This Vegan White Lasagna is layered with a hearty mushroom filling, vegan ricotta cheese, lasagna sheets and a plant-based twist on the classic Bechamel sauce. It’s so delicious and dreamy, you won’t believe it’s 100% oil-free, dairy-free, and can easily be made gluten-free!
Every Christmas Eve, it is a tradition of Chris’ family to have a large pasta dinner for the holiday so this year we decided to keep with that tradition and create not one but TWO pasta entree recipes for the blog. Not only did we make this white lasagna, but we also put together an Easy Vegan Stuffed Shells that is a must try, too! Try them with a Vegan Calamari with Oyster Mushrooms appetizers to start!
Ingredients You’ll Need
This vegan white lasagna is layered with 4 homemade components:
Mushroom mixture: This oil-free vegan lasagna is packed with vegetables including onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and mushrooms. If you’ve been looking for a vegan lasagna recipe that’s both good and good for you, you’ve come to the right place!
Vegan white sauce: Traditional white lasagnas are made with a creamy bechamel sauce, typically made from butter, milk, and flour to thicken. Of course butter and milk are not vegan, so we recreated that same rich, creaminess using cashews, almond milk, and thickened it with tapioca starch. This also makes this lasagna gluten-free friendly.
Vegan ricotta cheese: A classic in any lasagna! Our tofu ricotta is the perfect cheap and tasty vegan version, but if you are short on time, opt for a store-bought version from brands like Kite Hill and Tofutti.
Pasta: To make this vegan lasagna you’ll need 1 to 2 boxes of no-boil lasagna sheets. We were able to use 18 sheets, but you may need more or less depending on the size of your baking dish. When purchasing lasagna, double check the ingredients for eggs. Some fresher versions are made with them.
Boil the cashews. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot from heat and add in the cashews. Soak for 20 minutes or until softened and drained.
Thaw the frozen spinach. Place the frozen spinach into a fine mesh strainer and run it under very warm water. Mix it around with your hands and break apart any icy chunks as needed. Once thawed, gently squeeze out the excess water. Alternatively, you can microwave the spinach on high for 3 minutes. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes before squeezing out the water.
Prep the ricotta cheese. If you have not done so, prepare the homemade tofu ricotta cheese recipe. Once ready, transfer it to a large bowl, along with the thawed spinach. Mix until uniform and set aside.
Cook the mushroom mixture. In a large skillet over medium heat, add in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Once heated, add in the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add in the celery and carrots and cook for another 4 minutes, or until softened. Add additional water at any point as needed to prevent burning. Lastly, add in the mushrooms and cook until soft, browned, and all of their juices have cooked off. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the vegan mozzarella cheese sauce. In a high-speed blender, add the raw cashews, unsweetened almond milk, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and optional liquid smoke and smoked paprika. Blend until completely smooth and silky.
Assemble your lasagna. In a 9×13 baking dish, spread a few tablespoons of the vegan white sauce on the bottom. Add in a layer of lasagna noodles (we used 6), followed by ⅓ of the mushroom mixture, ⅓ of the vegan cheese sauce, then about ⅓ of the vegan ricotta mixture. Continue layering until you fill the pan or run out of ingredients (we used 3 layers of each). For the top layer, finish with the last of the cheese sauce to seal everything in.
Bake. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil, place the assembled vegan white lasagna on the middle oven rack and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil after the first 20 minutes of baking. This should prevent over browning and keep the lasagna moist on top.
Cool and serve. Remove the lasagna from the oven and allow it to cool before serving (the longer it cools, the easier it will be to cut). Garnish with fresh parsley and vegan parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Gluten-free option: Opt for gluten-free lasagna sheets. Versions made with rice will hold up best and are closest in texture to wheat based lasagna sheets. The brand Jovial does not require boiling ahead of time.
Use fresh spinach: If you’d like you can swap the frozen spinach for fresh. Just make sure to cook it down in a large skillet first and remove any excess water once cooled.
Make-ahead option: If you are making this vegan white lasagna for the holidays or a family gathering and would like to prepare it in advance, we would recommend following steps 1-7, then tightly covering the lasagna with a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Then, allow the lasagna to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking as usual. Note: Don’t forget to remove the plastic wrap before baking!
Soak the cashews overnight. In this recipe, we shared our quick method for softening cashews by boiling them in hot water. However, if you have time to prep ahead, place them in a jar of water and refrigerate overnight. Then drain and start with step 3.
This white lasagna will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If opting to freeze, we recommend doing so before baking. Baked lasagna will likely become mushy once defrosted and reheated. Use this handy guide by Bon Appetit to learn how to properly freeze and defrost homemade white lasagna and other casserole dishes.
To reheat a single serving of white lasagna, place the vegan lasagna in a microwave-safe dish and cook until warm. To reheat several servings of lasagna at once, place the vegan lasagna in an oven-safe dish and cover tightly with foil. Cook at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through again and bubbly. To ensure the white lasagna does not dry out, feel free to add a splash of water or vegetable broth to the dish before reheating.
Tips for Success
Prep ahead as much as possible. By making the tofu ricotta and vegan cheese sauce ahead of time, you’ll cut down significantly on the prep work you’ll have to do the day of. It’s a great method for stress-free hosting!
Blend the cheese sauce completely smooth. If you do not use a high-speed blender or blend for too short of a period of time, your white lasagna sauce will have a slight grit to it.
Double check that your almond milk is unsweetened. Some store-bought versions are labeled unsweetened but contain artificial preservatives that have a sweet after taste. To err on the safe side, make your own almond milk at home!
This Vegan White Lasagna is layered with a hearty mushroom filling, vegan ricotta cheese, lasagna sheets and plant-based twist on the classic Bechamel sauce. It’s so delicious and dreamy, you won’t believe it’s 100% oil-free, dairy-free, and can easily be made gluten-free!
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 rib celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
16 oz. Crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper, as desired
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sauce
2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight* (see notes)
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
7 tablespoons tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour)
Preheat oven to 350°F and position your rack in the middle of the oven. Have a large 9×13-inch baking dish ready.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and once it is boiling, remove the pot from heat and add in the cashews. Soak for 20 minutes or until softened and drain.
Thaw the frozen spinach by placing it into a mesh strainer and running it under very warm water. Mix it around with your hands and break apart any icy chunks as needed. Once it has thawed, turn off water and use your hands to gently squeeze the water out. Alternatively, you can place the spinach in a large bowl and microwave it on high for 3 minutes. Remove it and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before using.
Prepare the ricotta cheese if you have not already done so and then transfer it to a large bowl along with the thawed spinach. Mix until uniform and set aside. (see notes)
In a large skillet over medium heat, add in 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Once heated, add in the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in the celery and carrots and cook down for another 4 minutes, or until softened. Be sure to add more water, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, at any point as needed to prevent burning since we are not using oil here. Lastly, add in the mushrooms and cook until they become soft, browned, and all of their juices have cooked off. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the vegan mozzarella cheese by simply blending together all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
To assemble, grab your baking dish and add a few tablespoons of sauce to the bottom. Spread it out as best you can, it does not have to completely cover it. Add in a layer of lasagna noodles (we used 6), followed by 1/3 of the mushroom mixture, 1/3 of the remaining cheese sauce, and then about 1/3 of the vegan ricotta mixture. Continue until you fill the pan or run out of ingredients, we used 3 layers of each. For the last layer, we added the cheese sauce last/on the very top to seal everything in.
Place the baking dish on the middle rack in the oven for 40 minutes. Ours browned and dried out a bit on top so to prevent this, we suggest you cover for the pan with aluminum foil for the first 20 minutes of baking, then removing the foil for the final 20 minutes. This should prevent browning and keep it more moist on top. Optional but worth a try if that is what you prefer!
Remove the lasagna from the oven and allow it to cool before serving. Note that the longer you let it cool, the easier it will be to cut into slices and serve.
Garnish with fresh parsley and vegan parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Other ingredients that would be great in the ricotta filling are fresh parsley and/or basil, onion powder, black pepper and even red pepper flakes! We left these out and for the sake of simplicity but I just wanted to note it in case you wanted to take this recipe one step further.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!
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