Lasagna is a favorite of many pasta lovers, especially when you dine in a pasta restaurant. Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up your love for this delectable dish; in fact, adding delicious vegan ingredients means you can try different lasagna variations.
Origins of Lasagna
Although most people believed lasagna originated from Italy, the history of this dish has been traced back to the ancient Greeks. It is said that lasagna came from the Greek word laganon, which is used to define a flat dough sliced into strips. The Greeks didn’t actually invent the delectable pasta dish, but they inspired the pasta used to make the dish.
The Romans, however, were contesting this story since the lasagna dish bore a resemblance to a Roman dish, which was recorded in a cookbook in the 1st century AD. According to history, when the Romans won over the Greeks and successfully occupied Greece in 146 BC, they also adopted the culture, knowledge, language, and food of the Greeks as their own. Hence, the Greeks argued about it and claimed that lasagna originated from them.
However, the modern-day lasagna pasta dish was first introduced in Naples, Italy, during the Middle Ages. Although lasagna didn’t really come from Italy, the Italians perfected the tomato-based layers of goodness that we now call lasagna.
How to Make Vegan Lasagna
Admit it; it’s hard to imagine lasagna without the cheese. However, vegans who love lasagna need not fret because there is always a vegan way to make your favorite dish. This vegan lasagna is very easy to make and will surely appease all your cravings.
- 3 cups of raw macadamia nuts*
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- ½ cup of finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ cup of water
If you don’t have macadamia nuts, you can use any of the following:
- Soaked blanched almonds
- (1) 16 ounces block tofu. Make sure that it’s drained and pressed dry for 10 minutes
Vegan Lasagna Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 8 ounce finely chopped tempeh (gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- ½ teaspoon fennel seed
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- (2) A 25-ounce jar of vegan marinara sauce
- (1) 10-oz box of vegan lasagna noodles
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil or parsley
Once you have all the ingredients ready, you can start making your homemade vegan lasagna following these steps:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 176 C.
- Prepare a large baking dish. Make sure it’s already lightly greased.
Cook the Sauce
- Start by preparing the sauce. Heat a rimmed 12-inch skillet or large pot over medium fire. Once the pot is hot, you can start adding the oil and tempeh and start sauteeing it. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes.
- Add in the coconut aminos, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes. Continue sauteing for about 5 minutes. Make sure that the mixture is golden brown and well-cooked.
- Add in the marinara sauce to it and stir to mix. Cook it for about five minutes on low fire to mix the flavors. You can add in a sprinkle of salt or red pepper flakes to adjust the flavor as needed. Turn off the heat and put on the side.
Boil the Noodles
- Once you’re done with the sauteing, you can now boil the vegan lasagna noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add in a pinch of salt and the vegan lasagna noodles.
- Once it’s already al dente in texture, drain the noodles and set aside. You can sprinkle some oil on the pasta to prevent sticking together.
Prepare the Vegan Cheese
- Add macadamia nuts (or soaked almonds), lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt to a food processor or high-speed blender and start mixing the ingredients.
- Pour in a small amount of water. Scrape the sides as needed. You can add more water as needed until thick paste forms. Make sure that the texture is thick enough for spreading.
- Taste it to adjust the flavor if needed. You can add more nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor, salt, lemon juice, and garlic powder as needed.
Assemble the Layer
- Add a thin layer of marinara sauce to your baking dish. Make sure to spread it for even distribution.
- Add a layer of the cooked vegan pasta noodles.
- Spread ⅓ of the vegan cheese mixture and spread it into an even layer.
- Add another layer of the marinara sauce over the cheese layer to coat it.
- Add another layer of noodles and followed by ⅓ cheese mixture spread evenly.
- Once you’re done doing the layering process (marinara-noodle-cheese), you can now sprinkle the top with vegan parmesan cheese or fresh herbs.
- Put inside the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes uncovered or until the sauce is bubbly enough, and the edges are browned.
Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. You can now enjoy your homemade vegan lasagna. This comforting vegan dish could be the next superstar at your next family gathering.