This vegan lasagna recipe will make you forget that meat was ever in lasagna! There isn’t meat or traditional cheese in it, but each bite is so delicious. The earthy depth from the mushrooms and the rich taste of the cashews has this plant-based, and dairy-free version of a vegan lasagna, which keeps you wanting more! A healthy option, it also has other superfoods like spinach to amp up the nutrients. Simple ingredients that are quickly assembled with fantastic flavors! Who thought a vegan dish could taste this good!?!
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The key to the success of this vegan lasagna recipe is the creamy cheese substitute, cashew cream that is made from soaked cashews. Yes, you got that right, soaked un-salted cashews. While we have added a bit of the produced vegan cheese options in many of our dishes, we still find there to be a bit of an aftertaste. This cashew cream is so deliciously creamy and mimics cheese so brilliantly that there is no question it is worth the effort.
Fair warning, you will need to soak the cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight. Once assembled, you will surprise yourself that you do not miss dairy-based cheese if you are are recent convert from the conventional diet.
This vegan lasagna recipe is easy. It is made in three parts; cashew cream, mushroom-based filling, and assembly. Here is a detailed list of the ingredients.
Best Vegan Lasagna Ingredients
- Cashews, plain non-salted, previously soaked
- Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt
- Dijon Mustard
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Medium onion
- Carrots, chopped
- Baby Bella mushrooms,chopped
- Garlic, minced
- Homemade or Store-bought Marinara
- Oven ready lasagna noodles or sheet noodles
- Parsley for garnish.
How To Make The Best Vegan Lasagna
Warm the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and gather the ingredients.
First, it would be helpful for the cashew cream to have a powerful blender. I picked up one of these less than a year ago, and I use it so much for smoothies, hummus recipes, cocktails, salad dressings etc… I know we all have to make decisions about the real estate we have on our counters and if the appliance is worth the space. In this instance, it simply is. The Ninja Blender comes with so many attachments too, but don’t take my word for it, check it out.
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So if you a Ninja blender, you will not have to soak your cashews as long. It is so powerful, it will easily cream the cashews. IF you do not, then keep in mind that the general rule is to soak them no less than 4 hours or overnight. I prefer to soak them overnight so I do not have to watch the clock. Rinse your cashews after the soak until the water is clear. Then pop them into the blender and add the remaining ingredients, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and Dijon mustard. Blend until creamy. Done!
Vegetables For Flavor – Mushroom Veggie Filling
Mushrooms, the meat alternative, is the key ingredient. As a norm, I use baby Bella mushrooms that you can get at any local grocery store. You want to chop them so they are not too fine and still have a meaty-like texture.
Now, for the veggie filling, let me say that this recipe is terrific the way it is, but do not let it stop you from adding any other veggies in the refrigerator that you love or have on hand. Also, if you like more spinach, put more in by all means.
As a guide, you will chop your onion, mushrooms, and a few carrots. To the olive oil in the pan, add the veggies, and saute for about 10 minutes until soft. Grab your spinach and add a few handfuls to the pan and stir while it wilts, which takes only a few minutes at best. Lastly, add the garlic for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant, salt and pepper, and then pull off the heat and set aside.
Layer Upon Layer
Now you are ready to start the assembly process. Focus on what you can do and not what you didn’t do. I prefer to make my marinara, but hey, life gets busy, so this recipe uses a bottled clean organic marinara option for the sauce. That being the case, add in about ¾ cup of sauce over a small square 9 x 9-inch baking dish. Spread that evenly, then add the flat noodles, and then about a cup of the cashew cream. Add in half of the veggie mixture, and follow it with another ¾ cup of marinara sauce.
You are on your way! Top with three more noodles, snapping the noodles if needed to ensure you get side-to-side coverage. One more cup of cashew cream (reserve the leftovers to use later), the rest of the veggies, and top this layer off with three more noodles. Finish off the assembly with one last bit of marinara; a ¾ cup should do it.
Oven ready, you need to put a piece of parchment paper across the top of the baking pan. I spray the downward facing side with a bit of oil spray to prevent it from sticking to it. Then I cover that with aluminum foil. Place your lasagna on a baking sheet to catch any liquid that may bubble over, and hurry it in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes. Then uncover and cook 5 -10 minutes more.
Just like with traditional lasagna, you must give the dish 20 minutes to cool so that it does not run across your plate when you try to cut it. While the lasagna is resting, add the remaining cashew cream to it, gently smoothing it across the baking dish. The dish’s heat usually softens the cashew cream enough to spread it quickly, but if not, add a bit of water before you start to thin it out.
Serve and watch how people are amazed at a depth of flavor. They never feel cheated, and I love the surprise! Some of my family follow a conventional diet, while my twins are plant-based. I often make both a traditional authentic lasagna and a vegan to serve simultaneously. Check out my Authentic Italian Lasagna Recipe to be inspired to do the same!
What if I cannot eat Gluten?
I got you, girl! You can use eggplant, which is sooo good too. Slice it on a mandolin, watching those fingers, and salt it liberally in a colander. It would be best to leave it for an hour to draw the moisture out of the eggplant. Then dab off the water with a paper towel before use.
If that is too complicated for you, then use zucchini. Again, use the mandolin to slice the zucchini lengthways and layer the slices in place of the noodles.
What if I want to make my marinara?
A good marinara is essential to the success of this vegan lasagna recipe. It is easy to make because it has only a few ingredients and quickly whips up. Most of which you will have on hand, such as a couple of cans of whole tomatoes, smashed garlic, onion, dried oregano, pepper flakes, basil, and olive oil. If you are interested in giving it a go, check out my super easy marinara recipe.
What to serve with The Best Vegan Lasagna?
My recommendation for a go-to side with this vegan lasagna is a salad. Not only is salad yet another place to get more healthy veggies in the diet, but provides another opportunity to infuse more flavor into the meal. All of our salad dressings are made from scratch, which is healthier and tends to be more flavorful. So if Ranch dressing is your Jam, then probably going to be really surprised with some of our flavor bombs. That being said, head over to my Peppery Parmesan Garlic Salad Dressing that can be made with easy substitution of vegan mayo and vegan parmesan.
How long will this store in the refrigerator?
In a closed container, the Vegan Lasagna leftovers should be good for about 3-4 days. You can reheat in the microwave just long enough to heat it through and enjoy it again.
Warm up the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit Start with the cashew cream: Mushroom Veggie Mixture: Layering:
Warm up the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit Start with the cashew cream:
Mushroom Veggie Mixture: