Saturday, July 3, 2010

Broken-Lasagna Casserole

About a year ago, I was at a discount store when I saw something unique, something I've never seen before in the way of pasta: a bag of purposely broken lasagna noodle pieces! I stared at that, amazed that the simple act of breaking those long noodles into chunks could inspire a new dish spinning through my head. Being strictly a budget-minded girl, though, I couldn't buy them that day - they didn't fit in that day's wad of cash. And then I never bought them, I don't know why. But, oh broken noodles, I've never forgotten you! So, I recently went out and bought a box of lasagna noodles and broke them up all by myself. It was fun being destructive like that. Thus, the Broken-Lasagna Casserole was born. He may not be the most handsome boy in the room, but he is sure is nice and smooth talkin'! See if you don't like him too.

Broken-Lasagna Casserole right out of the oven.

A chunk of him on my plate next to some steamed asparagus.

Broken-Lasagna Casserole


1 pkg. lasagna noodles, broken in chunks
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 pkg. Smart Ground, original
1 pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and diced small
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 green bell pepper, diced small
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 - 28oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 - 15oz. can tomato sauce
1 - 4.25 oz. can chopped olives
1 cup of frozen corn
1 - 6oz. can tomato paste
15-20 fresh basil leaves cut into thirds or halves, depending on their size (if extra small, leave whole)
1 - 10oz. pkg. Vegan Gourmet Monterey Jack cheese, finely grated, divided


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the broken noodles according to package directions. In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Saute the Smart Ground and tofu until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the seasonings, bell pepper and garlic and continue cooking for another five minutes, being careful not to burn. You can add a touch more oil or a little water, if the food starts to stick. Add the canned tomato products, olives and corn. Turn heat down to medium low and let simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the fresh basil. Add the noodles to the pot and stir. Set aside one cup of the cheese and thoroughly mix the rest in the pot. Pour the ingredients into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining one cup of cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn broiler on high, and broil for about five minutes to finish melting the cheese. Check to make sure the casserole doesn't burn. This was a fun variation to lasagna or an ordinary pasta dish. Everyone liked it - hope you do too. Feeds five hungry vegans for a couple of days.


  1. He's the handsomest boy in the room by my standards!

  2. This sounds so fantastic. I love lasagna!

  3. Oh - woo hoo !!!! I have made broken lasagna casserole a lot in the past. Not trying to be creative but being too lazy to precook the noodles, only having a round casserole to make lasagna in and just making due in the best way. It comes out JUST as tasty as the fiddly picture perfect kind and you don't stress in the process

  4. oh that is a favorite, must copy this one to my recipe file...hugs...oxoxoxo

  5. Sounds good to me; what a fun twist on lasagna! Thanks for the idea.

  6. Hey, thanks everyone! I've been gone all day and just got back.

    S.V., we must have the same taste in men.

    Thanks, Heather, so do I!

    Stacy, thanks, let me know if you do!

    I.S.V., Wow, you've done this too? I'd love to see your recipe!

    Millie, thanks, let me know if you try it!

    Rose, it was nice coming up with something new from something old. And, did you like the one-dish idea? Hubbies, you know. :-)

  7. It doesn't help that I'm staring at this hungry - but I gotta give you credit, this looks DELICIOUS!! I love your creation, way to make use of the little guys that no one else would pick up! Now I know what to do with all my accidentally broken pieces!

  8. That looks great! I often keep the broken bits from boxes to throw in soup. Next time I'll make a casserole.

  9. Amanda, thanks! Sorry you're hungry - what are you doin' driving yourself crazy looking at blogs when you're hungry?

    Ms. Veganorama, thanks - soup is a great idea, too. Usually, my kids just eat the leftover pasta pieces. :-)

  10. :) ill break mine into pieces so that my layers are not so heavy with noodle(i cheat in everyway possible to stay away from carbs,lol) but i have never seen them actually for sale, thats a fun find:)

  11. Yes, Michelle, I like it when I run across something new and interesting. It sparks creativity.

  12. That lasagna looks so yummy! I love that there is lots of fresh basil in it too! Great idea! I am following your blog now :)

  13. Hi, Carissa - welcome! Glad you like the dish. I love fresh basil, too. :-)

  14. I was thrilled to find your blog. I read through SO MUCH of it while in the car this weekend. Thanks for giving me something to do! :) Thank you so much for adding me to your blog list!!! I am working on adding one to mine, as well (and will include you). I don't have any vegan friends who I know personally (but my sisters are both vegetarians) so I was wondering who else on earth was going to read my blog. :)

  15. Stopping by to say hello.

  16. I thought you were eating healthier now M?
    What did you serve with this?
    A salad I
    I like the idea of breaking up the noodles though, if I find some lasagna noodles that are spelt or brown rice I will try an eggplant version!!

  17. Hi, Jenny, I'm so glad you enjoy my blog! I like yours too, and you have such a creative title. I'm sure once you start poking around on the different blogs, you'll find a lot of vegans out there, and people will find you too. :-)

    Hi, Pet, Hello and Blessings to you, too!

    Hi, Brandi, Well, I believe in portion control, and with that in mind, I don't see this as an unhealthy dish. I served it with asparagus - it's in the photo above.