Vegan lasagne is a delicious, gluten-free, healthy, rich, and creamy dish made from gluten-free pasta, vegetables, a rich tomato sauce, and ricotta tofu. The dish is easy to make and far easier to store. Plus, it is a perfect dish for the holiday season and weekend dinners.
Who doesn’t love pasta? It is delicious and very satisfying. Lasagna is among the delicious pasta dishes, and when you make a vegan version of it, it will become even more tasteful. If you love lasagna, then this vegan lasagna will make you fall in love with it.
What is a lasagna?
Lasagna is among the oldest pasta dishes. It is made from a flat sheet of pasta, stacked upon each other with filling inside. The dish originated somewhere in the 14th century in Maples, Italy. Traditionally it is made from meat cooked in a rich tomato sauce and a white sauce or béchamel sauce.
Although lasagna is a non-vegan dish but who says you can’t make it vegan? This recipe uses vegan ingredients to make a delicious and healthy lasagna.
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- Lasagna noodles: the main ingredient of this vegan lasagna dish is the lasagna noodles. These are readily available from any grocery store. Lasagna noodles are pasta that is shaped into thin sheets. If you are looking for a gluten-free option. Choose gluten-free lasagna noodles. I have used jovial brown rice lasagna noodles for this recipe. These are made from brown rice flour and are gluten-free. However, you are free to choose any brand you like. Moreover, if you love making pasta sheets at home, go for homemade lasagna sheets.
- Basil leaves: freshly chopped basil leaves are not just aromatic but offer a burst of flavors. Use them as a garnish and enjoy a perfect blend of sweet, savory, and peppery flavor.
For pasta sauce
- Pasta sauce: traditional pasta sauce is made from tomatoes. Using a premade pasta sauce makes your work so much easier. It is not just convenient but comes in several flavors to choose from. I have used garlic and basil pasta sauce for this recipe, but you can choose any flavor you love. Moreover, you are a fan of homemade pasta sauce, feel free to make your version. Simply cook peeled tomatoes with spices and herbs until they reach a thick consistency. Pasta sauce adds richness and a tomato-y flavor and is a base for any lasagna dish.
- Olive oil: a dash of olive oil will cook for vegetables really well. You can choose any vegetable oil for this purpose.
- Onion: choose from red, white or yellow onions. Onions set the base for the sauce and add a sweet and savory flavor to this dish.
- Garlic – adds lots of garlic flavor that makes your pasta sauce pop
- Red bell pepper: red bell peppers have a fruity flavor and a beautiful color. You can go for green or yellow bell peppers are well.
- Zucchini: Zucchini is an amazing vegetable available almost all around the year. It adds richness to this vegan lasagna dish.
- Italian Seasoning -adds extra flavors to the sauce, you can substitute with a combination of dried oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary.
- Salt – add salt to taste
For Cashew Cream
- Cashews: No lasagna is complete without a creamy sauce. For this vegan cream sauce, we need raw cashews. These are the primary ingredient in this sauce. Soak them to soften them up so that you can get a creamy texture.
- Water: You will need water to adjust the thickness of the sauce and to aid in smooth blending. You can adjust its quantity according to your liking.
- Nutritional yeast flakes: This magical vegan ingredient brings in an umami flavor to the dish. It has an almost cheesy flavor which works really well for the cashew cream layer.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds freshness and tanginess to the sauce. If you don’t have lemon, use lime juice.
- Onion powder: Add a bit of onion powder for a savory flavor.
- Garlic clove: Adding garlic to the sauce will give it a depth of flavor. If you don’t want to use fresh garlic, use garlic powder. It will have the same flavor but not as intense.
- Vegan cheese: Vegan cheese or non-dairy cheese is easy to get. You can buy it from any grocery store. Be sure to look at the vegan aisle.
- Salt: A little bit of salt is enough to balance the flavors.
For Tofu Ricotta
- Tofu: The main ingredient to make vegan ricotta is tofu. It is made from condensed soy. Tofu comes in different consistencies depending upon their texture and water content. However, for this recipe, I am using extra-firm tofu. Make sure you press it to get rid of all the water in it. Plus, you will have to crumble to give it a ricotta-like texture.
- Italian seasoning: It is a blend of Italian dried herbs that are both aromatic and flavorsome.
- Cashew cream: You will need a bit of cashew cream to give the ricotta some creaminess.
- Spinach: Freshly chopped spinach will not just add color to this ricotta but will add an amazing flavor. Once the lasagna is cooked, you will really enjoy the flavor of this leafy green.
How to make vegan lasagna?
Making vegan lasagna requires preparing for several components, so you will have to work in steps and get the components going. Here is how you can make this delicious dish:
For the Pasta Sauce:
Step 1: The first thing you have to prepare for this dish is the pasta sauce. For this, start by heating oil. Once the oil is hot, add chopped onions, garlic, and sauté for a minute or two.
Step 2: Add chopped red bell pepper and zucchini and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the vegetable is tender.
Step 3: Now add the premade pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, salt to taste and mix well. When the sauce starts to simmer and everything seems to be unified, take the pan off the heat and set it aside.
For Cashew Cream
Step 4: In a high-speed blender jug or a food processor, add soaked raw cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic, salt, and water. Blend at high speed until everything is well combined. If the mixture seems very thick, add more water until it is creamy. Add water in a small amount, so the mixture doesn’t get runny or too thin. Once done, set it aside.
For Tofu Ricotta:
Step 5: Prepare the extra-firm tofu by draining excess water from it. For that, press it underweight for about 20 minutes. Once done, crumble it with either your hands or with the help of a fork.
Step 6: Add chopped fresh spinach leaves and Italian seasoning. Mix well and add about ½ cup of cashew cream to it. Mix well and set aside.
Step 7: The final step is to assemble the lasagna. So, get all the components in line and start by scooping a small amount of pasta sauce and spreading it at the bottom of the casserole dish.
Step 8: Place uncooked lasagna noodle sheets at the bottom of the casserole dish. Make sure you leave some space so that the noodles can expand.
Step 9: Top the noodles with tofu ricotta mixture. Spread it evenly. Add pasta sauce and spread it evenly as well. Next, spread cashew cream. Now place lasagna sheets and layer with tofu ricotta, pasta sauce, and cashew cream. Cover the top of the casserole dish with aluminum foil.
Step 10: Place the casserole dish in a preheated oven at 375-degree f for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the lasagna noodles are cooked, and the top gets a color. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.
Here is how you can change a few ingredients to give this dish a new flare:
- Vegetables: There are so many different and amazing vegetables out there. Although I have used a few of my favorite vegetables, you are free to enjoy whatever vegetables you like. Roasted butternut squash, bell peppers, shredded carrots, etc., will also taste great.
- Humus: If you don’t want to use cashew cream, you can also use hummus. It will not just add a Middle Eastern flair to the dish but will add richness and creaminess to it as well. Try red bell pepper hummus as well, and I am sure you will enjoy it too.
- Silken tofu cream: If you want a nut-free lasagna, you can use silken tofu instead of cashews as well. You will get a creamy and rich cream that is perfectly vegan.
- Vegan Sausage: add vegan sausage to the sauce for a boost of flavor.
- Beans: Try adding cooked red or white beans to the lasagna. It will make this dish very filling.
- Pasta-free: If you are looking for an all-vegetable, out-of-the-box lasagna dish, skip the pasta sheets and use zucchini and eggplant slices instead. It will be a very enjoyable experience.
Can you make vegan lasagna ahead of time?
Absolutely! The reason I love this vegan lasagna dish so much is that you can prepare it in advance and refrigerate or even freeze it. You can assemble the dish and refrigerate it for up to a day. Moreover, cover it with aluminum foil and freeze this vegan lasagna. It will last for up to a month. This way, you don’t have to worry about spending time in preparation. It will save your time, and effort and you can use the time for other chores.
Serve Vegan Lasagne With
- Gluten-Free Garlic Knots
- Vegan Garlic Bread
- Zuppa Toscana Soup
- Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables
- Vegan Tiramisu
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- Energy: 458 kcal / 1914 kJ
- Fat: 18 g
- Protein: 18 g
- Carbs: 57 g
- Preparation: 30 min
- Cooking: 55 min
- Ready in: 1 h 35 min
- For: 10 servings
- 1 pound lasagna noodles, uncooked (I used Jovial Brown Rice Lasagna Noodles)
- 2 26 ounce jar pasta sauce, (garlic basil)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Salt to taste
- 1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and mashed and set aside in a large bowl
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup cashew cream, recipe below
- 1 pound spinach, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
To Prepare Pasta Sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet over medium heat oil, add onion, garlic, red bell pepper, zucchini, and cook until tender. Add pasta sauce, Italian seasoning stir, salt to taste and set aside.
To Prepare Tofu Ricotta
- Mash tofu with your hand or a fork and stir in spinach, Italian seasonings and set aside.
- using a food processor or blender, process cashew, water, lemon juice, yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, salt until creamy.
- Mix 1 cup of cashew cream with mashed tofu and set aside
To Assemble Lasagna
- Place a thin layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Cover sauce with uncooked noodles about 4 leaving space for noodles to expand. then sauce.
- Cover noodles with tofu ricotta mixture, topped with some pasta sauce followed by cashew cream. Next cover with noodles, then tofu ricotta mixture, pasta sauce, and remaining cashew cream.
- Cover the casserole pan with a sheet of parchment paper, topped by a sheet of foil paper. and bake for 45 minutes or until the noodles of cooked.
- Remove the cover from the casserole pan, top with vegan shredded cheese, and bake for about 5 more minutes or until cheese has melted.
- Remove from oven and allow lasagna to cool for 15 minutes, cut into squares and serve garnished with basil leaves.