About the Recipe
I have loved lasagna for so long. In my pre-vegan life, even bad lasagna would hit the spot if covered in enough cheese. Like many people, laying of the cheese was the biggest challenge in my vegan journey.
Luckily, we have a lot of options these days. One of my favorites hands down is Miyokos Mozzarella. In the recipe, I say vegan cheese. I mean Miyokos mozzarella. :) I have used other vegan cheese and it's come out just fine. I've not used cheese at all and also good. But in order to get the full amazingness of it all, I recommend Miyoko's Butter and Mozzarella.
In terms of pasta sauce... I discovered an organic sauce with few ingredients that is also really affordable. Since then, I've changed my perspective on only using a fresh marinara sauce. This recipe already has a lot of steps, so I tend to use jarred sauce. WATCH OUT FOR INGREDIENTS. Some pasta sauces hide up to 1 cup of sugar per jar! Not to mention the added salt. But if I'm really honest, I use my blender to start my fresh red sauce and I need it to make the bechamel sauce and cleaning the blender mid-recipe just seems like too much work. :/
I've made this recipe a million different ways. The main components include a well-seasoned sauce that has enough liquid so you don't have to precook your lasagna sheets. You also want it to be nice and chunky. So whatever vegetables you're adding in, make them bite-size and a substantial part of the sauce. And of course the béchamel sauce. I don't usually add ricotta to my lasagna. Mostly because vegan ricotta is expensive and often has a lot of ingredients that I can probably live without. Be generous with the bechamel sauce in between layers. It really adds a lot of flavor and is the champion of this dish.
Finally, my absolute favorite part of this lasagna is the top layer covered in the cheesy sauce. It bubbles and browns as it cooks. I usually remove the tin foil in the last few minutes to make sure it browns properly. I've been known to steal other people's lasagna tops as I dish up. It's so good!
I can't wait for you to try it and let me know what you think.
· 4 cups Red Pasta Sauce + 1/3 cup water
· 1 box Whole Grain Lasagna Sheets
· 2 Sweet Onions
· 5 - cloves of Garlic
· 1 tsp Thyme
· 1 tsp Rosemary
· 1 tsp Sage
· 2 Vegetable Stock cubes /Bouilllion
· Assortment of Vegetables - Sweet peppers, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Eggplant, etc.
· (Optional) - Vegan 'Beef'
· 1/4 cup of Vegan Butter
· 1/4 cup of All-Purpose Flour
· 4 cups of Non-dairy Milk
· Pinch of Nutmeg
· 1 tsp Bouillon Paste
· 1/4 Nutritional yeast
· (Optional)1 - 2 cups Vegan Cheese
In a large pan, sauté vegetables until they have softened but still a bit of firmness. If you are adding vegan 'beef', do so after the vegetables have cooked down a little.
Add in garlic and seasonings and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add in red pasta sauce and water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Note: You want the sauce to be a little watery, so you don't have to pre-cook the lasagna sheets.
Blend Bouillon, milk, nutritional yeast, and milk in a blender until smooth.
Melt butter in a saucepan.
Add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring with a spoon or whisk.
Slowly add 3 cups of the milk mixture and a pinch of nutmeg. Whisk vigorously. The mixture will thin then thicken considerably as it cooks. You want to make sure you have a smooth sauce and may need some elbow grease to knock out any lumps.
If you are adding vegan cheese, blend with the remaining cup of the milk mixture.
To assemble, lay lasagna sheets across your pan of choice. 1 layer at the bottom. Ad red sauce to cover. Splash bechamel sauce on top. Add a new layer until you have reached the top of your baking dish. The layers should end with lasagna sheets.
Pour cheese mixture over the top and loosely cover with tin foil.
Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.