I’m excited to share this recipe for a few reasons. For starters, it’s delicious! This lasagna is thick and creamy and has so much great texture. You’ve got the chewy noodles, the creamy tofu “ricotta” filling, the crunchy vegetables and the rich pasta sauce. All of those elements combined make for an amazing, flavorful meal!
The second reason I’m excited about this recipe is that it is, in some ways, a milestone in my plant-based, cooking journey. I made my first vegan lasagna not long after I took on a plant-based diet and it was okay, but not great. I didn’t make enough “cheese” or vegetable filling so the thickness of the lasagna was…well, non existent. Brett and I liked the flavor, but we had to eat two or three pieces to get full! Fast forward about a year and making this lasagna proves that I’ve learned a thing or two, which is exciting! There’s no skimp-age on filling here and I’d proudly serve this to any of my meat and cheese loving friends.
When I first decided to take on a plant based diet I figured I would never eat yogurt, meat or cheese again. And in some ways, at least for as long as I choose to eat a plant-based diet, I won’t. But as I’ve continued experimenting more with how to cook with plants, I’ve discovered that it’s possible to create foods that mimic the taste and texture or certain animal products. For example, Dana’s Vegan Nacho Cheese tastes so similar to the real deal, it’s amazing. And Ella’s Almond and Cashew Yogurt is so rich and creamy, you won’t even miss real yogurt.
…and this Vegan Vegetable Lasagna has a tofu ricotta filling that is so thick, creamy and flavorful, you’ll think it’s full of ricotta, cheesy goodness…but it’s not! Brett was so impressed after just one bite with how much the tofu filling tasted like real, ricotta cheese.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as Brett and I do! I plan to make it for a group of my friends next week, so I’ll share with you what they think after they eat it! Gulp…
- 3 cups pasta sauce (choose your favorite) + more for serving if desired
- 9 lasagna noodles
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 8-10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 blocks firm tofu (28 ounces)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 cup packed fresh basil
- 1 cup packed fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ground pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
- Start by pressing your tofu. To do this, drain the liquid from the packages and remove the tofu blocks and wrap them in paper towels. Then wrap the the blocks again in a hand towel. Place the blocks on a plate and place heavy books on top of the blocks to press the liquid out of the tofu. Let the sit 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your lasagna noodles according to the package directions, 3 noodles at a time. While your noodles are boiling, prepare your vegetables and tofu ricotta filling.
- To prepare the vegetable filling, chop up your vegetables and heat a large skillet over medium heat. Using a little oil or non-stick spray, sauté the onion and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add in the zucchini and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened. Lastly add in the mushrooms and red pepper flakes and cook until the mushrooms have cooked through. Turn off the heat and pour the vegetable into a large bowl to rest.
- Once the tofu has finished pressing, place it along with the rest of the tofu ricotta filling into a food processor. Process until smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- To assemble the lasagna start by spreading 1/2 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of your prepared baking dish. Lay three of the cooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce and spread 1/2 of the tofu ricotta filling evenly across the noodles. Using a slotted spoon, sprinkles 1/2 of the vegetable filling across the tofu filling. Make sure you let as much of the cooking water from the vegetables drain before adding them to the lasagna.
- Repeat the process by adding 1 cup pasta sauce, 3 noodles, the remaining tofu filling and then rest of the vegetable filling. Spread 1 more cup of pasta sauce across the vegetable before finishing with the last 3 noodles and 1/2 cup pasta sauce.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes, or until heated through.
- Let cool slightly before cutting into 12 squares.
- Serve topped with some more pasta sauce and fresh basil.
Tomorrow, I’ll also be linking up with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday! I’m so glad I found this link-up! It’s fun to discover new recipes and meet other’s who, whether vegan or not, are trying to eat one more plant-based meal each week!