Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheeze

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on November 7, 2011

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Are you feeling as well rested as I am today? I could seriously bounce off the walls right now and there isn’t a lick of caffeine in my body. Man, the extra hour is the best…aside from that whole getting dark earlier thing. That really put a wrinkle in my lasagna dinner photography plans last night!

Want to know a secret?

I’ve never made lasagna before! Not even before I became a vegan. Back then, the best thing I cooked was popcorn in my popcorn maker and frozen dinners.

Anyways, I always loved eating lasagna, but assumed it was super difficult to make. Well, it turns out that it’s not as bad as I imagined…like everything in life. (Thank you anxiety.) This lasagna was quite easy even for an experienced popcorn maker like myself. And if you’re a multi-tasker in the kitchen like I am things move along even quicker.

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How do you make a vegan lasagna taste as good as its non-vegan counterpart?

Above all, it must have a creamy and cheese-like flavour. Most vegan lasagna recipes use a tofu-based “ricotta” cheese, but I wanted to try something different for my recipe. As a cheese replacer, I made a Lemon Basil Cashew Cheeze which I adapted from my Stuffed Portabella Pizza recipe. I absolutely loved it in this lasagna and it gave it a really luxurious creamy and cheesy flavour.

The first thing you do is make this cheeze spread in your food processor. I did this ahead of time and just kept it in a sealed container in the fridge until I was ready to make my lasagna.

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I also saved time by using bottled pasta sauce (1.5 bottles), but you can make homemade marinara sauce if you prefer!

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The next thing I did was sauté the vegetables. I chopped 1 sweet onion, 1 large red pepper, 2 small zucchini, 1 cup of cremini mushrooms, and minced 3 garlic cloves.

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(I love the sunset light beaming into my kitchen at this time!)

While the vegetables are sautéing, you can boil your noodles. The best lasagna making tip that I can give you is to slightly undercook your lasagna noodles. I cooked mine for about 8 minutes and then quickly rinsed them with cold water. No one wants mushy noodles in a lasagna! I used Kamut noodles and they were very tasty.

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Once that is done, it’s time to start layering your lasagna. I took step-by-step pictures to help guide you along the process. So yea…if you’re not taking a bazillion photos it should move along even quicker!

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Tips:

  • I used about 1 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  • Use half of your basil cheeze for the 1st layer and the rest for the second layer. Ditto for the vegetables!
  • You can add as much or as little cheese on top as you prefer. I think I used about 1 cup?

 

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At this point you can wrap it up and put it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it, or you can bake it right away like I did.

After layering, bake in the oven, covered with tin foil, for 40-45 minutes at 400F and then remove the tinfoil and broil it over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, watching closely.

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That wasn’t so bad, right?

We also have a ton of leftovers to enjoy for lunches all week long!

Would I change anything next time?

The only thing I would add next time is to crumble a couple of my favourite Amy’s California burgers (pre-cooked?) onto a layer of the lasagna. I think that would give it a great “ground-beef” like texture. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing!

We both gobbled up two big pieces and Eric packed some for his lunch today. I’d say it was a success!

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4.9 from 28 reviews
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Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheeze

By

I like my lasagna with lots of sauce and lots of vegetables, but you can tailor your version to your own preference. The best part about lasagna is that it can be adapted so many ways.

Yield
6
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

For the Cheeze:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 mins or overnight
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water (or more as needed)
  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves (lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (gives the cheese flavour)
  • 3/4-1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) + freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
For the Lasagna:
  • 454 g Box of lasagna noodles*
  • 1.5 bottles of pasta sauce or use homemade marinara sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped (2.5 cups)
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 2 pre-cooked veggie burgers, crumbled (optional)
  • Lemon Basil Cheeze Sauce (from above)
  • Daiya cheese (as much as desired)

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse soaked cashews. With the food processor turned on, drop in your garlic cloves and process until chopped. Add in the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large skillet, sautee onion and garlic over low-medium heat for 5 minutes. Now add in the rest of the veggies and sautee for another 10-15 minutes. *Season well with Herbamare or kosher salt and black pepper.* This is key or you will have bland tasting vegetables in your lasagna.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil lasagna noodles for 8 minutes, drain, and rinse immediately with cold water.
  4. Add 1 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish. Add a layer of noodles, half the basil cheeze sauce, half the vegetables, more pasta sauce, another layer of noodles, veggie burger crumbles (optional), the rest of the cheeze sauce, the rest of the vegetables, more pasta sauce, and finally a sprinkle of cheese.
  5. Cover with tinfoil and prick with fork a few times. Bake at 400°F for 40-45 minutes and then remove tinfoil and broil for 5 minutes on medium. Watch closely so you don’t burn the edges. Remove and serve. Will keep in the fridge for at least 3-4 days.

Nutrition Information

Tips:

  • * I cooked an entire box of noodles (16 oz) and had 6 noodles leftover. This will depend on how large your casserole dish is. My dish is a bit small, although I’m not sure of the actual size.

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Drool.

Now, my mind is swirling with a seasonal lasagna recipe like pumpkin or squash lasagna. I think that would be really good!

Don’t forget, today is the last day to enter my giveaway!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

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Justin December 21, 2017 at 9:58 am
Recipe Rating:

This is so damn good. We’ve made it two years in a row for a Christmas gathering with our family that is all non-vegan. They all make their lasagnas and we bring this to share with them (and for us to eat as vegans). The pan is cleared out each year and we get raving complements from everyone. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Justin, that’s so GREAT to hear!! Thank you for letting me know. I’ll be making this over the holidays too…can’t wait!

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Miss Justine December 22, 2017 at 10:38 pm

I’m allergic to nuts and seeds. Can I substitute tofu instead of cashews? If so, how much tofu should I use?

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) December 23, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Hey Justine, I haven’t tried it before, but if I was going to I would start with 1/2 cup chopped tofu in the cheese sauce. Taste it, and add from there (if necessary). Please let me know if you try anything out! Would love to hear how it goes.

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Me January 15, 2018 at 10:19 am

I made this tonight for my brother’s birthday and we were all blown away at how good this was! I always put vegan lasagna in the ‘too hard and probably not that good basket’ but I’d grown really bored of my go to recipes and needed something fresh. This was so simple to make and absolutely delicious! Will be making it again without a doubt, thank you for the recipe.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 15, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Whohoo, so glad it went over so well :) Thanks for letting me know!

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Leeann February 1, 2018 at 11:16 am
Recipe Rating:

This lasagne is the best ! My husband and I are not vegan but I cook from both of the Oh She Glows books weekly. My husband, who is a meat and potatoes guy, loves this lasagne so much, he said he would eat this weekly if I made it. And he said he prefers this recipe over any “tradional” lasagne recipe. I have to agree. It’s the bomb !! Thanks Ang !

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 2, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Well this review just made my FRIDAY I tell you!! heh. Thanks Leeann! I’m so flattered. And honestly, it’s so crazy for me to think about someone cooking from my books every week..that is just so cool. Thank you for all your support. :)

Reply

Angela FITTON March 5, 2018 at 5:22 pm
Recipe Rating:

Made this yesterday. Thought the cashew sauce was very strong but once all together was beautiful! I have made the same lasagne for years, finally i tried a new one and hit the jackpot first time! Thanks! ( Making your shepphards pie now, another one of my favs)
😀

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) March 6, 2018 at 9:12 am

Hey Angela, whohoo…so glad this was such a hit! I’m making it this weekend and I’m going to stuff the cashew cheese into portobello mushrooms and roast it…can’t wait! That’s great you love the shepherd’s pie too! Thanks so much for your feedback.

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Maryanne Gobble March 11, 2018 at 12:27 pm
Recipe Rating:

I’ve made this twice now and it’s delish. I changed a couple things the second time to make it less expensive and because I like the mellower flavor. I replaced the fresh basil with fresh spinach and tossed in a few spoonfuls of dry Italian seasoning to the cashew sauce. I also left the fake cheese off the top completely and just added more sauce to the top. This will be a stable in our house!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) March 12, 2018 at 10:50 am

Hey Maryanne, Oh I love your tweaks..thanks so much for sharing!

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Maryanne Gobble March 11, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Oh, and 13×9 inch pan and three layers of noodles in sets of 3 worked great for me! The last layer of noodles with only sauce on top.

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Connie MacNeil March 30, 2018 at 1:17 pm

This is our favorite holiday dinner 😻

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Sarah April 1, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Back in my past meat-eating life, I would normally assemble the lasagna without pre-cooking the noodles. It always worked perfectly and it saved so much time! Has anyone tried that with this recipe?

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Hey Sarah, I’ve been meaning to try this recipe with the pre-cooked noodles! I know people who swear by them. If anyone has tried it with this recipe, we’d love to hear how it went. :)

Reply

Maria April 19, 2018 at 8:47 pm

I’ve made this several times now – including once gluten free with brown rice lasagna noodles (and you couldn’t tell!) – and it’s incredibly delicious. My husband LOVES it and I do too! He has a dairy allergy and he said he finally “gets” why everyone loves lasagna now! Thanks for this great recipe!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2018 at 7:09 am

Aww what a sweet comment from your husband! That made me smile. Thanks so much for trying this out Maria!

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Kasie April 20, 2018 at 7:15 pm

This was absolutely delicious! I made this last week and it was so good that I will be making it again this week. I did half the amount of nutritional yeast only because I am not the biggest fan of it. Unfortunately it has too strong of a taste for me, but with that said the basil cheese sauce was delicious with half the nutritional yeast and it still had a great cheese flavor. I loved this recipe.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) April 23, 2018 at 6:54 am

Hey Kasie, Thank you so much for your feedback! So glad you enjoyed it with the reduced nutritional yeast :)

Reply

alison April 28, 2018 at 9:06 am

Hi, is there any way I can send a private email to angela? I am desperate for some food advice with all the allergies in my family. Im worried that Im not feeding everyone properly at this point.
our allergies include:
Dairy
Wheat
Yeast
Nuts (except for cashews pistashios and peanuts)
A lot of Raw Veggies and some raw berries
and we do not eat meat..

Help please!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) April 29, 2018 at 10:16 am

Hi Alison, Absolutely you can reach us at press[at]ohsheglows[dot]com :)

Reply

Laura April 30, 2018 at 7:06 am
Recipe Rating:

When your husband keeps saying between bites -” This is so good!” – you know you’ve made a winner. In fact, he wants it on the weekly rotation. This wasn’t hard to make at all, but I told him he’d have to make it if he wanted it weekly. : ). I followed the recipe exactly, except I topped it with some aquafaba everyday cheese that I made, instead of Daiya. Thanks for a yummy recipe!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) April 30, 2018 at 7:12 am

Hey Laura, haha I so agree…so glad you both love it!

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Jamie Jones May 10, 2018 at 7:34 pm

Hi Angela- I’ve made this lasagna several times now and we love it! I plan on taking it to a family reunion next weekend, which will be a 3 1/2 hour drive. I will be making it the day before we leave, since we are leaving early morning. Should I just assemble it, stick it in the fridge overnight, then take it in a cooler, and cook it when I get there? Or should I fully cook it at home the day before, and reheat when we get there?

I got every answer you can think of over the internet, so thought I should go to the source for the best response!

Thanks!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) May 13, 2018 at 7:16 am

Hey Jamie, Oh good question!! I haven’t made this in advance before so I’m not positive. If I was going to try it out, I would assemble it, then wrap it up (make sure the veggies aren’t still hot or it’ll steam itself when wrapped up) + chill it, and cook it when I got there. I’d love to hear how it goes if you do.

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Jo-Anne September 17, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Hello,
I made a Vegan Lasagna which included a ricotta made with almonds which I found quite good. I came across your recipe and have tried many of your recipes in the past which I have liked. I will try your lasagna recipe next, however, I am not a big one on the Daiya Cheese. I found another one which is available at Superstore here in Canada called Soy Mozza and it comes just like the regular Mozza in a block so you need to grate it. It has a good flavour so this is the only thing that I’d change on this recipe.

Reply

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