This vegan vegetable lasagna is one of my favorite weeknight hero dishes. Forget the hour you usually have to spend simmering the sauce; and the fuss of pre-boiling the noodles and trying to keep them from sticking together while assembling your lasagna. This baby takes a lot of help from the store, thanks to which you can sit down to a hot, sexy lasagna in just about an hour.
First, this recipe relies on store-bought marinara. It may not be “authentic”, but it sure does save a lot of time. Just be sure to buy one without added sweeteners or preservatives.
Second, this vegan vegetable lasagna calls for no-boil noodles. These are the type you just layer into the baking dish dry and they soften in the oven – the box is usually labeled “oven-ready”. Barilla is available in most stores (though it’s not vegan because it contains eggs) – keep an eye out for DeLallo brand or Jovial’s brown rice pasta if you prefer egg-free lasagna sheets.
Another reason to love this recipe is that it’s a delicious canvas for almost any combo of vegetables. Although I love the mixture of onion, cauliflower, and bell peppers, you can use whatever you have in your crisper drawer, or whatever’s available at the farmers market! Red onion and summer squash would be fantastic in the summer, while a mix of Brussels sprouts and butternut squash would be perfect in the winter. I also love mushrooms, broccoli, and celery here.
About the Cashew Ricotta
When I decided to switch to a primarily plant-based diet six or so years ago, cheese was (and still is) the hardest thing to avoid. I had no intention of giving up eggs, could do without meat, but the cheese! I love cheese… And pizza’s my favorite food, so there’s that.
And while it’s challenging to substitute melty cheeses with dairy alternatives (few of them have the “pull” of regular cheese), thank heavens for cashew ricotta!
Cashew ricotta is the perfect vegan stand-in for regular ricotta. It’s so easy to make and absolutely delicious. You simply soak raw cashews for a few hours, then puree them with garlic, miso, lemon juice, and a bit of water.
I love Panko on this vegan vegetable lasagna since it adds a satisfying crunch. But if you prefer store-bought shredded vegan cheese, go for it!
This weeknight-friendly vegan vegetable lasagna is made with cashew ricotta and oven-ready lasagna sheets.
For the Cashew Ricotta
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours or overnight and drained
- 1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 2 teaspoons white miso
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons filtered water
For the Lasagna
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
- ½ head of cauliflower, chopped into small, flat bits
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (dried oregano also works)
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- About 2 cups of your favorite jarred marinara (See Note #1)
- 8 oven-ready lasagna sheets (See Note #2)
- Start by making the Cashew Ricotta. In a food processor, combine the cashews, garlic, lemon juice, miso, and salt. Pulse until everything is broken down and the mixture is homogeneous but not yet smooth, adding a bit of the water as needed to help the mixture come together (it should resemble ricotta, basically). Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. (Ricotta can be made up to several days in advance).
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF (or whatever your pasta package suggests).
- Next, make the filling. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, pepper, cauliflower, Herbes, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Toss to coat, cover tightly with a lid, and cook until the vegetables are starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Then remove the lid, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 5 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the Panko and nutritional yeast with a pinch of salt and the remaining teaspoon of oil. Using your fingers, rub the mixture together to combine.
- To assemble the lasagna, spread a few tablespoons of the marinara to cover the bottom of an 8×8” ceramic or glass baking dish. Place 2 lasagna sheets inside side by side. Add a layer of vegetables, followed by small dollops of the ricotta, and drizzle lightly with marinara. Cover with 2 more lasagna sheets, pressing down lightly, and repeat the layers 3 times until you run out of fillings. The final layer should be noodles. Coat the lasagna sheets with the remaining marinara and sprinkle with the Panko mixture.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
1. Be sure to buy a sauce with simple ingredients, and no added sweeteners or preservatives.
2. Barilla no-boil noodles are readily available. If you prefer egg-free lasagna sheets, look for DeLallo or Jovial brands.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 750
Keywords: lasagna, cashews, cauliflower, vegan