I love lasagna. It brings back memories of when my Mom used to cook it. I’m not talking about just one dish of it. I’m talking about how she’d make a GIANT batch and then freeze a lot of it. I would eat lasagna for days! Who doesn’t love it? It’s your quintessential comfort food. However, those were the days when I was a teenager and could eat anything and everything. Fast forward and now I can’t eat a lot of things I used to. Sigh. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the foods I used to. That goes for you out there as well. If you’re new to diet restrictions or a new way of eating, you CAN enjoy the foods you used to eat. You just have to make a few tweaks here and there, and voila!
So, let’s begin. There are A LOT of different kinds gluten-free pasta out there. You have rice, brown rice, quinoa, corn, and whatever else someone came up with. I’ve tried them all in a trial-and-error process and finally landed on Catelli (this is not sponsored or a plug). I just truly love their pasta and they cook faster than regular gluten pasta. BONUS!
To save time, make sure you find the lasagna sheets that don’t require you to boil them. I ALWAYS have problems with that part of making lasagna.
Now for the filling. Traditional lasagna will have ricotta cheese, meat, and the sauce. With vegan lasagna, you’ll use a tofu ricotta. Don’t turn your nose up at it. Think of tofu as a blank slate. It basically takes on any flavor that you want it to. There are a lot of different recipes for tofu ricotta out there, but I love my girl the Minimalist Baker, so I used one of her recipes for the base, but I put my own twist on it.
I didn’t have a lemon so I used apple cider vinegar instead. I then thought “why not add spinach?” I had baby spinach leaves in the fridge and threw a handful in the food processor to add a bit of depth and more nutrition.
It did take on a bit of a green hue, but that didn’t bother anyone. I then kept adding nutritional yeast and salt and pepper until the taste was just right. I even called the little one to taste it.
Then you assemble your lasagna. Spread a bit of sauce on the bottom of the dish. I used an 8 x 8 dish because the gluten-free lasagna sheets are a bit small. Lay your lasagna sheets one way (say horizontally), then spoon your tofu ricotta on top of the pasta, then layer a bit of sauce, then lay your lasagna sheet in another direction (say vertically), and then repeat. Top your lasagna with sauce and then bake it for the usual 45 minutes at 375. I covered mine with tin foil.
Then you sprinkle on some vegan parmesan cheese. I love that stuff. It’s SO easy to make and it’s GOOD!
Most lasagna dishes are labor intensive because you have to cook a lot of stuff before assembling and finally baking. With this vegan lasagna, you cook nothing. Everything cooks in the oven at the same time. Because the vegan lasagna is so friendly for those of us who are afraid of labor-intensive dishes, this is perfect and I will DEFINITELY be making it again.
Two things I will point out: 1) my lasagna noodles were a bit crunchy in some spots. I thought it was because the sauce didn’t cover the noodles, but the Hubs checked (a.k.a. read the directions) the back of the box it said to soak them in hot water for 10 minutes first. I didn’t do that. Sigh. 2) I think next time I’ll double the tofu ricotta and the sauce. To me, lasagna should be thick and high. Plus the ricotta was just too good and we all wanted more.