Recently, I had an Aunt visiting from out of state and my parents over for dinner. While they do eat plenty of vegetables, their diet includes meat, dairy and eggs. What whole food, plant-based meal would they find enjoyable?
I decided to make an unctuous, vegan lasagna for dinner.
You may be wondering if a lasagna with NO dairy and NO meat could really be delicious and satisfying.
I am happy to report that this lasagna got rave reviews from all around the dinner table. (Yess!)
- A vegan ricotta made from extra-firm tofu and loads of fresh basil and garlic.
- A delectable high-quality jarred sauce. I used Common Good Marinara.
- Fresh, sauteed sweet onions and zucchini.
- For extra richness I splurged on a round of Miyoko’s Vegan Mozz and added half of it between the layers.
- Regular lasagna noodles and a sprinkle of Follow Your Heart Vegan Parmesan.
I wanted this lasagna to look and taste familiar, so I wasn’t concerned with making this one meal totally oil-free.
But if you are on a WFPBNO diet, you can easily choose an oil free marinara like Engine 2® Plant-Strong® Classic Pasta Sauce available at Whole Foods (or make your own,) skip the Miyokos Vegan Mozz, and sub out the vegan parm for a nutritional yeast/ground almond/breadcrumb topping.
For improved nutritional value, you could also sub out the regular lasagna noodles for 100% whole wheat noodles (or use gluten-free if needed.)
Customize this lasagna to your preferences, and enjoy a satisfying meal that serves 9 generously.
Company-Worthy Vegan Lasagna
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 (14-oz) package extra-firm organic tofu
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. sea salt
1-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 cups fresh basil
1 medium sweet or yellow onion, chopped
2 medium zucchini, sliced length-wise and cut cross-wise into 1/4 inch slices
2 jars good quality marinara (I used Common Good)
9 lasagna noodles (regular, not no-boil)
1/2 cup vegan parmesan (Optional; I used Follow Your Heart brand)
1/2 round Miyoko’s Vegan Mozz (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the Ricotta: In a large skillet, sauté the onion until soft, adding 1 Tbsp. of water at a time to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Combine the sautéed onion with the rest of the ricotta ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined, scraping down the sides as necessary. Set aside. (This can be made a day ahead.)
Sauté the Veg: In a large skillet, sauté the onion and zucchini, adding water 1 Tbsp. at a time, until tender. Set aside. (This can be made a day ahead.)
Boil the Noodles: Boil the lasagna noodles until al-dente and set aside on a baking tray lined with a silicone mat, or draped over the sides of the cooking pot, separating the noodles to prevent sticking as they dry.
Build the Lasagna:
- In a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish, place 1/3 jar of marinara on the bottom and spread out with a spatula.
- Add a layer of 3 noodles.
- Top the noodles with 1/3 of the ricotta, spreading it out along the noodles with a spatula to make an even layer.
- Top with 1/2 the sautéed onions and zucchini.
- Add 1/4 of the Miyoko’s Mozz (optional) in small pieces along the length of the noodles.
- Top with a layer of marinara, about the balance of the 1st jar of sauce.
- Repeat with a layer of 3 noodles, 1/3 of ricotta, the balance of the sauteed onion and zucchini, 1/4 of the Miyokos Mozz, and another layer of marinara.
- Top with remaining 3 noodles and marinara. (I had about 1/4 of a jar leftover. You will have used only 2/3 of the vegan ricotta. Use up the remaining ricotta withing 2 days, tossing it with zucchini noodles or pasta.)
- Sprinkle with vegan parmesan (optional.)
- Cover with parchment lined foil, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.