Classic. Savory. Delicious. That is what you will be thinking to yourself (or shouting to the world–up to you) after one bite of this delicious gluten-free, plant-based lasagna that is chock-full of vegetables and plant protein!
To make this lasagna gluten-free, I made zucchini noodles. They are easy to make, but it is super important to steam them first!
When baking a low-fat, plant-based lasagna it is PARAMOUNT that you steam or water saute ingredients prior to assembly! I cannot emphasize enough how important it is! I don’t like extra steps, but I do love eating tasty lasagna… not a giant puddle with a bit of lasagna in the middle! For the skeptics out there, I have included some pictures:
If you don’t water saute the mushrooms and onions, the picture on the right will demonstrate just how much juice your lasagna will be swimming in!
Similarly, if you do not squeeze your spinach after thawing it in the microwave, your lasagna will be swimming in this too!
So now that I have sufficiently scared you into following all of the steps of this recipe, I’ll get on to all of the fun stuff! Starting with tofu ric-not-ta! I have seen and tried plenty of vegan riccota recipes, but so many of them use cashew cream which makes it very fatty, very fast, so I created my own! Like the saying goes: “If you want something done right, you better do it yourself!” And after many different attempts, I have mastered a delicous, low-fat, vegan tofu ric-not-ta!
I added humus to the recipe for two reasons: 1) I was inspired by vegan moms who slip humus into marinara when preparing dinner for their kids to make marinara creamy and more nutritious 2) We had extra humus in the refrigerator! And I’m so glad that I did!
I’d also like to take a quick minute to talk about “spaghetti sauce seasoning.” A few months back, Chris got all excited because she remembered something called “Spatini” that her mom used to use in her cooking. What it is, is the “Lawry’s” brand of spaghetti sauce seasoning mix, and it adds a special savory taste to Italian (and other) dishes that I can’t quite explain. You can buy a packet of another brand or generic sauce mix from any grocery store, but what we use in our home is always Spatini. Whatever seasoning you choose, you’ll end up with a delicious vegan spin on a classic Italian favorite! Enjoy!
Grandma's Gluten-free Lasagna
- 2 zucchinis
- 1/4 c traditional humus FOR THE RIC-NOT-TA
- 1 14 oz package light tofu
- 2 c frozen chopped spinach
- 1/2 c nutritional yeast
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp oregano
- 3/4 tsp salt-free seasoning
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp spaghetti sauce seasoning (see above)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper FOR THE MARINARA
- 24-36 oz. marinara sauce
- 16 oz baby bella mushrooms- sliced
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsp minced garlic OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
- 1 tsp smoked garlic
- 1-4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1-2 tbsp hot sauce
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Press your tofu and set aside.
3. Use a mandolin set on the widest setting or a sharp knife to create your zucchini noodles (about 1/4 inch thick). If you are are using a mandolin make sure to keep a firm, constant pressure on the zucchini or they will come out too thin.
4. Steam the “noodles” for about 10 minutes or until noodles are firm but tender and a bright green color. DO NOT over cook! You’ll be better off with slightly less done, than over done noodles. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
5. Chop the onion and add to a large saute pan along with minced garlic and mushrooms (break up larger pieces with your fingers as you go). Saute over medium heat (adding water 1 tbsp at a time as necessary) for 10 minutes, or until mushrooms have released their juices, and most has evaporated. Add marinara and stir to combine.
6. Microwave the spinach in a microwave safe dish for 4 minutes at 60% power, or until fully thawed. Once, spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out extra moisture and place in a large mixing bowl. Crumble in tofu and remaing “ric-not-ta” ingredients and stir to combine.
7. Time to assemble! In a parchment paper lined, 13 x 9 inch baking pan spread a small amount of marinara on the bottom of the pan. *On a cutting board place a zucchini noodle and smear it with a small amount of humus. Place in pan. Continue with 9-10 more noodles making sure to over lap each noodle. Spread half of the ric-not-ta over the noodles. Then cover with half of the marinara mixture. Repeat from (*). Sprinkle on smoked garlic if desired and bake lasagna for 30 minutes. Serve with optional toppings as desired.