Any Weird Al fans out there remember his song “Lasagna,” that parodied “La Bamba?” I get that song stuck in my head whenever I make lasagna. Such is life when you’re a giant nerd, but there’s worse things in the world.
Moving on. This lasagna is not only vegan, but gluten free and low fat and just generally smug about how nutritious it is. Instead of ricotta cheese it has a tofu and cauliflower blend, and instead of noodles it has strips of eggplant and zucchini. After writing that I realize that to many people those substitutions probably sound sort of awful, but you’re just going to have to take my word for it that this actually does taste like a nice hearty lasagna. Or make the recipe and report back that I’m crazy, whichever you prefer.
It does take a little while to make (maybe about 1 1/2 hours total, including 45 minutes cooking time) but that’s pretty much par for the course with any lasagna. I actually felt like this came together faster than most lasagnas I’ve made, vegan or not. It makes enough to fill an 8″x8″ pan pretty full, so that’s about 4-6 servings depending on how Garfield-like you’re feeling.
So first you just peel and slice 1 medium sized zucchini and 1 medium sized eggplant. You could use a mandolin if you’ve got one, but I just used a regular knife and tried to get them as thin as I could. These will be your “noodles.” Roast them on a cookie sheet under the broiler for 2-3 minutes on each side. Then roast a chopped up head of cauliflower for 10 minutes at 450, then flip and roast for another 15. While that’s going down, crumble up a package of tofu in a large bowl until it has the texture of ricotta cheese. Mix in a bit of nutritional yeast, some lemon juice, and when the cauliflower is done throw that in too and mash it all together. I used an immersion blender to get it nice and smooth.
Then you get to do the layers! Here’s a photo breakdown of the assembly steps:
It goes: Sauce, “Noodles,” “Ricotta,” mushrooms, spinach, sauce, noodles, ricotta, mushrooms, spinach, start to get a little nervous that this isn’t going to fit, sauce, noodles, more sauce, breathe a sigh of relief because it actually did all fit, ricotta, then a nice thick layer of olives to give it a little salty kick. You could also use thin slices of fresh tomato on top if you don’t like olives.
Then just bake it at 350 for 40 minutes or so until it’s browned and bubbling.
I don’t have a photo of the final serving on a plate because I can’t cut and serve a nice looking square of lasagna to save my life (vegan or regular, doesn’t matter, I have a lasagna serving handicap) so you’ll have to just imagine what it looks like sliced up and served.
Gluten-Free Vegan Lasagna
- 1 medium zucchini peeled and sliced into thin strips
- 1 medium eggplant peeled and sliced into thin strips
- 1 medium head of cauliflower chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lb extra firm tofu
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- several pinches freshly ground black pepper
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp salt
- 1.5 cups chopped fresh spinach (I just used whole baby spinach)
- ¼ cup chopped or sliced black olives
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms
- Place the zucchini and eggplant on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet (or
silicone baking mat) in a single layer and heat under the broiler for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from cookie sheet and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using the same parchment & cookie sheet, spread the cauliflower pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and bake for another 15 to 20, until lightly browned and soft.
- Meanwhile, crumble the tofu in a mixing bowl, mashing it with your hands until it resembles ricotta cheese. Add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining salt. When the cauliflower is done, add it to the tofu mixture and mash it really well (I used an immersion blender, you could also just use a potato masher).
- For the red sauce, mix the crushed tomatoes, thyme, garlic, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an 8"x8" casserole, pour a thin layer of red sauce, then add a layer of "noodles." Evenly spread about 1/3 of the cauliflower ricotta on top of the noodles. Layer 1/2 of the mushrooms and then 1/2 of the spinach. Pour on about a cup of sauce on top of the spinach. Repeat all those steps one more time, starting with the noodles. For the top layer just add noodles, then sauce, then ricotta so that the ricotta is on top. Add a layer of olives last. (Please see my photo series above if this is confusing.)
- Bake for about 40 minutes until the top is browned and sauce is bubbling. Let sit for a couple minutes then serve.
16 thoughts on “La-La-La-La-La-Lasagna: Gluten-Free Vegan Lasagna”
This was great! I substituted creamed cashews (cashews blended with water) for the tofu and it was delish. Highly recommended!
Do you have the nutrition breakdown on this recipe. Looks so good and I would love to try it!!
This was delicious! I only used courgettes as I don’t like aubergine and topped with mushrooms. Really nice, I’ve being waiting to make this recipe for a few weeks – trying to source an affordable fresh cauli. It took a while to prep but I will definitely be making this again : )
Made this yesterday………..OMG is it fantastic! My boyfriend and I are on the 21 day Quantum Wellness Cleanse and I was searching the internet for recipies when I found this. I was a bit skeptical because of the cauliflower which we both do not like and I wasn’t sure what Nutritional Yeast was. Found it at Whole Foods in the bulk section and now I’m a fan. This tasted exactly like Lasagna with the cheezy goodness of ricotta. If I ever find a vegan cheese that tastes good and melts well, I might try that on the top to give a little gooieness but really not necessary! I omitted the olives on top.
Try it………..You’ll Love it!
wow… noodle less lasagna… i simply liked the novelty of this recipe. i wanna try this at home.
jessica, came to your site through google… and i am awed wiith the recipes posted on your site…
Ok, it was a disaster. Maybe I did something wrong, but all of this went straightly to the trash bin. I could feel only the taste of the eggplant which dominated the rest. This ricotta was awefull and I couldnt feel the tomato…maybe this is a dish for advanced cook, definitely not for me.
Although I realy enjoy your blog and other recepies 🙂
Aww, bummer! Lasagna is a particularly sucky one to have not turn out since it takes so long – sorry it didn’t work for you! Hopefully some of my other recipes work better for you!
Hello! Just wanted to let you know that I discovered this recipe through another blog (can’t remember now which one) and made it this week. One word – DELICIOUS! The flavours and texture was amazing and I didn’t miss the noodles or cheese. My non-vegan husband actually did the cooking and he enjoyed putting it all together, and though skeptical of the tofu/cauliflower ricotta, he loved it and gobbled up every bite.
I’m just at my desk at work right now eating the leftovers, and I think it’s even better on Day 2. Thanks for a great recipe – will definitely be making this one again.
That’s fantastic that you both loved it! It’s also nice that your husband will cook for you even when he’s skeptical 🙂
We are having this for dinner tonight. Looks wonderful. I didn’t notice any mention of the mushrooms in the ingredient list so…ours will be without mushrooms. Oh well. Thank you for the recipe.
Man, you’re right – thanks for pointing that out! The mushrooms are on the ingredient list now. But don’t worry, it’ll still be great without them, they are definitely an optional ingredient. Let me know how yours turns out!
yum. looks so good. i found your link from osg.
i think i will try this one out b/c you know what? my husband doesn’t like cheese or pasta noodles, but he also doesn’t like olives, so i’ll have to leave those off – Half of it at least… but it look so yummy – thanks for sharing 🙂
This looks delicious! I am not vegan, but am on a vegan kick lately and was trying to figure out how I could make lasagna the other day without the husband missing out on the cheesy ricotta mix. Going to have to give this a try asap!!
I just found you through Oh She Glows – this lasagna looks incredible! It’s definitely going on my “make” list!
Yummy looking lasagna! Love all of the step by step photos, it looks so beautiful! I’ll have to give it a try soon! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂