This lasagna is not only vegan, but gluten free and low fat and just generally smug about how nutritious it is. Instead of ricotta cheese it has a tofu and cauliflower blend, and instead of noodles it has strips of eggplant and zucchini. After writing that I realize that to many people those substitutions probably sound sort of awful, but you’re just going to have to take my word for it that this actually does taste like a nice hearty lasagna. Or make the recipe and report back that I’m crazy, whichever you prefer. It does take a little while to make (maybe about 1 1/2 hours total, including 45 minutes cooking time) but that’s pretty much par for the course with any lasagna. I actually felt like this came together faster than most lasagnas I’ve made, vegan or not. It makes enough to fill an 8″x8″ pan pretty full, so that’s about 4-6 servings depending on how Garfield-like you’re feeling.
Tofu Lasagna [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Noodles:
- 1 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced into thin strips
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced into thin strips
For the Ricotta:
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Several pinches freshly ground black pepper
For the Red Sauce:
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped or sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- Place the zucchini and eggplant on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet in a single layer and heat under the broiler for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from cookie sheet and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using the same parchment and cookie sheet, spread the cauliflower pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and soft.
- Meanwhile, crumble the tofu in a mixing bowl, mashing it with your hands until it resembles ricotta cheese. Add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining salt. When the cauliflower is done, add it to the tofu mixture and mash it really well.
- For the red sauce, mix the crushed tomatoes, thyme, garlic, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In an 8x8-inch casserole dish, pour a thin layer of red sauce, then add a layer of “noodles.” Evenly spread about 1/3 of the cauliflower ricotta on top of the noodles. Layer 1/2 of the mushrooms and then 1/2 of the spinach. Pour on about a cup of sauce on top of the spinach. Repeat all those steps one more time, starting with the noodles. For the top layer, just add noodles, then sauce, then ricotta so that the ricotta is on top. Add a layer of olives last.
- Bake for about 40 minutes until the top is browned and sauce is bubbling. Let sit for a couple minutes, then serve.
The lasagna recipe is adapted from Appetite for Reduction but I swapped out the regular noodles for eggplant and zucchini noodles. You could, of course, use regular noodles. Or just eggplant or just zucchini if you only want one or the other.