Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Vegan Lasagna Bolognese

Sometimes seeing a laundry list of ingredients dissuades me from trying a recipe.  However, when you actually read the list, chances are you'll have quite a few of the ingredients on the list.  Just think of it as "the more the merrier" and maybe you'll open up a whole new world of possibilities.  When half of the list is veggies, just think of all the nutrients you're packing into that one dish!  
This one may seem long and involved, but it comes together fairly quickly and I love getting to sneak as many veggies as I want in the sauce since it's all getting pureed in the end.  I didn't even miss the cheese, but then again I went into it knowing it wasn't going to be a typical lasagna.  
My only note is to be generous with your sauces.  After all, that's what will be cooking your noodles and keeping your lasagna from becoming dry.
Vegan Lasagna Bolognese
adapted from Vegan Richa
{Print recipe}

Quick Bolognese sauce:

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 of a large red pepper, chopped
¼ tsp chili flakes, more if you like it spicy
2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp vinegar
2-3 T. red wine, optional
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/4 cup water
½ package of tempeh (or chopped mushrooms)

No-boil lasagna noodles (for later use)
¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs (for crumb topping)
½ tsp basil (for crumb topping)

In a large pan, add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and heat on medium.  Add chopped onion and 2 bay leaves and saut√© until transparent, about 4-5 minutes.  Add red pepper, celery, carrots, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the peppers and celery begin to soften.  Add the tomatoes, garlic cloves, wine (if using) and vinegar and cook just a minute more.  Remove from stove and transfer to a blender.  Puree until smooth, adding water ¼ cup at a time, as needed.

While you’re pureeing the sauce, crumble ½ package of tempeh into the original skillet and let it begin to brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Once it has a little color, return the sauce to the pan with the tempeh and cook for 7-8 minutes until slightly thick.  (The water content from the sauce will get absorbed in the noodles during baking.)

Taste and adjust salt and herbs.

Quick White Garlic sauce:

¼ cup raw cashews
2 T. flour of your choice (wheat, white, spelt)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp onion powder (or flakes)
2 T. nutritional yeast
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup non-dairy milk
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar or maple syrup
1 T. extra virgin olive oil

In a blender, pulse the ¼ cup raw cashews until they are mostly ground.  Then add remaining ingredients up to the olive oil.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust if needed.  For a creamier sauce, add the olive oil and blend again.

To assemble the Lasagna: 

Spread a thin layer of the Bolognese sauce on the bottom of a 7x11 pan.  Top with a layer of no boil lasagna noodles, followed by a layer of the white sauce (the sauce will be thin, but will thicken during baking.)  Repeat layers until both of the sauces are gone, ending with the white sauce.
Top with bread crumbs and ½ tsp basil and some shredded Mozzarella or vegan Parmesan.  Cover the baking dish tightly with foil.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. 
Remove lasagna from oven, remove the foil, and let it rest 10 minutes before serving.

**Linking up with Buns In My Oven, Taste & Tell Thursday, and Whole Foods Wednesday.



  1. This looks great! Can't wait to try it!!
    PS- you should know I love to schedule my posts : ) We were bumped for the induction to this morning, so right now I'm just waiting for the drugs to kick in : )

  2. Hello. I found your blog through WFW and so happy I did! Funny, I just started a vegetarian diet and am looking for some ideas and this just fits the bill. Look forward to reading more in the future!


  3. I recently made a veggie lasagna and totally fell in love. This one sounds amazing!