By Andrea Banerjee
Last Christmas at our annual family potluck, my mom and aunt brought a lasagna and it was demolished. I had a slice too, even though I normally don’t eat beef and it was so, so delicious! Lasagna is such a good group dish, and always makes me think of family gatherings or potlucks. It’s a perfect make-ahead recipe, and the leftovers heat up beautifully with a little fresh, hot marinara sauce. The only downside was that this particular (traditional) version wasn’t vegan or vegetarian friendly, and I wished my husband could have tried it because it was so tasty.
Since last Christmas, I really think lasagna was in my head all year! It has felt like a months-long craving.
It wasn’t until after my wedding this summer that I finally decided to spend the time hunting for, experimenting with, and dedicating time to make a vegan recipe. Lasagna is a simple dish to make, but depending on how you do it, it can be time consuming or take a degree of know-how. For vegans, this is especially true if you’re perfecting the flavour profile or making substitute filling ingredients, like the “meat” and “cheese.” In other words: I knew I needed a blueprint.
I should have known I need not have looked further than Minimalist Baker. Of course Dana has multiple incredible looking lasagna recipes! I adapted this one because I was craving the most classic, traditional dish: give me noodles, sauce and deliciousness.
I’ve made this lasagna twice now (modified) and both times my husband and I polished off a 9×13 pan in less than three days. It makes a perfect packed lunch for work and leftover dinner.
Here are my tips:
I highly recommend that you dice fresh basil and add it right into the food processor with your nuts and nutritional yeast. I also sub milk for the water in the recipe. Without these two steps, I found my vegan ricotta to be a little bland and too crunchy. The milk and basil yield a creamier, fragrant “cheese” that we eat right out of of the processor 😉
If you’re looking to keep your lasagna really traditional in texture and look, or if you’re just too damn lazy to mess around, you’ve got to have some “ground beef” ! I added Yves original meatless ground round to my layers, and it’s SO.GOOD. Bonus that it’s ready-made because this recipe is a little time consuming otherwise.
Sauce is Boss
I always think I’m putting too much marinara in my lasagna layers, but it pays off. You’ll easily kill a full jar of sauce making this lasagna and that’s okay. I’ve made my own and I’ve also done a grocery store sauce – both were great. Just make sure you choose one that’s delicious! When reheating leftovers, warm some extra marinara to top your slice. Alternately, mix tomato paste, EVOO and garlic in a skillet, to make your second-day slice extra warm and comforting.
Enjoy, lasagna lovers!