beetroot lasagna - vegetable lasagna
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beetroot ragu lasagna

vegetable ragu lasagna with an unexpected twist
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Simmer bechamel, can be omitted30 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: budget meals, cheap family recipes, vegetarian
Dietary Requirements: Nut Free, Vegetarian
Other: Freezes Well
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 472kcal
Author: Thrifty Lesley
Cost: 67p a serving

Equipment

Ingredients

Ragu Layer

  • 2 tblsp butter £1.45/250g, 17p
  • 1 onion a large one, finely chopped, 75p/kg, 8p
  • 2 packs beetroot 250g packs, 65p each, £1.08
  • 2 clementines or an orange, 30p
  • 2 tsp garlic granules £1.09/115g, 10p
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard heaped spoon, 3p
  • salt & pepper

Bechamel Layer

  • 50 g butter Asda £1.45/250g, 29p
  • 50 g flour value, 45p/1.5kg
  • 500 ml milk £1.09/2.27litres, 24p
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg fresh, grated - optional
  • 2 bay leaves optional

Pasta

  • 100 g flour value, 45p/1.5kg, 3p
  • or 4 lasagna sheets

Topping

  • 80 g cheddar £3.69/825g, 36p

Instructions

To Make The Ragu Layer

  • The pack of beetroot I had was 250g, Asda ones are 300g. You could either just use the whole pack, or use the extra in a salad
  • Melt the butter in a pan and saute the onion until cooked through. Put the beetroot in a bowl and mash them up, or chop finely on a chopping board. Add the cooked onion, garlic and mustard. Zest the orange or clementine into the bowl. Then peel and chop the flesh finely. Mix into the beetroot mix.  Season well

To Make Bechamel

  • For the bechamel layer, melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and stir around to mix and cook a little. Now add half a cup of the milk and stir continuously until the milk is absorbed. I like to use a small whisk for this. Repeat until all the milk has been used. Infuse with a bay leaf or two if you have any
  • To make the dish vegan, use plant milk, a vegan spread, a vegan cheese and either make pasta sheets or use a vegan version
  • Simmer very gently for around half an hour with the lid on. This prolonged cooking time really does improve the flavour, but if you don't have the time, go straight to the next step
     click here to start a 30 minute timer 
  • Add a little grated nutmeg right at the end if you have any. Season well with salt and pepper, taste and adjust. Use a little spoon of mustard as well if you like. All the seasonings are added at the end of the cooking time as the heat of the cooking reduces their flavour. We still have to cook it in the oven of course.

To Make Pasta

  • If you want to make pasta, for cheapness, or to make the dish vegan – for 2, put 50g flour in a bowl and add enough cold water to make a pastry like dough. For 4, use 100g flour. Knead a little, or just leave in the bowl for a couple of hours and the gluten will develop.
    Divide into 3. Roll out each third to the thickness of a credit card and approximately the shape of your dish.
    Or just use value pasta sheets.

Layer Up Your Lasagna

  • Now layer up your lasagna in an ovenproof dish
    Divide your beetroot ragu into 3 sections in the saucepan. Divide the bechamel into 4 sections in the saucepan. Divide the cheddar into 4.
  • Layer one
    Ragu
    Bechamel
    sprinkle with cheddar
    Pasta or lasagna sheets
  • Layer two
    repeat
    Ragu
    Bechamel
    sprinkle with cheddar
    Pasta or lasagna sheets
  • Layer three
    repeat
    Ragu
    Bechamel
    sprinkle with cheddar
    Pasta or lasagna sheets
  • Now top it all off with the last layer of bechamel. Sprinkle with the last cheddar
  • Bake at 180c for about half an hour until golden and bubbling.
     click here to start a 30 minute timer 

Notes

Priced at Asda using mySupermarket, March 2019
I’ve found that this can be used as a basic recipe for lasagna, just changing the ragu layer for all sorts of other things.
Use plant milk, a vegan spread and a vegan cheese for vegans, or just leave out the cheese part. If you can’t find lasagna sheets without egg, and you want to make this vegan, you could try making pasta, it’s really not very difficult.
I added a few crushed walnuts to our salad as walnuts are another classic flavour combination with beetroot
I looked up what flavours go well with beetroot and decided to use orange. You could use an apple instead. Or just beetroot without anything else.
You could use horseradish rather than mustard too.
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Nutrition

Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 338mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 310mg | Iron: 2mg