The Best Vegan Lasagne {gf option}

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This is my ultimate lasagne: lots of layers, a rich ragu, and overflowing with creamy bechamel and melted cheese. It’s a labour of love, but the result is ultimate comfort. Make this with fresh focaccia and some kind of fresh salad for friends, plonk down a few bottles of red and you have yourself one good night.

This is my version of ‘the best’ lasagne, vegan, or otherwise. Everyone has different preferences and a different idea of what makes the best lasagne, so it might take you a few tries to land on your version of perfect, but each try will still be damn delicious! It’s a big recipe, but if you make the bolognese the day or two before and use store-bought pasta sheets, it can come together very easily on the day you plan to make and serve it. 

*Please read these notes before cooking, they will help you create the perfect lasagne!* 

Pasta: You can make this with either fresh or dried lasagne sheets, the dried version is far sturdier with distinct layers and a nice al dente bite. The fresh pasta version is soft and silky and melds together rather than having clear layers. 

For fresh pasta: I use The Curious Chickpea’s recipe but I use 1/2 plain flour and 1/2 semolina. I used a double batch of her recipe for this lasagne and it made the perfect amount of pasta. I rolled it to setting 2-3 on my pasta machine, which is quite thin compared to dried sheets. With fresh pasta, the layers will not be as distinct as it has a much softer texture than dried, and is not ‘al dente’. 

For dried sheets: You can use the easy ‘no-boil’ sheets and use them straight from the packet, though you may want to make your bolognese a little wetter (add a little more water or stock) to make up for the dry noodles. These are the easiest option and have a great al dente result. Or, you can pre-boil regular dried lasagne sheets until just under al dente, then drain (don’t rinse), and cool until you can handle them. Proceed as normal. 

Baking time: The time the lasagne takes to cook through will be quite dependent on your lasagne noodle choice. For uncooked pasta (fresh or dried), err on the side of cooking for longer (about 40 minutes – an hour for this size lasagne). For pre-boiled noodles, you can likely cook this in about 30 minutes. This time frame is for a large and deep pan, if you are making it in a smaller tin, it will be faster.

Let the cooked lasagne sit for at least half an hour before serving to avoid a gooey mess.

White sauce: You can leave out the infusing step of the besciamella (white sauce), it’s not necessary I just like the flavour it adds. Just make sure to grate some fresh nutmeg and crack some pepper straight into the sauce if you’d rather skip the infusing. 

Cheese: Use a relatively bland and melty vegan cheese for this, I loved the oat melt block from Lauds as it’s not overpowering and melts nicely. You can leave it out of the middle layers if you’d like, it’ll still be very gooey from the besciamella, but the cheese on the top is a definite must! 

Bolognese: *You can sub 750g vegan mince for the lentils, TVP and dried shiitake. Just omit the first 3 steps and the ingredients used in those steps. *

You can always use your go-to vegan bolognese for this, but this is my all-time favourite. There are a lot of ingredients, but they create a rich, meaty depth of flavour that you just wouldn’t achieve otherwise. 

Cook the bolognese a day in advance if you can, to let the flavours develop. 

Tomatoes: I use Mutti brand for all of my tomato products, as I believe the flavour is 10x richer than any other brand. It makes a big difference to the final result, trust me (no this is not a paid ad – I just love their products). 

Make sure to tag me on Instagram @theflouredkitchen if you make this! I’d love to see your creations.

The Best Vegan Lasagne {GF option}

vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, gf option
Makes one large lasagne to fit a 35.5 x 25.5 x 7.5cm deep roasting pan. Please read my notes above the recipe before beginning! This is my ultimate lasagne: lots of layers, a rich ragu, and overflowing with creamy bechamel and melted cheese. It's a labour of love, but the result is ultimate comfort. Make this with fresh focaccia and some kind of fresh salad for friends, plonk down a few bottles of red and you have yourself one good night.  Besciamella adapted from Gaz Oakley.
Servings 8

Ingredients

Bolognese

  • 1/2 cup (or more if you want it mushroomy) dried sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
  • 1 cup dried puy lentils
  • 4 vegan beef stock cubes (like Massel)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter (like nuttelex buttery)
  • 1 large brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 3 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cup full bodied red wine like shiraz or cab sav OR dry white wine if preferred (reduce this amount if you’d like)
  • 1 cup / 280g double concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 700 g tomato passata
  • 2 cup prepared vegan beef stock (like massel)
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy or oat milk
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-4 tsp balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
  • 2-3 tsp dark soy sauce or tamari (or to taste)
  • 1-3 tsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Lots of freshly cracked black pepper
  • Fine sea salt to taste

Besciamella

  • 2 l unsweetened soy milk or oat milk
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and cut into 8
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • small bunch of fresh parsley including stalks (optional)
  • 1 cup vegan butter (like nuttelex buttery)
  • 1 cup plain flour (or GF plain flour)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 -4 tsp fine sea salt (to taste)

Assembly

  • Lasagne sheets, fresh (about 750g), or dried (about 18 or so large sheets, approx 3 per layer), GF if needed
  • 200 g grated vegan mozzarella to top + 200g more for between the layers if you’d like it extra cheesy
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Fresh basil to serve (optional)

Instructions

Bolognese Sauce

  • Place your shiitake in a bowl and cover with enough water to submerge them all. Leave to soak for 15 minutes until softened. Strain the shiitake but keep the soaking liquid. Finely chop the shiitake and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mushroom soaking liquid, 2 beef stock cubes and 3 cups of boiling water. Add the TVP and stir. Cover with more boiling water if needed to cover the TVP. Let sit to absorb the liquid while you cook the lentils.
  • To a medium pot add the lentils and 2 beef stock cubes. Add enough hot water to cover the lentils by a few cm’s, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer uncovered until soft and most of the liquid has absorbed, about 15 minutes, add more liquid while they cook if necessary.
  • Get your soffritto ready (finely diced onion, carrot, celery, garlic). In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the olive oil and vegan butter. Melt over a low-medium heat, then add the soffrito and the chopped shiitake along with a good pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Add the dried herbs. Cook, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes or so until soft, breaking down, and turning light golden brown in places.
  • Now add your cooked lentils and TVP and any leftover cooking/soaking liquid (or vegan mince if using instead – see notes), and cook off for 5-10 minutes while stirring to caramelise and brown. Pour in your red (or white) wine and stir it all up. Allow to bubble and reduce for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and miso and cook for a few minutes while stirring. Add your passata, stock, milk, nutritional yeast, balsamic, soy, sugar and bay leaves. Hit it with a lot of fresh pepper and another pinch of salt.Give it a good stir, making sure to scrape any stuck bits off the bottom of the pot, and let it come to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and put the lid on.Allow to simmer, stirring every so often, for 2-3 hours, until thickened (but still nice and saucy for the lasagne), and richly flavoured. If it’s too thick at the end, just thin it with a little more stock.*Alternatively if you’re just making this bolognese to go with pasta, you’ll want it thicker and less saucy than you would make it for lasagne so take the lid off and reduce it further.*
  • Taste for seasoning, and add more salt/pepper/sugar/balsamic as needed. If the bolognese has split a little, add a splash of cold soy milk or vegan cream (like oatly) to make it rich and emulsified.Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Place in the fridge until ready to use and remove the bay leaves before assembling lasagne.

Besciamella

  • In a large pot, combine the milk, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, nutmeg and parsley. Over a medium heat, warm the milk until just beginning to simmer, then turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and allow to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the milk and discard the solids.
  • Rinse out the pot, and put it back on the stove on a low-medium heat. Make your roux. Add the vegan butter and let it melt. Add the flour, and whisk to combine. Cook for about 5 minutes to cook off the raw flour flavour, whisking the whole time. It should dry out a bit and turn into a paste. Then slowly whisk in your infused milk. Start with a little and whisk it in to loosen the roux, then proceed with adding more and whisking. Continue whisking over a low-medium heat until the bechamel thickens. To tell if it’s ready, dip a wooden spoon into the sauce: it should just coat the back of the spoon and leave a trail when you run your finger along it. Turn off the heat.
  • Whisk in the nutritional yeast and miso if using and salt to taste. Set aside to cool, and place in the fridge if you aren’t assembling for a while.

Assembly

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F, or 180C/350F for fan-forced, and position a rack in the lower half of the oven. If using dried lasagne sheets, follow the packet instructions (I.e. use straight from the packet, or pre-boil and cool).Butter/oil a 35.5 x 25.5 x 7.5cm deep roasting pan (or deep pan of your choice) and begin layering your lasagne.
  • Start with a thin layer of bolognese at the bottom of the pan to stop any sticking, then place on your first layer of pasta sheets, it’s okay if they overlap a little. Top this with a good layer of bolognese (about 2 1/2 cups for this size pan), and then drizzle on a good layer of bechamel (about 1 1/2 cups for this size). Crack over some fresh pepper, and scatter over some cheese if using. Top with another layer of pasta and continue to repeat the layering in the same order. The amount of filling per layer will depend on the size of your pan, just keep going until you use it up (saving a thin layer of bolognese, and a thick layer of bechamel for the top) or you run out of space, whichever comes first.
  • For the top layer, make sure you have a nice thick layer of bechamel to cover it then scatter with 200g of grated vegan mozzarella (or more!). Crack over some more pepper, cover with foil and place it in the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes – an hour (see notes), if you’ve used a smaller pan it will bake in less time. Adjust accordingly. Remove the foil in the last 10 minutes and let the top brown. If it needs more browning at the end just pop it under the grill for a few minutes while watching carefully!
  • Remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least half an hour to set before serving. Then scatter with fresh basil if using and serve!
Course: Dinner, Main Dishes
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pasta

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