Are you ready for The Ultimate Vegan Lasagna? Loaded with vegan sausage, vegan ricotta and spinach. Plus a secret ingredient for a cheesy topping.
It is officially the last day of 2020 and what better way to say goodbye to the weirdest, craziest, most challenging year we’ve ever had than with a HUGE, delicious vegan lasagna! If there is ever a day, week, year that we need some serious comfort food it is now.
And this vegan lasagna has layers of a “meaty” marinara sauce, vegan ricotta, spinach and of course, all the noods. Plus, I have a secret for getting that nice crispy “cheesy” topping without using vegan cheese shreds 😉
How to make the The Ultimate Vegan Lasagna filling
The filling for this lasagna is a combo of vegan ricotta, chopped spinach, non-dairy half & half and Italian seasoning. If you can’t find vegan ricotta in your store, you can make my Tofu Ricotta recipe.
Combine all of these ingredients in a bowl and set it aside.
For the sauce, I like to use a combo of fresh ingredients and pre-made marinara sauce. By using some pre-made ingredients, it will make your life so much easier and keep the cooking process to a minimum. However, if you have a favorite homemade marinara recipe, you can make that instead.
For the “meat” in the sauce, I used my standby – Beyond Meat Italian Sausage. You can swap it for your favorite vegan sausage, but you may need to increase the Italian seasoning in the sauce to make-up for any lost seasoning. Just taste as you go.
How to top The Ultimate Vegan Lasagna
It’s no secret that I am not a fan of vegan shreds, so I needed to come up with something else that to get that cheesy, crispy crust. And that’s where my “secret ingredient” comes in.
I used a combination of vegan cream cheese and non-dairy half & half! I honestly stumbled on this trick while making a breakfast casserole. It was a happy mistake that I am so happy to share with you. When you first combine the two together, it is a thick milky texture. But after it cooks, it creates this perfect cheesy topping.
I used Kite Hill chive-flavored cream cheese, but you can swap it for your favorite. As for the half & half, I used Ripple, but lots of brands make unflavored non-dairy cream these days.
How to serve The Ultimate Vegan Lasagna
Once you have everything assembled, bake the lasagna until hot and bubbly. Be sure to let it rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting into it, then top it off with fresh parsley.
You can serve this with garlic bread and a big green salad! It is seriously next level.
Need more recipe inspo? Check these out:
The Ultimate Vegan Lasagna
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- salt & pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste, optional
- 8 oz vegan Italian sausage
- water to deglaze the pan
- 1 15-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 28-ounce jar marinara
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
FOR THE FILLING
- 8 oz vegan ricotta*
- 8 oz frozen spinach thawed and drained
- 4 oz non-dairy half & half
- 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- salt & pepper to taste
FOR THE TOPPING
- 4 oz vegan cream cheese I used chive flavored
- 4 oz non-dairy half & half
FOR THE LASAGNA
- 9-12 lasagna noodles I used 12 short noodles
- parsley for topping
- Prepare the lasagna noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 4 minutes, stirring regularly so they don't stick. Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water. Transfer the noodles to a bowl of water to stop them from cooking. Place the noodles in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet – use 2 baking sheets if needed. Set aside.
- Place the same pot back on the stove. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sausage and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for a couple minutes or until it begins to brown. Add a splash of water to the pot to deglaze the pan – scraping down the brown bits.
- Add the fire roasted tomatoes, marinara, tomato paste and Italian seasoning to the pot and stir to combine. Cook for at least 15 minutes, stirring frequently – you can cook this longer if you have the time. Right before assembling add the fresh parsley.
- Combine all of the filling ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Combine the topping ingredients and mix until smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To assemble add 1 cup of the sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Add a layer of lasagna noodles, followed by 1.5 cups sauce and 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. Repeat with noodles, sauce and ricotta. For the final layer add a layer of noodles, the rest of the sauce and pour over the cream cheese mixture.
- Spray a piece of foil with non-stick spray and cover the lasagna. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes.** You can remove the lasagna now, or for an extra crispy top, turn the oven to broil. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until browned and bubbly on top – be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
- Remove from the oven and allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces and top with fresh parsley.
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