This Vegan Lasagna is made with a robust mushroom-spinach bolognese sauce, fresh basil, vegan ricotta and no-boil lasagna noodles topped off with a creamy marinara sauce, drizzled with Arugula Basil Pesto. Vegan comfort food at its best! READ NOTES.
- 1/3 cup cashews
- water to cover
Mushroom Bolognese Filling:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- one large onion, diced
- 4–8 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 lb mushrooms, sliced (see notes for other options)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 25-ounce jar marina sauce- divided
- 2–3 big handfuls of baby spinach
- optional additions: cooked lentils, vegan ground meat or ground walnuts– see notes.
- 1/2 cup basil ribbons, divided
- 16-ounce block tofu (firm or extra firm- do not use silken)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup fresh basil or parsley (or 1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning)
12 No-Boil lasagna noodles
Optional: 1 1/2 cups shredded meltable Vegan Cheese
A batch of Arugula Pesto or use store-bought pesto
Preheat oven to 375 F
Simmer Cashews: (or soak in cold water 4-8 hours) Place cashews in a small pot, cover with 1 cup water, bring to simmer, cover, simmer 10 minutes, turn heat off, leave covered so they soften. At the same time, start the Mushroom Bolognese.
Make the Mushroom Bolognese: Heat oil in an extra-large skillet. Saute the onion 4-5 minutes until fragrant. Add the garlic, lower heat to medium, and saute 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms, red bell pepper, salt pepper and fennel seeds, and saute until mushrooms release their liquid, and begin to caramelize about 10-15 minutes. Deglaze with red wine if you like, cooking it all off. Stir in the spinach, wilting.
Reserve 1 cup of marinara sauce, and put this in a blender. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of marinara sauce to the mushroom mixture, stirring it in. Rinse the jar with 1/2 cup water and pour this into the bolognese. Bring to a simmer, for 2-3 minutes, season to your liking, adding salt and pepper if you like. If using a sugar-free marinara, a couple teaspoons of maple syrup is nice here. If it lacks depth, you could stir in a little a miso paste. Every jar of marinara is different, so make sure it is flavorful and “saucy” enough to cook the lasagna noodles. If it seems dry, add a little more water.
Creamy Marinara: Add the 1 cup marinara to the blender, along with drained cashews and 1/3 cup water. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. All together in the blender, you should have about 2 cups- so add more water if need be. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until very creamy and smooth, a full minute. This will be used on the top and bottom of the lasagna.
Make the Tofu Ricotta: Place everything in a food processor and pulse, scraping down sides, Pulse until combined and creamy but not overly smooth.
Assemble: Grease a deep 9 x 13-inch baking dish with spray oil or olive oil. Pour 1 cup of the blended Creamy Marinara Sauce in the bottom, enough to lightly coat. Layer 4 lasagna noodles. Spread out half of the mushroom bolognese. Dot with half of the tofu ricotta. (Feel free to add meltable vegan cheese here if you like). Sprinkle with a third of the basil ribbons. Repeat: add 4 lasagna noodles, the remaining mushroom bolognese, the remaining tofu ricotta, (optional vegan cheese) and 1/3 of the basil ribbons. Top with the final layer of lasagna noodles, pressing down a bit to create a level base. Cover with the remaining blender sauce. Cover tightly with foil. If the lasagna touches the foil, place a piece of parchment between the lasagna and foil. At this point, you could refrigerate and bake 1-4 days later (letting it come to room temp first).
BAKE: Place in the middle of the oven and bake 50-60 minutes. While it is baking, make the Arugula Pesto.
Remove the foil, test with a knife to see if pasta is tender, all the way through. Let stand 10 minutes. Spoon a little of the Arugula Pesto over top and sprinkle with remaining basil ribbons.
Bolognese: After publishing this recipe, I’ve been adding cooked lentils and/or ground walnuts to the bolognese for added protein and heartiness. For example, you could swap out 8 ounces of the mushrooms and add 2 cups of cooked lentils. Or add 1/4 cup or 1//2 cup ground walnuts to the existing recipe. You can also add other veggies or swap out plant-based ground meat for half of the mushrooms. Just keep in mind you’ll need at least 4 cups of bolognese sauce– making sure it is quite saucy.
Creamy Marinara Sauce: You can use hemp seeds instead of cashews- no need to simmer, just blend with the 1/3 cup water and 1 cup marinara, salt and olive oil.
Vegan Cheese: Feel free to use store-bought vegan ricotta, or add meltable vegan cheese to the layers, and/ or on the top.
- Serving Size: ⅛ th serving without the Arugula Pesto.
- Calories: 394
- Sugar: 9.9 g
- Sodium: 816.6 mg
- Fat: 14.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 51.4 g
- Fiber: 8.6 g
- Protein: 15.1 g
- Cholesterol: 2 mg
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