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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Vegetable Lasagna

This noodle-free, gluten-free veggie-packed lasagna is one of my favorite creations yet. It is definitely one of those recipes you might want to try out at your next dinner party to WOW family and friends who are vegan skeptics. Our recipe for Dairy-Free Ricotta Cheese layers with organic sweet potato, asparagus, spinach and peppers to not only create a beautiful lasagna, but one that tastes extra cheesy and noodley without cheese or noodles. It’s true. It tastes so indulgent, I actually caught myself feeling a pang of guilt after eating a piece last week. Then I giggled, remembering that it was all veggies and nuts and seeds. Joy.

Like traditional lasagna, this one is even better the next day after all the flavors settle in together. It reheats in the oven just fine and I usually bring some with me to work and eat it for lunch at room temperature (I am not a microwave user). It is delicious this way too.

Makes: 8-9 servings  |  Preparation Time: 2 hours

Tools:
2.75 quart/11 cup glass casserole dish (9.5″ x 7.5″)
Mandoline slicer (optional, you can slice veggies thin, but not mandoline thin, with a good knife)
Blender (for Dairy-Free Ricotta Cheese only)

Ingredients:
One full batch of our Dairy-Free Ricotta Cheese
1 organic sweet potato, baked
2 cups of organic baby spinach, packed
10 stalks of organic asparagus, sliced into 2″ lengths
1/2 organic yellow pepper, sliced paper thin with mandoline
1/2 organic red pepper, sliced paper thin with mandoline
1 9oz. jar of organic tomato sauce (I like a tomato basil or tomato garlic)
5-6 fresh organic basil leaves, sliced thinly (optional)
1 medium-sized organic yellow squash, sliced paper thin (lengthwise) with mandoline
1 medium-sized organic zucchini, sliced paper thin (lengthwise) with mandoline

Let’s Get Started:
Before you do anything, make sure you bake that sweet potato in a preheated oven set at 350°F for about 45 minutes. I usually put it in the oven, then start making my Dairy-Free Ricotta Cheese and prepping my veggies, and by the time I’m done and have washed my dishes, it’s ready for assembly.

Slice your zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise with your mandoline and set aside.

Slice your peppers on the mandoline and cut your sweet potato into strips with a knife. If your potato is too soft for that, no problem, just remove the skin and set aside. Cut your asparagus into 2″ lengths and set aside.

Prepare your casserole dish by spooning some of your tomato sauce into the bottom and coating it entirely. Lay on alternating strips of yellow squash and zucchini to create one layer about one slice thick. These are your noodle replacements—you may be very surprised how similar they will taste to noodles once cooked with sauce.

Now lay on some strips of sweet potato, or if it is too soft, spoon some into your casserole dish leaving space between spoonfuls/strips. Place dollops of Dairy-Free Ricotta Cheese into those spaces between the sweet potato. Then place some asparagus and peppers evenly onto your layer.

Now lay down a layer of spinach leaves. I remove the stems beyond the leaf and create a gap-free (or relatively gap-free) layer of spinach that reaches all four sides of my dish. Then I spoon some tomato sauce on top, covering the entire layer of spinach. I repeat these steps all over again beginning with my zucchini and squash layer, filling my dish with veggies until I reach the top of my dish.

Sprinkle some fresh chopped basil on top of your lasagna. I keep a basil plant in my kitchen so I am not forced to buy too much basil at the store. A little plant is perfect to just pluck off a few leaves. They grow back quickly and I know where my basil is grown. Bonus.

On top of your lasagna, after your basil sprinkle, place some asparagus around and some Dairy-Free Ricotta Cheese ’til it looks purty. Then place the lasagna uncovered in the oven preheated to 325°F to bake for 1 hour.

After an hour, remove your lasagna, and let it cool down for about 20-40 mins. It is important to be patient so your ricotta will set—you want the Dairy-Free Ricotta Cheese to become texturally similar to dairy ricotta and the cool down time does this. If you are impatient, like I am sometimes, you can scoop it out hot and eat it up. It will taste the same (deeelicious), but it won’t hold it’s pretty layers as well. Once set, your lasagna will be beautifully layered whether it is cold, reheated or room temp. It is actually the tastiest and prettiest the next day after sitting in the fridge overnight. Once set, you can reheat in the oven and the cheese will still hold shape.

Gluten-free, Dairy-Free Vegetable Lasagna will keep in your fridge for a little over one week. Be sure to store it in an airtight glass container. I baked the lasagna in a glass container that already comes with a lid, so once cool, I can put the lid on and pop it in the fridge.

Be sure to look for organic veggies at your local Farmers’ Market.

 

Read the comments or add yours.

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  1. Beth

    Mmmm…I am going to make a big ol’ pan of this for my river trip so I can nibble on it all week (if it lasts that long; )! I don’t have a vita mix, but I think I can use my food processor for now! Thank you!

  2. tlc / XO

    My first experience with this “YUM” recipe was when it was served as a Holiday meal – absolutely delicious! Since I’d never even heard of the word “vegan” before, I certainly had my doubts. Now, I’m checking out all the recipes on this site – especially the desserts! By the way, the Chefs were incredible too… tlc/XO

  3. This looks sensational!! I love how there’s sweet potato too!

  4. Fabulously done! I’m a Meatless Monday-er and I’m always looking for new ideas! Love the pictures :)

  5. Robin

    I am eating my leftovers of this right now, and while my version certainly didn’t look anywhere near as purty as yours- it tastes fantastic!

    Going in the thing I was most skeptical about was not the vegan ricotta-but a lasagna without any onions or garlic in the recipe! I love the sweetness of this dish though, it is totally great. This recipe is now permanently “on file.” Excellence. Thanks for sharing!! (everything!)

    • Robin~
      Wonderful to hear that you enjoyed it! Give an organic tomato sauce with onion and/or garlic in the ingredients a try, I do often.

  6. Melissa Bortz

    I’m making this on Saturday-I can’t wait! Wish me luck!

  7. Ok. So I already made this again(!) but this time with the mandoline slicer I got for my birthday (yay!) which made it way more purty. I also used a really spicy tomato sauce, which turned out awesome. sweet & spicy = perfect! I also threw some thin sliced tomatoes on top (’tis the season) which made it extra purty. Yay!

  8. Dani

    SO GOOD! Loved it and so did hubby. Although mine didn’t look as pretty because it fell apart a little bit and I waited an hour to cut it. The “ricotta” was the best!! Also, it was delicious the next day. I just set it outside in the sun for 30 minutes and it was nice and warm!

  9. Tammy

    i made a double batch of the Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Vegetable Lasagna and my guests loved it! I know it takes a while to get the veggies ready, but next time it will be faster. This is an A+ recipe. Thanks!

  10. Wow, how ingenious your dairy/soy free ricotta cheese. Most GF/DF lasagna recipes I’ve seen use tofu, so it’s so nice to see a soy free alternative.

  11. aw, why is there no print recipe button? Or am I blind. haha This looks so good! I need to make is asap!

    • The print recipe button had to go away because the plugin I was using changed its offerings. I’m working on another solution, so stay tuned! Glad to know that it was being used though ;)

  12. Lisa

    I too, was looking for the print button. This recipe sounds amazing! Thanks!!

  13. Julia

    I just want to say that I was so happy to find this recipe. I made it with several substitutions and it still turned out fantastic. I never would have thought that a noodle free, mozz cheese free lasagna could taste so much like lasagna and taste SOO good. I have eaten it for lunch twice at the office and every time my coworkers are like, what is that? it smells so good!

    I am cooking in my expat Shanghai kitchen so some of these things are not available.

    Limitations – I had no blender, no mandoline, no basil, no sweet potato, ha ha, basically no nothing. But have no fear, you can still make this.

    So – firstly, I made a non-vegan substitution (as I’m not a vegan, I’m just lactose & soy intolerant and I can eat parmesan). I used a bottle of pre-made pesto instead of ricotta, and I also used some pre-made tomato sauce.

    For the layers I used a chinese squash similar to a zucchini, a butternut squash, eggplant and spinach. I layered this with pesto and I roasted the butternut squash and used it like the sweet potato. I also sauteed leeks and garlic with my tomato sauce.

    I also managed to burn the whole top, which was pesto…but no matter…it ended up being the most scrumptious tastiest thing ever. A big italian flavoured veg cassarole, really. And gratifyingly healthy.

    • Julia~
      Thank you so much for sharing your adaptations with us. That lasagna is definitely one of my favorites and I am so happy that you enjoy as much as I do. Great job making it work! That is the YU spirit.

  14. Heather

    I made this for a group of 35 & everyone LOVED it. I swapped the spinach for chard and asparagus for green beans. I’ll be checking out more of your recipes! Thanks! Heather

  15. Mark

    This recipe is ingenious! The combination of the sweet potato and the vegan ricotta cheese is inspired. This is clean and healthy comfort food.

  16. I’m glad I’m not the only anti-microwave person :)

  17. Just finished a huge helping of the lasagna. (Instead of 8 portions, I’ll probaly get 6). Really delicious. I am in my first month of transition to vegan/raw foods. This website has been tremendously helpful. My ricotta cheese was slightly runnier and darker than pictured but definitely tasty. Will make again for sure. Thank you.

  18. Megan

    This recipe is a true find. I was out of asparagus, so I used broccoli instead. I also substituted green and white onions for the peppers; and also used tomatillos for the sauce. I was serving a friend with a lot of food allergies. This lasagna rocked my world. Thanks for the great recipe.

  19. Marsha

    I cannot wait to try this out! Anything with sweet potato in it is on the road to heaven:) thanks for the simple, straightforward way you present everything-you let the food speak for itself.

  20. Cyndi

    Can I use cornstarch instead of agar?

    • You can actually leave out the agar if you like (after it cools in the fridge and is then reheated, the cheese still sets up nicely), but try cornstarch or arrowroot and let us know how it turns out!

  21. Joanne Clendining

    Heather, do you put sauce in between each layer? or just on the bottom and the top?

  22. Amanda Leno

    I’m loving this recipe and eating it right now! I feel like it would have worked better with a mandoline slicer so I’m on the hunt for one. Any recommendations?

  23. kate s

    I have a serious allergy to Peppers of all colours and chilli’s too. What other veggies would you recommend in this recipe other than peppers!

    thanks

    • Heather Crosby

      Kate~
      You can absolutely leave them out and it will still be delicious!

  24. This looks amazing! Could you cut the veges with a spiraler as well or would they be too thin? Thanks!

    • Heather Crosby

      Nancy, I think you could give it a try. Let me know if it works!

  25. Jen

    Just made this tonight. Probably one of the best meals that I have ever made :) Excited to make it for work colleagues and friends. I cant wait to try other veggies mixed in, and to try out other recipes on this website!!! Just one question, what do the Agar Agar flakes really do? Could I admit them? Or use the powder or blocks instead from the local Asian store instead of the flakes from the local health food store?

    • Heather Crosby

      Hi Jen,
      So happy you enjoyed this recipe, it’s one of my favorites :) You can definitely use powdered agar instead of flakes, you will just want to cut the quantity called for in half—so only 1 1/2 tsp agar powder for the Ricotta recipe versus 3 tbsp flakes. And if you want to, you can leave it out—the agar is used to firm up the layers/cheese (once cooled it sets) really well. But the properties of the cashew blend does this pretty well without the agar, too. You will want to bake, then refrigerate overnight, then serve, so you get firm slices. Hope that helps!

      • Jen

        Thank you! It does, for the budget anyway! Thank you for all of your wonderful recipies, I have had great fun trying them out :)

  26. tiana

    i’m making this tonight for the second time. it’s so delicious and packed with veggies. my boyfriend loved it as well, and he loves his meat and cheese :) he didn’t realize the cheese was vegan and shocked when i told him it was made with cashews. i have told a few people about this site, and to try this first. definitely my favorite so far

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