This hearty vegan vegetable lasagna has layers of roasted vegetables and creamy cashew ricotta. (This article has been updated from its original May 2019 version.)
When I first set out to develop a vegan vegetable lasagna recipe, my goal was to offer you a healthy version (free of dairy and packed with flavorful veg) of the classic for whenever the craving hits.
By now – a year and a half later – many of you have made the original and reported back with lots of delightful comments. (As a professional recipe share-er, nothing warms my heart like knowing you’re cooking and loving my recipes!)
During this time, I’ve also made the lasagna for various gatherings with friends and family. Not to toot my own horn, but even meat-lovers have said they prefer this veggie version to the traditional beefy one. So the verdict is in: this isn’t just a great vegan lasagna – it’s a great lasagna, period!
With the holidays in full swing, I’ve decided to spruce up the recipe and shoot some prettier photos, too. This vegan vegetable lasagna is perfect for having people over and works well for any time of year. Even if you won’t be hosting friends anytime soon, make the whole thing anyway since leftovers are arguably the best part.
What’s In This Vegan Vegetable Lasagna
This flavor-packed dish consists of layers of savory roasted vegetables (onions, bell peppers, cauliflower, and mushrooms), creamy cashew “ricotta”, and marinara, and has a crunchy parsley-studded Panko breadcrumb topping. Sounds involved, I know, but the recipe is relatively simple since it takes a lot of help from the store…
First, it calls for store-bought marinara. It may not be authentic, but it does save a lot of time. Just be sure to get one without added sugar/preservatives. Second, it relies on “no boil” lasagna noodles. These are the type you just layer into the baking dish dry and they soften as they cook.
What Is Cashew Ricotta
If you’ve ever wondered what to use as a vegan substitute for ricotta cheese in lasagna, cashew “ricotta” is the answer. It’s a creamy plant-based substitute that also works perfectly in galettes and on crostini. Rich and savory, you make it by blending soaked raw cashews with garlic, miso, lemon juice, and water. Cashew ricotta keeps well in the fridge for up to several days, so you can make this component in advance.
Start the Cashew Ricotta: First, soak the cashews. This step softens and helps them blend up into rich, creamy goodness. Measure out the nuts, cover them with boiling water, and set aside for half an hour.
Roast the Vegetables: Next, place the vegetables on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and season with dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and roast in a preheated oven until they’re soft and golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Finish the Ricotta: Drain and transfer the cashews to a food processor, along with miso, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water. Puree until the mixture is creamy and has a rich mouthfeel.
Make the Topping: In a small bowl, combine Panko breadcrumbs with parsley, nutritional yeast, a bit of oil, and salt. Rub the mixture together with your fingers to incorporate the oil.
Assemble the Lasagna: Spread a few tablespoons of marinara to cover the bottom of a casserole dish. Add lasagna sheets and top with a layer of roasted vegetables, followed by dollops of ricotta, and drizzle lightly with marinara. Cover with 3 more lasagna sheets, press down lightly, and repeat the layers 3 times until you’ve used up the fillings. The final layer should be lasagna sheets. Coat them with a generous layer of marinara and sprinkle with the Panko mixture.
Bake: Cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then uncover and continue baking until the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Raw Cashews: have a sweet, mild flavor, and rich, creamy texture, which makes them perfect for vegan cheese. Raw blanched almonds, sliced almonds, or pine nuts make good substitutes. If you’re allergic to nuts, use sunflower seeds.
- Miso: Adds a “cheesy” savory taste. Look for it in the refrigerated section (next to tofu, kimchi, etc.) or in the international foods aisle.
- Roasted Vegetables: I highly recommend the combo listed below, but you also experiment with things like green beans, shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, and spinach.
- Herbes de Provence: If you don’t have this class French herb mix, sub with dried thyme or oregano.
- Nutritional Yeast: This magical vegan seasoning also adds a “cheesy” flavor. If you don’t have any, just skip it here.
- No-boil Lasagna Sheets: Barilla is available in most stores, but keep an eye out for DeLallo or Jovial if you prefer egg-free pasta.
Making This Veggie Lasagna In Advance
Yes, you can bake this lasagna in advance and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days; the topping will lose its crunch but that’s OK.
More vegan pastas this way…
- Lemony Cauliflower Pasta with Fried Breadcrumbs
- Tempeh Bolognese
- Creamy Basil-Spinach Pesto Pasta
- Pasta with Fried Leeks, Peas and Lemon
This vegan vegetable lasagna is packed with roasted vegetables and cashew ricotta cheese. Made with store-bought marinara and “no boil” lasagna noodles.
For the Cashew Ricotta
- 1 1/4 cups raw cashews
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons white miso
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Lasagna
- 1 medium red or yellow onion, sliced *(see note below)
- 1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
- ½ head of cauliflower, chopped into small, flat bits
- 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (dried oregano or thyme also works)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast*
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- One 24-ounce jar of your favorite marinara sauce
- 12 no-boil lasagna sheets
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- To start the cashew ricotta, place the cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the filling. Place the onion, pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms, Herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Toss to coat and arrange in a single later. Roast until the vegetables are softened and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Meanwhile, finish the ricotta. Drain the cashews and place in a food processor or Vitamix. Add the lemon juice, miso, garlic, and salt. Pulse until everything is broken down. Add 1/3 cup water and puree until the mixture is creamy and homogeneous but not totally smooth (it should resemble ricotta, basically). Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the Panko, nutritional yeast, and parsley with a pinch of salt and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Using your fingers, rub the mixture together to incorporate the oil.
- Reduce the oven temperature to whatever the lasagna package suggests (usually 375º or 400ºF).
- To assemble the lasagna, spread a few tablespoons of marinara to cover the bottom of a 9×13” baking dish. Place 3 lasagna sheets inside side by side. Add a layer of the roasted vegetables, followed by small dollops of the ricotta, and drizzle lightly with the marinara, making sure to cover the edges of the lasagna sheets. Cover with 3 more lasagna sheets, press down lightly, and repeat the layers 3 times until you’ve used up the fillings. The final layer should be lasagna sheets. Coat the top lasagna sheets with a layer of marinara and sprinkle with the Panko mixture.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Then uncover and continue baking until the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
- I highly recommend the veggie combo listed here, but you also experiment with green beans, shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, and spinach.
- This magical vegan seasoning also adds a “cheesy” flavor. If you don’t have any, just skip it here.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 720
Keywords: lasagna, cashews, cauliflower, vegan