Luscious Vegan Lasagna

A classic comfort casserole, lasagna can be highly individual, and mine is no exception. With soy-free and gluten-free ingredients, even those with food sensitivities can enjoy this rich, creamy dish. 

As with most flavorful dishes, this recipe is even better the next day when the flavors have a chance to merge in the fridge.

Luscious Vegan Lasagna
By Allison Rivers Samson

Serves 8

12 lasagna noodles
4 quarts boiling water

Marinara Sauce
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cups diced portabello mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 28-ounce can chunky tomatoes
1 28-ounce can tomato purée
1 teaspoon salt

Herbed Macadamia Ricotta
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked 4 hours or longer and drained
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1 cup chiffonaded fresh basil leaves
1 cup coarsely chopped green or black olives

Cashew Cheese Sauce
1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pine nuts
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley

1. Pasta: Into a 9 x 12-inch baking dish, add noodles, and cover with boiling water. Let sit about 15 to 25 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Marinara Sauce: In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil and add onion. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary, and fennel. Reduce heat to low. Add tomatoes and purée. Cover loosely, simmering for 30 minutes. Add salt and cook another 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3. Herbed Macadamia Ricotta: In a food processor, purée macadamia nuts, water, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt for one minute. Scrape down sides and purée another minute, until light and fluffy. Transfer to a bowl and fold in parsley, basil, and olives.

4. Cashew Cheese Sauce: In a blender, processall ingredients until completely smooth.

5. Assemble: Lightly cover bottom of 9 x 12-inch baking dish with marinara to prevent noodles from sticking to dish. Arrange a layer of noodles, spread a third of the ricotta over noodles and then a third of the cheese sauce, and top with a quarter of the remaining marinara. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients, sprinkle top with pine nuts, and cover with foil. Place baking dish on a sheet pan to catch any drips in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes until sauce bubbles. Cool for 15 minutes, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve hot.


  • Swap out vegan pesto instead of the red sauce, or add your favorite additions like olives or artichoke hearts.
  • This dish freezes well, so make a double batch and freeze half for quick-and-easy lunches or mid-week dinners.

© Recipe by Allison Rivers Samson, Self-care Coach, award-winning vegan chef and author of 
Quick + Easy DIY Salad BarThe Dairy-Freedom Cookbook, Comfortably Yum, and Co-Founder of The Dairy Detox.
Photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky


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