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Vegan Lentil Lasagna

Updated: Sep 11, 2023



You may not believe this, as I can hardly believe it myself, but until I posted this dish to our blog, I had never made lasagna in my life. Never. Which seems really odd because I love to cook. I suppose it could be because when it comes to lasagna, it's gotta be done right. I've eaten every type from veggie to meat, to homemade family recipe, to Stouffer's frozen in a box, and only a few were good enough for me to make a yummy sound at first bite.


So now that I'm on this new and exciting culinary adventure in plant-based cooking, I thought, "why not give this dish, that's popular and beloved by so many, a try?" The results were surprisingly good! I say, "surprisingly" because, as I mentioned, the bar is set pretty high on my lasagna taste and texture standards. Not being a fan of vegan cheese, I made a mistake on the first round of including vegan mozzarella. I don't recommend doing that as it took attention away from the other, more savory, ingredients. But I also used cashew-based vegan ricotta cheese for the first time, and I loved it.


With the second round, I completely omitted the vegan mozzarella and used twice the amount of vegan ricotta to make up for it. It was delicious! I also used canned diced tomatoes this time because my garden tomatoes are not quite ready to harvest. I do recommend using garden-fresh tomatoes if you're fortunate enough to have some. Lastly, I had about 3/4 cup of plant-based meat crumbles in my freezer and wanted to use them, so I added them to the lentils. That's a completely optional addition, as the lentils alone make a wonderful substitute for a "meat" lasagna. So, without further ado, here is my recipe for a super easy and delicious vegan lentil lasagna. (I'll be having seconds!)


Ingredients:


- 1 box oven-ready lasagna pasta (I used Barilla's)

- 1 24 oz jar Tomato Basil pasta sauce (I recommend Classico brand)

- 1 Tbsp olive oil

- 3/4 to 1 cup frozen "meat" crumbles, (Optional - I used "Gardein Plant-based

Ground Be'f")

- 1 - 15 oz can Italian Lentils, drained and rinsed

- 1 - 15 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid (OR - 2 medium garden-fresh tomatoes, diced)

- 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning

- 2 - 8 oz cartons vegan ricotta cheese (I recommend Kite Hill almond milk ricotta alternative)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x14 baking dish.

  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add "meat" crumbles (optional), lentils, diced tomatoes (with liquid from can) and Italian seasoning. (If using fresh tomatoes, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or veggie stock.)

  3. Bring mixture to a low simmer, mixing well with spatula. When hot, well-mixed and water is mostly evaporated, remove from heat.

  4. Pour a very thin layer of Tomato Basil pasta sauce into bottom of baking dish and spread to edges.

  5. Place lasagna pasta strips evenly across the bottom of the dish. Coat strips with another thin layer of Tomato Basil sauce.

  6. Scoop a layer of the lentil mixture onto the pasta and tomato sauce, spread evenly to edges.

  7. Pour another thin layer of Tomato Basil sauce over the lentil mixture, then place another layer of lasagna strips evenly across the top.

  8. Scoop and spread a layer of vegan ricotta onto and over the lasagna pasta strips.

  9. Scoop another layer of lentil mixture over the ricotta, then pour another thin layer of Tomato Basil sauce over the mix.

  10. Place more lasagna pasta strips across the top as your next layer.

  11. Repeat steps for one more layer of ricotta, one more layer of lentil mixture and finish with one more layer of sauce over the top.

  12. Place baking dish on a cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Place cookie sheet and baking dish in oven and bake at 425 for 30 minutes.

  13. Remove foil from lasagna and press down noodles to ensure they are staying under the sauce.

  14. Loosely re-cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes. When done, remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

  15. Serve with steamed garlic green beans or green peas and enjoy!

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