Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
If you love lasagna, then you’ve got to try this vegan lasagna recipe. Just as rich and delicious as the classic recipe, a must-try for everyone!
I made you a big ol’ pan of vegan lasagna! A friend reached out the other day asking if I had a good, classic recipe and while I’ve made this lasagna several times for my own family I realized that I haven’t put it up on the blog yet. Hello world, here she is. Isn’t she lovely?
This is a vegan lasagna for people who love lasagna. It’s got layers of meaty vegetables, bright red sauce and creamy, homemade cauliflower cashew ricotta. It’s packed with plants, and a crowd favorite for both my family and friends I’ve shared it with. Even though I eat dairy, I actually like this ricotta better. It has more flavor and pairs well against all of the yummy roasted vegetables.
Compared to my high-protein spinach vegan lasagna, this one reminds me of a more classic version. It’s the kind that I happily serve to my in-laws without worrying that they will like it. It’s the tray that I bring to friends with a new baby and don’t feel the need to let them know that it’s vegan.
Good food speaks for itself. I’m not that into labels and refuse to put one on my own diet. Instead, I advocate for eating more plants regardless of what the rest of your plate looks like. Thankfully, this lasagna is packed with both plants and flavor. It’s delicious plant-based food that everyone will love and I can’t wait for you to try it! It’s heavily adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan for Everybody by America’s Test Kitchen.
The star of this dish is the homemade ricotta recipe, adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. The combination of both cashews and cauliflower creates a creamy, light filling that tastes great in this vegan lasagna.
Cooking the cauliflower and cashews together first allows them to blend easier without any grittiness. You’ll need a good amount of olive oil to recreate the fatty texture that traditional ricotta has; I don’t shy away from good olive oil and don’t recommend decreasing the amount called for this in this recipe.
The lemon juice adds brightness, but it’s also OK to skip if you’re out of fresh lemons. I don’t always have fresh citrus on my counter and have skipped it plenty of times when making this recipe. While I love fresh basil and spinach in lasagna, I don’t like getting a big hunk of it as I eat. Therefore, I add the leaves into the finished ricotta then pulse ~8-10 times to combine. This method incorporates the fresh taste of the spinach and basil without overpowering.
You are welcome to use no-boil noodles in this recipe. I recommend following the directions on the package that you use as most recommend increasing the amount of marinara sauce when using no-boil noodles. I tend to use regular cooked ones as I prefer whole-wheat noodles when I can find them and haven’t been able to find no-boil whole wheat ones.
Yes! As an Italian gal, it took me a long time to know that jarred red sauce is often just as delicious as homemade options. Before I had kids, I always made my own red sauce but these days I typically open a jar. There are so many great options out there and I recommend using whatever kind you prefer. I like my lasagna to be very, very saucy and think there’s no such thing as too much sauce for lasagna. I often add more as I serve it!
After roasting the vegetables and making your own ricotta, it’s time to assemble! You’ll start with layering red sauce underneath noodles, then half of the cooked vegetables and ricotta. Repeat, then add more sauce and dairy-free cheese on top.
I really like the addition of dairy-free cheese on top of this lasagna as it resembles more of a traditional lasagna and offers even more great taste and texture. You can use whatever cheese you like here; I’m partial to Violife and Miyoko’s mozzarella as I think they melt well in addition to tasting good. Of course, if you don’t care about keeping this lasagna dairy-free then you are welcome to use regular mozzarella.
This lasagna needs to steam as it cooks, so you’ll want to either wrap it in foil or use an upside down baking sheet! I seem to never have foil in my kitchen and love this easy, waste-free hack. Flip a larger baking sheet over the lasagna, then bake until hot and cheese has melted. I like to remove the baking sheet about 5-10 minutes before finished to brown the top and get a few crispy edges to the noodles.
Make sure to chop your vegetables fairly small. They will reduce in size as they cook, but I think this lasagna works so well as the vegetables almost taste like crumbled, cooked meat. Chop well, then toss with plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until very soft and caramelized.
Lastly, make sure to let the lasagna cool before slicing. Cutting into very hot lasagna will make your layers crumble into one another. I like to remove and let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
If you love this lasagna recipe, then you’re going to want to try my other plant-based Italian recipes.
The best vegan lasagna! Layers of homemade cauliflower cashew ricotta with roasted eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms. My favorite vegan lasagna recipe I’ve ever tried.
Cauliflower Ricotta Filling:
*If you use no-bake noodles, then make sure to use enough sauce to allow the noodles to cook.
** I highly recommend Violife shredded mozzarella or Miyokos mozzarella ball.