“Cheesy” Spinach Lasagna

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3 min read
Summary

Finding a dish that the entire family will love can sometimes be a challenge, plant-based or not. This “Cheesy” Spinach Lasagna will most likely satisfy even the pickiest of eaters and may even knock the socks off of some. Feel good knowing that you’re feeding your family a meal filled with nutrient-packed ingredients for optimal health and well-being. Pro-tip: Make the tofu ricotta and cashew cheese ahead of time to save lots of time.

Yields6 ServingsPrep Time20 minsCook Time50 minsTotal Time1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

Tofu Ricotta
 14 oz organic tofu (firm or extra firm, drained well and finely crumbled. See Chef’s Notes)
 2 tbsp tahini
 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
 ¼ cup shallots (minced)
 3 medium garlic cloves (minced)
 2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
 ½ tsp dried oregano
 3 dashes ground nutmeg
 ½ tsp salt (optional)
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper (optional)
 4 cups organic spinach (chopped)
Cashew Cheese
 1 cup vegetable broth (unsalted, preferably homemade)
 1 cup shallots (chopped)
 2 cups cashews (unsalted, soaked in water for 4–6 hours or overnight and drained)
 6 garlic cloves (fresh, minced)
 2 tsp onion powder
 2 pinches nutmeg
 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
 ¼ tsp salt (optional)
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper (optional)
Lasagna Base
 16 oz lasagna noodles (organic whole grain or legume. See Chef’s Notes)
 48 oz red pasta sauce (of your choice, preferably sugar- and oil-free)

Directions

1

Make the tofu: In a bowl, add the crumbled tofu, tahini, nutritional yeast, shallots, garlic clove, and lemon juice and mix to combine. Then add the oregano, nutmeg, salt and pepper, if using, and mix.

2

Fold in the chopped spinach, thoroughly combining all of the ingredients. Note: the tofu should still be in small crumbles, not mashed and the mixture should hold together well but should not be too wet (see Chef’s Notes). Set aside.

3

Make the Cashew Cheese: Heat a medium stovetop pan over medium-high heat. Add ½ cup vegetable broth (reserve the remaining ½ cup for step 5) and the shallots. Cook until the shallots are translucent, about 3–4 minutes.
Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another minute.

4

Add the shallots and garlic, cashews, remaining ½ cup vegetable broth, onion powder, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper, if using, to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until creamy smooth.

5

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If you’d like a thinner consistency, add 1–2 tablespoons of water or vegetable broth at a time until the desired consistency is reached, but it should be thick enough to hold up in the lasagna.

6

Cook the pasta per the directions and run under cold water to prevent sticking together. Set aside.

7

Add enough pasta sauce to lightly coat the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan or glass dish.

8

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

9

Layer the pasta: Add one layer of noodles to the dish. You should have 6–8 noodles per layer. Add about 1 cup of sauce on top of the noodles, spreading it out evenly. The noodles should be completely covered with a thin layer of sauce (otherwise they’ll dry out in the oven). Add half of the tofu ricotta on top of the sauce, spreading it out evenly.

10

Add another layer of noodles. Add another cup of sauce, spreading it out evenly. Add half of the cashew cheese.

11

Add another layer of noodles, followed by one cup of pasta sauce and the rest of the tofu ricotta, spreading the sauce and ricotta out evenly.
Add the final layer of noodles, followed by one cup of pasta sauce and the rest of the cashew cheese.

12

Cover the pan or dish with aluminum foil (if it touches the lasagna, you can add a piece of parchment paper between the lasagna and the foil).

13

Bake for 45–50 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and let sit for about 30 minutes before diving in! (Letting the lasagna sit for a bit will prevent it from being too runny when cutting and serving.)

14

Sprinkle with Walnut Parmezan.

Chef's Notes

Substitutions
Substitute yellow or white onions in place of shallots.

Instead of spinach, try kale or escarole.

Making the ricotta
To ensure the ricotta holds together well, make sure the spinach doesn’t have excess water, and drain the tofu by squeezing it several times to release as much water as possible.

Gluten-free/Flour-free
Use legume noodles in place of traditional pasta.

Use zucchini noodles in place of pasta.

Nut-free
Use raw sunflower seeds in place of cashews.

Prep Ahead
Since the layering can take a bit of time, it’s definitely worth making the tofu ricotta and cashew cheese the day before. Neither of these take long to make (literally, minutes!), but it’ll be good to have these two steps out of the way so you can easily assemble the lasagna. Keep them in the refrigerator for 1–2 days before making the lasagna.

Storage
The lasagna will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 30 days.

Ingredients

Tofu Ricotta
 14 oz organic tofu (firm or extra firm, drained well and finely crumbled. See Chef’s Notes)
 2 tbsp tahini
 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
 ¼ cup shallots (minced)
 3 medium garlic cloves (minced)
 2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
 ½ tsp dried oregano
 3 dashes ground nutmeg
 ½ tsp salt (optional)
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper (optional)
 4 cups organic spinach (chopped)
Cashew Cheese
 1 cup vegetable broth (unsalted, preferably homemade)
 1 cup shallots (chopped)
 2 cups cashews (unsalted, soaked in water for 4–6 hours or overnight and drained)
 6 garlic cloves (fresh, minced)
 2 tsp onion powder
 2 pinches nutmeg
 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
 ¼ tsp salt (optional)
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper (optional)
Lasagna Base
 16 oz lasagna noodles (organic whole grain or legume. See Chef’s Notes)
 48 oz red pasta sauce (of your choice, preferably sugar- and oil-free)

Directions

1

Make the tofu: In a bowl, add the crumbled tofu, tahini, nutritional yeast, shallots, garlic clove, and lemon juice and mix to combine. Then add the oregano, nutmeg, salt and pepper, if using, and mix.

2

Fold in the chopped spinach, thoroughly combining all of the ingredients. Note: the tofu should still be in small crumbles, not mashed and the mixture should hold together well but should not be too wet (see Chef’s Notes). Set aside.

3

Make the Cashew Cheese: Heat a medium stovetop pan over medium-high heat. Add ½ cup vegetable broth (reserve the remaining ½ cup for step 5) and the shallots. Cook until the shallots are translucent, about 3–4 minutes.
Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another minute.

4

Add the shallots and garlic, cashews, remaining ½ cup vegetable broth, onion powder, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper, if using, to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until creamy smooth.

5

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If you’d like a thinner consistency, add 1–2 tablespoons of water or vegetable broth at a time until the desired consistency is reached, but it should be thick enough to hold up in the lasagna.

6

Cook the pasta per the directions and run under cold water to prevent sticking together. Set aside.

7

Add enough pasta sauce to lightly coat the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan or glass dish.

8

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

9

Layer the pasta: Add one layer of noodles to the dish. You should have 6–8 noodles per layer. Add about 1 cup of sauce on top of the noodles, spreading it out evenly. The noodles should be completely covered with a thin layer of sauce (otherwise they’ll dry out in the oven). Add half of the tofu ricotta on top of the sauce, spreading it out evenly.

10

Add another layer of noodles. Add another cup of sauce, spreading it out evenly. Add half of the cashew cheese.

11

Add another layer of noodles, followed by one cup of pasta sauce and the rest of the tofu ricotta, spreading the sauce and ricotta out evenly.
Add the final layer of noodles, followed by one cup of pasta sauce and the rest of the cashew cheese.

12

Cover the pan or dish with aluminum foil (if it touches the lasagna, you can add a piece of parchment paper between the lasagna and the foil).

13

Bake for 45–50 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and let sit for about 30 minutes before diving in! (Letting the lasagna sit for a bit will prevent it from being too runny when cutting and serving.)

14

Sprinkle with Walnut Parmezan.

“Cheesy” Spinach Lasagna