All summer I have been saying I was going to create a vegan lasagna. Yesterday I finally followed through and the result was delicious. Look, I’m not going to say that I’m a lasagna wizard or anything, I’m just going to say that this lasagna speaks for itself.
It’s been a while since I’ve had lasagna, so I was pretty stoked that my first attempt (at vegan lasagna, not lasagna in general) turned out so well. The veggies were super flavorful, the noodles were a perfect al dente, and the herbed cashew ricotta was smooth and creamy. It was everything I wanted from a lasagna!
Generally, I have a hard time passing on main dish recipes because, well, I don’t really use recipes and forget to take note of the amounts I’m using. Knowing I wanted to share, I prepped my cashew ricotta mindfully, keeping a mental note of my ingredients and writing it down afterwards. Some amounts aren’t exact, like the herbs I picked from my garden. I just approximated their dry equivalent. Of course, you should always season to your taste.
This recipe calls for some easy prep work, the cashews need to be soaked in cool water for at least four hours and the hemp seeds for two. Soaking them softens their texture and is what creates the smoothness of the cashew ricotta. And oh man, this cashew ricotta!
The veggie filling is always up for variation. Sub spinach for kale, add broccoli or eggplant, or grated zucchini. Your options are myriad. I used a dragon carrot from my garden as well as the herbs. I love harvesting produce out of my garden for meals. Such a satisfying and connected feeling.
Not only was this lasagna amazing the day I made it, but it was also fantastic the second day. All the flavors had settled together nicely overnight. There will definitely be more vegan lasagnas in my future.
Enjoy, friends, and let me know if you try it out!
- 1 box lasagna noodles
- 1 (25 oz) jar pasta sauce
- 1 small to medium onion, chopped
- 2 small carrots, grated
- 4-5 leaves curly kale, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 teaspoon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cashews, soaked at least 4 hours
- 3-4 tablespoons hemp seed, soaked 2 hours
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- fresh oregano, basil, and parsley, or about 1/2 teaspoon each dry
Gather together your ingredients and prep your veggies. Prepare about 9 lasagna noodles according to the package directions.
Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of coconut oil and turmeric to a medium pan. On medium heat, sauté onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook another minute.
Spread onions and garlic out in the pan, place kale and carrot on top. Without stirring, let cook about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and squeeze of lemon juice. Stir together and turn off heat. You can either remove the pan from the heat or place veggies into a separate bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Drain and rinse cashews and hemp seeds. A sieve works well with the hemp seeds. Place them into bowl of food processor or similar (I used my Ninja blender). Pulse a few times to get the mixture started.
Add lemon juice, herbs, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, garlic, and half of the almond milk. Process the mixture until it begins to get smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the last half of the almond milk if you need it for consistency, and continue to blend until completely smooth. If the mixture is still thicker than you’d like, mix in almond milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
In an 8×8 baking dish, pour a layer of pasta sauce to just cover the bottom. Layer three noodles side by side to create your bottom layer.*
*Noodles are longer than your dish; I just ripped the noodles to the length as I went. You can always cut them if you want a cleaner look.
Spoon about half of the cashew ricotta over the noodles. Use a spoon to even out the layer. Next layer about half of the veggie mixture on top.* Another round of noodles, sauce, cashew ricotta, and veggies- in that order. Add a final layer of noodles (you should have 3 noodle layers total), cover with sauce, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
*I actually used more like a heaping third of cashew ricotta and veggies for the two layer. This left me with a bit of each to go with the odd noodle ends. I made an extra one layer lasagna in a loaf pan.
Place in preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, and serve.