Vegan Lasagna: A Twist on Classic Comfort
Lasagna is one of those comfort food recipes that conjures loving memories of a home-cooked meal. And there is no better time to embrace that warmth than when the weather turns cold. Our Vegan Lasagna with roasted vegetables is a delicious adaptation of the traditional recipe; one that feels like a special occasion meal, but is really a more nutrient-dense, plant-based version. We layer our lasagna with a flavorful sauce, creamy vegan cashew pesto, and oven-roasted vegetables to create a meal that is hearty, healthy and bursting with flavor. We love oven roasting vegetables because it brings out their natural sweetness and reduces them to a size where we can fit a LOT of veggies between the layers! Perfect for the entire family, our Roasted Vegetable Lasagna is filled with so much plant-powered nutrition that will happily fuel your pickiest meat-eating cheese lovers!
Nutrient Booster: Cashews
Cashews are a nut with a soft consistency and a sweet taste, which make them the perfect creamy dairy “cheese” alternative in this decadent lasagna. But cashews have so much more to offer than just delicious flavor. Cashews are beneficial for brain health and their nutrients positively impact brain function. The healthy fats, zinc, copper and magnesium found in cashews are responsible for supporting the brain’s cognitive capabilities. Deficiency in polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, those present in this nut, is associated with an increased risk of depression, ADHD, and anxiety. Cashews are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals and make a great healthy substitute for dairy cheese in salads, pasta dishes, pizza, and especially lasagna!
Soak Once, Eat Twice
Soaked cashews are super versatile and can be used in so many recipes. With an abundance of health benefits, cashews may be your next secret weapon to creating rich and creamy textures in your plant-based meals. Why not soak some extra cashews and try them in our favorite sweet and savory dishes.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
- 3-4 red peppers, whole
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 4 medium-large zucchini, sliced in rounds
- 1 eggplant, skinned and diced*
- 2 cups tomato basil sauce,
- 12 whole grain lasagna noodles, no-cook or boiled and set aside
- 2 cups Cashew Pesto, ingredients below
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight or boiled for 20 minutes
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 4 garlic cloves
- 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups basil, washed
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 9x13 Casserole Dish
- 3-4 baking sheets
- 3-4 pieces parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line 3-4 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place red peppers on one baking sheet, and drizzle one tablespoon olive oil over them. Top with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and sprinkle of pepper.
- Place the peppers in the oven, and roast them for 15 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred and peppers cave in towards the side. When done, remove from oven and place peppers in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to steam. After 10 minutes, peel off the skins, remove the core and slice the peppers in strips. Set aside.
- On the second baking sheet, add eggplant and zucchini and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over them. Top with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and sprinkle of pepper. Roast eggplant and zucchini for 25 minutes until lightly browned. When done, remove from oven and let cool. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add garlic cloves, cashews, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, sea salt and water. Process until smooth.
- Add basil, lemon juice and olive oil while processing. Mix until smooth, and set aside.
- Using a ladle, scoop 1 cup of the tomato sauce in casserole dish to cover the bottom. Place 4 lasagna noodles crosswise so they completely cover the bottom of the dish, breaking them to fit as necessary.
- Cover the noodles with one-third of the cashew-pesto mixture, and evenly spread it with a rubber spatula. Layer 1/2 the zucchini, 1/2 the eggplant, 1/2 the roasted peppers and repeat layers.
- Top with the remaining lasagna noodles, cashew-pesto and sauce. Place lasagna in the oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until it is browned and bubbly. Allow to sit for 10 minutes and serve hot.
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 525 calories, Fat: 34 grams, Saturated fat: 5 grams, Carbohydrates: 45 grams, Sugar: 11 grams, Sodium: 230 milligrams, Fiber: 8 grams, Protein: 14.5 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams *Place diced eggplant in a colander and sprinkle salt over the eggplant. Lay a paper towel over the eggplant, and put a heavy object over it so the bitter liquid can drain.
(1) Kusano, C., Ferrari, B. Total Antioxidant Capacity: a biomarker in biomedical and nutritional studies. Journal of Cell and Molecular Biology. 7(1): 1-15, 2008. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.569.4404&rep=rep1&type=pdf