I realize that many of you may be very skeptical when you read ‘vegan lasagna’. You are probably saying to yourself, “Lasagna with no cheese? Really?”. I get it. In many ways, I’m with you. However, this vegan lasagna is actually so yummy! My husband, who loves Italian food more than most Italians, loves this dish. You still get all of the elements of a great lasagna; rich tomato sauce, lasagna noodles, AND a creamy “cashew ricotta” center.
I do make my own marinara sauce for this recipe, but if you are in a pinch, you can certainly use a store bought sauce. Also, I use a small amount of red wine in the sauce, however if you prefer not to cook with alcohol, or don’t have any on hand, I have left the wine out of the sauce before, and it was still very good.
One key to making sure your “cashew ricotta” turns out nice and creamy is to soak the cashews for at least 2 hours prior to use. You could soak them all day, or even over night if you are that good about planning ahead (I’m not). If they don’t soak long enough, your filling may turn out a little crunchy.
I have made this for dinner parties for people that are not vegan, and the response has always been very positive. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
This lasagna is a healthier, meat and dairy free version, of one of everyone's favorite Italian dishes. It's comfort food at it's finest!
- 1 Eggplant
- 2 Zucchini
- 1 Onion Diced
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 6 Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles
- 1/2 c. Tomato Paste
- 28 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1/3 c. Red Wine
- 3/4 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 c. Water
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 c. Raw Cashews, Unsalted Soaked for at least 2 hours.
- 1/4 c. Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Lemon Juiced
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Fresh Italian Parsley
- 1 c. Water
Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package. Once cooked, drain and rinse in a colander. Add a little olive oil to the noodles to keep from sticking. Set aside.
In large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
Add garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, wine, and water. Stir to combine. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, strain the cashews. In a blender, add soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 1/2 tbsp Italian parsley leaves, 1 c. of water. Blend until smooth. If it is too thick, add more water 1 tbsp at a time. You want it to have a creamy consistency, but not runny.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slice eggplant and zucchini lengthwise in 1/4-1/2 inch strips (doesn't have to be exact, you just want them somewhat uniform so they cook evenly).
In a 9x13 baking dish, spoon a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Spread evenly. Add three of the lasagna noodles lengthwise.
Add half of the cashew ricotta on top of the noodles. Spread evenly.
Add slices of eggplant lengthwise in an even layer. Depending on how large of an eggplant you have, you may need to trim them down a little bit to fit evenly.
Add half of the remaining sauce. Spread evenly.
Repeat with a layer of noodles, cashew ricotta, zucchini, and remaining marinara sauce on top.
Cover with foil, place in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender. *You may want to place a sheet pan underneath in case the sauce bubbles over.
Remove from the oven. Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle a little fresh Italian parsley on top, and enjoy!
**This dish is great with a little vegan Parmesan sprinkled on top. Some health food markets sell it, or you can easily find a recipe online (most are pretty easy to make).