In this recipe I show you how to cook the ultimate vegan lasagna. It’s not only made without meat, but without any animal product! However it’s so tasty that you’ll feel like you just never get enough of it!
In this vegan lasagna recipe, I deliberately didn’t use any cheese substitutes. If you wish so, you can top your lasagna with quality plant-based vegan cheese or tofu to make it more delicious!
Vegan Lasagna Recipe
Besides the lasagna pasta, there are three critical elements to this vegan lasagna; tomato sauce, mushrooms and eggplants. Prepare the layers separately and the assemble your lasagna before baking. You will need a 9 x 13 inch (25×35 cm) baking pan for the amounts in this recipe. It yields 8 servings.
Prepare Your Eggplants
- Prepare your eggplants first, as they take pretty long time. Slice your eggplants into 1/3 – 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick circles, toss the slices with 3 teaspoons of salt, put them into a large bowl and allow them to rest for at least 30 minutes. This salting process will help to draw the liquid out from your eggplants.
- Wash your eggplants with running water and wipe them carefully.
- Cook your eggplants for 3 minutes on both sides in 1 tablespoon olive oil over high flame. Take them off the heat and pat dry with a paper towel.
Prepare Your Tomato Sauce
- Meanwhile, chop a whole onion and simmer over medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 3-4 minutes, until translucent.
- Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic and add to the onions. Cook for 30 seconds
- Add 2 cups (400 g) of tomato puree (passata) and 3 tbsp (140 g, a larger can) of tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons (30-40 ml) of water, bring it to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for at least 45 minutes. Stir occasionally until the sauce thickens.
- Season with 1 teaspoon of dried crushed basil or oregano. Alternatively you can add 2 teaspoons of fresh basil or oregano.
You can also use only tomato puree or tomato paste. If so, use about 4 cups (800 g) tomato puree or 6 tbsp (280 g) tomato paste.
This tomato sauce is based on my easy tomato sauce recipe – for further details, please click on the link. Longer cook times help making flavors better.
Prepare Your Mushrooms
- For your mushroom layer, clean and peel 16 ounces (2 1/5 lb, 1000 g) button mushrooms first.
- Slice your mushrooms into 1/5 inch (5 mm) thick slices.
- Finely chop 2 whole onions.
- For roasting such a large amount of mushrooms, divide them into portions; if you use a larger frying pan, divide them into 2, if you have a smaller one divide them into 3-4 portions, or else your mushrooms will be boiled not roasted. In case you have two portions, stew your onions over a medium flame with 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Turn the stove up to the highest flame, add mushrooms.
- Roast your mushrooms, stir or flip them occasionally, until they evaporate all their liquids and they are deep in color.
- Finally, add salt and pepper. If you roast 2 portions of mushrooms, add ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper per portion.
Precook Lasagna Noodles
Traditionally there’s no need to precook lasagna noodles, as sauces and cheese provide enough moisture to make the sheets soft in the oven. But here you’ll use only a thicker tomato sauce, so you must precook your pasta.
- Bring a large amount of water to a boil in a larger pot.
- Add salt to the water – use a fair amount of salt.
- Put the lasagna sheets into the water. Toss the sheets, particularly at the beginning, or else they stick together. I cooked my 24 sheets in two portions.
- Cook for about 5-6 minutes then transfer them to a plate. They won’t be completely soft, but don’t worry. They will continue softening in the oven. That’s how you get a perfect pasta consistency!
- Strain your pasta but reserve some of the cooking water – see later.
Assemble Your And Bake Your Vegan Lasagna
- Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C).
- Spread 4 tbsp of tomato sauce evenly on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch (25×35 cm) pan.
- Put one layer of lasagna noodle on the bottom of your pan. Sprinkled the top of your lasagna with 2-3 tbsp of their cooking water.
- Spread half of the mushrooms on top of your lasagna pasta.
- Put another layer of noodles then spread 8 tbsp of tomato sauce onto the top. Watch out and spread tomato sauce so that it covers the entire layer, it keeps it from drying out.
- Place the half of the eggplant slices on top of your lasagna.
- Repeat layering in the same order; noodles » 2-3 tbsp of cooking water » remaining half of mushrooms » 8 tbsp of tomato sauce » remaining part of eggplant slices » noodles » 8 tbsp tomato sauce.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue baking for an extra 20 minutes. Bring 2 cups (500 ml) of water to a boil in an oven-safe skillet and put it onto the bottom of your oven. The evaporating water will keep your lasagna from drying out.
Enjoy your meal!