Lasagna may not have been intended to be a vegan dish, but it sure makes a tasty one!
This healthy rendition of everyone’s favorite Italian dish is packed full of nutrition, vegetables, and flavor. Paired with your favorite vegan lasagna noodles, there is nothing quite like this classic dish.
Opting for fresh pasta cuts down on cooking time and makes prep much faster since you won’t have to pre-cook the noodles before assembling your masterpiece.
This is vegan lasagna with no tofu, making it an especially healthy choice. Packed with tomatoes, garlic, and basil, this recipe would make any Italian happy and healthier.
How Many Layers Should a Lasagna Have?
How many layers a lasagna should have really depends on what you consider a layer. If you are referring to each ingredient as a layer, then there are many. Sauce upon noodles upon cheese perfection.
If you count the sauce, noodles, and cheese as one layer together, then there are usually 2-3 layers to a lasagna, though if you use a high wall pan, like a loaf pan, you could do considerably more. This vegan lasagna uses cashews and nutritional yeast in place of the traditional cheese for the cheese layer to skip that troublesome dairy without missing out on taste.
A sauce of tomatoes, carrots, garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes rounds out the flavors and gives a nice spice to the dish.
Do You Have to Precook Lasagna Noodles?
If you’re not using fresh pasta, most recipes call for precooking your lasagna noodles, otherwise known as lasagna sheets. It cuts down on baking time and ensures the noodles are evenly cooked throughout the dish.
Depending on your recipe, it is possible to use uncooked lasagna noodles in a lasagna. You will need to have more liquid in the recipe to ensure there is enough for the noodles to properly cook, but you will want to make sure that there is not too much so as to make the dish soupy. No one likes diluted lasagna.
If you are making a particularly tall lasagna, it may be more difficult to get away without precooking the noodles as it is more difficult for the water in the recipe to reach to higher layers while the lower layers may be overdone and mushy.
Alterations and Substitutions
For a gluten free dish, ensure your vegan lasagna noodles are also gluten free.
Rice noodles often make a good choice with little loss of flavor or texture, though they do tend to get mushy if overcooked.
If you want to opt out of the noodles all together and boost your veggies, you can make this vegan lasagna with eggplant or zucchini in place of the noodles.
Make thin slices the length of the fruit and layer as you would your noodles. You may need to tweak baking time if you go this route, but it is worth the effort.
An Easy Vegan Lasagna Recipe
- 15 oz vegan-friendly lasagna noodles
- 2 cups frozen spinach defrosted
- 3 cups Portobello mushrooms cut into slices
- 1 tbsp xtra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- For the sauce
- 2 cups diced tomatoes, canned with juices
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp saly
- For the Cashew Cream
- 1 cup cashews soaked
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to175C/346F.
- Heat the olive oil into a cast iron skillet and add the mushroom slices.
- Cook over medium heat,stirring frequently, until all the liquids evaporated. Transfer in a bowl and set aside.
- Add the diced carrot and garlic into the skillet, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat,stirring frequently.
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, mix to combine and bring to boil.
- Turn the heat to low, lid the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the cashew cream ingredients into the blender and process to obtain a smooth, creamy liquid. Add more almond milk to obtain the desired consistency.
- Spread 3 tbsp of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking pan (I used a 9x13 one).
- Arrange a layer of lasagna sheets, top them with a layer of spinach and mushroom slices, drizzle tomato sauce and cashew cream and top with another layer of lasagna pasta.
- Continue until all ingredients are layered, and top everything with a layer of lasagna sheet.
- Drizzle cashew sauce on top, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 40 minutes, until the pasta is cooked.
- Cut into squares and serve.