Vegan Veggie-Packed Lasagna

The holy grail of hearty vegan Italian cooking: veggie lasagna. (Wo)man, this dish is comforting. I think I was originally intimidate by how many components and labor go into making a good lasagna, but it was honestly no big deal. Plus, there’s nothing like the smell of a fresh marinara sauce cooking in your kitchen. You definitely do not need homemade sauce and cheese to make this a great dish, but it will definitely take your lasagna from good to great. The one component I strongly urge you to make from scratch is the tofu ricotta. This is the simplest part anyway, but it really adds that necessary brightness to the whole meal. Cold weather is here, and colder is on it’s way. This dish is calling for you - so answer it!

Are you making lasagna this season? What kind? Let me know in the comments and tag me on Instagram! I want to see!

authentic vegan lasagna


MARINARA SAUCE

Olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper (optional)
1 bay leaf
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup water
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh basil

  1. Heat 3 tbsps olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 9-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.

  2. Add the dried basil, oregano and red pepper and cook for 2 more minutes.

  3. Add the bay leaf, can of crushed tomatoes, water, tomato sauce and nutritional yeast.

  4. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

  5. Finish with salt and pepper to taste, red wine vinegar and garnish with fresh basil.

TOFU RICOTTA

1 package extra firm tofu
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
10 basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp white miso

  1. Drain the tofu and wrap in a clean cloth. Place the wrapped tofu on a plate, and place something heavy on top (I usually use a cast iron skillet). Allow tofu to press for at least 15 minutes.

  2. Crumble the tofu in your hands until you reach a ricotta-like consistency.

  3. Add the lemon, garlic, salt, pepper and basil. Mix thoroughly.

  4. Finish with olive oil, nutritional yeast and white miso.

LASAGNA

12 dry lasagna noodles
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups fresh spinach
2 zucchini, sliced into thin coins
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried red pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper
5 cups marinara sauce (either homemade or store-bought)
1 recipe vegan mozzarella (my favorite, as always is this one) or 1½ to 2 cups store-bought
1 recipe tofu ricotta
Fresh basil (optional)

  1. Cook the noodles according to the box instructions. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the garlic and allow to cook about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

  3. Add the zucchini and saute for about 5 minutes, or until they start to get tender.

  4. Add the spinach and stir consistently to allow the leaves to wilt. Add the dried basil, oregano and red pepper. Cook until zucchini is tender and spinach is completely wilted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  5. In a 9x13 inch casserole dish, begin to layer the lasagna. First, add a layer of sauce (about 1 cup) to the bottom. Next, start with a layer of noodles. For my dish, I’m able to lay 3 noodles lengthwise and one noodle widthwise at the end (you’ll need to trim that last one). A

  6. dd another cup of sauce on top of the noodles, a thin layer of the spinach and zucchini, followed by the tofu ricotta. Start with the noodles again, and continue with the same order.

  7. Once you’ve done the final layer of noodles, top a last layer of sauce. Spread the (vegan) mozzarella evenly across the top, covering as much as the sauce as you can.

  8. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.

  9. Once done, remove from the oven, allow for the dish to cool about 10 minutes before slicing into. Top with fresh basil.

  10. Enjoy!



Lauren Rutkowski