The Best Vegan Lasagna
This is the BEST Vegan Lasagna! It’s layered with vegan almond ricotta, mushroom tempeh marinara sauce, and topped with a simple vegan mozzarella cheese that bubbles and browns. It’s easy to make gluten-free as well!
I know, I know — calling something the BEST carries a lot of weight. But after making this lasagna SO many times, with lots of variations, I can confidently say that this vegan lasagna is the best one I’ve ever had. This was seconded by everyone who has tried it.
This Vegan Lasagna recipe is my go-to when it comes to cooking for a crowd, or dropping off comforting dishes to share love with the people I care about (especially as we’ve all been in lockdown). Most of the people I share this vegan lasagna with are not vegan or gluten-free – but they love this dish and request it all the time.
After I made this for my mom and her partner Billy, alongside my favorite vegan caesar salad, my mom told me that they had (supposedly jokingly) been planning to stop at In N Out on their way home, since they’d surely still be hungry after eating gluten-free vegan food. In victory, I got to send them home full and happy – no need for In N Out :D
Whenever my friends come over for dinner, this is the recipe I make. I dropped this lasagna off at my mom’s house when her and Billy were sick with coronavirus (at HER request). I sent one over to my aunt and uncle after my uncle got hurt on his bike. My mom even requested it (along with the Caesar salad) for her birthday dinner! Every time I make it, I share it on my Instagram stories and get countless recipe requests.
After making this so many times, I’m finally ready to share the full recipe for the best vegan lasagna!
What makes this the best vegan lasagna?!
Well, first of all – it has LOTS of layers of goodness and it is so hearty, I doubt anyone will notice that it’s vegan. We’ve got a few main components going on:
- Tempeh Mushroom Marinara Sauce: instead of a traditional Bolognese sauce, we make a quick-and-simple version. We make it with jarred tomato sauce, crumbled tempeh, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. This sauce makes the lasagna SO hearty and seriously tastes like a meat sauce.
- Spinach Vegan Ricotta: we use blanched almonds to make a luscious vegan ricotta cheese. To add color and nutrients, I pulsed in frozen, drained spinach to add little green flecks throughout the ricotta.
- Lasagna Noodles: I always use gluten-free noodles to keep it gluten-free, but you can use regular noodles if you’re not gluten-free. I’ve tried the Banza Lasagna Sheets, Jovial Brown Rice Lasagna, and DeBoles Brown Rice Lasagna. We’ve enjoyed all of them.
- Vegan Mozzarella Cheese: to top it all off! I make a quick homemade vegan cheese. This sounds intimidating, but it really takes less than 10 minutes to come together. I do it while the lasagna is baking, since we just add it for the last 20 minutes of baking. It bubbles and browns similarly to dairy cheese! You can also use a store-bought vegan cheese – either shreds, or one like Miyoko’s.
Let’s talk about tempeh for a minute!
Tempeh is a nutritional powerhouse!! I had never eaten it before going vegan, but since following a more plant-based diet, I’ve fallen in love with this plant-based protein source. It makes everything more hearty and delicious. Tempeh is typically made from fermented soybeans, but can also be made with other grains, pulses and beans. I typically use Lightlife’s Original Tempeh, but I also love San Diego Tempeh, which is a local company that makes soy-free tempeh. At 16 grams of protein per serving of tempeh, it adds a ton of nutrition to the dish too.
In this recipe, the tempeh is crumbled, sautéed and then simmered in tomato sauce. It takes on an incredibly meaty texture, especially when paired with the mushrooms and onions. Some of my other favorite ways to use tempeh are in these Vegan Potato Skins as a scrumptious vegan bacon bit, as a protein source in this Vegan Caesar Salad, and mixed into any and all veggie bowls!
Do I need to boil my lasagna noodles?
NO! It’s always frustrating and when you don’t have to…why bother? In this recipe, we make sure to use lots of tomato sauce to keep everything saucey and to make sure the noodles cook all the way through.
You’re going to LOVE this Vegan Lasagna because it’s…
- Packed with Nutrients
- SO Hearty & Satifying
- Super Comforting
- Easy to Prepare
- Perfect to Make-Ahead!
- Freezes Well
The recipe may look long, but everything is easy to make and it comes together faster than you’d expect! I hope you love this one as much as I do :)
Want more delicious dinner recipes?
If you make this recipe, I would love to hear what you thought of it! Please rate it, leave a comment below, and if you share on social, tag the photo with @bakeritablog and #bakerita on Instagram so I can see it. Enjoy!Print
This is the BEST Vegan Lasagna! It’s layered with vegan almond ricotta, mushroom tempeh marinara sauce, and topped with a simple vegan mozzarella cheese that bubbles and browns. Easy to make gluten-free as well!
For the lasagna
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (8 oz) package tempeh, cut into small cubes
- 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (25 oz.) jars marinara sauce
- 1 (9 oz.) package lasagna sheets (use gluten-free if necessary – I usually use rice noodles)
For the ricotta
- 1½ cups blanched slivered almonds (see Notes)
- ½ cup filtered water
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup frozen spinach, drained and squeezed
For the vegan mozzarella
- 1 cup raw cashews (see Notes)
- ¼ cup refined coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup filtered water
- Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish or similarly sized casserole dish by lightly greasing with olive oil. Set aside.
- Begin by making the homemade cheeses if you are making them from scratch. If you prefer, you could use store-bought vegan ricotta and vegan mozzarella, but making them from scratch is easier than you think!
for the homemade ricotta
- Add all ricotta ingredients except for the spinach to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed (~2 minutes). It should be well pureed and not chunky. If the mixture needs some help blending, add water a little at a time until you’ve reached a thick, creamy, and smooth texture. Add in the spinach and pulse to break it up, but not completely blend it up – it should be flecked with green.
- Taste and adjust as needed, adding more salt for overall flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and lemon juice for acidity. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
For the tempeh mushroom marinara sauce
- In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add in the tempeh and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add in a little bit more oil, and add the diced onions and mushrooms. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have evaporated all of their water and are starting to brown slightly. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Stir in one jar of the marinara sauce. Bring to a simmer to heat the tomato sauce through, and then turn down to very low to keep warm.
Assemble the lasagna
- In the prepared pan, spread 1 cup of the plain tomato sauce on the bottom.
- Top with three uncooked lasagna noodles and spread about 3/4 cup ricotta evenly on top of the noodles. You can also spread some ricotta onto the noodles individually if that’s easier for you, and then lay them down. Top with 1 cup of the tempeh mushroom marinara.
- Repeat with the noodles, ricotta, and tempeh sauce until you’ve used all your fillings and noodles. On top of the last layer, add 1 cup of plain marinara sauce. This will help ensure the noodles stay well hydrated and cook through.
- At this point, you can store the lasagna tightly wrapped in aluminum foil in the refrigerator for up to two days, or bake right away.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cover with foil (if not already covered) and bake for 40 minutes.
- While the lasagna is baking, make the vegan mozzarella. To make this, simply blend all of the ingredients for the vegan mozzarella in a high-speed blender for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth. It will seem a bit thin at this point, but will thicken in the oven.
- Remove from the oven after 40 minutes and top with the vegan mozzarella cheese sauce. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown. If you want it more browned, turn on the broiler for a minute or two – make sure to keep a close eye on it!
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes to help it cut more cleanly. Garnish with fresh basil and serve warm!
For the cashews and almonds, soak in water for at least two hours before using. To speed up the process, you can soak in hot water for about 20 minutes. I recommend the longer soak if you don’t have a strong blender. Drain and rinse before using.
To store leftovers
I keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat in the microwave, covered with something (like plastic wrap or a plate) to keep it from drying out as your reheat.
To freeze, store in an airtight container and store for up to 6 months.
Keywords: vegan, lasagna, gluten-free, tempeh, mozzarella, cheese