Watch Laura prepare this yummy, crowd-pleasing lasagna, along with a fabulous full dinner menu, on YouTube!

1

ABOUT THE RECIPE:

This delicious vegan lasagna is a real showstopper! I based this recipe on my grandma’s traditional lasagna recipe and substituted tofu for the ricotta cheese and vegan ground round for the meat, then lightened it up a bit with long strips of zucchini in place of one of the layers of noodles. This lasagna freezes well, so the time you dedicate to making the dish will pay off in delicious leftovers later. It’s unusual for me to make a recipe with this many steps, but this dish is worth the effort.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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INGREDIENTS:

NOODLES
11 to 12 ounces whole-grain lasagna noodles
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (if needed)

MUSHROOM SAUCE
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (see NOTE)
8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons tamari
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
1 package (about 12 to 14 ounces) vegan ground round (see Variation)
2 heaping teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
1 jar (about 25 ounces) marinara sauce
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil

TOFU RICOTTA (see below for Soy-Free Alternative)
14 to 16 ounces firm or extra-firm regular tofu, well drained
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄4 teaspoon tamari
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
2 medium/large zucchini
12 to 15 ounces vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ or vegan Parmesan cheese
4 to 5 ounces (lightly packed) baby spinach
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend (optional)
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

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INSTRUCTIONS:

To prepare the noodles, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are almost tender. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well. Transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and gently toss to coat.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread some of the noodles on the lined baking sheet in a single layer. Top with another sheet of parchment paper and more noodles in a single layer. Continue in this way with the remaining noodles. (This will keep the noodles from sticking together while you prepare the rest of the recipe.)

4

To make the mushroom sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Drizzle with the tamari and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the vegan ground round, breaking it up with a potato masher or large spoon. Add a small amount of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mixture seems dry. Stir in the optional brown sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegan ground round is slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

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Stir the remaining tablespoon of oil into 1 cup of the marinara sauce and set aside. Stir the remaining marinara sauce, tomatoes, and basil into the mushroom mixture. Decrease the heat to low, partially cover to prevent splattering, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the tofu ricotta, put the tofu, parsley, and tamari in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher until the mixture has the consistency of ricotta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice each zucchini lengthwise into 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-inch thick strips.

Spread the reserved cup of marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of a deep 13 x 9-inch (or similarly sized) casserole dish or lasagna pan. Arrange one-third of the lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread one-third of the mushroom sauce over the noodles in an even layer. Top with all the zucchini, arranged lengthwise (in the same direction as the noodles), then all the tofu mixture, spread in an even layer. Arrange another one-third of the noodles over the tofu mixture. Spread another one-third of the mushroom sauce over the noodles in an even layer. Scatter two-thirds of the vegan mozzarella over the mushroom sauce, then sprinkle with the toasted wheat germ or vegan Parmesan.

Top with all the spinach, pressing it down VERY firmly. Arrange the remaining noodles over the spinach, then spread the remaining mushroom sauce over the noodles. Scatter the remaining vegan mozzarella over the top. Sprinkle the optional Italian seasoning over the top, along with some salt and pepper if desired.

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Cover tightly and bake for about 55 minutes. Uncover (carefully, steam will be HOT!) and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until slightly golden on top. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

NOTE: You can cook the noodles up to 1 day in advance. Once they’re cooked and spread out on a baking sheet between layers of parchment paper, wrap the baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you assemble the lasagna.

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VARIATION: Substitute an additional 8 to 12 ounces of mushrooms, finely chopped, for the vegan ground round.

NOTE: To decrease the fat content in this lasagna (and in many savory dishes), you can replace some or all of the oil used for sautéing with vegetable broth or water. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of either broth or water to replace 1 tablespoon of oil. Unlike oil, these liquids will evaporate during cooking, so be watchful and add more as needed.

9

Soy-Free Alternative
CASHEW-WHITE BEAN VEGAN RICOTTA

INGREDIENTS:
1 can (14 to 16 ounces) white beans (any variety, drained and rinsed),
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup water (plus more as needed)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more if desired (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Put the white beans, cashews, water, garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon sea salt in a blender and process until smooth. Proceed with lasagna recipe as directed.

Ingredients

Directions

1

ABOUT THE RECIPE:

This delicious vegan lasagna is a real showstopper! I based this recipe on my grandma’s traditional lasagna recipe and substituted tofu for the ricotta cheese and vegan ground round for the meat, then lightened it up a bit with long strips of zucchini in place of one of the layers of noodles. This lasagna freezes well, so the time you dedicate to making the dish will pay off in delicious leftovers later. It’s unusual for me to make a recipe with this many steps, but this dish is worth the effort.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2

INGREDIENTS:

NOODLES
11 to 12 ounces whole-grain lasagna noodles
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (if needed)

MUSHROOM SAUCE
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (see NOTE)
8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons tamari
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
1 package (about 12 to 14 ounces) vegan ground round (see Variation)
2 heaping teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
1 jar (about 25 ounces) marinara sauce
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil

TOFU RICOTTA (see below for Soy-Free Alternative)
14 to 16 ounces firm or extra-firm regular tofu, well drained
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄4 teaspoon tamari
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
2 medium/large zucchini
12 to 15 ounces vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ or vegan Parmesan cheese
4 to 5 ounces (lightly packed) baby spinach
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend (optional)
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

3

INSTRUCTIONS:

To prepare the noodles, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are almost tender. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well. Transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and gently toss to coat.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread some of the noodles on the lined baking sheet in a single layer. Top with another sheet of parchment paper and more noodles in a single layer. Continue in this way with the remaining noodles. (This will keep the noodles from sticking together while you prepare the rest of the recipe.)

4

To make the mushroom sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Drizzle with the tamari and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the vegan ground round, breaking it up with a potato masher or large spoon. Add a small amount of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mixture seems dry. Stir in the optional brown sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegan ground round is slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

5

Stir the remaining tablespoon of oil into 1 cup of the marinara sauce and set aside. Stir the remaining marinara sauce, tomatoes, and basil into the mushroom mixture. Decrease the heat to low, partially cover to prevent splattering, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the tofu ricotta, put the tofu, parsley, and tamari in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher until the mixture has the consistency of ricotta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice each zucchini lengthwise into 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-inch thick strips.

Spread the reserved cup of marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of a deep 13 x 9-inch (or similarly sized) casserole dish or lasagna pan. Arrange one-third of the lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread one-third of the mushroom sauce over the noodles in an even layer. Top with all the zucchini, arranged lengthwise (in the same direction as the noodles), then all the tofu mixture, spread in an even layer. Arrange another one-third of the noodles over the tofu mixture. Spread another one-third of the mushroom sauce over the noodles in an even layer. Scatter two-thirds of the vegan mozzarella over the mushroom sauce, then sprinkle with the toasted wheat germ or vegan Parmesan.

Top with all the spinach, pressing it down VERY firmly. Arrange the remaining noodles over the spinach, then spread the remaining mushroom sauce over the noodles. Scatter the remaining vegan mozzarella over the top. Sprinkle the optional Italian seasoning over the top, along with some salt and pepper if desired.

7

Cover tightly and bake for about 55 minutes. Uncover (carefully, steam will be HOT!) and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until slightly golden on top. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

NOTE: You can cook the noodles up to 1 day in advance. Once they’re cooked and spread out on a baking sheet between layers of parchment paper, wrap the baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you assemble the lasagna.

8

VARIATION: Substitute an additional 8 to 12 ounces of mushrooms, finely chopped, for the vegan ground round.

NOTE: To decrease the fat content in this lasagna (and in many savory dishes), you can replace some or all of the oil used for sautéing with vegetable broth or water. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of either broth or water to replace 1 tablespoon of oil. Unlike oil, these liquids will evaporate during cooking, so be watchful and add more as needed.

9

Soy-Free Alternative
CASHEW-WHITE BEAN VEGAN RICOTTA

INGREDIENTS:
1 can (14 to 16 ounces) white beans (any variety, drained and rinsed),
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup water (plus more as needed)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more if desired (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Put the white beans, cashews, water, garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon sea salt in a blender and process until smooth. Proceed with lasagna recipe as directed.

Festive Zucchini Lasagna
Try serving this delicious Vegan Zucchini Lasagna with Roasted Asparagus on the side!
Watch me prepare this delicious recipe on YouTube in our Festive Zucchini Lasagna show!

This recipe is from Chef Laura Theodore’s official Season One companion cookbook: JAZZY VEGETARIAN: Lively VEGAN Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious, 10th Anniversary EditionThis wonderful book includes all of the recipes from Season Ten too! Learn more and buy a signed copy HERE.

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