By Jennifer Provenza at Good Food From The Heart
Whole food plant based, oil free, sugar free, gluten free
This plant based vegan lasagna is dairy free yet rich, melty, and flavorful. With no added oil, it is nutritious and makes a perfect dinner for special occasions or any time.
Bring on the (Vegan) Lasagna, Baby!
Oh, lasagna. I could sing your praises forever. Lasagna is one of my all time favorite meals. Growing up in an Italian family it was always our go to special occasion dinner. For Italians, Christmas is not for turkey. It is for lasagna. Of course, traditional lasagna is not your most healthy dish. This vegan lasagne, however, is perfect for any time. You don’t have to wait until Christmas, because it is totally healthy and nutritious. With brown rice noodles, tofu ricotta, and cashew mozzarella, this plant based lasagna is a protein packed dinner with healthy fats and no oils. Perfect!
The weather here in California is perfect right now. It’s in the 70’s-80’s, warm with a little breeze, and the flowers are in full bloom. Still, I like to take advantage of those last cool evenings for a little comfort food, before moving on to summer favorites. But don’t worry, I’ve got you with tons of lighter summer fare in the days ahead.
In other news, we are planning to get a puppy! Tomorrow I am going to meet a sweet little chorkie (half chihuaha, half yorkie). She is a rescue and cute as can be! I am really hoping the adoption works out and I get to come home with her.
Brown Rice Lasagna Noodles: To keep this recipe gluten free, be sure to use brown rice lasagna noodles. Otherwise, whole wheat noodles are just as healthy. Flavor-wise, however, I find that brown rice pasta tastes a little more similar to regular pasta and I enjoy using it more for that reason. I use Jovial brand, but I have to order it online because the stores near me don’t carry it. I would also make sure that whatever noodle you choose has a wavy edge. That helps it not stick together when you boil it. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of issues with the straight edged noodles sticking together, so now I avoid those varieties.
Best Cashew Mozzarella: For this recipe, you will want to use a recipe of my Best Cashew Mozzarella. My recipe is oil free and whole food plant based, so it will give you the best and healthiest results, but you could also use a different dairy free cheese if you prefer.
Creamy, Tangy, Tofu Basil Ricotta Cheese: You will also want to use my Creamy, Tangy Tofu Basil Ricotta Cheese recipe. Not only is it totally delicious, it’s also (of course) whole food plant based and oil free. If necessary, you could substitute another dairy free cheese. This is something you could easily make up to a day before and refrigerate.
The Best Oil Free Homemade Tomato Sauce: You will want to make a batch of my Best Oil Free Homemade Tomato Sauce for this recipe. I would not use a jarred sauce as the homemade sauce is what really gives this lasagna its incredible homemade flavor. My sauce is also oil and sugar free and much healthier than store bought sauces. You can definitely feel free to make the sauce ahead of time. It also freezes beautifully, so you can make a large batch and use it for several recipes.
So Good It’s Nuts Parmesan Topping: Finally, you’ll want to make a recipe of my So Good It’s Nuts Parmesan Topping. (Or use another dairy free cheese if you prefer). My recipe is free of oil and really flavorful. You can make this ahead and refrigerate or freeze as well.
How To Make This Vegan Lasagna
So, this lasagna comes together super easily. I’ll be real with you, though. It does take some prep work to prepare all the cheeses. This would be a good weekend or holiday meal because it is a bit time consuming. If you do some of the work in advance, though, it can be an easy weeknight dinner too.
A good tip is to make a big batch of homemade tomato sauce and freeze for later use. At the very least, you can certainly make the sauce a day or two before and refrigerate it until you are ready to make the lasagna. The tofu ricotta can easily be made the day before and refrigerated as well. I would not recommend freezing it, however, as that may alter the texture too much.
When you are ready to make the lasagna, bring a large pot of water to boil. Optionally, you can salt the water. Make sure to use a really large pot or the lasagna noodles may stick together. For this vegan lasagne, I would not recommend using no cook noodles. Well, you can use them, but cook them first! Assembling a lasagna with uncooked noodles has never worked out well for me. It always seems to come out a little tough or dry or overcooked. Therefore, I’d go old school with it and just boil the noodles. Follow the directions on the box.
While the water is heating and the noodles are cooking, I like to make the Best Cashew Mozzarella Next, check the noodles for tenderness at the appropriate time. Drain the noodles and lay them out on a clean dish towel so they don’t get all stuck together.
Now, you are ready to assemble the lasagna. If necessary, use a few spritzes of non stick spray on the bottom of your lasagna pan. Follow with a coat of tomato sauce. Then, place a layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom of the lasagna pan. Add another layer of sauce and then place dollops of the tofu ricotta spaced about an inch apart all over the surface of the noodles. Add a good drizzle of the cashew mozzarella over the surface of the noodles and top with another layer of noodles. Continue in this pattern until you are out of noodles. Depending on the size of the pan and how many noodles you boiled, you should have between 3-6 layers. For the top layer, add a heavy sprinkling of the nut parmesan all over the top of the lasagna.
This plant based lasagna will wow your guests. Even people who are used to eating lasagna made with regular cheese will love this. It is so rich, creamy, and substantial. The ultimate comfort food.
Best Ever Vegan Lasagna
- lasagna pan
- Large pot
- 1 recipe tomato sauce
- 1 recipe cashew mozzarella
- 1 recipe tofu basil ricotta
- 1 recipe so good it's nuts parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 boxes brown rice or whole wheat lasagna noodles
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the directions on the box. Drain and lay out on a clean kitchen towel. (I do not recommend using no boil noodles, as the end result is usually not tender enough, in my opinion). While the noodles are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour a drizzle of tomato sauce into the lasagna pan so that it covers the surface of the pan. Next. lay down a layer of lasagna noodles. Pour more sauce over the noodles, covering the surface. Put a small spoonful of tofu basil ricotta every inch or two over the surface of the noodles, using 1/3 of the cheese. Drizzle/spread some cashew mozzarella over the surface of the noodles as well, trying to spread it around evenly and using about 1/3 of the cheese.
- Layer with more noodles and add more sauce as well as another 1/3 of each type of cheese. Continue with a third layer. (If you have more noodles and cheese or are using a smaller pan, you might do up to six layers). On the top layer, finish with a heavy sprinkle of So Good It's Nuts Parmesan Cheese.
- Bake for about a half hour until the lasagna is bubbly and starting to turn golden on top.
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