Oh lasagna, what a special place you have in my heart. Growing up in an Italian household we had a lot of lasagna. Meaty, cheesy, you know, a heart attack on a plate right? Well this lasagna is vegan, packed with protein and you can totally skip the vegan cheese on top if you’re trying to cut the calories, however I highly recommend you keep it if you want it as traditional as possible.
The second my husband saw this lasagna come out of the oven his eyes widened and said “Oooo, what’s that??” I explained to him all the layers inside and he was anxious to try it. Of course, he has to help me with photos of it first. After the pictures were taken, it was time for him to dig in and give it a try. He loved it…and continuing going back for more the rest of the weekend. (Perfect for leftovers)
Now there isn’t much that I make that gets an outstanding reaction from him like this so I knew this was a winner and something I had to share with all of you. My husband said, and I quote: “This is probably one of the best vegan meals you’ve ever made.” Who, ME??? Wow was I shocked to hear those words out of his mouth. If you guys read my self-doubt post, you know that he is hard to please when it comes to food. I was one happy girl!
Now the key I believe to making him love this so much was that I tried to make it as meaty and cheesy as possible. The “meat” filling is a mixture of lentils and mushrooms with some key seasonings such as thyme and balsamic vinegar which adds to the meat factor. The ricotta “cheese” is made up of creamy cashews, lemon, and spices. I used a box of whole wheat lasagna noodles and just some store bought pasta sauce because I was WAY too lazy this day to make my own.
To top it all off, I bought one of my favorite vegan cheeses. This cheese has no soy and is aged… yes aged. So it really tastes cheesy. I suggest you give it a try. I get it at my local health food store. It’s a brand called Parmela Creamery. Now this cheese doesn’t really melt persay, but the flavor is a great addition and you can really fool some non-vegans with it.
Husband Approved Vegan Lasagna
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 colves garlic minced
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms diced
- 1 14oz can lentils rinsed
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 26 oz jar pasta sauce 1/4 cup reserved
- 1/2 cup cashews soaked
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice fresh
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pkg lasagna noodles
- 7 oz vegan mozzarella
Prepare the cashews and lasagna noodles in advance. Start by soaking the cashews in boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes while you make your filling. Bring a big pot of water to boil and cook your lasagna noodles according to the manufacturers directions. Drain, and set aside.
For the meat filling, simply begin sauteeing the onion, garlic and mushrooms in a large pan over medium high heat. If the veggies start to stick, add a little water in and continue this process until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are soft.
Next add in the rinsed lentils, thyme, balsamic vinegar and pasta sauce. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce to use later on.
Cook through until combined. Taste to check if it needs salt or pepper, then set aside to cool.
After the cashews have soaked, add them, along with the rest of the ricotta ingredients into a food processor and pulse until a fine crumble is formed. Continue processing until it is the texture you desire. If you want it more creamy, keep the processor going for another few minutes.
To assemble your lasagna, start by adding the 1/4 cup of reserved pasta sauce to the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. This will help the noodles from sticking. Spread the sauce out and then add one layer of noodles to the bottom making sure to overlap the noodles as you go.
Next add a layer of your "meat" filling (about 1/3 of your filling will be used for each step).
Add in a 1/3 of your ricotta cheese to the top of the meat mixture.
Continue this process of adding noodles, meat filling and ricotta cheese, ending with the meat mixture on top. You can add in a layer of spinach if you want too. I had some frozen spinach I had defrosted and sprinkled it throughout the layers.
Top the lasagna with the store bought vegan mozzarella shreds.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble and the lasagna sets. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 10 minutes.
Slice into pieces and serve while hot!
With Christmas coming up in just two short weeks, this would be a great addition to bring to a holiday gathering that will impress everyone there! Give it a try and make sure to tag me so I can see how it turned out!
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