Another win with the non-vegan crowd last night! I love it when that happens.
It was my daughter's birthday so I wanted to make something special while keeping it vegan. Her favorite comfort food growing up was lasagna so I dug around a bit until I came up with this recipe for Vegan Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta.
It was a hit! The 'ricotta' was so convincing, no one believed me when I told them it was tofu. Light and crumbly with just enough twang, my wife was eating it out of the bowl!
I mean what's not to love? Whole wheat lasagna noodles smothered in a rich marinara sauce, layered with a rich, creamy, tofu spinach ricotta 'cheese…mmm.
Garfield - eat your heart out.
Vegan Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta
This does take a bit of prep work - but if you have a food processor it will go fairly quickly.
Start by thawing a 10oz package of frozen spinach. Then soak ¼ cup of cashews. They both should be ready to use by the time we'll need them.
You're also going to need a fair amount of Marinara for this recipe.
Luckily I have this recipe for homemade Marinara Sauce handy. It's quick and simple with just s few common ingredients. Plus it has absolutely no oil and a fraction of the sodium of store-bought. So much healthier for you - and tastier too!
For the noodles, I used Whole Wheat Lasagna noodles. Pretty simply - boil some water and drop them in. You'll want about 10 of them (1 extra in case any breaks).
Follow the directions on the package and then place them in a colander to drain.
Tofu Spinach Ricotta 'Cheese'
The Ricotta was something I had to dig around for. Some people use Tofu, some use Cashews, some even use Tahini? I experimented and combined the features I liked from several different recipes and I'm pretty happy with the results.
The fam sure loved it anyway!
Drain a 16oz package of Extra Firm Tofu and then lay the whole block on some paper towels. Cover the tofu with some more paper towels and then place a plate or something flat on top. A cutting board would also work. Then lay a big cookbook, or something heavy on top of that. I used a cast iron skillet. We want to get as much water out of that block of Tofu as possible.
Meanwhile, drain the cashews and add them to your food processor. Toss in the garlic and give it a spin. When you almost have a cashew powder - add your tofu. I broke it up into smaller pieces to add it to the processor. Pulse this mixture until it resembles ricotta cheese.
Finish making the cheese by adding the rest of the ingredients and pulse until well mixed.
When your 'cheese' is ready, rinse and drain your spinach and add it to the mixture. It should be thawed enough by now. Don't worry if there's still a few frozen pieces, it will break up.
Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking and your "ricotta cheese" is now ready to spread.
Preheat your oven to 325 and get your lasagna pan out. It's party time!
Layer the bottom of your lasagna pan with sauce - just enough to completely cover the bottom. Then lay 3 noodles side by side. Cover with some more sauce and then spread some ricotta on top of that. Layer 3 more noodles and start over. Noodle, sauce, cheese, noodle, sauce, cheese.
The last 3 noodles go on top smothered by the rest of the marinara.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Sprinkle on some Vegan Parmesan and enjoy!
As always, thank you for all the kind comments, and keep them coming!
Whole wheat lasagna noodles smothered in a rich marinara sauce, layered with a rich, creamy, tofu spinach ricotta 'cheese…the perfect vegan lasagna!
- 1 batch Marinara Sauce ((see recipe link))
- 10 Lasagna Noodles (whole wheat)
- 16 oz Extra Firm Tofu
- ¼ cup Cashews ((unroasted))
- 2 cloves Garlic
- ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 tbls Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 box Frozen Spinach ((10oz))
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Begin by thawing spinach and soaking cashews
- Prepare marinara sauce.
Recipe Link to Marinara Sauce
- Drain and press the block of Tofu to remove as much moisture as possible
- Add cashews, garlic, and Tofu to food processor and pulse until it resembles ricotta cheese
- Add remaining ingredients to processor and pulse to mix well
- Add rinsed and drained spinach and give it a few more pulses until combined
- Add about 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of a rectangular lasagna pan
- Add first layer of noodles, sauce, and cheese
- Add second layer of noodles, sauce, and cheese
- Add third layer of noodles and cover with remaining sauce
- Bake for 30 minutes