Lindsay Taryn Photography

Personal | Recipe: Vegan Lasagna with Sausage & Peppers

“Shan, you’re silly”, I told my sister. “Why do you have to cook something when we’ve already got eggplant and manicotti and roast beef and twice-cooked potatoes and… [insert 5 more Christmas dishes here]?”

“Trust me”, she insists. “This vegan lasagna is AMAZING.”

I thought to myself, yeah ok… I don’t even really care for lasagna. But we’ll see.

And so we drove around town on Christmas Eve, hitting up various (super)markets before they closed for the holiday, in search of nutritional yeast and sundried tomatoes and other semi-obscure ingredients. (We also may have picked up and consumed an entire tub of hummus and bag of falafel chips while driving home, but it’s fine.) And that night, she cooked the lasagna while I… did something other than spend 2 straight hours in the kitchen.

On Christmas Day, I promised her I’d try her lasagna. I soon declared it The Most Amazing Thing I’ve Ever Had Outside Of A Restaurant. 90% of my Christmas meal was this lasagna. 100% of the leftovers I brought back to NYC was this lasagna. 100% of said leftovers were consumed within 20 minutes of me getting home that night.

Don’t you see? This vegan lasagna is straight-up MINDBLOWING. And this is coming from someone who is neither vegan, nor a fan of lasagna.

I am, however, some degree of a fan of Alicia Silverstone, whose website provided this delectable recipe… which I am going to include below with a few snaps I took of my first attempt at this dish. If you do nothing else with your life, please just try this recipe! Or have someone else have at it while you sample the finished product. Everyone MUST experience this amazingness!

Ingredients

1 box of whole wheat or brown rice lasagna noodles
1 (16-ounce) box of frozen spinach, thawed, squeeze excess water out
2 (26-ounce) jars of vegan marinara
4 vegan Italian “sausages” cut into cubes
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Vegan shredded cheese (enough to sprinkle on top only)
1 lb. extra firm tofu
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
4 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes
1 cup (a few huge handfuls) chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. dried oregano

Instructions

To Make:
brooklyn photographerPress water out of tofu by wrapping in a clean towel, and placing a pot or pan on top for about 10-20 minutes. Crumble the tofu in a bowl, and add lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, sea salt, black pepper, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, and dried oregano. Using a potato masher, smash up the tofu really well until it resembles ricotta cheese in texture. Set aside until ready to use.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water with 2 Tbsp olive oil to a boil, and cook noodles according to package. (You probably won’t need the whole package. Take however many noodles will fit across the dish and multiply by 3). Cook them for a few minutes less than suggested so that they can finish cooking in the oven. When noodles are done cooking, drain and rinse in cold water.

While the noodles are cooking, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a saute pan, and saute sausage a few minutes. Use a wooden spoon to help crumble the sausage into slightly smaller pieces. Add 2 jars of marinara sauce and 2 chopped green peppers to the pan, and let simmer about 10 minutes.

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To Assemble:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a rectangular pyrex glass dish, start layering your lasagna. Start by adding a little sauce on the bottom, then a layer of noodles, then sauce, spinach, tofu ricotta, a layer of noodles, sauce, spinach, ricotta, a layer of noodles, and then end with sauce and cover the top with shredded vegan cheese (you should have 3 layers of noodles). Cover top of dish with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes until cheese melts a little on top. Let cool 5 minutes before eating.

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2 comments

  1. January 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Wow Lindsay, that lasagna looks amazing….have you ever tried Quinoa Pasta? Love it, and it’s so much lighter and easier to digest than whole wheat.

  2. January 31, 2012 at 10:01 am

    This vegan lasagna is AMAZING – 100% ) lasagna!

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