Vegan Lasagna?

Are you a lasagna person? I ate my fair share of lasagna growing up. The traditional type with lots of rich creamy ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. Later on I was perfectly content with a lower fat recipe using cottage cheese from an early favorite cookbook, Quick & Healthy Recipes. And then I saw this recipe for The Best Vegan Lasagna. I was doubtful because it had to mean no cheese, the most important ingredient! There are now recipes out there for delicious vegan cheese, but they’re time-consuming. Yet this recipe by popular dietitian and restauranteur Alexis Joseph looked really easy to make and the cheese replacement ingredients were intriguing: tofu, garlic hummus and nutritional yeast.

Well it turns out that this is not just likely the best vegan lasagna out there, but one of the best lasagna recipes, period! Here were my modifications:

  • Used no-cook lasagna noodles to speed up prep time. However this does add to total baking time.
  • Left out some of the vegetables and just used spinach and mushrooms. You can actually put in whatever chopped veggies you like and it will taste fine, because the tofu “ricotta” carries the flavor.
  • Added Morningstar Farm soy crumbles to boost the protein and heartiness.
  • Left out the salt and garlic powder since the hummus was garlicky and salty enough for me.

Please visit Alexis’ page to see the full original recipe (and other fantastic healthful recipes), but here’s my quick summary:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Chop mushrooms or other vegetables into bite-sized pieces. You can purchase pre-sliced mushrooms in an 8-10 oz. package. If using frozen spinach, defrost a 10-12 oz. package and drain well. Spray a nonstick pan with oil or coat with a tablespoon of oil, and heat to medium. Add the vegetables and saute for a few minutes to reduce the water content and soften the vegetables.
  3. Take 2 packages of extra firm tofu and drain and press the tofu for about 30 minutes (place in a colander, cover the tops with a paper towel, and place a heavy can or other object on top). Then place the tofu in a large bowl and crumble it with your hands. Add a 10 oz. tub of garlic hummus (or your favorite flavor), 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, and 1 tbsp dried basil. Using a spoon or spatula, mix everything together until it resembles ricotta cheese.
  4. Place about 1 1/2 cups of marinara in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with 4 noodles (3 lengthwise and 1 widthwise to cover the gap at the end). Next add half of the ricotta mixture and half of the vegetable mixture. Add a sprinkle of soy crumbles if desired. Top with a heaping 1 1/2 cups or more of sauce. Repeat with more noodles, tofu mixture, veggies, and crumbles. Then top with one last layer of noodles and another 1 1/2 cups or more of sauce; I went heavy on the sauce because I love sauce! Top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until noodles are softened.
Added soy crumbles over the tofu ricotta

So so so good! This is a great choice for weekly meal prep, as it makes several servings and can be frozen and then reheated in the microwave. Enjoy!

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