A solid vegetarian lasagna recipe is something that every home cook needs to have in their arsenal, whether they’re actually vegetarian or not.
Learning to make a veggie lasagna is something that foodies of all ages can do. It’s packed with all manner of healthy ingredients but still substantial enough to fill you up until breakfast, so it’s the ideal food for students to make too.
You can serve it as the main event for a dinner party (believe us, nobody will know it’s meat-free), or whip it up for Sunday supper using up any veg you’ve got leftover from the week.
Combining pasta (always a good idea) and delicious roasted veg with an ingenious tofu ‘ricotta’, this Vegetarian lasagna is fun and foolproof. Enjoy!
What’s in the Lasagna?
The star of the lasagna is extra-firm block tofu. This dairy and cruelty-free protein gets a lot of flack for being bland and tasteless, but in actual fact it’s a really useful and versatile ingredient.
In this recipe, the tofu is combined with nutritional yeast, lemon, olive oil, garlic, and oregano to create a ricotta-style filling. This filling is vegan, dairy, and gluten-free, so it’s perfect for anyone on a strict plant-based or restricted diet (the entire recipe can be made vegan by using a similar yeast and garlic mixture in place of the mozzarella).
One word of advice regarding tofu: make sure you press it before you start prepping the dish. Even extra firm tofu can collect excess moisture that will impact its texture and quality when cooked. Use a tool designed for pressing tofu, like this one from TofuBud. It will save a lot of time and effort, and since you’ll be making this dish a lot, you’ll get a lot of use out of a press.
Caramelizing the wealth of roasted veggies in this dish beforehand will amp up the flavors. If you’re unfamiliar with cooking vegetables, they will reduce as they cook, so you can afford to go to town with the amount you use.
Start with 5 cups of the vegetables listed below (feel free to make substitutions along the way), then add in a handful or two of baby spinach or chopped kale.
Gluten-Free Lasagna Noodles
Obviously, you can use ordinary lasagna noodles or noodles made from wholegrain or spinach if you fancy. Just make sure that they’re not the no-boil variety. This dish bakes for a shorter time than traditional lasagna, so you want to ensure that the pasta cooks thoroughly in the reduced baking time.
Vegetarian Lasagna with Tofu
To make this dish, you will need:
For the Tofu ‘Ricotta’
- 23 x oz extra firm pressed tofu (chop roughly beforehand for ease of use)
- ¼ x cup nutritional yeast
- 1 x minced garlic clove
- 1 x tsp oregano
- 1 x tsp sea salt
- ¼ x tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ x cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 x tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
- Pinch black pepper to taste
For the Caramelized Vegetables
- 12 x whole cherry tomatoes
- 1 x sliced zucchini
- 2 x sliced carrots
- 1 x large chopped leek
- 8 x oz steamed and halved cremini mushrooms
- 1 x chopped fennel bulb
- ½ x chopped medium red onion
- Sea salt, black pepper, and olive oil for seasoning
For the Pasta
- 12 x gluten-free lasagna noodles
- 24 x oz Marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 x cup chopped kale or baby spinach
- 2 x cups grated mozzarella or vegan alternative
- Basil leaves to garnish
Steps to Make Vegetarian Lasagna with Tofu
- Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat your over to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Assemble the vegetables on the baking sheet, add a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper, tossing gently to distribute the oil. Roast until vegetables are golden brown and soft, for appx. 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a food processor, crumble the tofu cubes and add in the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Blend until the mixture becomes creamy. Add in the basil leaves then pulse until fully incorporated.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Prepare the lasagna noodles by cooking al dente according to package instructions.
- Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a large baking dish. Layer 1 cup of marinara sauce, 4 pasta noodles, half the tofu ricotta mixture, half the caramelized vegetables, half the green leaves, and two-thirds of the marinara sauce. Repeat. For the final layer, use the remaining noodles, sauce, and mozzarella (or vegan equivalent).
- Add to the oven and bake until fully browned and the cheese bubbles, appx. 25 to 30 minutes. Check at the halfway point, if the cheese browns too quickly, cover the lasagna with foil.
- Remove from the lasagna from oven and let it sit for 20 minutes. Serve garnished with basil.
A Year-Round Recipe
This vegetarian lasagna is intended to be a year-round recipe, so feel free to substitute the listed vegetables according to the seasons. Summer squash, eggplant, or even cucumbers can be an alternative to zucchini, for example, while shiitake mushrooms work well instead of cremini.