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Ultimate Vegan Lasagna

Lasagna is such a hearty and filling meal, and it feeds a pretty big crowd! It takes a little bit of work but is so worth the effort. I remember when I used to do in-home cooking lessons, Vegan Lasagna is one recipe that always received the best reviews.

vegan spinach lasagna

Want protein and calcium? This Ultimate Vegan Lasagna with black beans has 20 grams of protein and 236 mg. of calcium, with only 3 grams of fat (if you use white beans, instead of cashews) per serving!

We love this vegan lasagna because it’s…

  • High protein
  • Hearty
  • Packed with veggies
  • Comforting
  • Simply delicious

Who says a plant-based lifestyle has to taste bland?

What is vegan lasagna made with

The vegan lasagna includes delicious whole food ingredients like fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, onion, garlic, bulgur, vegan cheese sauce, vegan ricotta, and so much more.

black beans in spoon and bowl
Black beans are a fiber-filled delicious ingredient in this vegan spinach lasagna.

It’s kind of like a 3-in-1 deal because included are recipes for Tofu Ricotta and Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce. We love this stuff!

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How to make meatless lasagna

A full list of ingredients, measurements, instructions, and a print button can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Though this recipe is a little more indepth and requires some time and work, I promise it’s going to be worth the effort.

Cooking the noodles

Barely cook lasagna noodles in boiling water, approximately 5 minutes, then remove from water and set to the side. If these are cooked any longer, they fall apart while you handle them.

Lasagna pasta in pot

Making the meatless sauce

In a large saucepan (I use a large wok), sauté the minced garlic and onion in 3-4 Tbps. of veggie broth, approximately 5 minutes.

Add another 1/4 cup veggie broth and toss in COOKED bulgur, and simmer another 2 minutes.

What is bulgur?

Bulgur is a whole wheat grain that is cooked exactly like rice in about 15 minutes. I like to make a big batch of it in my rice cooker and freeze it for use in other recipes like this, spaghetti, lasagna, and nachos.

wooden spoon with cooked bulgur beside wooden spoon with uncooked bulgur

This amazing grain adds a ground beef texture and soaks up flavors of dish you’re preparing.

Pour in your choice of marinara pasta sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, and black beans. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Lasagna marinara

Healthy oil-free marinara

Believe it or not, the Aldi discount grocery store has a marinara brand that is Dr. John McDougall compliant, with no oil. It’s called Simply Nature and is organic. Here in North Carolina, it sells for about $2 for 25 oz.

Make sure to read the labels, because some variations do contain oil or animal products. Aldi stores often carry different products, so do a quick check of the ingredient list. 

Another great oil-free marinara is the DeLallo Fat-Free Brand. It can be ordered on Amazon and delivered straight to your door. I actually love this particular brand.

If you would rather, you can make your own marinara. Check out Will, from Potato Strong’s Marina Sauce.

Layering the lasagna

Cover bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish with a THIN layer of tomato black bean sauce, then a layer of noodles. This keeps the noodles from touching the bottom of a baking dish and sticking.

Next, add another thicker layer of tomato black bean sauce. Then a layer of Tofu Ricotta. You’ll use 1/2 of the entire ricotta mixture here. Plop tablespoons on top of noodles, like this.

vegan spinach lasagna

Making the tofu ricotta

The Tofu Ricotta is a layer of this vegan lasagna that you definitely don’t want to leave out either. It’s is made with only 8 simple ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes for a deliciously healthy plant-based cheese alternative.

With a blender and a few ingredients, you’ll have an amazing dish that is terrific even used as a spread for crackers.

blender filled with tofu, cashews, spices, and basil

Making the cheese sauce

Normally, I have some of this vegan cheese already on hand because we use it with so many other dishes. If I don’t happen to have some in the refrigerator, there’s likely some in my freezer.

Making the cheese sauce is as simple as boiling a pot of potatoes, onions, and carrots, adding them to a blender with spices, and blending until smooth. I have a Vitamix blender, so it can cream this cheese sauce up in just about 1-minute. Set this sauce to the side until it’s time to add it to the fries.

vegan cheese sauce poured from white gravy boat into white bowl

This recipe makes approximately 1 quart and can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks to be used on baked potatoes, tacos, lasagna, and so much more!

Drizzle the creamy cheese sauce over the lasagna.

vegan lasagna layered in pan

Continue the same order of layers, starting with another layer of noodles, then using 1/2 of the remaining tomato black bean sauce, and all the remaining Tofu Ricotta, Lightly drizzle with cheese sauce.

The last layer will begin with the remaining noodles, topped by the remaining tomato black bean sauce, and then drizzled with cheese sauce.

Bake in the oven at 350°F for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle a little more cheese sauce on top. Serve!

Tips for making vegan lasagna

I highly recommend making double-batches of the cheese sauce and ricotta to use in other recipes.

The cheese sauce freezes well for using later.

When I reheat the cheese sauce, I like to place it back in the blender after defrosting for a quick blend to make it nice a smooth again, just like freshly made.

The whole lasagna freezes well too. Cooking more than I need is standard practice for me, because I love being able to pull a meal out the freezer on those hurried crazy days.

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Other main dishes and casseroles

Lasagna spinach black bean

Ultimate Vegan Lasagna

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Fasten your seatbelt for the lasagna ride of a lifetime! Want protein and calcium? This monster has 20 grams of protein and 236 mg. of calcium, with only 3 grams of fat (if you use white beans, instead of cashews) per serving!

Ingredients

Lasagna & Sauce

  • 10 oz. package whole-grain lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup cooked bulgur
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • veggie broth
  • 4-6 cups marinara sauce, your favorite
  • 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, leave UNDRAINED
  • 1 recipe Tofu Ricotta, (recipe follows)
  • 1-2 cups Vegan Creamy Cheese Sauce, (recipe below)

Tofu Ricotta

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, (or 1/4 cup white beans)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 16 oz. firm tofu, pressed to drain
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, dry
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 10 oz. pkg. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced (I use Russet, red skin, yellow, or sweet potatoes)
  • 1/4 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup broth from cooked veggies
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, or 1/2 cup cooked white beans
  • 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch paprika
  • 1/2 pinch cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Barely cook lasagna noodles in boiling water, approximately 5 minutes, then remove from water and set to the side. If these are cooked any longer, they fall apart while you handle them.
  3. In large sauce pan (I use a large wok), sauté the minced garlic and onion in 3-4 Tbps. of veggie broth, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add another 1/4 cup veggie broth and toss in COOKED bulgur, and simmer another 2 minutes. Bulgur is a whole wheat grain that is cooked exactly like rice in about 15 minutes. (Follow package directions). I like to make a big batch of it and store in freezer to use in recipes like tacos, stews, chili beans, etc. because bulgur adds a ground beef texture and soaks up flavors of dish you're preparing.
  5. Pour in your choice of marinara pasta sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, and black beans. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Cover bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish with a THIN layer of tomato black bean sauce, then a layer of noodles. This keeps the noodles from touching the bottom of baking dish and sticking.
  7. Next, add another thicker layer of tomato black bean sauce. Then a layer of Tofu Ricotta. You'll use 1/2 of the entire ricotta mixture here. Plop tablespoons on top of noodles, like this.
  8. Use a spoon to smear it around a little like this. It doesn't have to be pretty, LOL!
  9. Drizzle Vegan Creamy Cheese Sauce over the lasagna.
  10. Continue the same order of layers, starting with another layer of noodles, then using 1/2 of the remaining tomato black bean sauce, and all the remaining Tofu Ricotta, Lightly drizzle with cheese sauce.
  11. The last layer will begin with the remaining noodles, topped by the remaining tomato black bean sauce, and then drizzled with cheese sauce.
  12. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle a little more cheese sauce on top. Serve!

Tofu Ricotta

  1. Thaw spinach and drain as much as possible. I defrost mine on a pile of paper towels in the microwave. After it is thawed, I wrap it up in the paper towels and squeeze excess juices over the sink (or jar to keep and add to veggie broth).
  2. Place all ricotta ingredients (EXCEPT SPINACH) into blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to large bowl and stir in the drained spinach. Continue tasting until you get the salt adjusted to your taste.

Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce

  1. In medium pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in pot and allow to cook until veggies are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Cooking time will vary based on how small the veggies are diced.
  2. When veggies are tender, drain and place them in blender. NOTE: reserve 1 cup of the broth, and add to blender. Add all the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 6.7gCarbohydrates: 77.4gFiber: 17.7gProtein: 29.5g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

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Dorothy

Monday 20th of January 2020

This rainy afternoon I decided to tackle Terri's "Ultimate Vegan Lasagna" and it is delicious! It even looks like the lasagna I used to make before I went vegan/WFPB. And let me tell you that the cheese sauce is amazing -- the best I have ever had. I was eating it by the spoonful. Yes, making any lasagna dish is a lot of work, but I'll be able to freeze what I can't eat. Thanks, Terri, for another great recipe!”

Terri Edwards

Monday 20th of January 2020

Dorothy, I am so glad that you enjoyed the lasagna, and the cheese sauce is a favorite at my house too. Thank you for the great feedback and for following!

Dorothy

Saturday 18th of January 2020

This rainy afternoon I decided to tackle Terri's "Ultimate Vegan Lasagna" and it is delicious! It even looks like the lasagna I used to make before I went vegan/WFPB. And let me tell you that the cheese sauce is amazing -- the best I have ever had. I was eating it by the spoonful. Yes, making any lasagna dish is a lot of work, but I'll be able to freeze what I can't eat. Thanks, Terri, for another great recipe!

Terri Edwards

Saturday 18th of January 2020

Hi Dorothy, I'm SO glad that you like this lasagna recipe! Thank you for the wonderful feedback. The cheese sauce is definitely a favorite of mine as well. Your comments have made my day! :D

Drew Banker

Friday 24th of May 2019

This recipe looks delicious, and I can't wait to try it tonight! We used your creamy cheese sauce the other night--it's amazing. I'm a young vegan learning to cook, and it means the world to me to find good recipes. I've only tried two of your recipes so far, but they're among the best I've found anywhere. Thanks!

EatPlant-Based.com

Friday 24th of May 2019

Oh, how I love hearing such encouraging words! Thank you so much, and I'm wishing you all the best on your new vegan cooking journey. Hoping you find lots more of the recipe that make the transition easy. :)

Dolores Jones

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

This is absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe.

EatPlant-Based.com

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

Wonderful to hear! And a reminder that I need to make it again too!

Nancy Nurse

Tuesday 28th of July 2015

Looks amazing and I want to make it, but wondered if you have ever tried the sauce with the white beans (instead of the cashews) and how did it taste? I love cashews but due to my heart, am not supposed to have them... please tell me it tastes the same with the white beans! :)) (but, be honest.... if it's not so nice, then tell me).. but, hoping...

Terri

Tuesday 28th of July 2015

Hi Nancy, I have made the cheese sauce with white beans instead of cashews. It is good, but you asked for complete honesty so... I do prefer the cashews. Sometimes I will do 1/2 cashews and 1/2 white beans to keep more of the creaminess with only half the fat. :)