Multiple layers of absolute heaven! This Italian classic turned Vegan is the best dish that hits every.single.spot. SO yum!! PLUS it's oil free AND gluten free. Go ahead and indulge.
I've ALWAYS loved Italian food, since I was a kid actually, it was/is one of my favorite cuisines. What.I love most is how easy it is to put together and how EASILY it can be Veganized.
When we think of Lasagna, we instantly think - lots of cheese and pasta, which is pretty fattening and unhealthy. But if made right (and healthy) it's actually such a yummy dish and great for large gatherings. It's layered with pasta, I used GF lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese made from cashews, and a hearty bolognese sauce.
What's great about the bolognese sauce is that it can be used with so many different dishes. I always end up making more than I need so it makes a great spaghetti sauce for the next day or two.
The final top layer is shredded vegan cheese, I used Daiya Mozzarella and my only complaint with it is that it doesn't melt as well as I'd like. However, there are so many varieties of vegan cheese, so you can use any of your liking :)
For the ricotta cheese, you'll have to soak the cashews. You can either soak them overnight OR you can soak them in boiling hot water for about 15 minutes and then drain and rinse them in cold water prior to blending.
for the bolognese sauce I use soya chunks as my meat substitute - you can easily use any meat substitute of your choice and just add cooked veggies instead.
Cooked Lasagna Noodles ** Only cook them halfway
Vegan Ricotta Cheese ** recipe below
Vegan Bolognese Sauce ** recipe below
Daiya Mozzarella cheese
For the Ricotta Cheese -
2 cups soaked cashews ** see note about how to soak
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
For Bolognese Sauce -
2 cups dry soya chunks (you can find these at your local Asian/Indian markets, Trader Joes, or Whole Foods)
20 oz (about 2 jars) of your favorite spaghetti/marinara sauce
1 diced onion
1 diced jalapeno pepper
salt to taste
1 - 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 - 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
3-4 cloves minced garlic
Step 1 - Make the Ricotta cheese -
In a blender, add all the ingredients and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed.
Transfer to a jar or bowl and keep in the fridge until time to assemble the lasagna
Step 2 - Make the bolognese sauce -
Prepare the soya chunks (if you are using a different meat substitute then omit this step) Soak the soya chunks in boiling water for 10 minutes and then drain and rinse with cold water - set aside
In a hot pan, add your onion and saute until brown and soft. I don't use oil, so when it starts to stick to the pan add a little bit of water and mix.
Add in the jalapeno pepper and garlic - saute for another 1-2 minutes.
Take the prepared soya chunks and transfer them to a food processor and pulse until the chunks are completely ground - the texture should resemble ground meat.
Add the shredded soya chunks into the pan with the onion mixture. Mix well and add in your spices; mix together completely
Pour in your marinara sauce and mix until thoroughly combined - adjust salt and spice as needed.
Once the sauce comes to a bit of a boil, cover it with the lid and let it simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes
Step 3 - Time to assemble -
Preheat the oven to 350
In a deep baking dish, add a little bit of the sauce on the bottom - you don't need too much
Start your first layer with the lasagna noodles ** you may need to cut to shape depending on the size of your dish*
Add your second layer, the ricotta cheese - spread all over the noodles
Add your third layer, the bolognese sauce.
Repeat the layering steps until you have at least 2-3 layers (again, depends on the size of you dish)
Top off the last layer with your favorite vegan cheese (I used Daiya Mozzarella shreds)
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot and enjoy :)