Where do I start? Do you even need convincing?
Homemade lasagna, pasta included, how can you resist? The only down side to this recipe is it’s pretty time consuming. But so worth every minute, honestly. If you want to make lasagna, why not go big? I love making this, I feel like Martha Stewart! It’s honestly not complicated at all, just time consuming if you make everything the same day!
It’s the best lasagna you will ever have. It melts in your mouth. It’s life changing. You will never want to eat a lasagna with the store bought noodles ever again!!!
So, this recipe is perfect for just you and your family, but it’s amazing if you want to impress people or wow them with vegan food! Meat eaters would go nuts for this stuff!! They may be hesitant at first if they don’t believe vegan food is delicious, but believe me, they will be converted! They will be veliebers!
This vegan lasagna is time consuming if you make every component, but you can definitely make this with loved ones or friends and turn it into a fun afternoon!
If you want to make this for a dinner or a special occasion and don’t want to cook the day of, you can make the lasagna ahead. I would make the pasta dough and wrap it in saran wrap 2 days before. Then 1 day before, I would make the tomato sauce, tofu ricotta, the meat, and finally assemble the lasagna. And prior to the dinner, planning for time accordingly, I would bake the lasagna and serve! So on the day of, you only have to prepare side dishes, appetizers, desserts or nothing at all if you only serve the lasagna! Win!
I hate having to cook and stress before people come over, but I love cooking and making amazing food to share, so this is the perfect compromise!
Homemade Tomato Sauce
- 4 cans cans whole peeled tomatoes 4 x 28oz
- 1 cup small chopped onion
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic or more to taste
- 1 can tomato paste 6oz
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- Italian herbs to taste (optional)
Homemade Pasta Dough
- 2 cup silken Tofu
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric optional
- 2 cup flour
- 1 cup semolina flour
- 2 blocks Firm tofu
- 16 oz 454g raw baby spinach 335g steamed
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
- 4 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 340 g Lightlife Smart Ground Original Crumbles 12 oz
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
Open the cans, drain the water. Cut the tomatoes in half, then deseed them. It's easier to to this in a bowl filed with water, the seeds are left in the water.
Place the deseeded tomato halves in a bowl. Once you have deseeded all the tomatoes, transfer to a food processor and process until the consistency of your choice.
Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Then add the oil, followed by the onions. Add a pinch of salt and let the onions gently cook until they soften.
Once they’re ready, add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, just until softened.
Stir in the tomato paste and let it gently cook for a few minutes until it becomes a shade darker. (This gives a nice color and taste to the sauce.)
Then add the deseeded tomatoes and a good pinch of salt. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook uncovered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning/scorching.
At the end, you can add Italian herbs and spices. You add the herbs at the end so they will not brown since herbs are delicate.
Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
In a food processor, blend the tofu and the oil. Then while the food processor is running, add turmeric and sea salt.
Add the half the flour, then add the semolina, while the processor is still running. Once you have added all of the semolina, add the remaining regular flour.
Remove from the food processor and place on a flour dusted board or surface. (Or, alternatively, wrap the dough immediately in plastic and rest in the refrigerator until ready to knead and use or leave overnight.)
Knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as you go along when the dough gets sticky.
Cover the dough and let rest 10 minutes.
Knead again for 10-15 minutes, dusting more flour as needed. Form into a ball, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Start by pressing the two tofu blocks so there is not too much m moisture in the ricotta/lasagna.
Steam the spinach in a steamer, or wilt in a pan in batches.
Once the spinach is cooked, try to get as much of the water out as possible using a sieve or strainer. You could also use mesh or cheese cloth to squeeze the extra water out.
Crumble the pressed tofu over a mixing bowl with your hands, or crumble it using a food processor. Then add the cooked spinach and remaining ingredients for the tofu ricotta to the bowl. Mix well and set aside or cover and refrigerate for up to 7 days.
Crumble the ground crumbles if needed.
In a heated skillet or pan, add the oil, followed by the crumbled “meat”. Then add the spices and liquid smoke. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring often, then set aside.
To assemble the Lasagna
Have all of the 4 components ready, as well as the vegan cheese you plan on using, if using at all.
Preheat your oven to 375F if you plan on baking the Lasagna once it’s assembled.
For the lasagna “sheets”, cut the dough in 5 equal parts. Each dough ball will become a sheet. Roll one at a time on a floured surface as you assemble the lasagna.
In a rectangular baking dish, spoon some of the tomato sauce to cover the bottom.
Roll out the first lasagna sheet with a rolling pin. Use flour as needed. Make it the shape of your dish, and place the dish on top and cut off the extra dough. Place the first lasagna sheet at the bottom of the baking dish. Add more tomato sauce to cover the lasagna sheet.
Then transfer about half of the ricotta mixture on to the lasagna sheet. Spread evenly.
Roll out the second Lasagna sheet on the same floured surface. Cut out the extra, and place the lasagna sheet onto the ricotta layer. Cover with tomato sauce.
Then add some of the ground meat to cover the tomato sauce. Then top with more tomato sauce. (Optional)
Roll out the third lasagna sheet. Place onto the “meat” layer, and cover again with tomato sauce. Then add the remaining ricotta and spread evenly. Optional: Cover with tomato sauce.
Roll out the fourth lasagna sheet. Place onto the ricotta layer. Cover in tomato sauce. Then cover the tomato sauce with some of the “meat”. Cover in tomato sauce again.
Roll out the final and fifth lasagna sheet. Place onto the lasagna, cover with tomato sauce.
To top the lasagna, you can use vegan cheese shreds, cashew parmesan, or even sliced tomatoes.
Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, then bake uncovered for 15.
(Or, you can cover the unbaked lasagna with saran wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 2 days and bake as normal the day of the dinner or event.)
Let cool slightly before slicing. Keep the leftovers wrapped and refrigerated for up to 7 days.