavour, texture and colour to the lasagne. If you want, you could use spinach instead.
Lasagne sheets. Use either white or wholemeal pasta sheets. I've also made this vegetarian lasagne with gluten free pasta. The one I use is made from rice and corn, and you can add it to the dish without pre-cooking. It works well, and there's very little difference in the cooked lasagne between this and the wheat based pasta sheets. Gluten free pasta does tend to be very low in fibre, but there's plenty of fibre in all of the veggies:)
Cheese. A good sprinkling of mature cheddar on top of the lasagne makes a tasty, golden, bubbling topping. You could also use some mozzarella if you want a stringy, gooey top, or parmesan. And of course, you can switch the cheddar for a good vegan cheese.
I use a quick white sauce for this vegetarian lasagne, which is made from cornflour, and is naturally gluten free. It's easy to make, as there is no need for a roux. The only simple rule to remember with cornflour is to always add it to a cold liquid first to ensure that you don't get lumps. If you prefer, you could substitute a regular béchamel sauce made with butter and flour. If you'd like to make a vegan lasagne, then substitute a non dairy milk.
How to make vegetarian lasagne with sweet potato and kale
Start by making the vegetarian filling as it'll take the longest to cook.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and allow them to brown slightly.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, herbs, seasoning, nutmeg and sweet potato. Cover with a lid and simmer for 25 minutes. The sweet potato should be just soft. Add the kale and beans and stir through. The kale will soften in the heat of the pan.
Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Stir the cornflour, seasoning, nutmeg and milk together in a cold pan. Then place on a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer for a minute - the mixture will thicken up into a thick sauce.
Add half of the vegetable mix to an oven proof baking dish. Cover with a layer of lasagne sheets. Add a layer of white sauce using just under half of the sauce. Sprinkle over a little of the cheese. Repeat the layers, finishing with the white sauce and cheese topping.
Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees until the pasta is cooked through and the top is browned.
- Try not to overlap the layers of pasta as they may not cook through properly. You can break the sheets if necessary to fit your dish.
- Ensure that the final layer of white sauce and cheese covers all of the lasagne so that it cooks through well.
Serving and storage
Vegetarian lasagne with sweet potato and kale has plenty of veggies and protein, so it makes a complete filling meal by itself. But an extra helping of green salad on the side is always welcome.
Lasagne is a really good choice for meal prep as you can make it ahead and cook it later. You can also reheat leftovers easily, and freeze the entire dish or individual portions.
Frequently asked questions
The important factor when layering up a lasagne is ensuring that the pasta sheets have sauce both above and below them. This is because the pasta needs liquid from the sauce to cook through properly. So, it's best to use a layer of vegetable (or meat) sauce, a layer of pasta followed by a layer of white sauce. Repeat for a total of 2 or 3 layers.
This vegetarian lasagne has a good balance of veggies, proteins and carbs so you can just serve it on its own, or add a salad on the side. With meat based dishes such as turkey or beef lasagne, I like to add a big serving of veggies on the side.
All of the lasagne sheets that I buy nowadays in the UK, including gluten free pasta, do not need soaking, boiling or pre cooking in any way. Simply make sure that they are well covered in sauce, above and below, and cook in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes.
Other healthy vegetarian recipes you might like
Vegetarian Lasagne with Sweet Potato and Kale
- 20 x 30 cm oven proof baking dish
- frying pan
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic peeled and very finely chopped
- 200 g sweet potato cut into 1 cm cubes
- 400 g tinned tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
- pinch ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 400 g tin haricot beans, drained
- large handful kale washed and shredded
- 6-8 sheets dried lasagne
- 75 g mature cheddar, grated
Easy white sauce
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
- 400 ml milk skimmed or whole milk
- pinch ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the garlic, sweet potato, tomatoes, herbs, nutmeg and seasoning, and cover the pan. Simmer gently for 25 minutes until the sweet potato is just soft. Stir in the kale and beans.
Easy white sauce
- Whilst the vegetables are cooking, add the cornflour, nutmeg and seasoning to a cold saucepan. Add most of the milk and stir to mix thoroughly, then slowly bring to the boil whilst stirring. Once the sauce is thick and smooth, add the remainder of the milk.
- Add half of the sweet potato mix to a 20x30 cm baking dish. Add half of the lasagne sheets, breaking if necessary to fit in the dish. Add just under half of the white sauce and the cheese. Repeat with the remaining sweet potato mix, lasagne sheets, white sauce and cheese. Ensure that the top lasagne sheets are fully covered by the sauce. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.
Calories per serving: 368
|Total Fat||8.5 g||Saturated Fat||2.7 g||Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||57.6 g||Dietary Fibre||6.6 g||Total Sugars||12.9 g|
|Total Protein||19.5 g|
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only