Veggie lasagna

Lasagna is one of those foods I sort of ruled out as a possibility as a vegan/gf eater.  The lasagna my mom used to make when we were little was laden with meat, mozzarella and ricotta.  When Hannah and I became vegetarian, she experimented with vegetarian lasagnas that were so good that a meat eater didn’t miss the meat.  I took it one step further and removed the cheese!  This lasagna definitely has a lot of steps, but if you’re craving something that’s a little indulgent it’s so worth it.  Plus I prepared things ahead of time (like the tofu and marinara) and just pulled them out of the fridge to assemble.  I broke the recipe down into four parts:


Part I– Juli’s homemade marinara

My mom has the best marinara sauce ever.  I’ve been known to eat it plain with a spoon.  It’s super easy and can be used with other recipes too (I’ve used it with spaghetti squash and in risotto).  You need:

1 tbsp olive oil

3 large garlic cloves

1 medium sweet onion

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup white wine

1 can San Marzano tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

2 tbsp basil

2 tbsp oregano

Salt + pepper to taste

1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil for 7 minutes or so, until the onions are translucent and fragrant

2. Stir in the tomato paste and wine– let the wine cook off for a couple minutes

3. Add the San Marzano tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and oregano

4. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes


Part II– my favorite tofu ricotta

This is the third time I’ve made vegan lasagna, so I think I’ve finally pegged down the perfect ricotta cheese.  This “ricotta” is so so good and creamy.  I would almost double the recipe next time just to make the ricotta layers a little thicker in the lasagna.  You need:

1 eggplant

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup diced onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 block firm tofu

1 1/2 cups chopped spinach

1/2 cup soaked cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt

1.Preheat the oven to 400

2. Cut the eggplant in half long-ways.  Cut a checkered pattern in each eggplant half without cutting through the skin

3. Sprinkle eggplant half generously with salt and let sit face-up for 20 minutes.  Water droplets will form, squeegee all the water out of the eggplant over the sink

4. Brush the eggplant with olive oil, salt and place face-down on a baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes

5. Saute olive oil, onion and garlic for 7 minutes or so

6. Mash the tofu with a fork or crumble it with your hands and add it to the garlic and onion mixture

7. Cook for 10 minutes or so, until it’s soft and warm

8. Add the chopped spinach, continue to cook until the mixture is wilted, then take it off the heat

9. At this point, the eggplant should be finished.  After it’s cooled, scoop out the eggplant and throw away the skins.

9. Take approximately 2/3 of the tofu mixture and put it into the food processor.  Add the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, roasted eggplant and salt.  Process until smooth

10. Stir together your smooth ricotta mixture with the remaining tofu stir fry, set aside


Part III– the veggies

This is basically stir-frying some veggies to add into the lasagna layers.  You can use whatever veggies you like, but I used:

2 garlic cloves

1 medium sweet onion

1 cup sliced carrots

2 bell peppers, diced

2 yellow squash, sliced + halved

2 zucchinis, sliced + halved

Thyme, oregano, basil + salt

I think mushrooms would also be really good if you want to add those!

1. Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil for a 5 minutes.  Add the carrots, cook for another 5 minutes

2. Add the rest of the veggies and sprinkle generously with herbs and salt, cook 7-10 minutes

3. Take off the heat, set aside


Part IV– assembly

Preheat your oven to 400

Now you should have your tofu ricotta, marinara and veggies ready! The only other ingredients you need are no-boil lasagna noodles and shredded vegan mozzarella.  I layered the ingredients in a 13×9 pan like this: marinara-veggies-noodles-tofu ricotta-marinara-veggies-noodles etc.  Sprinkle the top generously with vegan mozzarella.  Cover and bake for 40 minutes, then remove cover and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  Serve hot!





One thought on “Veggie lasagna

  1. Yum! I haven’t had homemade lasagna in so long! I definitely thought I wouldn’t have it again after going vegan. This proves me wrong, though!

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