I’ve always lived and breathed Italian food, making it my go-to cuisine when in doubt. It’s synonymous with comfort food, and lasagna in particular is one of my most coveted comforting dishes. Every Christmas, my grandma makes trays of lasagna, and while I haven’t been able to partake in the lasagna tradition, I’ve made vegan lasagna over the years.
This vegan lasagna is filled with homemade pesto, cashew almond Parmesan, tofu ricotta, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and plenty of garlic and onions. It makes a seriously decadent meal for Christmas day, or any day of the year.
Lasagna is flexible!
Making lasagna can be a quick meal or an all evening activity. You can prep some or all of the ingredients ahead of time so all you have to do is assemble the lasagna before dinner. The recipe includes homemade cashew and almond Parmesan and pesto that calls for said Parmesan. You can get store bought Parmesan or pesto to save on time if you’d like, but make sure the pesto is vegan.
If you’d prefer to make everything at once, make an evening of it! Snack on a big loaf of crusty bread with olive oil and have a glass of wine while you’re cooking.
You can also swap out the vegetables for your favorite veggies, or leave out the pesto if it seems too rich.
Get the recipe:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons walnuts or pine nuts
- 2 cups tightly packed basil
- ¼ cup Parmesan (recipe above)
- 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 block tofu
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- ½ cup Parmesan (recipe above)
- ¼ cup basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped onion or shallot
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts chopped
- 1 cup roasted red peppers
- 1/3 cup pesto (recipe above)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 16 ounces lasagna noodles (1 box)
- 3-4 cups vegan marinara
- 1 1/2-2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese or equivalent slices of cheese
- Press the tofu for the ricotta for at least 20 minutes. You can work on the Parmesan and pesto during this time.
For the Parmesan:
- Combine the cashews, almonds, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor. Grind until the mixture reaches a sandy texture, just like parmesan. Set aside
For the pesto:
- Combine the garlic and nuts in the food processor and blend until finely chopped.
- Add the basil and Parmesan.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while blending the pesto just until it is no longer gritty.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
For the ricotta:
- Combine all ingredients except the pressed tofu in the food processor and blend until finely chopped.
- Add the tofu and pulse until the tofu is finely crumbled and the ingredients are homogenized throughout the tofu. Don't overblend, or the tofu will become paste like.
To prepare the lasagna:
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Slice the onion into large pieces.
- Sauté the onion in olive oil with the garlic over medium-high heat until fragrant and browned, about 7-8 minutes. Set aside.
- Combine the artichokes with the roasted red peppers in a bowl, then stir together with the 1/3 cup pesto.
- Mince the garlic and stir in to the veggie and pesto mixture. Set aside.
- Boil lasagna noodles to just before al dente, according to package instructions, about 4-5 minutes. Drain.
- Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish, and cover with a thin layer of marinara.
- Place a layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom of the dish.
- Top the noodles with a layer with marinara, then add half of the tofu ricotta on top in dollops.
- Scatter the artichoke and red peppers on top.
- Add another layer of marinara and top with a second layer of noodles.
- Top this layer with the sautéed onions and garlic.
- Dollop on the remaining tofu ricotta, and sprinkle on some vegan mozzarella cheese.
- Add more marinara to this layer, then top with a third layer of noodles.
- Finally, top this layer with marinara (liberally, as the top layer tends to dry out) and any remaining pesto.
- Cover the top with vegan mozzarella, then top with a sprinkle of Parmesan, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Cover in foil and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the lasagna is bubbling, the cheese is melty. Check to make sure the noodles aren’t over cooked, every so often.
- Let cool slightly so it firms up before cutting. Serve with Parmesan.
- The Parmesan recipe makes more than you'll need for the lasagna. You can halve the recipe, or make the full amount and use it as a pasta or salad topper. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
- If you store your nuts in the freezer, let them warm up before making the Parmesan. The oils in the nuts will remain solid and the nutritional yeast won’t adhere to the nuts if they’re too cold.
- To save time, you can use storebought pesto and vegan Parmesan. Make sure the pesto does not contain cheese.
- Feel free to mix up the vegetables you use in the recipe.
If you need an Italian dessert to follow your vegan lasagnadinner, try one of these…
These cakelike cookies are made with almond paste and sandwiched together with apricot preserves before being topped with chocolate.
This tiramisu recipe employs aquafaba for homemade ladyfingers, and has instructions for making your own cultured cashew mascarpone.