This dairy free lasagna is absolutely delicious. Packed with protein and nutrition. Made with a homemade cashew and tofu ricotta and a perfectly seasoned lentil marinara sauce. Easy meal to feed a crowd or meal prep and eat all week.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- High in plant based protein thanks to the tofu and lentils.
- Packed with nutrition
- Easy to prepare
- Feeds a lot of people
- Dairy free and egg free
- Vegan and vegetarian
- Made with simple ingredients
- Great for meal prep
- Comfort food
🍅 Ingredient notes
- Brown lentils - We're using lentils in place of the meat sauce. I love using lentils as a way to replace ground beef in recipes. It has a similar size and they're packed with protein and nutrition. They're also easy to make and don't require any soaking before hand.
- Mushrooms - Feel free to leave these out if you don't like them. Mushrooms add an amazing texture and flavor to this lasagna.
- Cashew tofu ricotta - This dairy-free ricotta is so delicious and easy to make. You just blend some soaked, raw cashews, firm tofu, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, olive oil and salt in a food processor.
- Pasta sauce - I use about two jars because I love when lasagna is moist. If you don't boil your pasta before hand, using two jars of pasta sauce is essential as well. Check the ingredients that it's a dairy-free option. I don't bother making my own tomato sauce because I want to keep this recipe as quick and easy as possible.
- Lasagna noodles - Yes, most pre-made, store bought lasagna noodles are vegan. Use whatever brand you'd like: boil or no boil. I used about one box of regular noodles in this recipe.
- Dairy free cheese - I used Chao slices. Use whatever vegan cheese brand is your favorite and that you can find at your local grocery store. Vegan mozzarella is best.
👩🍳 Recipe tips
- After boiling your noodles, to prevent them from sticking, put them in a large mixing bowl, or back in the pot you cooked them in, and cover them with cold water, until you're ready to use them.
- The cold water will also help them to cool, so they're easier to handle when layering the lasagna.
- You can also just drizzle them with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
- To make sure the ricotta isn't too mushy, just squeeze a little bit of the excess moisture out of the tofu over the sink. It's ok if it crumbles a little.
- If you want to add a little more moisture to the lasagna, I love adding in about a cup of dairy free unsweetened yogurt. Makes the lasagna even more creamy.
If you don't want to use tofu, you can just use all cashews. Increase the amount of cashews to 2 cups.
If you don't want to use cashews, because of a nut allergy, use only tofu and add a little more olive oil.
Instead of cashews, you can substitute raw, soaked almonds as well to make homemade almond ricotta cheese with tofu.
To store in the fridge - The leftover lasagna will last about a week after it's been baked. Keep it in an airtight container.
To store frozen - I recommend you don't bake it if you want to store it in the freezer. Make sure you cover it well with multiple tight layers of aluminum foil, so it doesn't get freezer burnt.
❄️ How to cook frozen lasagna
Baking frozen lasagna takes about 90 minutes. You can cook it unthawed, straight from the freezer.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Make sure the lasagna is covered well with aluminum foil.
Bake the lasagna covered for 60-75 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbling. This will be about another 30 minutes.
♨️ How long to bake lasagna
Non-frozen lasagna bakes at 350 degrees, covered with aluminum foil, for 45 minutes. Then uncovered for another 10-15 minutes.
🍝 How to layer lasagna
- Put a layer of the marinara and lentil sauce at the bottom of the casserole dish. Just enough to cover it.
- Add a single layer of lasagna noodles. It's ok if they overlap a little
- Add a layer of the homemade ricotta.
- Add a layer of sauce on top
- Add a layer of shredded dairy free cheese
- Add a final layer of noodles
- Continue until the casserole dish is full
- Drizzle pasta sauce and dairy free cheese on the top layer.
🥗 Serving suggestions
Serve this lasagna with a delicious side salad with homemade vegan Italian dressing. This also goes well with a side of steamed vegetables for some extra nutrition.
❓Frequently asked questions
Yes! Lasagna is a great freezer meal. Just follow all the steps and instead of baking and place in a freezer-safe container.
If you don't have a freezer-safe lid for your baking dish, you can cover the dish with plastic wrap, and then tightly wrap with two layers layers of aluminum foil.
It's not completely necessary to boil lasagna noodles before. Sometimes I do but when I'm feeling lazy, I don't. If you don't boil them beforehand, you will need more moisture, otherwise the lasagna will come out dry.
If you choose to not boil the noodles, make sure to use two jars of pasta sauce for some extra moisture. The no boil noodles soak up a lot of moisture. Sometimes I add in ½ cup of water too.
To make gluten-free lasagna, make sure to use gluten free noodles. Also check that your sauce and dairy free cheese are gluten free.
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Dairy free lasagna
- 1 cup dry lentils (brown or green)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- (2) 25 ounce jars of pasta or marinara sauce
- 1 box lasagna noodles
- 1-2 bags shredded dairy free mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup unsweetened and plain dairy free yogurt (optional)
Cook the lentils
- Rinse the lentils. Then put them in a pot on the stove with four cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover and simmer on medium low for 30 minutes. Check the lentils, if they're still undercooked, cook for another 5-10 minutes. Strain away any excess water.1 cup dry lentils, 4 cups vegetable broth
- After the lentils are cooked, add them to two jars of marinara sauce in a large bowl. No need to warm this up, since the sauce will warm up in the oven.(2) 25 ounce jars of pasta or marinara sauce
Make the ricotta
- Boil some water. Then pour over the cashews. Let them soak for 10 minutes. While the cashews are soaking, boil some water for the lasagna noodles.1 cup raw cashews
- In a food processor, add the soaked and strained cashews with the olive oil into a food processor or blender. Blend until roughly chopped1 cup raw cashews, 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Add in the tofu, salt, lemon juice, garlic powder and nutritional yeast. Blend until smoothish. You may need to stop a few times and wipe down the sides with a rubber spatula.14 ounces (one package) medium firm tofu, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ cup nutritional yeast, 1 lemon - juiced
Boil the noodles
- Once the water for the noodles is boiling, add the lasagna noodles and cook for the amount of time the package requires. You can also skip this part and just put them in the lasagna raw. They will cook in the oven1 box lasagna noodles
- Once the noodles are cooked, strain away the water, then put them back in the pot and cover with cold water. This will prevent them from over cooking and sticking together.
- Cover the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish with a little of the lentil marinara sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Spread half of the vegan ricotta on top. Add about a cup or two of sauce on top of that. Add another layer of noodles add layer of vegan shredded cheese. Add another cup or two of sauce. Add in the optional dairy free unsweetened yogurt here. Add another layer of noodles, then the rest of the ricotta, then some more sauce. Finish with one more layer of noodles, sauce and top with shredded vegan cheese1-2 bags shredded dairy free mozzarella cheese, ½ cup unsweetened and plain dairy free yogurt
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a strip of aluminum foil with non-stick spray. Cover the casserole dish with the aluminum foil. Bake for 60 minutes. Let the lasagna sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it and serving.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.