Imagine a world where vegetarian lasagna could bring even the most dedicated meat eaters to the table. Trust me, it is not just a fantasy – it can be your reality with this recipe. As a vegan chef, I know that some of the best vegetarian dishes have the ability to woo even the most committed carnivores.
I present to you the world’s best vegetarian lasagna recipe that meat eaters will love! If you’re worried about sacrificing flavor for health or personal dietary choices, fear not. This dish combines all of the hearty deliciousness of traditional lasagna and is packed with healthy vegetables and protein-rich tofu. Trust me when I say that this recipe epitomizes “having your cake and eating it too.”
I understand that many people who choose plant-based diets do so for ethical or health reasons. But even if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, I guarantee that this meatless lasagna will become one of your go-to recipes when looking for quick, easy and delicious meal ideas.
So if you’re ready to impress both yourself and even the most skeptical meat lovers in your life, let’s dive into this mouth-watering vegetarian lasagna recipe.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This vegetarian lasagna recipe is so delicious and filling, even meat-eaters won’t miss the meat! It’s the perfect dish for those who are transitioning to a plant-based diet or looking for more meatless meals. Trust me, this is not like any other veggie lasagna you have tried before.
Not only is this lasagna packed with healthy vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, and carrots, but it’s also smothered in a rich tomato puree sauce that has been flavored with chili powder and bay leaves. The tofu ricotta filling is a great substitute for traditional ricotta cheese and contains nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor.
The secret ingredient to making this dish extra special is the nutmeg addition that gives a subtle warmth to the flavor profile. You’ll also love how simple it is to prepare this dish. It’s perfect for those busy weeknights when you want a home-cooked meal without slaving away in the kitchen for hours.
So whether you’re a seasoned vegetarian or just starting on your plant-based journey, I guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this vegetarian lasagna recipe. So why not give it a try and see if it doesn’t convert even the most devout meat-lovers?
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make this vegetarian lasagna recipe that meat eaters will love:
For the tomato sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (28 oz) tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
For the tofu ricotta filling:
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 block of firm tofu (14 oz), drained and crumbled
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dry)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lasagna noodles (9 to 12 no-boil lasagna sheets or your choice regular noodles cooked)
- Roasted vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, and bell pepper sliced into thin rounds.
- Mozzarella cheese (vegan or regular)
Note: You can also add ricotta cheese or cottage cheese to make the filling creamier, but don’t worry, it’s still delicious without it!
The Recipe How-To
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Step 1: Cook the noodles
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put lasagna noodles to cook in the boiling water until they are tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then separate them individually and set aside on a clean surface.
Step 2: Prepare the tofu-ricotta filling
In a food processor, add tofu, nutritional yeast, fresh garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. Combine until everything is well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
Then add the mixture to a mixing bowl, mix in fresh chopped basil, and set aside.
Step 3: Cook the vegetables
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When it’s hot, add onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add sliced zucchini, diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and diced carrots. Cook until all vegetables are tender for about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Prepare tomato sauce
Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato puree, garlic powder, chili powder, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, nutmeg and a bay leaf into a large pot over medium heat. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Allow sauce simmer for about 15 minutes stirring intermittently.
Step 5: Assemble lasagna
Spread some of the sauce at the bottom of an oven-proof baking dish. Add one layer of lasagna noodles over it to cover it completely.
Next layer on top of the noodles:
- Half of your cooked vegetables
- Half the prepared tofu-ricotta filling
- Mozzarella cheese
Repeat another layer using lasagna noodles followed by cooked vegetable as second layer.
Top with more sauce than previous layers then sprinkle extra cheese over that which will bubble up & brown beautifully in your oven.
Step 6: Bake Time!!
Cover tightly with foil and bake for around 25-30 mins or until heated through & bubbly-hot!
Remove foil after that (now typically golden brown edges) place back into oven now under grill in order to achieve charred splotches for that tiny bit extra deliciousness! 🙂
It can be served hot right out from the oven or let sit out for some time so that it is easier to cut when its time to serve.
Enjoy your delicious homemade vegetarian lasagna!
Substitutions and Variations
If you’re looking to switch things up with this recipe, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
– Gluten-free: To make this recipe gluten-free, simply swap out traditional lasagna noodles for gluten-free noodles. You can typically find them at your local grocery store in the health food section.
– Vegan: This recipe is already vegetarian, but if you want to make it fully vegan, simply swap out the mozzarella cheese for a vegan cheese alternative and use vegan butter and milk when preparing the bechamel sauce. For the ricotta filling, try using tofu ricotta (which you can easily make by blending tofu with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt) instead of traditional ricotta cheese.
– Meatless Meals: If you want to incorporate even more meatless meals into your diet, try swapping out the mushrooms and zucchini for roasted eggplant or bell pepper. You can also add in some roasted carrots or any other vegetables that you enjoy.
– Cottage Cheese: Instead of using ricotta cheese in this recipe, you can also substitute it for cottage cheese. Some people prefer this as it gives a more mild flavor than traditional ricotta.
Whether you’re looking to accommodate dietary restrictions or just mix things up a bit, these substitutions and variations are sure to guarantee a delicious meal that will satisfy even the most discerning eaters.
Serving and Pairing
Ah, the moment you’ve been waiting for: time to indulge in a slice of delicious vegetarian lasagna! But first, let’s talk about how to serve and pair this hearty meal to ensure maximum enjoyment.
When it comes to serving, I recommend letting the lasagna sit for about 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. This will allow the lasagna to settle and hold its shape better. Plus, the cheese will be all gooey and melty – yum!
Now, let’s talk pairings. For a complete meal, I suggest serving this vegetarian lasagna with a bright and fresh salad on the side. A simple arugula salad dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of chili powder is my go-to.
To elevate the experience even further, why not pair this dish with a glass of full-bodied red wine? A nice Chianti or Pinot Noir would do wonders for the flavors in this dish.
But wait – there’s more! If you’re feeling like taking things up a notch, try pairing this veggie lasagna with some garlic bread on the side. Simply spread butter and minced garlic over sliced bread and pop it in the oven for 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Trust me – it’s worth the extra effort.
Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with other delectable treats, this vegetarian lasagna is sure to be a hit at any meal.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
When it comes to make-ahead options, this vegetarian lasagna recipe is a real winner. In fact, it’s encouraged that you prepare it ahead of time- the flavors blend together so much better that way!
Once you’ve cooked and assembled your lasagna, allow it to cool completely before storing it properly. The easiest way to store your lasagna is to use an airtight container, but if you’re tight on space or prefer to use plastic wrap, make sure to press down firmly and get out as much air as possible before covering it tightly.
As for reheating, you have a couple of options. If you’re reheating a large batch in the oven, preheat it to 350°F, cover the lasagna with aluminum foil or an oven-safe lid, and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the center is hot all the way through.
For smaller portions or single slices of lasagna, you can reheat in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes per slice. Just keep in mind that microwaving your lasagne will sacrifice some of its crispiness so if you desire crispy edges and cheese pull from your lasagna, consider using an air fryer instead.
If you want to store leftovers, simply store them in an airtight container within two hours of serving (or one hour if outside temperatures are more than 90°F), then place them into the refrigerator promptly. Your vegetarian lasagna will stay fresh in the fridge for up to five days.
While freezing isn’t recommended due to its impact on taste and texture changes, you can still freeze leftover portions of vegetarian lasagna carefully by wrapping each slice tightly with plastic wrap then tin foil before placing them in a large freezer-safe container labled with the date they were frozen. When reheating frozen vegetarian lasagna make sure to thaw overnight in the freezer before following prior instructions for reheating.
Now that you’ve mastered how to make-ahead and store your vegetarian lasagna and revisit its deliciousness whenever you desire whether unexpectedly hungry or time-straining moments arise.
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let’s talk about some tips to make sure your vegetarian lasagna comes out perfectly every time!
1. Use a Food Processor
Instead of chopping vegetables by hand, which can take a lot of time and effort, use a food processor to grind and dice your veggies until they are small and uniform. This will ensure even cooking and flavor distribution throughout your lasagna.
2. Don’t Overcook the Noodles
I know it’s tempting to boil the lasagna noodles until they are super soft, but don’t! Overcooked noodles will quickly turn into mush when baked with the sauce and cheese. Follow the box instructions for cooking time and then rinse them in cold water to stop them from cooking further.
3. Layer it Up Correctly
To assemble your lasagna, start with a little bit of sauce at the bottom of your dish to prevent sticking. Then, add a layer of noodles (slightly overlapping), followed by a layer of sauce, then cheese and veggies or tofu mixture. Repeat this process until you’ve used all your ingredients.
4. Give It Time to Settle
Once you’ve finished assembling your lasagna, let it sit for at least 15-20 minutes before baking. This will allow everything to settle and prevent it from being too watery or falling apart when you slice it.
5. Choose the Right Cheese Alternative
Cheese is often one of the main reasons meat-eaters resist vegetarian lasagna recipes. Instead of using traditional mozzarella cheese, try vegan cheese or nutritional yeast for an equally delicious alternative.
Follow these tips to make sure every bite of your vegetarian lasagna is perfect!
As we conclude this recipe article, I know there may be some questions on your mind. To make sure that you are fully equipped to successfully make this recipe, let me provide some answers to frequently asked questions.
What can I use instead of ground beef in lasagna vegetarian?
For this recipe, we’ll be replacing the ground beef in traditional lasagna with black beans. To start, we’ll combine canned tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin and chili powder in a medium-sized bowl.
What is a good substitute for meat in lasagna?
For a great lasagna without meat, I love using mushrooms as a replacement. I find that a combination of heartier mushrooms, such as Shitake, Lion’s Mane, Porcini, or similar varieties, works best.
How does Jamie Oliver make vegetarian lasagne?
For this recipe, we’ll need three aubergines, three cloves of garlic, a bit of fresh thyme, six tablespoons of olive oil, one dried red chilli, two cans of quality plum tomatoes (400 grams each), a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and one bunch of fresh basil. These ingredients will be used to cook a delicious and hearty dish that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Is Stouffer’s veggie lasagna vegetarian?
This article discusses a vegetarian recipe for Veggie Lover’s Lasagna made with a 10.5 oz. box of STOUFFER’S brand, which can be found at Needler’s Fresh Market.
To sum it up, this vegetarian lasagna recipe is a must-try, not just for vegetarians or vegans, but for meat eaters as well. It’s loaded with flavor, nutrients, and all the cheesy goodness you crave from lasagna. The combination of tofu, mushrooms, zucchini, and roasted vegetables creates a perfect meatless meal that even meat lovers will enjoy.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the recipe and tailor it to your taste preferences. You can switch up the vegetables, use different herbs and spices such as chili powder or nutmeg, or try a gluten-free substitute for the lasagna noodles.
The best part is that this recipe is quick and easy to make, so you can have a healthy and delicious meal ready in no time. Plus, it’s perfect for feeding a crowd or meal prepping for the week ahead.
In conclusion, give this vegetarian lasagna recipe a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. It’s not only one of the world’s best vegetarian lasagnas but also one that will satisfy even the most demanding of meat eaters. So go ahead and indulge in some healthy plant-based goodness – your taste buds (and your body) will thank you!
Vegetarian Lasagna (That Meat Eaters Will Love!) Recipe
- 1 (16 ounce) box lasagna noodles, ready to cook, no pre-boiling necessary
- 2 onions
- 3 -4 fresh garlic cloves (pressed or minced)
- 2 zucchini (courgettes)
- 1 (16 ounce) package mushrooms (the browner the color, the tastier they will be)
- 1 (12 ounce) package tofu (optional)
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 (5 ounce) container soft fresh goat cheese (about 1 cup's worth)
- 2 1/2 cups tomato puree (or you can combine tomato paste with diced tomatoes)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 bay leaf
- dried oregano
- dried basil
- fresh basil
- chili powder (Pili-Pili)
- For this recipe, you are essentially just creating the different elements for the lasagna and then layering them. There is a tomato sauce layer, a pasta layer, a béchamel sauce layer, and a cheese layer.
- Saute the garlic and onion in a large, wide bottomed saucepan.
- Meanwhile chop up your zucchini, mushrooms, and tofu, if using. Size is what you prefer. You can put them through a food processor if you are running short on time or better yet, pass this job to your lowly sous-chef.
- When the onions are nearly softened, add the chopped veggies (and tofu) to the saucepan.
- Once the vegetables are somewhat softened, add the tomato puree, bay leaf, oregano, dried basil, chili powder, salt and pepper. Taste as you go for your preference in saltiness and spiciness. Remember, ambitious guests can always add more spice at the table.
- Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer and then keep it aside on a very low heat.
- Now create the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter into a saucepan and then slowly add the flour, stirring constantly as you go.
- Once the butter and flour are blended, slowly add the milk, again stirring as you do.
- Now add the softened goat cheese to the mixture and stir until blended. Spice the sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Lastly, let simmer until thickened. Add milk if it thickens too quickly (you want a gravy consistency).
- Now you are ready for assembly. Pour a spoonful of sauce onto the bottom of a large (9x13 inch) baking dish (glass or aluminum) to just cover the surface. Then add a layer of lasagna noodles, a layer of sauce, a layer of mozzarella, and then another layer of lasagna. For the next layer, add a thick layer of the goat cheese bechemal sauce. Continue layering, adding in fresh basil leaves as you like in the middle layers. Finish off with a layer of lasagna topped with mozzarella.
- Bake about 25 minutes in ? degree oven and serve to great delight.
- NOTE: For a more robust tomato sauce, you can use Alan Leonetti's marinara sauce recipe (Recipe #84217), especially if you've made it in advance and frozen it.
- NOTE: Variation With Ground Beef: To make a more traditional meat lasagna I follow the same recipe as above but I omit the tofu (of course!) and the goat cheese. I still use the mushroom and courgette/zucchini but I cut back on the amount. I brown the beef in a separate pan and then combine it in the layer of tomato and vegetable sauce. The addition of the courgette/zucchini and mushroom in with the meat it usually a welcome twist!
Add Your Own Notes
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Jolo is a talented chef and food blogger with a passion for vegan and Caribbean flavors. From savory vegetarian dishes to tropical smoothies, Jolo’s Kitchen has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for meat-free meals or creative Caribbean recipes, Jolo’s Kitchen is the perfect place for you.