Dinner, Healthy, Pasta, Vegan

Vegan Lasagna Bolognese

The best vegan lasagna Bolognese layered with an umami packed mushroom lentil red sauce, creamy sunflower ricotta, swirls of basil pesto and no boil lasagna noodles. The perfect crowd pleasing comfort food that even hard core meat eater will love!

Vegan Lasagna Bolognese

I know everyone claims their lasagna recipe is the best, but this one really is my favorite. And that’s coming from a meat-eater. I’m not strictly vegan, but I would choose this one over the traditional any day. I even shared this recipe with my non-vegan family and they didn’t miss the meat at all! And a bonus? It’s packed with veggies and plant based protein so don’t worry about eating the whole thing by yourself. It’s totally healthy!

Lasagna can be a little daunting, especially when all the layers are homemade, but I’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible without compromising on flavor. For this vegan lasagna recipe, I use no boil lasagna noodles to save you a pot keep the ingredient list pretty short for each component.

How to Make Vegan Lasagna Bolognese

Step 1: Make the sunflower tofu ricotta: A combination of sunflower seeds and tofu are going to give this vegan ricotta a rich and creamy texture while also keeping it nut free. I like to soak my sunflower seeds in boiling water for about half an hour to ensure smooth blending. I’ve also had success boiling the seeds for about 15 minutes for the same result.

Once softened, drain your seeds and add them to a food processor along with the tofu and remaining ingredients. Blend it all up until very smooth. This may take up to 3 whole minutes of blending.

Step 2: Make the Bolognese sauce: For the sauce, you’ll need to do a bit of chopping, but I like to pulse the mushrooms in the food processor make things a little easier before adding them to the sauce. From there, all you do is sauté the vegetables and add in the rest of the ingredients, including some soy sauce and miso for an extra punch of umami. Try not to overcook the vegetables so they maintain their texture.

Step 3: Pesto: So you can either use store bought pesto or make your own. It’s super easy to make your own in a food processor by blending up some spinach, basil, nutritional yeast, olive oil and salt. If you decide to use store bought, you may need to thin it out with a couple tablespoons of water.

Step 4: Assemble! Preheat the oven to 375º F and position a rack in the middle of your oven. There really is no right or wrong way to layer lasagna, but I included my order below for those picture perfect lasagna layers.

  • Bolognese sauce
  • Noodles
  • Sunflower Ricotta
  • Pesto
  • Noodles
  • Bolognese sauce
  • Noodles
  • Sunflower ricotta
  • Pesto
  • Noodles
  • Bolognese sauce

Step 5: Bake: tightly cover the lasagna dish with tin foil and bake for about 45 minutes or until the noodles are softened. Uncover the dish and add the cheese. I recommend using my Stretchy Vegan Mozzarella Cheese but any dairy free shreds will work. Broil the lasagna until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Let the dish sit for at least 10 minutes before serving for clean cuts. I like serving my lasagna with a handful of arugula tossed with a spoonful of pesto. Enjoy!!

Tips for Making Vegan Lasagna Bolognese

  • A food processor is essential for this recipe. You’ll need it for making the ricotta, chopping the mushrooms and making the pesto. A high speed blender like a Vitamix would work, but I personally haven’t tried. I wouldn’t recommend chopping the mushrooms in a blender as they will become mushy.
  • If you prefer to use traditional lasagna noodles, boil them for half the cook time indicated on the package and proceed with the recipe as written.
  • No boil noodles require water to cook through in the oven, so if at any point any of the ingredients seem “dry” feel free to add a few tablespoons of water.
Vegan Lasagna Bolognese

More Vegan Recipes to Try:

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vegan lasagna bolognese

Vegan Lasagna Bolognese

Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

The best vegan lasagna bolognese with a umami packed mushroom lentil red sauce, creamy sunflower tofu ricotta and swirls of pesto. The perfect crowd pleasing comfort food that even meat eaters will love!

Ingredients

For the sunflower tofu ricotta

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-4 tbsp water

For the lentil bolognese sauce

  • 1 cup cooked brown or green lentils
  • 1 lb baby bella or porcini mushrooms, coarsely chopped*
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp miso
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • Salt to taste

To assemble

  • 8 oz no boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan pesto, store-bought or homemade**
  • 1 recipe Vegan Stretchy Mozzarella or other dairy free cheese

Instructions

For the sunflower tofu ricotta

  1. Start by soaking the sunflower seeds in boiling water for at least 30 minutes to soften. This can also be achieved by boiling for 15 minutes.
  2. To the bowl of a food processor, add the soaked sunflower seeds, tofu, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, miso, salt and 2 tbsp water. Blend, scraping down the sides as needed, until very smooth--about 2-3 minutes. If the ricotta still seems too thick, add another couple tablspoons of water and blend again until a spreadbale consistency is reached.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and store in the fridge until ready to use.

For the lentil bolognese sauce

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When shimmering, add onion and cook until just translucent. About 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and seasoning. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut cream (melt in microwave if solid), miso paste and soy sauce. Add to the pot along with the chopped tomatoes, lentils and chopped mushrooms. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Taste for salt and add more as needed.

To assemble

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F and position a rack in the center of the oven.
  2. To a rectangular baking dish or lasagna pan, spread a layer of bolognese sauce on the bottom followed by a layer of no boil noodles. Spread a few dallops of ricotta then swirl the pesto over top. Follow with another layer of noodles, bolognese sauce, noodles, ricotta, pesto, noodles, bolognese sauce.
  3. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. Once the pasta noodles have cooked through, uncover the dish and spread (or sprinkle) the vegan mozarella cheese on top. Broil for an additional 5-10 minutes or until melted.
  4. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving for clean slices.

Notes

* you can pulse the mushrooms in a food processor instead of chopping by hand to save time.

** For an easy homemade vegan pesto, add to the bowl of a food processor 4 cups of spinach, 2 cup fresh basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 588Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 1817mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 8gSugar: 10gProtein: 22g

All nutritional info is an estimation

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