This is my go-to lasagna recipe, I just love it.
I brought this once to a friends house that had three teenage children, one a 15-year-old boy.
None of them where Vegetarian, let alone Vegan.
After the second huge piece I heard him say “This is the best lasagna I have ever had.” in which I replied “You know its vegan there is no meat or cheese in it at all” which he bantered back, taking the last bite of that second piece ” I don’t care, it tastes great!” He then continued on to eat another huge piece. All three teens had at least seconds & the family said that they really enjoyed it!
I hold this story up as a badge of honor, that a picky 15-year-old teen had no problem eating three huge pieces of this lasagna. I think that says something for this recipe.
I hope you enjoy it as much as they did.
This recipe makes 1 large lasagna that will feed 10+ adults
Ingredients for Lasagna
2 ea 24 oz Jars of your favorite pasta sauce. (I use Francesco Rinaldi Tomato, Garlic & Onion)
1 ea Large box of dried lasagna noodles (18 dried noodles) (I use Barilla Brand Dry Lasagna)
1 bunch 4 oz of fresh basil
1 bag 14 or 16 oz of your favorite vegan crumbles
1 ea small sweet onion diced
12 ea garlic cloves
Ingredients for Vegan Basil Ricotta “Cheese”
2 lbs firm organic tofu, excess water pressed out
8 tsp lemon juice
4 garlic clove, Garlic pressed
1 tsp Sea salt
4 dashes fresh ground black pepper
20 fresh basil leaves, Chiffonade
8 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup Daiya Cutting Board Style Mozzarella Vegan Cheese
To make Ricotta “Cheese”
1. In a large bowl, crush tofu with hands until crumbly.
2. Add lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper.
3. Mash with hands or potato masher until mixture reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese.
4. Add olive oil; stir with a fork.
5. Add nutritional yeast and mix all ingredients well with a fork.
6. Stir in Daiya Cheese and basil.
7. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To build the lasagna
Make the Ricotta, cover with plastic wrap and put it aside in the refrigerator.
Pour both pasta sauces into a saucepan, turn on low heat.
Add two or 3 pressed cloves of garlic to sauce then add a hand full of whole or cut in half cloves of garlic to sauce and stir.
Chiffonade 10 or so fresh basil leaves and add them to the sauce continue to simmer.
In a separate fry pan add some olive oil, get pan warm and add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 15 seconds then add the diced onion, cook on med heat. Add fresh ground pepper and some salt to pan and cook until onion has sweated.
Add Veggie meat to pan stirring until browned
Add browned veggie meat to sauce
Lightly Olive oil a large 10″ x 15″ baking pan and then add a bit of the sauce on the bottom and thinly cover the bottom of the pan with it.
Take a dry lasagna noodle and spread a thin layer of the prepared Ricotta “cheese” onto the dry noodle being careful not to break the noodle. Place the noodle in the pan.
Continue this until the bottom of the pan has a layer of Ricotta spread noodles covering it. Then add a layer of sauce.
At this point, I like to add a layer of fresh basil leaves on top of this layer. Then I start another layer just like the first until I have built three layers.
Finish with the remaining Daiya Cheese.
Bake in a 350 deg oven for 1 hour uncovered.
This freezes well and I think it is even better the next day.
I remember as a child smelling the freshly made lasagna baking in the oven. As I looked upon my plate I remember cutting into it with my fork to see the white layers of ricotta cheese holding up each noodle like a fluffy cloud on a summer day. As I became a Vegan this was one of the foods I missed.
Well now I can have that same experience again as a vegan using this recipe to help build my vegan lasagna with “meat” sauce. (a recipe I will have to share sometime) Just spread this Ricotta on every noodle then cover with “meat” sauce and build it three or four layers thick switching between “meat” sauce and noodles spread with Ricotta, its that simple. Buon appetito !!
2 lbs firm tofu, pressed
4 tsp lemon juice
2 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 tsp Sea salt
2 dashes fresh black pepper
20 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
4 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella Style Vegan Cheese
1. In large bowl, mash tofu with hands until crumbly.
2. Add lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. Mash with hands until mixture reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese.
3. Add olive oil; stir with fork.
4. Add nutritional yeast and mix all ingredients well with fork.
5. Stir in Daiya Cheese
6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.