Best Ever (Vegetarian) Lasagna

Best Ever (Vegetarian) Lasagna

August 13, 2019   |  by Shannon   |   Recipes

Do you know a single person who doesn’t like lasagna? 

Ok ok, I’m sure there’s someone out there who doesn’t.  But the majority opinion is that lasagna is AWESOME.

It’s hard to make bad lasagna.  But it’s also hard to make stellar lasagna, one that has the perfect ratio of sauce to noodles to meat (or in my case, meat substitute) to cheese.  And this Best Ever (Vegetarian) Lasagna succeeds!  This is one stellar lasagna.

I don’t know about you, but I think one way you can really keep lasagna from reaching its potential (wait, did I just personify lasagna?) is by making it dry.  There’s got to be sauce!  I love a good homemade tomato sauce in my lasagna, and the sauce I’ve got here really hits the spot.  I could probably drink it!

Another thing that can make the difference between good lasagna and great lasagna in my book is the cheese.  Sometimes, there’s just too much of it, and it over powers the other flavors.  I’ve solved that problem by taking out one of the cheeses traditionally found in lasagna—ricotta—and creating a tofu ricotta to go in its place!  So not only do you get a great tasting lasagna, you can also feel a little healthier knowing you’re getting a ton of protein from the tofu ricotta and meat substitute in every bite!

One of my new favorite meat substitutes! I am in LOVE! Have you tried Beyond Meat products yet? These are a hit with meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike!

And speaking of meat substitutes, have you guys tried Beyond Meat products yet?  I have at restaurants, but making this lasagna last week was the first time I’ve made Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles at home.  And let me tell you, these crumbles are fantastic! If you haven’t yet given this meat substitute a try, please do!  It’s definitely a new favorite in our house, and I am so excited to cook with Beyond Meat products more in the future!  Give it a shot in this lasagna recipe and see if you’re as crazy about Beyond Meat Crumbles as I am. (:

Also, feel free to use lasagna noodles that you boil before baking, but if you have access to the Oven Ready/No Boil lasagna noodles, I strongly recommend using them here!  These noodles are the only ones I use these days when I make lasagna.  They are just so delicious and easy to cook with!  If you don’t have them at your local grocery store, you can find oven ready lasagna noodles here.  This is an awesome deal that will keep you stocked on lasagna noodles for quite some time!

Barilla Oven Ready noodles are the only ones I use when making lasagna these days! Delicious and so easy to cook with! Click the photo to view my favorite deal!

And really quick, you can totally make this lasagna gluten free by using gluten free lasagna noodles, and you can make it vegan by subbing out the mozzarella and Parmesan with your favorite vegan cheese substitutes.  YUM!!

I wouldn’t call this a light dish, but with my tofu ricotta and Beyond Meat Substitute, this lasagna somehow feels decadent without the guilt trip.  So go ahead and enjoy a second helping of this protein packed lasagna!

Best Ever (Vegetarian) Lasagna

This is my favorite EVER traditional lasagna recipe. Except it's vegetarian! I wouldn’t call this a light dish, but with my tofu ricotta and Beyond Meat Substitute, this lasagna somehow feels decadent without the guilt trip. So go ahead and enjoy a second helping of this protein packed lasagna!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 10 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 28 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasonings

For the Meat Substitute

  • 10 oz Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

For the Tofu Ricotta

  • 16 oz block of tofu
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning

Everything else

  • 12-14 oz mozzarella, freshly grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
  • Oven Ready/No Boil lasagna noodles, I use about 5 sheets
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Instructions

Make the sauce

  • In a large skillet, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, the onion, garlic, and ½ tsp sea salt. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium low, and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
  • Keeping the heat on medium low, add the halved cherry/grape tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes soften and begin to break down.

Add the tomato sauce and seasonings

  • Now add the tomato sauce, remaining 1 tsp sea salt, brown sugar, pepper, fresh parsley, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings.
  • Turn the heat up to medium and bring the sauce to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat back down to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes should be soft to the bite, but not mushy. Sauce is done!

Cook the Beyond Meat

  • In a small to medium sized skillet, cook the Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles over medium low heat until heated through, about 10 minutes. About 8 minutes in, add the sea salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Crumbles are done!

Make the tofu ricotta

  • While your Beyond Meat cooks, make the tofu ricotta. Take your block of tofu and press as much water out of it as you can. Do this by simply holding the tofu block over the sink, and use you hands to literally press/squeeze the water out! Just get as much water out as you easily can.
  • Now crumble the tofu into a medium sized bowl so that it looks like ricotta. Just use your hands. Add the sea salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, and mix it together. Done! Set aside.

Layer the lasagna

  • Oil or spray a 9 inch by 9 inch glass pan. To make this as easy to follow as possible, I’m going to make each layer its own line in the recipe. The layers go:

Order of layers

  • 1/3 of the sauce
  • Lasagna noodles (see my note on the lasagna noodles below!)
  • ½ of the tofu ricotta
  • 1/3 of the mozzarella
  • 1/3 of the Parmesan
  • ½ of the Beyond Meat crumbles
  • 1/3 of the sauce
  • Lasagna noodles
  • The rest of the ricotta
  • 1/3 of the mozzarella
  • 1/3 of the Parmesan
  • The rest of the Beyond Meat crumbles
  • The rest of sauce
  • The rest of the mozzarella
  • The rest of the Parmesan

Bake the lasagna

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • I like my lasagna with plenty of sauce, so there will be sauce that bubbles over the side of the pan while this bakes!
  • To avoid a messy clean up, put some foil or a cookie sheet on the oven rack under the lasagna. That way, any sauce that bubbles over will land on the foil or the cookie sheet, not the bottom of your oven! Easy easy clean up! (If you don't want to deal with this, feel free to use slightly less sauce than the recipe makes. I just really like a sauce-y lasagna!)
  • Cover the lasagna with foil, and bake covered for 45 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, uncover the lasagna.
  • Leaving the lasagna in the oven, turn the heat on your oven up to broil.

Broil that cheese!

  • Broil the lasagna for 2-4 minutes. This step goes FAST! So really watch your lasagna: we want to brown the cheese on top, but not burn the dish!
  • Start with two minutes. After broiling for 2 minutes, check on the lasagna. If the cheese has browned on top, remove the lasagna from the oven immediately!
  • If it hasn’t browned yet, leave it in for an additional minute or two, checking after each minute to ensure you remove the lasagna from the oven before it burns.

Serve!

  • Remove the lasagna from the oven, and let it rest and cool down for about 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with a little more parsley if desired, serve with a nice salad, and enjoy!

Notes

When it comes time to layer your lasagna, slightly overlap the lasagna sheets. In my pan, I did two full lasagna sheets per noodle layer, and then filled in the remaining gaps with pieces of a lasagna sheet I broke up.)
Make this gluten free by using gluten free lasagna noodles!
Make this vegan by using your favorite vegan cheese in place of the mozzarella and Parmesan!

I’m Shannon, thanks for visiting!  When I’m not on an adventure with my 3 year old, I’m developing plant-based recipes or watching a Classic Film!

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