A few of my favorite comfort foods in this world include enchiladas, pancakes, sloppy joes, meatloaf and of course, lasagna. A few weeks ago, I made you a cheesy vegetarian pumpkin lasagna and last year, I shared my favorite healthier turkey lasagna.
What I didn’t realize is that I had yet to make you a vegan lasagna! So here we are. Today I’m sharing a magical vegan butternut squash lasagna with a savory garlic tahini tofu cream sauce. That’s right, there’s no cheese or eggs in this vegan lasagna recipe, but I can assure you it’s just as delicious, satisfying and comforting as your favorite cheese-layered recipe.
How do you make lasagna vegan?
The secret to this easy vegan lasagna is by using tofu instead of ricotta cheese or eggs! That’s right, we’re packing in plenty of plant-based protein thanks to Nasoya Super Firm Tofu. Over the years I’ve grown to love their tofu as an amazing meat alternative because you can do so many things with it. I’ve made a vegan slow cooker tikka masala, vegan nachos and even a vegan chocolate cheesecake with everything from extra firm to silken tofu.
What’s in this vegan butternut squash lasagna?
- Butternut squash: the butternut squash is first roasted to tender perfection to release all of the delicious, sweet flavors, and then is mixed with gorgeous spices like cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice.
- Spinach: this recipe has a whole bag of spinach because why the heck not?
- Lasagna noodles: I used regular lasagna noodles in this recipe, but you can also use gluten free or whole wheat if you prefer. You can buy the whole wheat lasagna noodles online here.
- Nasoya Super Firm Tofu: as I mentioned, the star of the show here is an incredible vegan tofu tahini cream sauce. It’s SO creamy & savory and made with plenty of garlic so that you won’t be missing the cheese one bit. This wonderful sauce would be delicious as a white mac and cheese sauce, too. Just saying.
- Tahini: the star to give the tofu an amazing flavorful nutty, creamy flavor and texture.
- Garlic: garlic gives the sauce a nice alfredo like flavor
- Lemon juice: to help brighten up the sauce a bit.
Can you freeze vegan lasagna?
YES! I have two different ways for you to freeze this delicious recipe and enjoy later (more reasons to make a double pan). This is also a great way to share the recipe with loved ones over the holidays:
- Bake first, then freeze. You can either bake your vegan lasagna first, then cool to room temperature, slice into servings, place in freezer safe containers and then freeze. Or you can bake it, bring to room temp, and then freeze the entire pan. Just make sure you double wrap it so the lasagna does not dry out. This is assuming you are freezing the entire pan. Once ready to reheat, thaw it out. Then bake, covered at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until heated through.
- Freeze before baking: To freeze before baking, simply assemble the lasagna as written in the instructions, then double wrap with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to bake, thaw out then bake according to instructions.
Personally I like to cook mine first, then freeze in individual portions, so I can take it out for meals or for lunch as needed. I just reheat my serving in the microwave until warm, about 2 minutes. YUM.
I hope you love this vegan lasagna recipe as much as we do. It will make a delicious plant-based main dish for Thanksgiving! If you make it, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram and/or leave a comment and rate the recipe below!
Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna with Garlic Tahini Tofu Cream
Vegan lasagna with layers of creamy butternut squash, spinach and a garlic tahini tofu cream sauce. This plant based meal is perfect for vegans, vegetarians or anytime you want something light and healthy.
- For the butternut squash sauce:
- 1 large butternut squash (2 ½-3 pounds)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the tofu tahini cream sauce:
- 1 package Nasoya Super Firm Tofu, drained of excess liquid and crumbled
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup warm water, plus more to thin if necessary
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (start with 1 tablespoon)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the noodles:
- 8 lasagna noodles, gluten free if desired
- For the veggies:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (6 ounce) bag spinach
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- To garnish:
- Fresh sage or basil ribbons
First roast your butternut squash: preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut ends off of butternut squash, then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle butternut squash with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Place flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until squash is extremely fork tender. Allow squash to cool until you are able to scoop out the flesh.
Scoop out the roasted flesh of butternut squash and transfer to a blender or bowl of a food processor. Add milk, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and freshly ground black pepper. Blend/process until smooth. Set aside.
Next, make your vegan tofu ricotta by adding crumbled Nasoya organic extra firm tofu, garlic cloves, warm water, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender. Blend until smooth and well combined. The sauce should be similar to the consistency of a drinkable smoothie or a very creamy alfredo sauce. If it isn’t, add ¼ cup more water and blend again. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles for 5 minutes or until al dente, then drain. Immediately out noodles flat on an well-oiled baking sheet or cutting board so you can easily assemble the lasagna when ready and to prevent sticking. Another option is to soak the lasagna noodles in very warm (hot) water for 20-30 minutes if you do not want to boil them. (You can also use no cook lasagna noodles, but they aren't my favorite!)
Next, saute spinach: place a large skillet or pot over medium high heat and add in olive oil. Once oil is hot, add in spinach and generously season with salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. Set aside.
To assemble the lasagna, spread 3/4 heaping cup of butternut squash sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Place 4 of the cooked lasagna noodles on top. Spread 1 cup of tofu tahini sauce over the top, then top with ½ of spinach. Next, add 1 heaping cup of butternut squash sauce over the top and spread out.
Repeat layers once more: remaining noodles, 1 heaping cup of tofu tahini sauce (you will have extra sauce for drizzling later), remaining spinach, then top with any remaining butternut squash sauce.
Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Once done, remove foil and drizzle top with remaining tofu tahini sauce and garnish with fresh sage or basil ribbons. Serves 12.
To freeze lasagna:
Bake first, then freeze. You can either bake your vegan lasagna first, then cool to room temperature, slice into servings, place in freezer safe containers and then freeze. Or you can bake it, bring to room temp, and then freeze the entire pan. Just make sure you double wrap it so the lasagna does not dry out. This is assuming you are freezing the entire pan. Once ready to reheat, thaw it out. Then bake, covered at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until heated through.
Freeze before baking: To freeze before baking, simply assemble the lasagna as written in the instructions, then double wrap with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to bake, thaw out then bake according to instructions.