As you might have noticed, we’re totally carb-lovers here. And, luckily, this doesn’t stand in the way of us eating tons of healthy food! Honestly, we couldn’t imagine a life without comfort meals like vegan lasagna, pizza, or anything similar that comes out of the oven.
And it’s one of our biggest passions to create wholesome, nourishing, and irresistible versions of these dishes that don’t call for a gazillion different hard-to-find ingredients. Granted, making vegan lasagna isn’t the quickest task but it doesn’t require mad kitchen skills either.
If you’re a multitasking-lover like me, this is just for you. I like to prepare, stir, wash, chop, and mix different compounds of a recipe simultaneously! Just gives me a little thrill. But if you hate doing that or don’t have enough mental RAM for it (hey, we’re all different), then you can simply tackle it one delicious filling at a time.
In any case, the preparation part is the one that takes the most amount of time. Once the thing is in the oven, you’re free to check on the kids (human or furry), scroll Instagram, check YouTube subscriptions, do the laundry, go for a quick walk, or whatever else is on your agenda.
Now, you might not think of these ingredients when picturing a classic Italian (vegan) lasagna. We like to pack in some nutrient-dense, colorful vegetables whenever possible without taking away any of the comforting deliciousness in carby meals. Such an easy way to include more of them into your diet without having to prepare and munch on huge salads every day!
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Just like our bean chili or the mac and cheese, both of which also have a fair amount of almost undetectable vegetables and are made from wholesome, nourishing goodness. Picky eaters, kids, and vegetable despisers really dig those dishes because they are packed with flavor! Just like the lasagna.
Many similar recipes on other blogs call for pre-packaged, processed ingredients like vegan ricotta, Daiya cheese shreds, or vegan meat substitutes – that is, unless they want you to make these from scratch yourself. Our kitchen, on the other hand, is mostly just stocked with whole foods and we simply don’t have the patience for very complicated meals.
And, like always, we leave the oils out. No need for this unhealthy, greasy touch to an otherwise really nutritious dish, in our opinion. Plus, with the cashew sauce in this recipe, you got all the creaminess you’d wish for!
But first things first. When we want to make our vegan lasagna at home, we always start by boiling and then mashing the sweet potato. Careful not to ‘taste test’ too much from this orange deliciousness, it’s just enough for one layer. Whilst we let it cook on the stove, we then chop the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and spinach for the vegetable layer.
Sautéing them in a splash of water for some good 10 minutes should be enough. Just 2 more compounds to go now. And it doesn’t even get more complicated.
Now, for a more convenient option, you could just choose some store-bought pasta sauce here. We sometimes do that but usually, we’d like to have more of a say on what’s in our meal! So, we simply throw some everyday ingredients together for a homemade tomato sauce. All you need to do is combine and mix, then put aside.
The sauce will help the noodles to become nice and soft in the oven as well as create a really cohesive, veggie-and-noodle experience.
Finally, the best part: cashew cheese! Since this is so tempting not to ‘sample’ a few more times than necessary, and you can drizzle it all over your dishes the next day, we recommend you make a little more than what the vegan lasagna recipe calls for. It’s an excellent way to make boring vegetables taste irresistible! And all you need to do is place the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and water in your blender and create a smooth mixture. Done.
Let the layering begin! Get out a 9” x 13” baking pan and assemble the lasagna like this... start with the tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles, followed by the sweet potato mash.
Now, add another layer of noodles and then all of the vegetables. They are nice and softened, so as to add a nice touch of color and texture while being drowned in the overall flavor by the vegan lasagna.
After another layer of noodles (yay for starchies!), you can pour the rest of the tomato sauce and then a good amount of the cashew cheeze on top of everything.
Doesn't that look so irresistible already? No worries, you can go ahead and lick the bowls clean in just a minute... but first, you might want to pop your lasagna into the oven so that in around 35 minutes it'll be baked and the cashew topping will have developed a nice little brown crust.
Once it's done, let it cool for a bit (we've all burnt our tongues on steaming hot lasagna before!) before cutting out the portions and place them on the plates. Your family will devour this deliciousness in no time, promise.
Find the whole recipe and exact descriptions in the box below. Enjoy!
Best Healthy Vegan Lasagna Recipe
This delicious vegan lasagna is a healthy and nourishing treat for the whole family! Disguising colorful vegetables in one of its layers, the creamy homemade cashew cheeze makes it irresistible for even the pickiest of eaters.
- 7 oz whole grain lasagna noodles, dry (200g)
Sweet Potato Layer
- 1 sweet potato, medium-large
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- dash of salt
- 1 onion
- ½ leek, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups white mushrooms, chopped (225)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped (120g)
- ⅔ cup corn kernels (115g)
- 2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes (840ml)
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tsp oregano, dried
- 3 tsp basil, dried
- 1 tsp hot paprika powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups raw cashews (225g)
- 1 cup water (240ml)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt (more if needed)
- ¼ tsp pepper
Peel and cut sweet potato into evenly sized cubes. Put them in a pot or saucepan and cover with an inch of cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer over medium heat for around 20 minutes or until soft and ready to be mashed.
While the sweet potato is cooking, you can prepare the vegetables, cashew cheese, and the tomato sauce. For the vegetable layer, start by sautéing the onion and leek (if you have a non-stick pan, you don’t need any liquid at all - otherwise add small amounts of water to prevent sticking).
After 3 minutes, add garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and spinach and sauté for another 10 minutes. The mushrooms should release enough liquid for everything to become tender. Put all sautéed veggies in a bowl together with the corn and set aside.
For the tomato sauce, simply put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Then, preheat your oven and to 400 F / 200 C.
For the cashew cheese, put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, then et the mixture aside.
As soon as the sweet potato chunks are soft, drain the water and mash them together with the lime juice and salt into an even puree.
Now the fun part aka layering the lasagne can begin! In a 9" x 13" baking pan, assemble it in the following way from bottom to top:
1. Tomato sauce (½ of the sauce, evenly spread)
2. Noodles (slightly overlapping to cover the tomato sauce)
3. Sweet potatoes (the whole mash, evenly spread)
4. Noodles (slightly overlapping)
5. Veggies & cheese (all veggies and half of the cheese, evenly sprea
6. Noodles (you know the drill)
7. Tomato Sauce & cheese (cheese goes on the very top)
Bake for about 35 minutes until the cheese starts to turn brown, then remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Have you been loving this Italian classic but looking for a healthy vegan version of it? Do you usually prepare it differently or do you favor our recipe above? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.