Vegan lasagna is my latest and greatest recipe. I am a big fan of experimenting with vegan recipes because I have a good friend who is vegan. I’m always looking for dishes I can make when Nathan and I invite him over for dinner.
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I’ve made vegetarian lasagna and thoroughly enjoyed it, so it made me curious about changing it up to be completely vegan. It wasn’t much to change! I love recipes where I don’t have to go out of my way to work toward making something vegan.
Vegan Lasagna Ingredients
1 can diced tomatoes
Mushrooms, 1 box, diced
Garlic, 5 cloves, minced
Onion, 1 medium sized, chopped
Zucchini, 2 medium sized, grated
2 cans tomato sauce
1 large can tomato paste
Vegan mozzarella cheese
Vegan ricotta cheese
Oregano, to taste
Rosemary, to taste
Thyme, to taste
Basil, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Sugar, white, 3 tablespoons
Lasagna noodles, 1 box
Vegan Lasagna Directions
Start with grating the zucchini. Zucchini is primarily water, and the goal is to remove as much of the water as possible once it has been grated. I start with a mixing bowl, put a strainer on top of that, and then cheesecloth inside of the strainer. Using the cheesecloth, I can squeeze out a fair amount of the water by hand. This water can be added to smoothies or juice if desired. This helps to eliminate the possibility of a watery tomato sauce.
In a stock pot, add the diced tomatoes (do not drain the liquid) and turn the stove on to medium high. Add in the mushrooms, garlic, and onions to this and saute. Using the liquid from the diced tomatoes eliminates the need for oil to saute the vegetables, and the possibility of an oily sauce.
Add in the grated zucchini and stir. As this heats up, more water will be released from the zucchini. Continue to simmer on low to allow the vegetables to cook down and the water to evaporate.
As the vegetables are cooking and the water is evaporating, I add in the herbs. My preference is fresh herbs, chopped while the sauce is starting. However, dried herbs do work just fine.
Give the sauce lots of love
Once that water is cooked out of the veggies, it is time to add in the sugar, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. The sugar tames some of the acid in tomato products. Simmer the sauce on low for five to six hours, with a lid on it, and stirring periodically. This gives the sauce time to cook and reach a quality consistency, and all the flavors to marry together nicely.
Boil the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Rinse them in an ice bath. To create an ice bath, place ice and water in a mixing bowl, and submerge the noodles once they are drained. This will stop the cooking process and rinse the starch off, preventing them from sticking together. Dry the noodles and begin assembly.
Assemble the Vegan Lasagna
Place enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of a baking dish. This prevents the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the baking dish. Add a layer of noodles. Then add sauce, vegan ricotta cheese, vegan mozzarella cheese, and spinach.
Repeat this process until the baking dish is full. I had a bottom and top layer of lasagna noodles, and two layers of everything else in the middle. On the top layer of lasagna noodles, add sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese. This will prevent the top layer of noodles from drying out in the oven.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
I had to look this up, but most store bought pasta is vegan! This surprised me to learn because when I make pasta, I add eggs into it. Which brings me to my next point. Most “fresh” pasta will have eggs in it. Fresh pasta means not dry and is in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, But dry boxed pasta has no animal products in it. If you need a gluten-free option, the only thing that is needed is a gluten-free lasagna noodle. Everything else is naturally gluten-free.
Low Carb Option
I grated the zucchini into my lasagna this time. But swapping out zucchini for traditional pasta noodles is an excellent low-carb and gluten free version. Simply slice the zucchini on a mandoline and replace the pasta with sliced zucchini instead. Once it is sliced, sprinkle with salt and let it sit out on a paper towel for about 20 minutes. This will draw out that excess moisture.
Freeze it for later!
This lasagna will keep up to five days in the refrigerator, or stored in an air-tight container for three months in the freezer. Be sure to cover it and seal it well.
This recipe is a great base for traditional lasagna if you desire meat. I add in a mix of 50/50 ground beef and mild italian sausage. Vegan sausage can also be added. Or if you desire vegetarian, use traditional cheese instead of vegan.
I had my vegan friend go pick up the cheese for this recipe, because being a traditional meat eater, I am never sure what to buy. It seems like a foreign language to me. My vegan friend’s advice was to try multiple brands of vegan cheese, because they are not all made the same way.
Keep trying until you find a good one. I would make a list of brands I’ve tried, and note which are good and bad. He also noted that vegan cheese generally tastes better and works better in recipes where it is heated up and melted.
Not Just Lasagna!
I love this recipe because it makes a great spaghetti sauce base as well as vegan lasagna. It is also easy to change the ingredients to suit anyone’s dietary needs. Traditional meat and cheese can be used, it is easy to change it to vegetarian, or vegan, as well as being low-carb and gluten free. I feel confident knowing I can make this delicious dish for anyone I know with dietary restrictions or choices, and know I’m giving them an excellent meal.
This is also a recipe that I can make as vegan and people who traditionally eat meat will still enjoy. This is because there are so few modifications that need to be made to make it vegan, and no manipulation. My husband, Nathan, thoroughly enjoyed this meal and went back for seconds! Nathan is a meat-eater no matter what, and he still enjoyed this recipe with no need for another meal of meat later on. He was full after this.
Have you tried this vegan lasagna recipe? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! Check out my other vegan recipes!
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