With layers of a vegan meaty bolognese sauce, lasagna noodles, homemade cashew vegan ricotta (which takes less than 5 minutes to make), all topped with a 5-minute vegan mozzarella sauce you have yourself The Best Ever Vegan Lasagna!!! It's meaty, cheesy, creamy, and so delicious, no one will be able to tell it's vegan!
Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease them.
Break the two blocks of tofu into chunks and add them to a large bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the tofu into crumbles. Add the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, smoked paprika, and garlic powder and stir to coat the tofu. Spread the tofu across the two prepared baking sheets. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, stopping to stir every now and then until the tofu is browned and dry. Set aside.
To a saucepan add the tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Put over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the baked tofu crumbles and then remove from the heat. The tofu will absorb some of the liquid and become deliciously meaty and chewy. If your sauce gets a little too dry add a splash of water as needed.
For the Cashew Ricotta:
Add the cashews to a food processor and pulse several times until the cashews have broken down into a crumbly powder. Add the plant-based milk, lemon juice, and miso paste, and blend, stopping to scrape the sides until you reach a sticky ricotta texture.
For the Mozzarella Sauce:
Melt the vegan butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to make a paste. Keep whisking and cook the flour paste for 60 seconds. Whisk in plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the mozzarella sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside. If the sauce gets too thick, feel free to add a splash more plant-based milk or water as needed.
For the Lasagna:
Turn your oven up to 375F (190C).
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the package directions. (I always cook a few extra noodles in case some break).
To assemble the lasagna, spread ¼ of the vegan meat sauce across the bottom of a 9"x13" pan. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread another ¼ of vegan meat sauce over the noodles, then dollop ½ the ricotta over the meat sauce. Top with 3 more lasagna noodles, another ¼ of vegan meat sauce, the remaining ½ of the ricotta, 3 more lasagna noodles, the last of the vegan meat sauce, and lastly pour over all of the mozzarella sauce and gently spread it over top.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 mins. Remove foil and bake another 10 - 15 minutes until bubbling around the edges. Optionally you can brown the cheese by putting it under the broiler for a few minutes, keeping a close eye to ensure it doesn't burn. Allow the lasagna to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top with fresh chopped basil, parsley, or vegan parmesan cheese if desired.
Vegan lasagna is a great make-ahead recipe! In my recipe you can either prepare all the fillings and store them separately, or you can assemble the entire lasagna and store that.Store the fillings separately: prepare the vegan meat sauce, the cashew ricotta, and mozzarella sauce. Allow them to cool and then store in seperate air-tight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to prepare the lasagna, cook the noodles, assemble the lasagna, and then bake.Store the unbaked lasagna: assemble the lasagna as instructed, but do not bake it. Cover and store the unbaked lasagna in the fridge for up to 3 days. Allow it to come to room temperature before baking, then bake as usual.Freeze the unbaked lasagna: assemble the lasagna as instructed, but do not bake it. Cover the lasagna, and wrap it well to make sure it's as air-tight as possible. Freeze for up to 2 - 3 months. When ready to bake, transfer the lasagna to the fridge and let thaw overnight. Allow it to come to room temperature before baking, then bake as usual.Store leftovers: allow the lasagna to cool, then store the leftovers, covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.