This vegan lasagna recipe is seriously decadent. Layers of vegan bolognese, vegan ricotta, vegan cheese sauce and marinara sauce make for the most delicious lasagna ever!
This vegan lasagna recipe is truly decadent.
The last time I made a lasagna I called it the easiest lasagna because it really was so easy.
But this one? Well I’m not going to pretend this is a simple recipe. It has a few parts to it, but wow is it good! So good.
It’s layers of a marinara sauce, homemade vegan bolognese, lasagna sheets, zucchini, vegan ricotta and a simply divine vegan cheese sauce.
Everything except the marinara sauce, the lasagna sheets and the sliced zucchini gets made up from scratch.
So yes, I can’t call this easy, but rewarding? Definitely!
And it feeds a crowd. You can definitely feed at least 8 very hungry people from this dish. And they will be super impressed with you that is for sure!
How To Make Vegan Lasagna
Scroll to the end of the post for the full recipe card, but don’t skip the post because we pack in lots of extra info to help you make a success of the recipe.
The Vegan Bolognese:
We made up a bolognese from scratch and the recipe is only slightly adapted from our vegan bolognese recipe. We adapted the recipe to make it less saucy, since it was going in this lasagna with lots of saucy things like marinara sauce and cheese sauce.
- Slice up some cremini mushrooms, also called portobellini mushrooms or baby bellas, and add them to a food processor and process until they are very finely chopped.
- Mash up a block of extra firm tofu with a fork.
- Add some walnuts to the food processor and process into crumbles (not pictured).
- Now add the chopped mushrooms, mashed tofu and crumbled walnuts into a bowl and mix them together.
- Then you’re just going to fry up some onions and garlic in some olive oil with some spices and then add in your mushroom/tofu/walnut mix along with some dark soy sauce, tomato paste and some marinara sauce and sauté until you have a deliciously soft bolognese with no visible liquid.
- Add a little coconut sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
The Vegan Cheese Sauce:
The vegan cheese sauce is an adaptation from our vegan white sauce (bechamel) and it works wonderfully for this lasagna.
If you see the top of the lasagna and that gorgeous crusty cheese, well that is this cheese sauce! We didn’t use any actual vegan cheese in this recipe, just this homemade cheese sauce.
The sauce is made with soy milk. We did try a version with coconut milk, similar to what we did for our vegan alfredo sauce and our baked vegan mac and cheese, but we really preferred soy milk for this. When combined with the other flavors in the lasagna it just worked out the best.
All the details are in the recipe card, but I had to give you the visual with this photo collage!
We start with some marinara sauce at the bottom of a 9×13 rectangular oven safe dish. A deep dish is going to work best for this recipe because there are a lot of layers!
Then comes some sheets of spinach lasagna noodles, then some bolognese sauce, then some cheese sauce, a layer of thinly sliced zucchini and then a layer of vegan ricotta cheese. For the ricotta layer we used one full batch of homemade vegan ricotta. Of course if you have a store-bought option that you like, you are welcome to use that instead.
Then comes some more spinach lasagna sheets, then marinara, then cheese sauce, bolognese, sliced zucchini, more lasagna sheets and top it off with more marinara sauce.
I ran out of space in my collage to show the final layer of lasagna sheets before the marinara went on, so we have a two for one there in that last image!
We cover that with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 390°F.
Then bring it out, remove the foil, top with the remaining cheese sauce, and return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes uncovered.
The cheese sauce goes firm and melty on top, similar to melty cheese! It’s divine.
When the lasagna comes out of the oven, stick a knife in to make sure it’s cooked through.
And then put a swirl of marinara sauce into the middle to look pretty, and decorate with some chopped basil, a sprinkle of dried basil and black pepper.
The vegan bolognese and vegan cheese sauce really make this lasagna special.
We used a store-bought marinara sauce, because we didn’t want to be busy ALL day making this! But if you have a favorite homemade marinara sauce you’d like to make, well, go ahead superstar!
The homemade vegan ricotta layer also really makes this lasagna special. But if you’re looking to save time and have a ready-made option that you can buy, you can definitely use that.
We used lasagna sheets that don’t need to be pre-cooked, because ain’t nobody got time for cooking that in advance!
The sliced zucchini layers are awesome because having some extra veggies in your lasagna is only a good thing. However, this can be omitted if you can’t get hold of any zucchini.
How To Serve
Make It In Advance
The vegan ricotta can be made in advance, it can even be frozen if you need to make it far in advance and then thawed in the fridge when you need it.
The vegan bolognese can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge.
The vegan cheese sauce can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Give it a good whisk to make sure it’s smooth. It will thicken up in the fridge but this is okay.
Then you just need to assemble the lasagna and bake it when you’re ready. I don’t think it would be great to assemble it a couple of days before, just because it could cause your lasagna sheets to get mushy.
Make It Gluten-Free
You can use a gluten-free all purpose flour blend when making the vegan cheese sauce, and you can use gluten-free lasagna sheets. Also use a gluten-free soy sauce in the vegan bolognese or switch it for tamari.
These are the only adjustments needed to make this a gluten-free lasagna.
Storing and Freezing
Leftovers keep very well in the fridge for a few days and can be reheated slice by slice as needed! This lasagna is also freezer friendly if you’d like to freeze it.
More Vegan Comfort Food Recipes!
- Vegan Pasta Bake
- Vegan Stuffed Shells
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Moussaka
- Vegan Stuffed Peppers
Vegan Lasagna Recipe
For the Vegan Bolognese:
- 8 ounces Extra Firm Tofu (226g)
- 1 cup Walnuts (100g)
- 2 and ½ cups Cremini Mushrooms (240g)
- ½ Medium Onion White, Yellow or Brown, Chopped
- 1 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Dried Basil
- 1 tsp Oregano
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- ½ cup Tomato Paste (130g)
- 1 cup Marinara Sauce (240ml)
- 1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Vegan Cheese Sauce:
For the Vegan Ricotta:
- 1 Recipe Vegan Ricotta
For the Marinara Sauce:
- 2 and ½ cups Marinara Sauce (600ml)
- 12 Sheets Spinach Lasagna*
- 4 Small Zucchini Sliced
- If you're making the vegan ricotta from scratch as per our recipe, then put your slivered almonds in a bowl, pour over some boiling water from the kettle and leave them to soak for 1 hour.
- Prepare your vegan bolognese. Mash the tofu with a fork and add to a mixing bowl, process the walnuts into crumbs in the food processor and then add to the mixing bowl. Finally, slice your mushrooms and add to the food processor and process until very finely chopped and then add to the mixing bowl. Mix together.
- Add the chopped onion to a pot with the crushed garlic, olive oil, dried basil, oregano and cayenne pepper and sauté until the onions are softened. Add in the tofu/walnut/mushroom mix along with the dark soy sauce, tomato paste and marinara sauce and sauté until you have a soft bolognese sauce with no visible liquid.
- Add in the coconut sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
- Prepare your vegan cheese sauce. Add the olive oil to a pot and let it heat until hot. Then add in the flour and fry it briefly in the oil, stirring vigorously and then add in your soy milk and whisk it vigorously to get rid of lumps. Bring it to the boil stirring constantly. When it boils let it continue to boil, stirring all the while, for a few minutes until it thickens.
- Remove it from the heat and add in the dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and ground black pepper and stir in.
- Prepare your vegan ricotta. Prepare this as per the linked recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
- Begin assembling your lasagna.
- Add a thin layer of marinara sauce to the bottom of a deep 9x13 baking dish.
- Then add 4 sheets of spinach lasagna noodles.
- Then add half the vegan bolognese and spread it into an even layer.
- Then add a thin layer of vegan cheese sauce.
- Then add a layer of sliced zucchini.
- Then add all the vegan ricotta into one thick layer.
- Then add 4 sheets of spinach lasagna noodles.
- Then add another layer of marinara sauce.
- Then add another thin layer of vegan cheese sauce, leaving the remainder to add on last.
- Then add the rest of the vegan bolognese.
- Then add a layer of sliced zucchini.
- Then add another 4 sheets of spinach lasagna noodles.
- Then add another layer of marinara, leaving a small amount behind for decorating the top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes bring it out, remove the foil and add all the remaining vegan cheese sauce to the top.
- Return to the oven and bake uncovered for a further 20 minutes.
- Bring it out, stick in a knife to make sure it's cooked, and then add a generous drizzle of marinara sauce to the middle section of the baked lasagna.
- Decorate with fresh chopped basil, dried basil and ground black pepper.
- Cremini mushrooms are also known as 'portobellini', 'baby bella', or 'baby portobello' mushrooms. You could also use white button mushrooms.
- Marinara sauce. We used a simple store-bought marinara sauce. Use whatever marinara sauce is your favorite.
- Soy milk. We found soy milk the best for this vegan cheese sauce in light of the other flavors of the lasagna. It just worked really well. We also tried some with coconut milk and it works fine, but for overall flavor with the other elements of this lasagna soy milk tasted best.
- Vegan ricotta. You can make the vegan ricotta as per our recipe or, if you prefer to buy ready made vegan ricotta then the amount needed would be around 1 and ⅔ cups.
- Lasagna sheets. You don't have to use spinach lasagna you can use plain lasagna, that's up to you. Ideally you want to use a brand that does not require pre-cooking. You may need a few more sheets of lasagna, depending on the size of the sheets. Just use as many as needed.
- This recipe was first published in March 2019.