Vegan Vegetable Lasagne
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything as I’ve been working on other projects, but after serving this at a couple of dinner parties and improving the recipe over the last few months I thought it was time to share my new and improved vegan lasagne with you.
Before I went vegan I used to love making lasagne. Once I added mini meatballs into the layers as little surprises when people cut through their piece. I always used to make my béchamel nice and cheesy, too. There’s so many tricks that we learn as we go along when we become vegan and cheesy béchamel is one of those tricks. It’s so crucial in a vegan lasagne as it gives it that moisture and savoury taste.
You may have seen a simple vegan lasagne recipe earlier in my posts. This wasn’t a bad lasagne but I was missing big slices with lots of filling in the layers. In an effort to get more vegetables in my diet in 2020 I’ve remastered the recipe and absolutely loaded it with delicious hearty veg.
The key to this vegan lasagne recipe is definitely the layer of roasted pumpkin slices. Not only does it add great flavour and structure, it also removes the need for one layer of pasta sheets. This makes it lighter and lower calorie overall so it’s a win win in my book.
This recipe makes a huge vegan lasagne. I use a 36cm x 25cm x 8cm baking dish and it fills to around an inch from the top. I get 8 big slices out of it, so it’s great for entertaining and meal prep, with plenty of leftovers for the week ahead. If you want a smaller one, just halve the recipe.
Great for Calorie Tracking
Each slice of this vegan lasagne comes in under 500 calories so it’s perfect for my current weight loss regime too. I’m on a mission to lose around 8kgs, and these healthy portions will really help keep me full throughout the afternoon if I have one for lunch. Calorie Counting is the most effective method for me so I’ll be focusing a lot on this in the coming months. I use MyFitnessPal to track all my calories in and out and it’s actually how I work out the nutritional info for my recipes, too.
Vegan Vegetable Lasagne
Vegan Lasagne Sauce
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Brown Onion Diced
- 4 cloves Garlic Minced or crushed
- 1 bunch Parsley Stalks Diced finely
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 tsp Nutmeg
- 2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Chilli Flakes Use more if you like it spicier
- 2 cubes Beef Stock Cube (Vegan) I use Massel
- 2 large Carrots Diced
- 2 medium Red Capsicums (Peppers) Diced
- 1 large Zucchini Diced
- 200 grams Mushrooms Sliced
- 1 medium Eggplant Diced
- 400 grams Plant Based Mince I use Naturli Minced from Woolworths. Rehydrated TVP equivalent would work.
- 400 grams Diced Tomatoes (can)
- 680 grams Passata 1 Bottle
- 2 tbsp Vegan Butter or Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 750 ml Soy Milk
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
- 100 grams Vegan Cheddar I use Green Vie
- 12 sheets Lasagna Sheets I use the large family size ones but it will depend on the dish you're using. Get enough to make 3 layers of pasta.
- 1 cup Vegan Mozzarella I use Green Vie
- 750 grams Butternut Pumpkin Peeled and cut into 1cm slices
- Salt and Pepper to season
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with paper.
- Cover the tray with the sliced butternut pumpkin. It's ok if they overlap slightly but try to put them in a single layer if you can. Spray the pumpkin with a light coating of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and the garlic powder.
- Roast the pumpkin for about 20 minutes or until they are still firm to touch but nearly cooked. Whilst they are cooking, start on the sauce.
Vegan Lasagne Sauce
- In a large non stick pot heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until softened.
- Add the diced parsley stalks and allow to soften, a minute or so.
- Add the herbs and spices and season with salt and pepper, allow to cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste and mix this through to create a sofrito. Allow it to cook for a minute or so until it's fragrant, stirring regularly ensuring it doesn't stick to the bottom.
- Break up the stock cubes and sprinkle them through the sofrito. Add a dash of water at this point to help them dissolve.
- Add the vegan mince and break it up with a spoon. Allow it to brown a little.
- Add the diced vegetables one at a time starting with the firmest and cooking for a minute or so each. Leave the tinned tomatoes.
- Once all of the vegetables have had a chance to take on the flavour of the herbs and spices, add the tinned tomato and stir cooking for 1 minute.
- Add the passata and stir in mixing well, then add about 250ml of water and stir.
- Cover and bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be quite thick and chunky but not too dry as the moisture is needed to cook the lasagne sheets later. While it simmers, make the béchamel sauce.
- In a medium saucepan heat the vegan butter or oil over medium high heat.
- Whilst holding a whisk in one hand, add the flour to the oil and start whisking it to create a roux. The past will look thick and come together. It may look a little brown, that's ok, as long as it's not burnt.
- Pour in the soy milk as you whisk the mixture, letting it come together. It will seem runny at first and that's ok, just keep whisking.
- As the milk heats up the mixture should start to thicken. Keep whisking it and lower the heat as it starts to thicken as it means it's coming up to temperature.
- If it becomes too thick, add some more milk. If it doesn't seem to be thickening, add a little more flour as you whisk.
- As it thickens add some salt and pepper to taste and the nutritional yeast flakes and vegan cheddar. They should fully incorporate.
- Once everything is mixed in and looking smooth, remove from the heat and let stand. Don't let it get too cold before you make prepare the layers as it'll be harder to work with.
Putting It All Together
- Spray your baking dish with oil.
- Start with a small amount of sauce just to coat the bottom of the dish. This isn't a real layer so it doesn't need to be a lot, it just helps the pasta to stay moist and cook.
- Layer your ingredients. Start with 4 sheets of pasta, then 1/4 of the sauce, then another 4 sheets of pasta. Then a layer of béchamel (use about half of the mixture), a layer of sauce and a layer of pumpkin. The pumpkin in this layer replaces your usual pasta layer. Then a layer of sauce, a layer of pasta, another layer of sauce, and a final layer of béchamel. Use a spoon to spread everything evenly through the process.
- Cover with the vegan mozzarella. The tray should be nearly full and you should have used all of your sauces. If there's some béchamel left over don't worry too much.
- Bake in the 200 degree oven for around half an hour, uncovered. It may take a bit longer if your dish is deeper than what I used. If you lasagna is looking cooked and bubbling on the edges but you want the top a bit browner, switch the oven to grill mode to finish off the top. I do this for around 7-10 minutes at the end.
- Enjoy with a light refreshing salad.