Looking for an Easy Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe? Try Out This Simple One!
We love lasagna. Why? Because it’s filling, it’s relatively simple to make, and it tastes great. Lasagna is such a versatile recipe that can be made to suit all different tastes and diets. That’s why we really like our vegetarian lasagna recipe – it’s meatless, can be made with different vegetables like zucchini, spinach or carrots, and is relatively healthy!
Seriously, lasagna doesn’t have to be difficult but we feel like people freak out about the potential complexity. This is nonsense! The steps are all easy – you just need to do them in order, pop it in the oven, and then voila – you’ve got a filling meal ready a little later. C’mon, let’s go make a tasty meatless lasagna.
Easy Vegetarian Lasagna Variations
This recipe is for a meatless vegetarian lasagna and not a lasagna that is overly heavy with vegetables. That’s a different recipe which we will also make down the line. That said, if you want to tweak the recipe for different diets, you can do so:
- For a gluten-free vegetarian lasagna, simply use gluten-free lasagna sheets.
- For a dairy-free/vegan lasagna recipe, you can either add vegan cheese to the middle and top layer or just add an extra vegetable layer like zucchini or carrots instead of cheese! The top layer can also be done with breadcrumbs to add more of a golden brown crunch.
- For more vegetables overall, another addition that Lisa feels strongly about is to add carrots into the sauce. If you do, make sure they are cut small so the layers will sit together better, one on top of the other.
Making Your Own Lasagna Pasta Sauce
If you don’t want to make your own pasta sauce, you can use store-bought pasta sauce. However, we feel strongly against this (at least, Lisa does). As a European, Lisa grew up with tomato sauce being made from scratch. Always. Call it a North-American over reliance on convenience but Eric definitely did not and was used to store-bought, pre-mixed tomato sauces.
In general, pre-made grocery store items are such a heated topic in our household (in a constructive way). Over the years we have been together, Eric has definitely been swayed to make most things from scratch. This ESPECIALLY includes pasta/tomato sauce. Eric can now say that it is really easy to make your own sauce from scratch – you just need the right two ingredients: soup stock and tomato puree.
Making sauce from scratch is also a good way to save money because it’s way cheaper when you do the math on the ingredients required versus a store-bought jar. Another great reason to make tomato sauce yourself is that you know exactly what’s in it! It has far less sugar than most store bought sauces AND it also saves us having to recycle a jar in the end.
So, for all those reasons we are a “make your own sauce” household and honestly you can be, too. We were just brought up (Eric speaking) to be lazy and always seeking convenience. It’s not scary (you just add vegetable broth to your tomato puree) and only takes a few seconds!
Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe Need-to-Knows
Before you get cooking, there are a number of things you should keep in mind about the ingredients and the method used. After you’ve learned them once, you basically know them forever.
- The plain tofu is pretty bland on its own so definitely use spices generously to give it some flavor.
- When you pick your tofu, make sure it’s “firm” because firm tofu fries up better.
- We like to use a cube of vegetable stock and add boiling water but you can also buy pre-made liquid vegetable broth (but try the not pre-mixed way if you want to save some money)
- The amount of layers you need will greatly depend on two factors: how much sauce you use per layer, and the depth of your baking pan. We walk you through the layer pattern down below in the recipe card. We actually got the lasagna layer pattern from Eric’s mom. It’s pretty standard, but it was the pattern she used when she made lasagna for him growing up!
Vegetarian Lasagna Storing Tips
Vegetarian lasagna is a great dish because it’s easy to make and the main step of making the sauce can be done well in advance. The sauce is meatless so it can chill in the fridge (pun intended) for up to 3 days. It can be made and frozen in good glass freezerware or double-layer freezer bags for 2-3 months. Just take it out and put it in the fridge overnight the day before you want to make lasagna.
As for leftovers, this lasagna re-heats well in the microwave and in a cast iron pan with the lid on and heat on low. Alternatively, you can just pop the whole baking pan back in the oven to re-warm. Just be sure to cover it with tin foil to keep any remaining moisture in.
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 500 grams of firm tofu
- 1 fresh tomato (optional for sauce)
- Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, Italian spice, optional: chili powder (for tofu)
- 1 cup (250 ml) of vegetable broth (usually 1/2 cube of vegetable stock for 2 cups of boiling water)
- 2 cups (500 ml) of tomato purée (crushed tomatoes also works)
- No-pre boil lasagna sheets
- 125 grams of crumbly cheese/cottage cheese
- Parmesan/Grated Cheese for the top (personal preference)
- Pre-heat the oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
- Cut the onion, garlic, and tomato into small cubes.
- Put oil in deep-sided pan on medium-heat to lightly brown the onions.
- Crumble the tofu with hands OR place in pan and mince with spatula, add spices to tofu
- Adding more oil if needed, fry the tofu until it is browning (this can take a while, so be patient).
- Add in chopped garlic and tomato, stir until heated through.
- Add in vegetable stock and tomato puree, and stir until mixed. Add salt, pepper and Italian spice to taste.
- Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes until heated through and lightly bubbling, then turn off heat.
- Grab your 10.5 x7 inch sized baking dish. Grate and/or crumble up the cheese if necessary.
- Use a ladle to lightly cover the bottom of the pan with sauce, create the layers in the following order: sauce - noodle - sauce - crumbly cheese - noodle - sauce - grated cheese.
(If you have a deeper pan OR thinner noodles you can layer: sauce - noodle - sauce - crumble cheese - noodle - sauce - noodle - sauce - grated cheese). Sprinkle Italian spice blend on top, if desired.
- Place lasagna in the oven and cook for around 35 minutes or until the noodles are soft when you poke a fork through. The cheese on top should be melted and slightly browned.
- Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Cut slices, remove with a flipper, and enjoy!
Since pan sizes differ greatly, you might need to play around with the amounts to get it right for your kitchen set-up. If you have too much sauce, you can always put it in the fridge/freezer and use it for something else. If you have too little sauce, you can always add a little tomato puree to the layers to help stretch the sauce amount. That said, it's usually better to make too much sauce!
And there you have it – our recipe for pretty easy vegetarian lasagna! Of course there are a few variations you can do (carrots in the sauce, a zucchini layer, etc) but we think this version is as simple, hearty, and flavorful as can be! Let us know what you think if you try it out!
As always, Keep It Simple,
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