Lasagna is one my go to dishes for dinner parties. You can assemble it the day before and just throw it in the oven before your guests arrive. It’s also delicious and looks impressive. There are a million variations of lasagna. Typically, it is oozing with either white or red sauce and also cheese. Vegan lasagna isn’t low in calories but it’s more nutrient dense. I added fresh spinach and also nutritional yeast to make this healthier vegan version. I skipped the white Bechamel sauce and substituted with healthier red pasta sauce instead. You can find a variety of vegan almond milk ricotta these days. Whole Foods carries Kite Hill brand, which is quite delicious. I am not a fan of Daiya brand cheese. It doesn’t taste good and upsets my stomach unfortunately. I found a new brand of vegan cheese this week, made by the company So Delicious. They also make almond and coconut milk ice cream and yogurt. Their vegan shredded mozzarella is soy and dairy free. It’s actually not bad tasting. I also thought about just skipping the vegan mozzarella altogether – so consider it optional. I used less of it instead, so that it didn’t overpower the other delicious flavors. You can either chop your spinach, basil, and garlic by hand or use a food processor. You could also add an extra layer to your lasagna depending on how many people you are serving and how deep your pan is. I chose to only use three layers of lasagna noodles to keep the calories on the lower side. You can also use half the amount of ricotta if you would like your lasagna to be less heavy. I didn’t need to add any salt or spices to this because I used a really flavorful, ready made pasta sauce from a company called Rao’s. The vegan almond milk ricotta is also quite salty. Feel free to add salt, black pepper, or crushed red pepper to taste.
Lasagna can really please a crowd and makes for a fantastic “desk lunch” the next day. It’s pretty difficult to ruin lasagna! It’s a low stress, make ahead meal that really hits the spot. It’s definitely one of my favorite classic comfort foods. I added nutritional yeast to substitute for parmesan cheese. The nutritional yeast also adds B vitamins and some extra protein to this hearty dish. You can substitute with thawed frozen spinach (make sure you squeeze out the excess water) or even baby kale. Let me know how it turns out by taking a picture and tagging @thefriendlyepicurean on Facebook and Instagram or by pinning this recipe on Pinterest!
Easy Vegan Lasagna
- 12 sheets of “no boil” lasagna noodles
- 2 cups vegan ricotta cheese (1 lb)
- 2 cups shredded vegan mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 4 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup (packed) fresh basil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 (32oz) bottle of ready made pasta sauce
- olive oil spray
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- crushed red pepper to taste
DirectionsPreheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9 x 11 inch lasagna pan with olive oil spray and set aside. Place spinach, basil, and garlic in a food processor and pulse about 5 times or until it is combined and forms a chunky paste. In a large mixing bowl, mix together ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, nutritional yeast, and spinach mixture. Spread 1 cup of pasta sauce at the bottom of the lasagna pan with a spatula. Layer 4 lasagna noodles in pan touching side by side or slightly overlapping. Top lasagna noodles with 1/2 of the cheese mixture and spread evenly with a spatula. Top with another cup of pasta sauce and spread evenly with a spatula. Again, top with lasagna noodles, 1/2 cheese mixture, and pasta sauce. Finish with third layer of lasagna noodles. Top with rest of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining cup of mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 50-55 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Lasagna will brown along the edges and start to bubble when cooked. Note: most vegan cheese may not melt the same way as dairy cheese – this does not necessarily mean it is not cooked. Allow lasagna to cool for about 15 minutes. Careful while handling as pan will be very hot. May store in the fridge for up to 5 days.