How to feel slightly better about eating four kinds of cheese: go!

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About six different kinds of vegetables are involved (you know, real vegetables this time. Not, like, just corn.) and they cancel out everything and anything about the cheese. Except how wonderfully melty and delicious it is. Oh and except for the fact that there are four layers of it.

Four! I love life.

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I grew up eating hearty dinners. Not super huge dinners, but they were definitely the biggest meal of the day. My mom cooked almost every night and it was always a complex meal. And while I love a great big brunch on the weekends or even a lunch that sometimes carries me over late into the night, day after day, I still love having a big warm, comforting dinner. The portions don’t have to be huge but I like it to feel… dinnerish. If that makes sense. I’m talking a salad, a side, an entrée, and maybe even another side like applesauce.

Like a super high maintenance dinner.

And hi, yes, I’m a child. The only different between now and twenty years ago is that I’m no longer covering the applesauce in cinnamon sugar. Begrudgingly, I should add.

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Today, the universe says that hearty breakfasts are where it’s at but the family table at dinnertime is still my favorite. It always will be.

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Now for a not-so-secretive secret? I didn’t eat lasagna for years. In fact, I probably didn’t eat it for the first twentyish years of my life, due in large part to my lack of tomato sauce love.

Then! A few years ago I started making butternut squash lasagna (my all-time favorite recipe is in my cookbook) and was hooked. It led to white pizza lasagna, a whole bunch of skillet lasagna, and then just last year, right after I had Max and felt hunger like I’d never felt before (seriously! sooooo hungry after having a baby.), had my aunt’s lasagna that she makes with sandwich pepperoni (omg so good).

Needless to say, I want all the lasagnas now forever. I’M INTO IT.

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I don’t need the meat though, so veggies it is. This is a super easy way for me to eat all the vegetable I can, and not only that, Max decided he would eat the veggies he usually pushes to the side (mushrooms, roasted reds) too. Because they taste like heaven!

Oh and you bet this caused a divide at the family table for dinner. It’s over a week later and Eddie is still asking where the meat is. Five minutes ago? He asked.

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We are at the top of the cheese empire right here. Mozzarella, parm, provolone AND burrata, which may as well be classified under heaven and not even cheese. Cream stuffed fresh mozzarella balls? I cannot.

Not at all.

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I love each and every part of the filling. The ricotta swirled with the herbs and a ridiculous amount of parmesan. It melts into the provolone which melts into the burrata which melts into the mozzarella.

But the veggies! Broccoli, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers – all roasted. So much flavor right there. And the tomatoes! Bursting and almost popped, they are scattered throughout the filling but also set on top for the prettiest, burnt and bubbliest, cheesy over achiever topping you ever did see.

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It’s as hearty as it comes and I love serving it with a big salad. Super cliche lasagna side, get it?  I’m actually going to be sharing said salad, the howsweeteats house salad, in an embarrassingly easy post later this week. Whooooop.

Also! This is the vegetable lasagna that I made last year (minus the burrata) for my freezer meals before I had Max, and it freezes so well. I like to bake it then cool completely and freeze. And just a word of advice: if you’re freezing it for a family of four or less, I’d make it in two 8×8-inch pans. ‘Cause let me tell you, it can be rough eating a gigantic pan of lasagna for one week.

Rough. But fabulous.

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Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with Burrata

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  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. One one sheet, place all the grape tomatoes (left whole). Spread the remaining veggies out on two other sheets, but don’t crowd them. Drizzle each pan with some of the olive oil, cover with salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes. You want the tomatoes to be bursting.
  • I like to combine all the veggies EXCEPT for the tomatoes into one bowl. This way I can reach for them to scatter in the lasagna. I also combine the grated cheese together. When layering, I like to add a handful of roasted tomatoes in each layer, but saved a bunch for topping. Same with the grated cheese: save some for topping. So with the veggies, sauce, ricotta and burrata, you will use it three times (divide into thirds). The tomatoes and grated cheese, 4 times, so have a 4th helping for the top.
  • In a bowl, mix the ricotta, parmesan, basil, oregano, salt and pepper together. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Spoon about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and top with 3 lasagna noodles. Next, start your layers. Cover the sauce with a third of the roasted veggies. Drop spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture on top of the veggies, then pull apart one of the burrata balls and scatter it evenly over. Top with handfuls of the grated cheese. Add another few spoonfuls of marinara, then place 3 more lasagna noodles. You want to do this two more times for two more layers. I finish the last layer with a top layer of lasagna noodles, smothered in tomato sauce and the rest of the grated cheese. I like to add the leftover cherry tomatoes on top of that.
  • Place the dish on a baking sheet. Turn the heat down in the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove and let sit for another 45 to 60 minutes before slicing.

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cheese peekaboo.