Vegan Lasagne

 

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Vegan Lasagne for Christmas!! This is the 2020 vote around our table.

We all love lasagne in this house. It's creamy and chunky, each layer offers a distinct flavor profile, it's a super satisfying comfort food, and each serving gives you nearly half of the nutrients you require for a day.  It can take a bit of time to prepare, but it offers 16 generous portions and freezes well. Serve with a side salad and you can trust you're eating an incredibly healthy meal. 

We've tested this lasagne out on our Italian and con carné friends and they all give it two thumbs up. In fact, they can't even tell there isn't dairy cheese in it. There is so much going on with the roasted vegetables, capers, kalamata olives, and soy protein that meat is not even missed. 

This vegan lasagne is quite unlike the common red sauce and white cheese versions. It's bursting with texture, flavor, and incredible nutrition. 

We've spent this year experimenting with different versions of our recipe. Finally, we realized that every lasagne will be different and we needed to publish a recipe to serve as a starting point for you. 

Lasagne, like vegetable soup, is incredibly flexible. You can add the vegetables you like, make the red sauce you like, flavor the vegan ricotta your favorite way, make it as creamy or chunky as you want, change the noodles to zucchini, or another kind of pasta (please don't use rice noodles. They break down too much). 

You can always save time by using jars of red sauce rather than making your own, and using raw vegetables that you chop a little more finely instead of roasting them. 

There are three separate components you'll make for this recipe and there are a lot of ingredients. Just relax. We guide you through the recipe in an efficient way. This recipe is an investment of time and effort, but you get A LOT of delicious meals out of it. It freezes well too! Our lasagne-loving family of 4 easily gets 3 solid meals from this one recipe. 

If you love Italian dinners, you might also like to make:

  

      

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Jump to the Vegan Lasagne Grocery List

Jump to the Vegan Lasagne Nutritional Analysis


Vegan Lasagne Recipe


Prep

  • 1.5 hours prep, 40 minutes baking
  • Serves 16 generously
  • Suggested equipment: a deep 9”x13” baking dish or another casserole dish, large pot for cooking the sauce, bowls to hold vegetables and vegan cheese, optional baking sheet for roasting vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes of lasagne noodles, uncooked. You will have some leftover.

Roasted Mixed Vegetables

  • 1 bell pepper, chopped to less than 1 cm or ½ inch
  • 3-4 large carrots, diced to ½ cm or 1/4 inch
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped to 1 cm or ½ inch
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, chopped to 1 cm or ½ inch
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Bolognese Sauce

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms *see Chef's note if using dried mushrooms
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 package Yves Ground Round Soy Protein or 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP), plus an additional cup of water
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 5 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 30 oz diced or crushed tomatoes (fresh or canned with liquid)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil or ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 tsp cane sugar or 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • ½ -1 cup water (or soaking liquid from reconstituted mushrooms)

Vegan Tofu Ricotta

  • 6 oz Karam’s Garlic Sauce (optional, see Chef’s note)
  • 1 box of soft Mori Nu or another tofu brand
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup vegan pesto (optional, see Chef’s note)
  • 1 box firm or extra firm tofu

Optional

  • 16 oz shredded vegan mozzarella (we use Daiya brand)
  • Vegan parmesan cheese
  • optional 1 cup of chopped spinach or swiss chard

Instructions

There are 5 ingredient categories that are layered to make the lasagna:

  1. Roasted vegetables
  2. Bolognese or other red sauce
  3. Vegan “ricotta”
  4. Lasagna noodles
  5. Optional vegan mozzarella and parmesan cheeses

We like to be efficient with our cooking, so we stagger the preparation of the vegetables, Bolognese, and ricotta mixtures. You’ll start cooking the vegetables first. While they cook you’ll make the Bolognese Sauce. While this simmers you’ll make the ricotta mixture. Ideally, they will all be ready for assembly near the same time. We do NOT boil our noodles. They cook just fine in the lasagne.

Roasted Vegetables

Pre-heat oven to 425F.

We season and roast our vegetables to impart a deeper flavor to them. Without this step, they don’t stand as a unique flavor layer in the finished lasagne.

  1. Decide on the vegetables you want to use in this recipe. We listed the ones we like for their color, flavor, and texture. Winter squash is a great addition too.
  2. Dice all vegetables into small pieces. If the vegetables are too big, it will be difficult to lay the noodles and not have air gaps that prevent the noodles from cooking properly, and you’ll miss out on having a bit of everything in each bite.
  3. While the chopping board is out, dice the onions, mushrooms, and garlic for the Bolognese sauce and the Kalamata olives for the ricotta mixture. Then you’ll be finished with your vegetable prep and free to clean up your cutting board area. Our kitchen is small so our chopping area needs to be clean so we can prepare the area for lasagne assembly.
  4. Place vegetables into your chosen baking dish. For efficiency, we use the same baking dish that our final lasagna will be baked in. Lay your vegetables in a single layer so they will roast and lightly brown rather than in a pile that will steam and result in mushy veggies.
  5. Add the oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix until all vegetables are coated. Bake for 30-45 minutes, using a spatula to turn the vegetables two or three times. Bake until they’re lightly browned, but still firm when tested with a fork. This will give you more texture in the final lasagna.
  6. Remove from heat and cool. Place in a large bowl before assembling the lasagne.

   

While the vegetables are roasting, make your Bolognese Sauce and Vegan Tofu Ricotta filling. You can use any red sauce for this layer, including a couple of jars of high-quality sauce from the store. If you go this route, choose a sauce that doesn’t have any added sugar.

Bolognese Sauce

  1. Sauté onion, mushrooms, garlic, and Yves Ground Round or TVP in a large pot over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add red wine and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste.
  4. Add tomatoes, nutritional yeast, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or salt, basil, and oregano. Simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally as your sauce cooks and the flavors blend, 10+ minutes.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the pasta of your choice.

Chef's Notes 

Traditional Italian Bolognese sauce is made with meat. We like to use the Yves brand Ground Round as our protein source in our Vegan Bolognese Pasta Sauce and we recognize that not everyone will find this in your local store. Bob’s Red Mill makes a dried Textured Vegetable Protein that can be reconstituted and gives a similar texture and protein profile to your Bolognese. Although we haven’t tried it, you could probably use extra firm tofu too. You don’t need to add any of these to your sauce. We use them to increase the protein content. Ultimately, we suggest you use what you like.

The same goes for the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. We use it as a salt substitute because it provides more of that umami flavor depth. You could also use miso paste, Yondu’s Umami Sauce, or just salt.

If you use dried mushrooms, reconstitute them by covering them with boiling water and placing a heavy object on them to keep them submerged. Soak for 10+ minutes. Save the soaking liquid and add it to the sauce.

Sugar: Depending on the acidity and sweetness of the tomatoes you use, you may want to add a bit of sugar to your sauce. Just a tiny bit of sugar (1/2- 1 teaspoon) can soften the harsh edge of canned tomatoes and open the flavor profile of your vegan Bolognese.

You may need to add up to 1 cup of liquid to your Bolognese sauce, depending on how long you let it simmer. It should be a similar consistency to a jar of pasta sauce; thick but drips off your spoon. The liquid from the Bolognese sauce cooks the noodles.

      

Vegan Tofu Ricotta

  1. This part is easy! Mix all ingredients except the firm tofu together in a bowl. We like ours to be a bit chunky, so we use a handheld potato masher (or our hands!) to mix them.
  2. Open and drain the firm tofu. Break it up with your hands into caper-sized bits as you drop it into the bowl of ricotta mixture. Mix gently.

Chef's Notes

We appreciate Karam’s Garlic Sauce to season our vegan tofu ricotta, but it’s not necessary. You can add an additional box of silken tofu, a teaspoon of chopped garlic, and two teaspoons of lemon juice as a replacement, or not. If you don’t use Karam’s Garlic sauce, you will need an additional cup+ of something in your vegan ricotta mixture. Soft or silken will do the trick.

If you don’t keep Your Vegan Family’s BEST Pesto on hand, you can use another pesto or add 2 Tbsp of fresh basil, or 1 Tbsp of dried basil to your vegan ricotta mixture.

Putting your Vegan Lasagne Together

Preheat oven to 400F.

  1. Create your workspace. You will have 3 bowls of filling with serving spoons/ladles (4 if you are using vegan mozzarella shreds), your uncooked noodles, and your lasagna casserole dish. You’ll make multiple layers of each item as you build your lasagne from the bottom up. We organize our assembly area with the lasagne baking dish in the center and all the other ingredients fanned out around it like a rainbow.
  2. Lay a ½” or 1 cm thick layer of Bolognese sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish.
  3. Lay a layer of lasagne noodles over the Bolognese sauce. Try to make it a solid layer. We break the corners off the lasagne noodles so they fit our pan better. This is not an exact science.
  4. Lay another layer of Bolognese sauce.
  5. Add a layer of roasted vegetables.
  6. Add a layer of vegan tofu ricotta.
  7. Add a single layer of vegan mozzarella shreds in the middle, if you’re using them.
  8. Sprinkle a layer of chopped spinach/swiss chard, if you're using them.
  9. Repeat layers until all your ingredients are used up or your baking dish is full. End with a layer of noodles that has a thin layer of Bolognese sauce on top. Add vegan mozzarella and parmesan cheeses as the final toppings if you’re using them.
  10. Cover (we use foil) and bake for 30 minutes in the center of your oven.
  11. Remove the covering and cook for 15 minutes more to brown the top and crisp some edges of the lasagne noodles. Your lasagna should be bubbling around the edges. If it’s not, continue to bake it until it does.
  12. Remove from heat and let it sit 10 minutes before serving. 

      


We hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you have an article or recipe requests, let us know on our Facebook page: Your Vegan FamilyWhile you're there, please like our page and share our posts!

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Written by Your Vegan Family 

Stacy and Markus live a thriving vegan lifestyle and write articles and offer courses to inspire you about plant-based cooking and health, moderate a private online Thriving Vegan Family Community where you can interact directly with them, other families, and plant-based enthusiasts about a vegan lifestyle, nutrition, and raising vegan kids. They earned degrees in molecular biology and acupuncture, consulted over decades for healthcare companies and individuals, created businesses in Asian medicine, eco-tourism, cultural immersion, and taught yoga in myriad venues. They also offer individual health and wellness coaching to individuals who are motivated to improve the quality of their lives. 

We’ve learned a lot from eating a plant-based diet for 25 years and are eager to share more with you. Learn more on our About Us page.


Vegan Lasagne Recipe Grocery List: 

  • bell pepper
  • carrots
  • broccoli florets
  • cauliflower florets
  • onion
  • fresh or dried mushrooms
  • garlic
  • dried or fresh basil
  • dried or fresh oregano
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Yves Ground Round Soy Protein or textured vegetable protein
  • red wine
  • tomato paste
  • diced or crushed tomatoes
  • nutritional yeast
  • Bragg's Liquid Aminos
  • cane sugar or coconut sugar (optional)
  • Karam's Garlic Sauce
  • soft Mori Nu or another tofu brand
  • firm or extra firm tofu
  • capers
  • Kalamata Olives
  • vegan pesto (optional)
  • shredded vegan mozzarella (optional)
  • vegan parmesan cheese (optional)

Vegan Lasagne Recipe Nutritional Analysis

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutritional calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. When exact ingredients are not available in this database, the closest substitution is made. 

Percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet for an adult. 

 

 

 

(nutritional label, energy pie chart, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids)

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