Vegan Lasagna {oil free}

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Lasagna was one of the first 'proper' meals I learnt to cook by myself when I was around 10, and I used to pull out all the stops, with not only an epic lasagna but also tomato garlic bread on the side and a lemon cheesecake for pudding - as I'm sure you can imagine, it wasn't the healthiest meal, but it was delicious! So, lasagna has always been one of my favourite meals and, perhaps rather oddly, I actually think it tastes even better reheated the next day (no shame). But as lasagna is a very meat and cheese laden meal, it's not something I've made very often as a vegan, but I managed to put together a vegan lasagna recipe that's totally oil free, pretty healthy and, most importantly of all, tastes just as good as the non-vegan version!

For the lasagna you will need:
- dried lasagne sheets
- nutritional yeast (to garnish)
- black pepper (to garnish)

For the tomato sauce:
- 200g red lentils
- 1 red onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 150g button mushrooms
- 1/2 a large courgette
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 vegetable oxo cube
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp reduced sugar ketchup

For the 'cheese' sauce:
- 400ml unsweetened almond milk
- 2.5 tbsp cornflour
- 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- the juice of half a small lime
- a generous pinch of salt
- a pinch of black pepper

Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Then add your lentils to a pot, cover with water and allow to simmer until they have absorbed all of the water and are soft.

Whilst the lentils are cooking, dice your onion and add to a pan along with the crushed clove of garlic and a splash of water to prevent sticking, then sauté until golden.

Once the onions are golden, add the mushrooms and courgettes to the pan and continue to sauté until softened.

Next, add the tinned tomatoes, herbs, oxo cube and ketchup to the pan along with the cooked lentils and stir well. Then add a splash of water to the pan and place on a low to medium heat to simmer and reduce.

While the tomato sauce is reducing, place your almond milk in a separate pan and heat gently until warm. Once warm, add the cornflour to the milk and whisk until smooth, then continue to stir until the sauce has thickened. When the sauce is thick, add the nutritional yeast, lime juice, salt and pepper and stir well to fully combine.

Now, in an oven proof dish, add half of the tomato sauce then cover with lasagna sheets, then add a thin layer of cheese sauce and cover with lasagna sheets, then add the other half of the tomato sauce, cover with lasagna sheets and finally add your remaining cheese sauce and spread evenly. Sprinkle the top of the lasagna with nutritional yeast and black pepper and bake for around 30 minutes or until completely golden on top.

Now you're ready to serve along side a green salad - and remember, if you don't finish it all in one sitting, it tastes even better the next day!

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