Yep, this lightened up, healthy lasagna is vegan but you really won’t miss the cheese, I swear. I know because I always loved cheesy baked pasta dishes so I if I was going to create a cheeseless lasagna, it had to be good. I skip using any type of packaged vegan cheese on this because I’m really picky about how I use those and I wanted to preserve the other flavors going on here. Of course you can always switch up the veggies based on what you like or have on hand. One important tip, do pick a good quality pasta sauce if you don’t make your own. I love Rao’s, Marinelli’s, and Paesana sauces.
¾ cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked in water 3-4 hrs
½ block of firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 cup fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Low-sodium broth for sautéing
2 portobello caps, gills removed, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 heaping cup chopped broccoli
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package
2 cups pasta sauce
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Add all the basil ricotta ingredients to a food processor and process until it all comes together. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of broth, just enough to barely coat bottom of the pan. You don’t want too much liquid because you want the veggies to brown a bit. Add portobello, bell pepper, and onion. Cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in broccoli and garlic and, adding a little more broth as needed. Cook 3-4 minutes longer or until liquid has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Assemble lasagna: (note: you will have to trim noodles to fit and you may not use them all). Coat bottom of a 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with some of the tomato sauce. Add a layer of lasagna noodles, spread 1/3 of the ricotta on the noodles, top with half the veggies. Spread 1/3 of remaining sauce on top. Repeat with another layer of noodles, ricotta, veggies and sauce. Now top with the last layer of noodles, ricotta and sauce. Cover with foil and bake 35-40 minutes.