The best vegan lasagna. Ever (omg, my first recipe post!)

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This post is also known as “The lasagna that nearly ruined my relationship” but I didn’t think people would want to make it, let alone share it, and I’m really hoping that you give this one a crack because I don’t even really LIKE lasagna and I’m drooling just thinking about it. Pair this with white wine, a hearty loaf of Italian bread, and there you have a very vegan Valentine’s Day dinner to serve a small army of hungry people. Or love birds. 

Let’s start at the beginning.

It was supposed to be a nice dinner. Work and life have been so stressful and I wanted to do something special for Bryan, to thank him for being my rock and navigating rough terrain by my side. 

But the night didn’t go as I had planned.

I was following along John Joseph’s vegan lasagna recipe. It required two soup pots, a sauté pan, and of course a dish big enough to hold a lasagna.

Three amigos (aka, I forgot about these ingredients when I went to take the 1st picture. Whoops!)

What could possibly go wrong?

I lined up the spices, checked to make sure I had everything on hand. There were so many steps! In the end, I thought it would all be worth it and measured and poured and 

Fuck

I don’t have two bags of vegan mozzarella. That’s okay, I thought. I’ll just substitute Parmesan cheese. No one will know!

And I mixed and I chopped and 

Son of a bitch! My ricotta went bad. I didn’t even know since I hadn’t opened the container in… well, I don’t remember the last time. I needed to think fast which is never really my strong suit. I decided to call Bryan and see if he could pick up ricotta and mozzarella on his way home.

“What are you making?” He sighed into the phone. It was a major derailment and I knew he already had a long day.

“I thought I’d surprise you with lasagna! From your punk rock guy!” (*Side bar: John Joseph, in case anyone is curious, was a member of the Cro Mags.) 

“Charlotte, it takes at least an hour to cook.”

Shit. I forgot about that part, too. If this dinner was going to happen, I needed him to pick up ingredients. Even though I had already been to Whole Foods once today. Bryan was in a foul mood because I screwed up directions and instead of solving my own problem, I wanted him to fix it. 

He picked up the ricotta and mozzarella on his way home, but it was past 7 and neither of us were in the mood for lasagna any longer.

That night, I ate a sad avocado and Bryan had sleep for dinner. 

Anyway, there is a lesson in all this as there usually is. 1) Reading is fundamental 2) Don’t expect someone else to fix your headaches and 3) Don’t attempt a vegan lasagna unless you are fully prepared. 

Did I mention that I didn’t even have aluminum foil?

I swear, It’s like I’ve never cooked before. 

The next night, we started over. I told him I was hurt because, while my execution may not have been the best, my intentions were good. He apologized for being a monster and we ate the most delicious lasagna ever made. Here is the recipe, slightly amended because I dunno what the fuck asafoetida is and it was delicious without. Also the hell is that, seriously? 

aren’t spices pretty?

Also here’s a friendly tip: make the sauce, meat, and veggies the night before for easy assembly day of eats. Enjoy!!

Shove THAT in your piehole. No, seriously. SHOVE IT IN THERE!

Best ever vegan lasagne
Serves 8
Healthy, delicious, and satisfying vegan lasagne
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
526 calories
52 g
54 g
27 g
21 g
14 g
331 g
997 g
14 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
331g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 526
Calories from Fat 238
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g
42%
Saturated Fat 14g
71%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 54mg
18%
Sodium 997mg
42%
Total Carbohydrates 52g
17%
Dietary Fiber 6g
22%
Sugars 14g
Protein 21g
Vitamin A
107%
Vitamin C
49%
Calcium
30%
Iron
19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the sauce
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil (John's recipe calls for 6, which I think is a bit excessive, personally)
  2. 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  3. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  5. 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  6. 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds (original recipe calls for fenugreek but I wasn't able to locate this)
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  8. 1 dried chilis (or more, depending on preference)
  9. 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  10. 5 cups pasta sauce
  11. 1/3 cup organic tomato paste
  12. 2 tablespoons molasses
  13. 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or blend of rosemary/oregano, which is what I had on hand)
  14. 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the lasagne
  1. Earth Balance butter and olive oil (to grease pan)
  2. 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  3. black pepper, to taste
  4. 1 (one) 11- or 12-oz. bag vegan beef crumbles, depending on what you find (I used Quorn brand)
  5. 8 oz. vegan ricotta
  6. 2 (two!) 8-oz. bags Daiya vegan mozzarella shreds
  7. 2 broccoli crowns
  8. 1 large yellow zucchini
  9. 1 box (approx. 12-oz.) whole wheat lasagne noodles
  10. 1 bunch organic spinach, chopped
To make the sauce
  1. 1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan
  2. 2. When warm, add mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, fennel seeds, cumin, and chilis and cook until fragrant (roughly 2 mins)
  3. 3. Add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste and stir until tomatoes are soft (roughly 8 mins)
  4. 4. Add molasses, Italian herbs (or rosemary/oregano mix), and salt. Lower heat and cook for an additional 30 mins.
To make the "meat"
  1. 1. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  2. 2. Add beef crumbles and cook until browned, roughly 10 mins
  3. 3. Season with black pepper and transfer to a large bowl; wait to cool
  4. 4. Once this has cooled down considerably, stir in the ricotta and 1/4 cup of mozzarella shreds. Set aside.
For the veggies
  1. 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook broccoli and zucchini until tender (roughly 5 mins)
  2. 2. Drain and transfer to an ice bath to cool
  3. 3. Make sure ALL veggies are completely dry (No more ice! No more water!) and mash those suckers to bits on your chopping board.
For the lasagne (OMG it's finally happening!)
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. 2. Grease the lasagne pan with olive oil and butter, making sure to cover all sides
  3. 3. Run lasagne under water (do not precook!) and add first layer to lasagne pan (about three pieces)
  4. 4. Top with 1/3 of the meat mixture and spread in an even layer, pressing into the pasta
  5. 5. Add about 1 1/2 cups of pasta sauce, then top with 1/3 veggies and 1/3 of spinach
  6. 6. Top with 1/2 cup of mozzarella and another 1/2 cup of pasta sauce
  7. 7. Top with another layer of lasagne noodles (making sure to rise ALL noodles before placing in pan) and repeat for two more layers
  8. 8. End with fourth layer of pasta and top with remaining sauce
  9. 9. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour
  10. 10. Remove foil and top with remaining cheese (or go rogue and add however much cheese you like!), and bake for an additional 15 mins
  11. Let cool and then tell me that's not the most delicious lasagne you've ever had in your life. Serve with white whine; Italian bread. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Many thanks to John Joseph for this recipe (and video! he's hilarious).
Adapted from John Joseph
beta
calories
526
fat
27g
protein
21g
carbs
52g
more
Adapted from John Joseph
My Pixie Blog http://mypixieblog.com/
17 Comments… add one
Anthea January 31, 2018, 8:27 AM

This looks delicious!
I love that there was a story behind the recipe and you included the lessons learnt 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it in the end – must have been worth the wait!

Christine January 31, 2018, 8:56 AM

Oh my gosh, this is hilarious! It looks very good. I’ve used the Kite Hill ricotta and it’s really good. It’s very close to real ricotta. I’ll have to try this recipe.

Beth January 31, 2018, 10:54 AM

LOL I don’t know what I love more, the recipe or the story you shared about making it! But seriously, I’m always on the lookout for good vegan food for my sister in law, so I’m going to save this one for a family dinner sometime – and make sure I have everything ahead of time, lol! Love you for keeping it real my dear! XO

Dani January 31, 2018, 11:55 AM

That’s… a helluva lot of ingredients. No wonder you forgot a few! I’m so glad it worked out for you in the end though. I love the recipe format with the little pic and all the nutrition info- I need to learn how to do that!

San January 31, 2018, 12:59 PM

What a story LOL but you prevailed in th end! It sounds delicious!

Karen January 31, 2018, 3:37 PM

That looks delicious! I’ve made a few different veggie lasagna recipes over the years. One of my favorites was a roasted pepper lasagna with bechemel sauce.

Karen @ For What It’s Worth

ShootingStarsMag January 31, 2018, 3:38 PM

Aw, I’d probably have messed this up myself! So many ingredients. I’m glad it worked out the NEXT night though and you both had a great meal. And thanks for sharing the recipe. Yeah, I don’t know what that ingredient is…is it a made up word? Like really!

-Lauren

Trish @ The Trish List January 31, 2018, 4:16 PM

Oh my! So glad you got the lasagna made and all was good in the world! looks delish! I will have to try this, on a weekend so I have plenty of time to mess up somewhere!

Mia January 31, 2018, 5:12 PM

Recipes with a story are my favorite. Because not only do you get the drool-worthy visuals, but you also get to set the scene about what was happening.

Also, I couldn’t pronounce “asafoetida” in my head, so I’m calling it ass-feet. 🙂

Natalie A January 31, 2018, 5:46 PM

Look at you, you are a cook, too! 🙂 I have never heard of asafetida before and I have no idea what it is! LOL! Your lasagna pictures are making me want some of this lasagna right now! I love that it is vegan! You make your recipe post entertaining! I hope to see more recipes from you!

Kisma January 31, 2018, 8:28 PM

This by the best way to introduce someone to lasagna. It looks amazing and I love how you found humor in a what surely was a frustrating event.

Tamara February 1, 2018, 11:56 AM

I can’t believe that vegan ricotta exists! It might make me even try it, although I’m so all about cheese. You are making my stomach growl, though, so there’s that.
And it’s awesome that you were able to tell him why you were hurt and he was able to apologize.

Akaleistar February 1, 2018, 1:15 PM

That lasagna looks so good!

Christine Tatum February 1, 2018, 7:56 PM

It looks amazing! It sucks it didn’t go as planned, but it made a great blog post! xoxo❤️😘

Lindsay February 5, 2018, 6:52 AM

This looks SO delicious Charlotte. I’m pinning and making this sometime. I bet it was so satiating and you probably didn’t feel like a bloated marshmallow man afterwards.

Well done. Enjoyed reading your story, too. 😉

xoxox

Kim February 19, 2018, 9:23 AM

Looks good. Can’t say I’ve seen vegan ricotta.

This is a Sham February 19, 2018, 9:48 AM

Awesome. Thanks for sharing. My husband and I are not vegans but I am always looking to add a tasty vegan dish because I do believe in the benefits, although I’m not nearly ready to go fully.

Thanks!

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