I have tried so many different vegan lasagne recipes, and it seems like they have always been missing something. Finally, I found a way to make a creamy, rich-tasting lasagne without any dairy products or substitutes. This lasagne, served with a salad and whole-grain bread sticks, makes a great meal.This recipe is very easy. You don't have to do everything at once and you can really do the steps in whatever order makes sense to you. Both the filling and, especially the sauce would benefit from being made the day before to allow the flavours to further develop. If you do the filling the day before, just be sure to take it out of the refrigerator a bit in advance to allow it to warm up and spread more easily.
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds firm tofu, drained (it is also a good idea to boil in water for about 5 minutes)
- 2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 teaspoons sea salt
- 3/4 to 1 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 12 ounce package lasagne noodles, preferably whole grain
- Whole grain bread crumbs, optional
- Start with the sauce, as its flavours will develop as it cooks (you can even do this early in the day or the day before): Place the chopped onion in a large soup pot with a small amount of water and cook on medium-high to soften.
- Add the garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, parsley, dried oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until you are ready to assemble the lasagne.
- For the filling: in another saucepan, place the potatoes, chopped onion and salt in just enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked, about 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, place the drained tofu in a food processor with the nutritional yeast, basil, parsley, and garlic and blend until smooth. If you don't have a food processor, just mash it up as well as you can. It might not get the same smooth consistency, but it should still taste just as good!
- When the potatoes are cooked (you might want to let them cool for a few minutes, but it doesn't seem to be a problem not to), pour the into the food processor, along with the onions and as much cooking water as will fit, and blend the whole mixture until smooth.
- It is up to you whether or not you want to pre-cook the lasagne noodles. I usually do, just because I can't stand the thought of ending up with uncooked noodles. However, it is much easier to assemble lasagne with uncooked noodles and many recipes specifically say to use uncooked noodles. If you are going to pre-cook, do this now.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- To assemble the lasagne, start with a layer of sauce on the bottom, place a layer of noodles on top and then a layer of the tofu mixture on top of that. Keep layering sauce, noodles and tofu mixture until you run out of noodles or space in the pan, finish with a layer of sauce and sprinkle with breadcrumbs, if desired. See note at bottom regarding amounts of filling and sauce for each layer.
- Cover the lasagne with foil and cook for about 30 minutes. Check to be sure that the noodles are done and, if so, take out of the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Note: The amount of sauce and tofu mixture used for each layer varies with taste. I usually use layers of sauce and tofu mixture about 2-3 times as thick as the noodles. I have never used all of either for one lasagne. You may very well have sauce and/or tofu mixture left over at the end. Both can be frozen and used in a variety of ways. The sauce, as you may guess, can be used in the same way as any other kind of sauce - on pizza, spaghetti, polenta, etc. The tofu mixture can be an ingredient for twice-baked potatoes, a filling for calzones or stuffed shells, etc, etc, etc. Always be creative with your leftovers!