Updated: Mar 3
We finally did it! We think we killed it with this plant-based lasagna, and while we can't say our Sicilian grandma would 100% approve, we can say that she doesn't approve of much cooking that isn't hers anyway. Her authentic Italian food is pretty unparalleled though, so that's fair.
It's great to just have the real deal sometimes, but this version is pretty damn good. Plus, whether you're strictly gluten free, dairy free, or vegan or you're more of a "flexetarian" (you like to be plant based but you're flexible) you can enjoy this all you want!
We love using chickpea or lentil pasta as a gluten-free option that also provides plant-based protein, and one of the brands we like, Banza, makes chickpea lasagna noodles. That's what we used for this recipe.
We stuffed the chickpea lasagna noodles with spinach, mushrooms, and a vegan "ricotta" that we made from tofu. You can either make your own sauce, following this recipe from Nonna herself (our grandma), or you can use a good quality store bought sauce, like Raos or Primal Kitchen.
1 box Banza chickpea lasagna noodles
1 small white onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
16-20 oz of spinach (fresh or frozen)
8oz of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 package of organic firm tofu
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 lemon's juice
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
optional vegan mozarella for topping (Daiya or other)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Finely chop the onion and garlic then add to a large sauce pan with olive oil on medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until tender.
3. Reduce heat to medium, add in sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes, then add in the spinach (it will cook down lots, don't worry).
4. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, blend tofu, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast until it's a smooth but fluffy ricotta-like texture. If it's too thick, add a Tbsp of water.
5. Once the spinach has cooked down, remove heat and add additional salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, basil and oregano. Stir in the tofu ricotta mixture.
6. In a 9x13 baking pan pour about a cup of sauce then layer 4 "sheets" of the Banza chickpea lasagne side by side. Then top with a layer of the spinach ricotta mixture, top with a little sauce, then another layer of lasagna noodles. Keep layering this way, ending with the lasagna noodles on top of course. Cover the top layer with another layer of sauce.
7. Top with a sprinkle of vegan mozzarella and more nutritional yeast if you wish.
8. Bake for 45 minutes, then mangia e buon apetito!