I discovered oyster mushrooms a long time ago and they have been a regular ingredient in my kitchen. Meaty, satisfying and flavorful, they are especially amazing when sauteed over medium-high heat with butter. I use them as a side dish for steaks, put them on homemade hamburgers or mix them in pasta and rice dishes. They can wonderfully compliment a variety of dishes and enhance their flavors.
Today I decided to make a meatless lasagna, using oyster mushrooms as a substitute for meat, and adding ricotta. I expected my ricotta and oyster mushroom lasagna to turn out very good, but it pleasantly surprised me. Flavorful, tender, and filling, it tasted terrific. Meaty oyster mushrooms turned out a to be a good substitute for beef that I normally use, they almost had a similar texture. Addition of caramelized onions – sweet, savory and flavorful – made the lasagna even more flavorful. I also enjoyed the smoothness of creamy homemade ricotta cheese in this lasagna. If you want try it, it’s fairly easy to make, and can be made in advance.
Preparation time for ricotta and oyster mushroom lasagna, unlike meat lasagna, is fairly short. Prepare your lasagna noodles and set aside. In a bow, mix ricotta cheese with salt, eggs, dill and parsley. Both dill and parsley can be optional, depending your taste preferences.
Saute onions first over medium heat until golden brown for about 8-10 minutes and transfer into a bowl.
Then saute your mushrooms in the same skillet. You want to start sauteing them over high heat first, for about 5-6 minutes to let the water evaporate as quickly as possible – mushrooms release a fair bit of water. Otherwise they will cook in water without getting a nice, deep golden brown crust.
Next, turn the heat down to medium, add back onions and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
Now that all the prep work is done, we are ready to assemble the lasagna. Spread about 1 tablespoon ricotta mix on the bottom of a 8 x 8 inch baking pan. If you don’t have one of a similar size , use a bigger one. If it’s much bigger, you may want to scale the recipe proportionately.
Layer noodles, followed by ricotta filling, followed by mozzarella cheese, and finishing with Parmesan cheese.
Repeat another layer.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 375F. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Let the lasagna cool for 10-15 minutes and serve.
Ricotta and Oyster Mushroom Lasagna
- 6 lasagna noodles
- 2 medium onions 350 g, sliced
- 1 lb oyster mushrooms 454 g, sliced
- 3 cups ricotta cheese 750 g
- 4 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 4 Tbsp butter or vegetable or olive oil (butter recommended for better flavor)
- 1 3/4 tsp salt 1 tsp for ricotta filling, 3/4 tsp for sauteed onions and mushrooms
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or as per instructions on the package. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, dill, parsley and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside
- Preheat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons butter or oil. Add onions and saute over medium heat for 9-10 minutes, until translucent and golden brown. Add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper when almost done. Transfer into a bowl
- Using the same skillet, saute oyster mushrooms with 2 tablespoons butter or oil over high heat for 5-6 minutes
- Turn heat to medium, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, and saute for another 3 minutes
- Add onions to mushrooms and continue sauteing over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl
- To assemble lasagna, spread about 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese filling on the bottom of a 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Arrange 3 noodles on the bottom of the pan (you will need to cut them to needed length).
- Spread half of the ricotta cheese filing over noodles. Top with half of oyster mushroom and onion mix, followed by 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
- Repeat another layer
- Cover with foil, ensuring that foil does not touch the top of the lasagna
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 20 minutes
- Cool for 10-15 minutes and serve
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