I’ve been wanting to try my hand at cooking a vegan lasagne for a while, and last night I took that plunge. At first I thought I would try following a recipe as I’ve never done this before – but after researching a bunch of different recipes online I thought I could come up with my own variation based on my tastes and what I like.
The lasagne came out really tasty – and you can hardly tell that the filling is made from tofu instead of ricotta. When blended with all the other vegetables and spices it takes on a real creamy, cheesy taste and texture.
If you’re interested in making the lasagne, here’s my recipe. Please keep in mind that my oven is ancient, so cooking temps and times may vary. I hope you enjoy!
Vegan ricotta lasagne
- 3 cups pasta sauce (approx.)
- Wholewheat lasagne sheets
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- Extra virgin olive oil (a tablespoon or so)
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 cup (approx.) frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1 (14oz) package extra-firm or firm tofu, pressed
- Large handful fresh basil leaves
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Juice from one lemon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Press the tofu in a tofu press to get rid of all the water. If you don’t have a tofu press, you can wrap it in paper towels and tea towels, place under something heavy and let sit for about 30 minutes.
2. Grease a large casserole dish (I used a square 1.5LT / 1.6QT Le Creuset pan) and preheat the oven to gas mark 6 or 7 (keep in mind my oven is ancient so you may need to adjust yours accordingly).
3. For the tofu ricotta: In a large skillet, sauté the onion in the oil for about 3 minutes until translucent, add garlic and sauté for around another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the chopped celery and sauté for another 5 minutes or so. Add the lemon and toss in the spinach at the end and heat for a couple minutes
4. Put the tofu and basil into a food processor and add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Blitz quickly and then add the veggies and blitz until everything is smooth and well mixed. If the mixture is too dry, you may want to add a drizzle of olive oil.
5. Spoon about 1 cup of marinara sauce into the casserole dish and spread around. Add one layer of the lasagne sheets followed by a layer of the ricotta mixture. Then repeat: sauce, pasta, ricotta until the mixture runs out. For the top layer I add one final sheet of lasagne followed by a final layer of sauce.
6. Cover casserole dish and bake for about 45 min. Remove the tin foil and bake for about another 10 minutes until bubbly and golden on top (you may need to adjust these times for your oven).
7. Serve with vegan parmesan (cashews blitzed with salt in the food processor) and a side salad.