I promise this title is not an exaggeration. This is the best vegan lasagna. Ever. I don’t know about you, but I find something so comforting about a big pan of lasagna. It’s one of those dishes that I always make thinking I’ll eat it for a week afterwards, but it disappears faster than I planned, leaving me at a loss for what to pack to work after a day or so. We went through this pan so quickly I knew the latest tweaks to the recipe were worth blogging about. I also must admit I’ve served it on multiple occasions to unsuspecting non-vegans and they have all raved about it. (one even proposed to his girlfriend the morning after we had them over for lasagna dinner – maybe there was something extra special in that batch!) So I really think I’m warranted here when I say it’s the “ultimate” vegan lasagna.
The original recipe I was working off of came from one of the very first vegan cookbooks I bought when making the big switch. Chloe’s Kitchen from Chloe Coscarelli is full of relatively easy recipes, tons of great photos, and recipes for how to veganize your favorite non-vegan food. Her lasagna quickly became one of my favorites. I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly to better suit our tastes and figured it was just too good not to share!
- What you’ll need:
- 1 package of firm tofu, drained
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 cups fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 2 small to medium zucchinis, sliced
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 26 ounce jar of low-sodium marinara sauce
- 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles (make sure there’s no egg! I’ve been able to find whole wheat as well as rice noodles without eggs. Bonus with the rice noodles is then it’s gluten-free as well)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup Daiya shredded mozzarella-style
First things first, go ahead and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you have a large food processor you’ll be all set. I (luckily!) received a brand new Cuisinart 3 cup food processor for Christmas – between that and my kitchen ninja I was all set! I like to really begin by getting all my ingredients together, chopping the onion, and measuring out the basil and draining the tofu. Next, saute the chopped onion in the tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. Set aside.
Place the tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, miso paste, basil, and garlic into the food processor and pulse until the mixture begins to resemble ricotta cheese (slightly smooth but still with some texture). Add a small amount of salt to taste.
In a large bowl, add the marinara sauce, onion, and almond milk together. (You could also put the onion in with the “ricotta” but I find I like it in the sauce better – it gives it a thicker texture and more flavor). Give it a taste to see if you’d like to add salt and/or pepper. I didn’t – but to each his own.
And then you’re ready to assemble! Grease the bottom of a large (I think mine is 9×13) pan and add a little bit of sauce to the bottom. Lay four noodles down on top of the sauce and spread half of the “ricotta” mixture on top of the noodles. Layer zucchini, mushrooms and then spinach on top.
Cover with another layer of noodles and top with sauce. Add four more noodles and more sauce. On top of the sauce add the rest of the ricotta, mushrooms, zucchini and spinach. Then top with a final layer of noodles and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the Daiya on top and cover with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Let it cool a little before you dig in (if you can wait that long – it was still steaming while I was photo-shooting). And enjoy!
The “ricotta” is really great, the texture is spot on to real cheese – and the best part is this is so chock full of veggies I hardly feel guilty going back for seconds (or even thirds!) It’s the perfect cold weather dining as well – comforting and filling. I’m already getting hungry again…