• Making lasagna, in my world, is a major production. I don’t think I make it more than a couple of times a year, but the end result is so worth it.

    My inspiration for this recipe comes from numerous sources. First, I retrieved my old notebook of food-stained index cards and found my much-loved family lasagna recipe. Back in the days when I was eating meat, this was my go-to lasagna recipe, always a crowd-pleaser.

    Today, where it called for a ricotta-based cheese filling, I subbed a Tofu Ricotta filling, modified from a Basil Tofu Ricotta recipe in Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan With A Vengeance cookbook (LOVE this cookbook!). I also added homemade Vegan Parmesan “cheeze” to my Tofu Ricotta. I got the recipe from a FABULOUS book called Go Dairy Free. I’ve seen this recipe on many websites, but I would highly recommend you add this book to your library. Within a week of owning it, I made something like 7 recipes from it.

    Where it called for a tomato meat sauce, I made my own marinara sauce.

    Instead of putting meat in the tomato sauce, per the original family recipe, I used a recipe for Tempeh Sausage Crumbles, also from VWAV.

    And last, I added a Follow Your Heart mozzarella cheese.

    We’ve been working like crazy this past week, and dinner has been a lot of catch as catch can. Today, I was determined to make a home-cooked meal and lasagna seemed the perfect ticket. Not only did we enjoy it for dinner this evening, but we have enough left over for three meals. It’s already wrapped and in the freezer. Now that’s what I call a good deal.

    Tempeh Sausage & Tofu Ricotta Lasagna

    (Printable recipe)

    1. Tofu Ricotta “Cheese” filling:

    1 lb. extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    1/4 cup vegan parmesan (see recipe below)
    1 8 oz. container Tofutti cream cheese
    1 clove minced garlic
    1 tbsp dried basil
    2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    S&P to taste

    Crumble tofu into a medium-sized bowl. Add remaining ingredients and combine well with hands.

    2. Tempeh Sausage Crumbles

    1 8 oz package soy tempeh, crumbled
    1 tbsp fennel seeds
    1 tsp dried basil
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    2 cloves minced garlic
    2 tbsp wheat-free tamari
    1 tbsp olive oil
    juice of 1/2 lemon

    Put the tempeh into a saucepan, add water until almost covered. Simmer until the water is almost completely absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. Drain the remaining water and add the rest of the ingredients, cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pan, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

    3. Marinara Sauce:

    2 tsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 medium green pepper, chopped
    1 25 oz. jar marinara sauce
    1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire-roasted)
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 tbsp oregano
    1 tbsp basil
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Using a stockpot, saute the onion and green pepper in the olive oil until wilted. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes (or longer if you have time).

    4. Vegan Parmesan

    1/2 cup nutritional yeast
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/2 cup walnuts

    Combine all in food processor and blend, using the S blade.

    5. Follow Your Heart mozzarella cheese, sliced as thin as possible

    6. Noodles:

    1 box Tinkayada (or your fave) gluten free lasagna

    Cook in large pot of salted water. Deliberately reduce cooking time to half the amount stated on the box. It will be VERY al dente. Don’t worry – it will finish cooking in the oven.

    When you drain the pasta, run very cold water over it to stop the cooking. Let drain in colander until you are ready to assemble the lasagna. When you take the noodles out of the colander to layer in the lasagna, wipe excess water off to keep lasagna from getting watery.

    I assembled the lasagna in the following order:

    sauce
    noodles (3 to a layer)
    sauce
    tofu ricotta
    tempeh sausage crumbles
    vegan mozzarella
    noodles (3 to a layer)
    sauce
    tofu ricotta
    tempeh sausage crumbles
    vegan mozzarella
    sauce
    noodles
    sauce

    Cover with foil and bake in preheated 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.

    Tip:
    Use your hands to plop the tofu ricotta onto the lasagna. When you have enough to make a decent layer, use your fingers to spread it out as much as possible.

    Yes, I know, it seems like a huge production. It is. But when you’re in the mood for lasagna, this does the trick big-time.
    • jacobithegreat

      food-stained index cards always have the best recipes on them.

      love the cookie pic on the top of the page!

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Thanks jacobithegreat – I changed blog templates and used one of the pics from a prior post. Glad you liked it.

      ~Ellen

    • Pam

      Wow, this looks so good, a lot of work, but well worth it!

      http://www.alovefornewrecipes.blogspot.com

    • JES

      I just made this dish tonight. It wasn't as difficult as I thought, but it did dirty a lot of pans! Couple comments: The recipe forgot to mention how long to bake and at what temperature. I guessed 350* for 20-30 minutes. That seemed to work. Also, although the "sausage" had a great flavor, the texture of the tempeh was not quite right. I think a bean-based sausage might work better. Anyway, great dish, even though I forgot to buy the mozzarella cheese. Many thanks for assembling it from so many other recipes.

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Jes – oops! Thank you for pointing that out. I amended the post.

      ~Ellen

    • Ashley

      This recipe looks absolutely delectable!! Sounds like some good comfort food to me :) Just curious, is there a brand of vegan mozzarella that you like the best? I'm sure you know, with the whole vegan cheese issue, that some vegan cheeses can have a strange texture and not melt very well. I would just love to know what you use. Thank you :)

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Ashley – I use Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella. I will admit it isn't consistently great at melting. I think the deeper you place it within the casserole,the better it will melt. Let me know how it turns out!

      Ellen

    • thewholegang

      Since having to give up cheese I've not spent much time trying to replace it. I've tried nutritional yeast in a few things. Some were good, others not so good. I love the recipe for the Parmesan cheese using that. I've really been missing lasagna for some reason. I'm going to give this one a try. It looks really good. Thanks!

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